Correct tamping, which is essential for extraction, is one of the most overlooked skills. The future of automatic tampers is still a topic of conversation. Even though tamping is essential for extraction, the differences in ideas are about the technique. Experts have learned a lot about tamping techniques for best coffee roasters in Australia over the years and discovered which ones work best.
Simply stated, tamping reduces the resistance of ground coffee. It also minimizes gaps. This allows water to flow slowly, which in turn makes it easier to extract all the good solubles. This is where the real magic happens. It is what will make or break your coffee. Here are two things that a good tamping technique should accomplish:
Consistency A good technique for tamping coffee should produce consistent pressure in each shot. It is important to ensure even distribution of the coffee so that water flows through each grain and extracts as much flavor as possible. You can concentrate on other variables like distribution, grind size or dosage to alter the flavor of your coffee. This is especially difficult in cafes with multiple baristas. Customers may not receive consistent coffee because of inconsistent tamping methods.
Care: A good tamping technique will minimize repetitive strain injury (also known as RSI) to your body. We see too many injuries to baristas' backs, wrist joints and ligaments from poor practices. This can have a negative impact on baristas' long-term physical health and ultimately affect business operations. We now know the factors we need to take into consideration, let's look at the best manual tamping practices.
Position Stand in your natural position. Baristas spend a lot of time on their feet so comfort is important. While fully wrapping your tamper, stand sideways on your workbench. This will help you keep your back straight while minimizing repetitive bends in your wrist. It is also important to keep your A-frames in right position.
Placement: Before pressing the button, place your tamper flat on your handle. This is to prevent uneven flow and extraction. This can cause coffee to taste different from one cup to the next.
Press: Instead using your arm strength, which can cause strain and injury, lean forward to increase the weight (approximately fifteen kilograms). This will ensure that you don't use excessive force while tamping. It also reduces strain.
Pressure point: "How hard should I tamp?" is one of the most frequently asked questions. Try three different tamps: light, hard, and very hard The difference in extraction between a light and a hard tamp will be obvious. After coffee grounds have settled, you won't notice a significant difference in extraction if you press harder. The "sweet spot" refers to the point where your coffee grind stops moving further and is sufficiently firm. It is important to maintain consistent pressure in your coffee beans, regardless of how much you use.
Double trouble: You can double tamp once with a half dose, and a second time with a full dose if you've ever wondered what that was like. You are basically creating two layers of coffee in the handle. Water must pass through two separate coffee beds with a pause between. This will result in a slower, uneven extraction of flavors.
Side tapping: To keep the basket side wall from sticking to the handle, some baristas like taping the side of the group handle. This actually shifts the puck and creates a channel around it. It is possible to tamp the puck again, double-tamping. However, this doesn't solve the channeling problem. This will result in water flowing around the puck instead of through it. This will give you a faster, but less consistent extraction. To avoid excess coffee from the sidewall, you should get a tamper that is perfect for your group.
Spring-loaded Manual Tamper There are a few brands and models available of spring-loaded Tampers. These tampers are made to provide consistent pressure, just like an automatic tamper, but at a fraction of the cost.
Automated tamper Is automatic tamper the future of technology? It can, in many ways. It captures the main characteristics of a good tamping: care and consistency. You can set the pressure to produce consistent results. Automatic tampers are less likely to cause RSI. As a trainer, I spend a lot of time with new baristas and help them to tamp. If a cafe has an automated tamper, I don't focus on the tamping and instead talk about other aspects. Although they come at a cost, automatic tampers can save you a lot of time in busy cafes and give you a long-term return. Tamping is no longer a part of cafe conversation and has been replaced by something more exciting.