HomeRoast Digest


Topic: first tamper purchase (32 msgs / 1277 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
So, I am making my list of things I need that don't come with the 
espresso maker, and a good tamper is first on my list. Any thoughts on 
curve, height, weight, particular models? So many choices...
vicki

2) From: Vicki Smith
and yes...I have the grinder covered ;).
v
Vicki Smith wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Bob
Vicki,http://www.thortamper.com/Les [the Doctor] can get you up to speed in no time flat
Bob

4) From: Leo Zick
I have this tamperhttp://www.sweetmarias.com/tampers/tamper_rosewoodnew.jpgthink its great. Weighted well, and heavy.
I just bought a tamper from, um, a well known company that offers product
for H-B.com for a friend for Christmas. Its very close to this one, weighted
a bit more different, not as bottom heavy, but still a good weight.  Its
also slightly shorter than mine, which makes gripping it a bit easier. Both
feel very solid and comfortable!

5) From: Brett Mason
I love my Thortamper...  It's the first picture on the "Gallery of
Tampers" - I was really surprised to look and realize that is exactly
mine, the grain, curve etc.  LOVE IT every day!
Brett
On 12/24/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

6) From: Alchemist John
Fully, and completely biased - go for a Thor Tamper.  You will never 
regret it.  Check his website, find a wood you love, talk to him.  I 
love my three.
At 06:35 12/24/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

7) From: miKe mcKoffee
I cut my teeth on a Reg Barber American Convex and still use it daily.
Actually arrived the day before Miss Silvia way back when. Practiced tamping
pressure on a bathroom scale before I had an espresso machine! While I love
the looks of Thor Tampers (have three), functionaly I prefer the RB,
probably because I'm used to it.
There's a very good thread on HB Forum reviewing a bunch of tampers
traveling from person to person. May help.http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t12Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
<Snip>

8) From: John Blumel
On Dec 24, 2006, at 9:35 am, Vicki Smith wrote:
<Snip>
I use a convex, out of habit as much as anything else, but also  
because of the theory behind it, not that I've done extensive trials  
to convince myself that it's really better.
Otherwise, I think it's in large part subjective, so you might want  
to look into the tampers where you can exchange parts, base and  
handle -- flat/convex, steel/aluminum, tall/short, skinny/fat -- and  
maybe order a few combinations to experiment with. I think the only  
way to find the right tamper for you is to try different ones. I do  
tend to prefer lighter tampers because I think they are less likely  
to over-compress the nascent puck on the initial leveling tamp, and  
the extra weight that a heavy one carries doesn't really help much  
with the full tamp.
John Blumel

9) From: John Blumel
On Dec 24, 2006, at 11:59 am, John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>
Oh, I also meant to mention that my current favorite tampers are the  
Schomer Ergo-Packer, and a little aluminum and wood one from  
Scandinavia, I think, that I don't see around these days and which  
may no longer be available. Apologies to Les, but I don't own a Thor.  
Are they light, Les? Can the weight be customized?
John Blumel

10) From: PecanJim
I completely agree.  While I am currently using a RB stainless steel, it
is because I gave my weighted Thor Mexican Cocobolo to my kids when I gave
them the Ms Silvia because it had the matching portafilter handle.  My
current crotchless portafilter is experiencing a plastic handle failure
and after Christmas is paid for, I will be sending that portafilter on to
Les to get a handle and matching Thor Tamper made.  I have tried a convex
tamper before and returned to the flat because the convex produced more
channeled pucks.
    Pecan Jim
    P. S.
   I'm stuck in a big city hotel with my wife's family in San Antonio, Tx.
 Just got back from walking around to check the highly rated coffee
places in the neighborhood and they are all closed for the hollidays. 
To do this I had to lock the puppies up in a kennel.  I will never
forget the look of betrayal the youngest one gave me as the attendent
took her away.  As an asside,  it just occured to me why I have never
like t big down town hotels, they feel like a total instution, a mental
institution or prehaps a prison.
<Snip>

11) From: Lynne
I have to second Linda's opinion - it's beautifully crafted, too.
Lynne
On Dec 24, 2006, at 12:20 PM, LInda Reese wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: LInda Reese
Vicki, I have a very large thortamper for my KMB. I describe it as the best 
piece of equipment I never knew I needed! It's beautiful, very well crafted 
and Les has managed to price them in keeping with that of the KMB (at least 
when the KMB was still readily available!). I mention this because I think 
his pricing is very competitive across the board and his workmanship is 
outstanding. As with so many of the options for roasting, grinding and 
brewing, think of your first tamper as a "starter"! Good luck, Linda

13) From: Vicki Smith
Interesting reading--and the thread on H-B is amazing. It left me 
wishing I could try a few. My general sense is that feel and what one 
might call synergy with the machine are issues that will take some 
figuring out.
I like the idea of choosing one that has some interchangeable parts in 
case I don't get it quite right initially.
I'm 4'11" and have the size hands one would expect to be paired with my, 
urmmm, vertically challenged stature. From what I read, it would seem 
that I want a shorter tamper with a knob that isn't huge, but as to 
specifics, I'm still somewhat confused.
My inclination, at this point, is to refrain from choosing anything as 
my first tamper that would require a bank loan, or that I would feel 
rotten about having purchased if it turns out to be *not the one*. 
Again, the interchangeable parts idea has some appeal.
I need to think on it some more.
vicki

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
A short or short ball Reg Barber might fit the bill. (except $ wise:-) Just
Google "Reg Barber" to check out their offerings. Whatever you do get a
proper sized tamper of some sort to arrive at the latest same time as
espresso machine if possible! Do NOT attempt to tamp using the POC plastic
rough undersized tamper that comes with virtually all machines. You'd only
be putting yourself through wasted agony.
miKe
<Snip>

15) From: John F Coffey
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LOL .. I'll second that .. I love my two...
--John
On Dec 24, 2006, at 8:14 AM, Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>
--------------
   John F. Coffey
   Email - john
   P.O. Box 524			
   Blaine, WA  98231
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LOL .. I'll second that .. I =
love my two...
--John On Dec 24, 2006, at 8:14 AM, Alchemist John wrote:
Fully, and completely biased - go for a Thor = Tamper.  You will never = regret it.  Check his = website, find a wood you love, talk to him.  I love my three. At 06:35 = 12/24/2006, you wrote: So, I am making my list of things I need that don't = come with the espresso maker, and a good tamper is first on my list. Any = thoughts on curve, height, weight, particular models? So many = choices... vickihomeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings John = NanciAlChemist at largeZen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by = Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = --------------  John F. = Coffey  Email - john  P.O. Box 524 =   Blaine, WA  98231


= = --Apple-Mail-1--297711145--

16) From:
Vicki:
Merry Christmas. Tuff question. 
You must try different tampers to make that choice. Your tamper is one of your tools in making espresso. I still go back and forth with two of mine and cannot decide which is best, both are Thor Tampers.
I have two that I lend to folks to try (as long as you promise not to soak them in water) to see what/if they may fit.
I would be happy to send these two Thor to you to try out for 60/90 days.
The Thor, which are wood, seem to fit and mold to my hand better then the plastic or metal. The other plus is that they are works of art.
There is no question that you can tamp your grounds with almost anything; I have used a hammer head out in the boonies; simply tap a few times in the center and smooth out around the edges!! You can easily get used to a plastic tamper and have it be perfect. Here again it is a matter of taste/what feels good and how you feel your espresso is by using this particular tool.
Please email me off list at thegster and I will send them next week. I am on the road now and will not get anything out until next week.
Warmest Regards,
ginny
This is a tuff question since I do not 
---- Vicki Smith  wrote: 
<Snip>

17) From:
ps to my offer, one of these is convex.
g
---- Vicki Smith  wrote: 
<Snip>

18) From: Sandy Andina
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The only problem I have with my cocobolo Thor is that it does not  
seem to polish the puck without friction--it tears it.  But it is  
nice in the hand, and gorgeous.
On Dec 25, 2006, at 12:36 PM, pchforever wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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The only problem I have with my =
cocobolo Thor is that it does not seem to polish the puck without =
friction--it tears it.  But it is nice in the hand, and =
gorgeous.
On Dec 25, 2006, at 12:36 PM, pchforever =
wrote:
ps to my offer, one of these is = convex. g ---- Vicki Smith <vicki.smith> = wrote:  Interesting reading--and the = thread on H-B is amazing. It left me wishing = I could try a few. My general sense is that feel and what one might = call synergy with the machine are issues that will take some figuring = out. I like the idea of choosing one that has some = interchangeable parts in case I = don't get it quite right initially. I'm 4'11" and have the size = hands one would expect to be paired with my, urmmm, = vertically challenged stature. From what I read, it would seem that I = want a shorter tamper with a knob that isn't huge, but as to  My = inclination, at this point, is to refrain from choosing anything as my first = tamper that would require a bank loan, or that I would feel rotten = about having purchased if it turns out to be *not the one*. Again, = the interchangeable parts idea has some appeal. I need = to think on it some more. vicki homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-1--206637232--

19) From: Alchemist John
That is odd.  I have no issues with that.  Do make sure your tamper 
is fully and freshly dry.
At 12:38 12/25/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

20) From: raymanowen
"...make sure your tamper is fully and freshly dry."
Doesn't Les make the foot of Lignum Vitae? I had a sample chunk of that wood
decades ago. Never was used by Cat as a track idler bearing material.
It wouldn't "wet," and if we let it soak, it got a milky surface that
polished right off. What a tantalizing smell it had!
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Maligayang Pasko po sa inyong lahat, at Maligayang Bagong Taon po- (Guess)

21) From: raymanowen
"...make sure your tamper is fully and freshly dry."
Doesn't Les make the foot of Lignum Vitae? I had a sample chunk of that wood
decades ago. Never was used by Cat as a track idler bearing material.
It wouldn't "wet," and if we let it soak, it got a milky surface that
polished right off. What a tantalizing smell it had!
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Maligayang Pasko po sa inyong lahat, at Maligayang Bagong Taon po- (Guess)

22) From: Jared Andersson
I have only owned that rosewood flat tamper from Sweetmarias so I  can't
comment on which tamper is better but I do like mine a lot.  What I would
like to add is that once I went with a bottomless portafilter my concerns
about which tamper is best went mostly out the window.  With the great
feedback the bottomless gives I quickly ended most all tamping issues that
may otherwise have taken years to figure out and fix .  Jared
On 12/24/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>

23) From: Sandy Andina
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Always is. I think the problem may be that the bottom surface isn't  
slick enough and that the edge is a little sharp.
On Dec 25, 2006, at 4:53 PM, Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Always is. I think the problem =
may be that the bottom surface isn't slick enough and that the edge is a =
little sharp.
On Dec 25, 2006, at 4:53 PM, Alchemist John =
wrote:
That is odd.  I have no issues with = that.  Do make sure your = tamper is fully and freshly dry. At 12:38 12/25/2006, you = wrote: The only = problem I have with my cocobolo Thor is that it does not seem to polish = the puck without friction--it tears it.  But it is nice in the hand, = and gorgeous.Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-13--167290021--

24) From: Les
Sandy,
Polish your lignium vitae base with a cotton cloth.  Just give it a
good brisk rubbing and it should slick right up and you should be able
to polish the puck with no problem.  If there is a problem, I will
recondition the tamper for you free.
Les
(Thor Tampers)
On 12/25/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: Roger Lebow
A mighty fine and a great big Western howdy, Buckaroos & Buckarettes,*
I have 3 "high end" tampers: an attractive ebony Torr (from Germany); 
the highly-touted Presso Barista (from Sweden); and the Thor (from 
faraway and exotic Oregon). I find myself returning to Les's Thor with 
pleasure and the illusion of barista competence.
Roger in Sierra Madre, all too here, all too now
*Anybody else a Riders in the Sky fan?

26) From: Sandy Andina
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Les,
I did as you suggested, but there is still too much friction. Part of  
the problem is that the edges are so sharp rather than radiused. I  
did notice that there seemed to be peeling varnish or finish along  
the sides of the lignum vitae; I did gently sand these scaly patches  
down using micromesh cloth, but the sharp edges combined with a  
slightly loose fit do tear the sides of the puck when I try to polish  
it.  When the tamper first came, I couldn't take the smell of the  
finish, so I stored it in coffee grounds for a few days. I wouldn't  
mind reconditioning if you could do it without that scent.
On Dec 26, 2006, at 8:12 AM, Les wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Les,I did as you suggested, =
but there is still too much friction. Part of the problem is that the =
edges are so sharp rather than radiused. I did notice that there seemed =
to be peeling varnish or finish along the sides of the lignum vitae; I =
did gently sand these scaly patches down using micromesh cloth, but the =
sharp edges combined with a slightly loose fit do tear the sides of the =
puck when I try to polish it.  When the tamper first came, I couldn't =
take the smell of the finish, so I stored it in coffee grounds for a few =
days. I wouldn't mind reconditioning if you could do it without that =
scent.
On Dec 26, 2006, at 8:12 AM, Les wrote:
Sandy,Polish your = lignium vitae base with a cotton cloth.  Just give it agood brisk rubbing and it should slick right up and = you should be ableto polish the puck with no = problem.  If there is a = problem, I willrecondition the tamper for you = free. Les(Thor = Tampers) On 12/25/06, Sandy Andina <sandraandina> = wrote: The only = problem I have with my cocobolo Thor is that it does not seem = topolish the puck without friction--it tears = it.  But it is nice in = the hand,and gorgeous. On Dec 25, = 2006, at 12:36 PM, pchforever = wrote: ps to my offer, one of these is convex. ---- = Vicki Smith <vicki.smith> = wrote:Interesting reading--and the = thread on H-B is amazing. It left mewishing I = could try a few. My general sense is that feel and what onemight call synergy with the machine are issues that = will take somefiguring out. I like = the idea of choosing one that has some interchangeable parts = incase I don't get it quite right = initially. I'm 4'11" and have the size hands one would expect = to be paired with my,urmmm, vertically = challenged stature. From what I read, it would seemthat I want a shorter tamper with a knob that isn't = huge, but as tospecifics, I'm still somewhat = confused. My inclination, at this point, is to refrain from = choosing anything asmy first tamper that would = require a bank loan, or that I would feelrotten = about having purchased if it turns out to be *not the one*.Again, the interchangeable parts idea has some = appeal. I need to think on it some more. homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations,unsvbscribes) go = tohttp://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations,unsvbscribes) go = tohttp://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-37--1916460--

27) From: Leo Zick
This is a multipart message in MIME format.
I think this comment came from a few people on the HB tamper roadshow as
well
From: Sandy Andina [mailto:sandraandina] 
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 12:31 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +first tamper purchase
Les,
I did as you suggested, but there is still too much friction. Part of the
problem is that the edges are so sharp rather than radiused. I did notice
that there seemed to be peeling varnish or finish along the sides of the
lignum vitae; I did gently sand these scaly patches down using micromesh
cloth, but the sharp edges combined with a slightly loose fit do tear the
sides of the puck when I try to polish it.  When the tamper first came, I
couldn't take the smell of the finish, so I stored it in coffee grounds for
a few days. I wouldn't mind reconditioning if you could do it without that
scent.
On Dec 26, 2006, at 8:12 AM, Les wrote:
Sandy,
Polish your lignium vitae base with a cotton cloth.  Just give it a
good brisk rubbing and it should slick right up and you should be able
to polish the puck with no problem.  If there is a problem, I will
recondition the tamper for you free.
Les
(Thor Tampers)
On 12/25/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
The only problem I have with my cocobolo Thor is that it does not seem to
polish the puck without friction--it tears it.  But it is nice in the hand,
and gorgeous.
On Dec 25, 2006, at 12:36 PM, pchforever wrote:
ps to my offer, one of these is convex.
g
---- Vicki Smith  wrote:
Interesting reading--and the thread on H-B is amazing. It left me
wishing I could try a few. My general sense is that feel and what one
might call synergy with the machine are issues that will take some
figuring out.
I like the idea of choosing one that has some interchangeable parts in
case I don't get it quite right initially.
I'm 4'11" and have the size hands one would expect to be paired with my,
urmmm, vertically challenged stature. From what I read, it would seem
that I want a shorter tamper with a knob that isn't huge, but as to
specifics, I'm still somewhat confused.
My inclination, at this point, is to refrain from choosing anything as
my first tamper that would require a bank loan, or that I would feel
rotten about having purchased if it turns out to be *not the one*.
Again, the interchangeable parts idea has some appeal.
I need to think on it some more.
vickiSandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com

28) From: John Blumel
On Dec 28, 2006, at 12:30 am, Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
You probably already know this, but it may be worth mentioning that,  
when polishing, one shouldn't press down on the tamper, but simply  
twirl it around once or twice, without lifting. The term "polishing"  
is something of a misnomer since all you are really trying to do is  
break any adhesion between the tamper and puck, so downward force at  
this point isn't really desirable.
John Blumel

29) From: Leo Zick
I use a very firm tamp and twist technique. I have no problem with adhesion
with my SM tamper.

30) From: Les
Leo,
The problem with the folks on the HB roadshow is they failed to wipe the
tamper off and moisture was on the tamper when they went to do their next
tamp.  It always bugs me when people blame the equipment on poor technique.
One of my greatest pleasures is watching Mike McKoffee pull shots.  If it
isn't just right, he blames himself, not his equipment.  That said, I don't
know of anyone who knows his equipment or keeps it in A-1 condition better
than Mike.  I have been thinking about some of the best coffee of the year.
I would have to say the ristretto Mike served me from his Espresso Jam blend
was in the top 5.  Why because he sinked the first one because it wasn't
right!  The second one that I got to enjoy was pure liquid silk!  Another
top 5 was at Alchemist John's a nice ristretto of his triple DP Ethiopian
Blend.  My best shot of the year was a SO of Blue Batak!
www.thortamper.com/crema.html  Everything was right that day, awesome bean,
great roast, and good espresso technique.  The other two in the top 5 for
the year was a SO of the Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 -El Injerto and a
shot of a 50/50 blend of Uganda Bugisu and Java Private Estate - Type:
Prince  So as I look back, two of my best remembered and enjoyed espresso
shots were done by fellow homeroasters!  Thanks Mike and John.
On 12/28/06, Leo Zick  wrote:
<Snip>

31) From: Les
Ignore the link, somehow the picture was deleted!  I'll have to fix that
when I get home tonight.
Les
On 12/28/06, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

32) From: Sandy Andina
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Yes, I do know that, and do not apply pressure at all for the  
polishing phase. My stainless Lava Tamp and the Rancilio stainless,  
oak-handled tamper both spin very nicely atop the puck with no  
pressure at all. The Thor will not twirl--I can feel the friction  
even when I am not applying pressure.
On Dec 28, 2006, at 8:23 AM, John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Yes, I do know that, and do not =
apply pressure at all for the polishing phase. My stainless Lava Tamp =
and the Rancilio stainless, oak-handled tamper both spin very nicely =
atop the puck with no pressure at all. The Thor will not twirl--I can =
feel the friction even when I am not applying pressure.
On =
Dec 28, 2006, at 8:23 AM, John Blumel wrote:

You probably already know = this, but it may be worth mentioning that, when polishing, one shouldn't = press down on the tamper, but simply twirl it around once or twice, = without lifting.

Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-1-44273801--


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