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Topic: tamper tantrum [was Re: tamp vs no tamp] (2 msgs / 68 lines)
1) From: Gary Zimmerman
Mike McGinness wrote:
<Snip>
I've tried making espresso occasionally, and found the tamping to be a 
pretty awkward step in the process.  Hard to know you're doing it right 
until you've pulled a lot of shots, and other variables like grind and 
coffee variety come into play.
I realize the tamp is part of the art and ceremony of the whole thing, but 
I was thinking about simplifying that step, and had a couple of ideas for 
tamping - sort of a mental tamper tantrum, if you will.  I'm not an 
espresso hound, so forgive me if these are old news, been done, naive, or 
just silly and impractical.  I have an occasionally inquiring mind.
Here's one for the mechanical wizards and inventors on the list:
Tamping is all about putting pressure on the grounds before passing the 
water or steam through them.
Real espresso machines generate high pressures.
Could not a machine be designed that took advantage of the steam pressure 
build-up to create an "automatic tamper" that itself compresses the grounds 
before releasing the steam into them?
On a related but lower-tech note, why not include a manual tamper mechanism 
on the machine itself?
Couldn't you create a machine that includes a built in, manual piston 
positioned immediately above the portafilter head, with a lever that's much 
more leverage-friendly than the typical block-of-wood or metal tamper?  You 
load up the portafilter, secure it in place, and pull down the tamper lever 
to compress the grounds.  (It would be like sealing the lid on a can of 
paint or using one of those manual orange juicers.)
The machine could even be instrumented with a built-in pressure gauge scale 
for consistent tamping.  Then you release the lever, lock it in the up 
position, pulling the compressor piston out of the way of the steam flow, 
and brew away.
Either of these ideas intriguing?  I'm guessing somethings wrong with them, 
since they haven't been tried.  Or maybe they have, and I'm just unaware of it.
-- garyZ
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2) From: jim gundlach
On Sunday, September 22, 2002, at 03:17 PM, Gary Zimmerman wrote:
<Snip>
I don't know about the machines the instructors were playing with but 
the SL-90 does not require tamping when you use the standard basket .  
However, the optional basket does require tamping and you can make much 
better espresso with the optional basket.  But you want to get into 
espresso without learning the art of tamping, you can do it with the 
SL-90.  And later, if you want you can get the optional basket and add 
to your skills.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires in
La Place, Alabama
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast


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