Monday, March 12, 2007

My Reg Barber Tamper

Last week i took a couple of photo's of our main tamper.

We use two tampers.
The most important one is this one year old Reg Barber.
It's a powder coated, aluminium handle with stainless steel base, 58mm us curve-convex.
It took a while to find this final one. We started with a aluminium based, plastic handle Lava, euro convex. We still sell those at the shop. I always recommend people to learn tamping with this one, cause it's light and what we call European convex. For those who are not used of all these terms, we talk about how strongly the bottom is bended/curved (convex) or not (flat).
Most people think a flat tamper is the best, but i think you just have to see what type of machine you're using. We pull our shots on a Faema, which is different to for example La Marzocco. Some people think you tamp deeper with a convex, although i never noticed a difference between both, it just feels different.
On the BBC we worked with the Dalla Corte machines and used a 54 flat one. For those deep baskets it felt right, although the people from the factory didn't really take one side or another on this subject.

Later one we started using the Lava Deluxe, also euro convex. This one is still stationed on the left side of our machine, where we grind and dose our House Blend for lungo's and americano's.
The problem with this Lava Deluxe is the balance. I think the top part is too heavy, but of course that's personal.
I don't think it's necessary to always use a tamper to make good espresso's, but it helps to work more stable and first of all it keeps your portafilter, baskets and group head cleaner.

For all those who are willing to buy and use a tamper, get yourself a tamper station.
Henk from ESW was friendly to sponsor us with this retro-styled station, that perfectly suited to stand next to our Macap on the Marble Mantelpiece.
This tamper station is not only to protect and keep clean your tamping surface, it's also very useful to put it always back on the same spot!

Oh yes, thank you Reg Barber to nicely stamp my initials in all your tools. ; )


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