Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

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Louis
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Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by Louis » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:21 pm

I'm about to pull the trigger on a Vivaldi II, to upgrade from my current Silvia+Auber PID.

Since I got the Vario to replace the Rocky, I've started making singles, something I simply could not achieve before. This forced me to spend some time on HB to learn how to pull singles.

On 58mm baskets, some have had success pulling singles by using two tampers sizes:
1. grind half the dose
2. use the small tamper to compress coffee inside the basket middle section
3. grind the rest of the dose
4. distribute and tamp with the regular 58mm tamper

This made me reach for the el-cheapo plastic tamper that came with the Silvia (with one large end of ~58mm and a smaller end), and yes, it does work on singles where my Reg Barber failed consistently (!).

Before ordering different accessories for the VII, I'd like to confirm whether or not such a drill is required for the La Spaziale 53mm single basket.

Here is what I found searching the site:
In viewtopic.php?p=14231:
Endo wrote:If you like traditional Italian style drinks, then the Vivaldi is definitely the right machine for you.

It seems to be pretty much designed around the 7g and 14g Italian espresso experience. It makes very good singles (best of any machine I tried so far). In my opinion the singles and doubles are about the same quality, just a slightly different taste.
Endo wrote:I get the feeling this machine was really built around the Italian single with the double being secondary. It would explain the 53mm PF.

It does a good job a both singles and doubles but it really likes smaller doses. Which is fine. It saves money and doesn't over caffeinate me.
And in viewtopic.php?p=2033#p2033:
Niko wrote:I use the Espro, Coffee Labs and two different Thor Tampers. I know I have a 5th somewhere but I can't remember which one at the moment.
My favorite is none, I love all of them all for their unique uses. The Espro clicks at 32lbs so I love pulling it out for singles and to occasionally check my technique every other month or so, it fits in the baskets kind of loosely (not a tight fit at all) but I love it for that since it gives me room to bump, wiggle and spin polish the grinds.
So... is a second, smaller, tamper required to pull singles successfully on the VII?

I intend to buy an Espro Convex 53mm as my main tamper (to fix yet another one of the too many variables in espresso making).

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Endo
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:45 pm

I have the Espro Convex 53mm and I have used it for singles. But I'm in no way a single shot expert. I've pulled probably less than 20 since owning the machine.

I found the machine did a fairly good job but I still prefer the double dose.

It sounds to me like you have some more advanced single techniques than me, so I can't really help you too much. Although, as you say, I'd probably try using the small end of the plastic tamper as my first pre-tamper, just to see if the technique works, before laying out cash for a small tamper (I never thought of that actually). Who knows....from the way it looks, perhaps that's what the small end is supposed to be used for. :lol:

Let me know how it turns out. I'd love to give it another try with some expert single advice.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
HG-one, B.Vario, Quest M3

"It's the coffee, stupid."

Louis
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by Louis » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:26 am

Endo wrote:It sounds to me like you have some more advanced single techniques than me, so I can't really help you too much.
I am no expert either, I simply found some information on HB (http://www.home-barista.com/tips/ways-t ... t3859.html) and have some experience with this method on my Silvia.
Endo wrote:Although, as you say, I'd probably try using the small end of the plastic tamper as my first pre-tamper, just to see if the technique works, before laying out cash for a small tamper (I never thought of that actually).
Who knows....from the way it looks, perhaps that's what the small end is supposed to be used for. :lol:
From what I know from my Rancilio plastic thingy, it is designed exactly for this (and works ok). I may wait but I was trying to buy my different new accessories in bundles in order to avoid multiple shipping charges, hence my question here...

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oton
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by oton » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:16 pm

:shock:
A La Spaziale single basket with a La Marzocco single basket fusion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dwmh1pViqM

Incredible good shot for a single basket on a La Spaz if you ask me.

More information here: http://www.kaffee-netz.de/espresso-und- ... m-1er.html
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II ♦ Izzo Alex Duetto III
Compak K10 Fresh ♦ Mahlkönig K30 Vario ♦ Mahlkönig Vario
Quest M3

Louis
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by Louis » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:24 pm

Louis wrote:So... is a second, smaller, tamper required to pull singles successfully on the VII?

I intend to buy an Espro Convex 53mm as my main tamper (to fix yet another one of the too many variables in espresso making).
To close the loop on this: no, a second, smaller, tamper is not at all required to pull great singles on the Vivaldi.

Since I've got it (4 months ago), I've mostly pulled singles. My current routine is:
1. pull basket out of portafilter (bottomless, upside down, push basket out)
2. grind on the Vario
3. weigh 9g (I'm lucky: my single basket weigh exactly 25g, no need to tare the scale, so total of 34g)
4. put the basket back in the portafilter
5. use the Espro convex tamper to nutate/distribute
6. tamp to the tamper predesigned pressure
7. pull shot

I have constant success with this method (using bottomless portafilter), which I attribute to the 53mm diameter (provides for a taller puck) and line preinfusion.

By using an updose of 9g, I even usually get some nice crema and body, something singles are not commonly known for.

So, another nice feature of the S1: it can easily pull singles.
Last edited by Louis on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

pierre63
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by pierre63 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:29 pm

I completly agree with you Louis, it's easy to pull singles with The Vivaldi, it makes great single shots almost everytime.
In a previous life with the Miss Silvia... pulling a good single was like playing the roulette at the casino... i never knew
what will happen . Now i can enjoy singles.

alnica
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by alnica » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:19 am

Thanks Louis for the great tips on making the most of your singles. I am only in week two of my Vivaldi, after a recent upgrade from a PID'd Silvia and I am still in the honeymoon period of awe. Singles were way out of the question on the Silvia, but I am really looking forward to giving this nutation business a go. Although I have upgraded, I do feel I need to cut down on consumption so a few singles a day instead of doubles will be wonderful. I have a convex Cafelat tamper and it seems logical that this will help the "the motion of a tilted annulus touching a plane at one point and having its axis describe a circle parallel to that plane" (fantastic description on the HB link you sent :roll: ).

Al

Louis
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Re: Making singles: smaller tamper required or not?

Post by Louis » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:39 am

alnica wrote:Thanks Louis for the great tips on making the most of your singles. I am only in week two of my Vivaldi, after a recent upgrade from a PID'd Silvia and I am still in the honeymoon period of awe. Singles were way out of the question on the Silvia, but I am really looking forward to giving this nutation business a go. Although I have upgraded, I do feel I need to cut down on consumption so a few singles a day instead of doubles will be wonderful. I have a convex Cafelat tamper and it seems logical that this will help the "the motion of a tilted annulus touching a plane at one point and having its axis describe a circle parallel to that plane" (fantastic description on the HB link you sent :roll: ).

Al
You're welcome! I hope you find it useful! Have fun with your new machine!

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