Favorite Tamper?

All Discussions about 53ish mm tampers for the Vivaldi
Niko

Favorite Tamper?

Post by Niko » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:50 pm

I know many of you have more than one tamper.
So which one is your favorite?
I know mine changes week to week and sometimes I'll use the same one for about a month at the most but there's always one I return to more often. Even though I hate picking favorites since all my tampers get used, some just not as much as I'd like but that's just the way it is.

I'd love to hear somebody say their favorite is the plastic one supplied by all espresso machine manufacturers....
:D

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Post by Weska » Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:53 pm

Can't help you, Niko. I have only my Reg Barber, short handle, convex American curve, 53.3mm. And the only other comparison is to the plastic, OEM ones. Obvious which is my favorite, eh?

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EricC
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Post by EricC » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:26 am

Hi Niko,

I have three tampers at the moment from three different companies, all are 53mm.

Beyond the Bean Tamper (black metal handle) American Curve base.

Torr Tamper (beautiful Birchwood handle) Flat base. My Favourite :D

Pullman Tamper (very nice Checkerboard handle) Flat base. Which i also like very much.

You can never have too many tampers. :lol: :lol: :lol:

When i had a machine that took 58mm tampers i had 3 Reg Barbers, an Espro Clicker Tamper and one of Les Albjerg's Thor Tampers a Triple Play which was a real beauty.

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Post by ebprod » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:56 am

I only have the 53mm convex Bumper tamper that I got when I bought the machine. So far it has been alright, but I'm still not sure I like the rubber handle.

With my old machine I had two 58mm tampers- one flat and one convex. The pours I got with the two tampers were dramatically different. I don't think I ever got a satisfactory pour from the convex tamper. For that reason alone I am thinking of getting a flat 53mm for my new machine.

-Joe

Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:17 pm

Joe,
Do you think it might be the tamping style that affects your pours between the flat and convex bottom tampers? Reason I ask is because one tamper might have a better fit and the other might require more work to evenly get all sides of coffee down into the basket...maybe? I know I have a few different styles between my arsenal of tampers but it's all the same in the end with a 30lb tamp for a finishing move.
That rubber (Bumper) tamper handle would probably interfere with my spin-polishing move that I love to use with metal tampers, is this what bothers you too?


I was hoping to get your attention, Eric.
I would love see some (small) pics of those tampers you're talking about.

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Post by ebprod » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:26 pm

I'm sure it was probably my tamping style. I had used the flat one for a long time before I got the convex one. I probably didn't spend enough time with the convex tamper before I gave up on it.

I noticed the brew head on the S1 is alot more curved than my old Relax. Do you think that gives the convex tamper more of an advantage on the S1?

As far as the rubber handle goes- I think I like the looks of my old wood handle better. It feels alright in the hand, but I prefered my old tamper. Again, this is probably just old habits.

-Joe
Niko wrote:Joe,
Do you think it might be the tamping style that affects your pours between the flat and convex bottom tampers? Reason I ask is because one tamper might have a better fit and the other might require more work to evenly get all sides of coffee down into the basket...maybe? I know I have a few different styles between my arsenal of tampers but it's all the same in the end with a 30lb tamp for a finishing move.
That rubber (Bumper) tamper handle would probably interfere with my spin-polishing move that I love to use with metal tampers, is this what bothers you too?

Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:43 pm

I have slightly better pours from a (very) slight convex on the tamper, again like you - it could be just the technique I use but with flat tampers I need to work a little harder. The convex tampers are a little more forgiving especially on side channelling, distribution has to be perfect for me with a flat tamper base or I get that insidious side channel action. The convex makes me lazy sometimes and when I get too lax, I get a fast pour and a nice pinhole right in the middle of the puck :x !
As for that rubber handle, you can probably just replace it with a wood version.

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Reg Barber? if so, which piston?

Post by coffeeowl » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:43 am

Hi!
I'm going to do some shopping overseas :) and one of the items will be a tamper.
I have already one (only! :cry: :wink: ), it's Vivace's Ergo Packer (US-Curve 53mm). I'm pleased with it but I'd rather it was stainless steel (it's aluminium).
Any recommendations are very much welcome.
What I'm thinking mostly of is a 53mm Reg Barber, and now I don't know which piston... US-Convex, Flat...? the European-Convex is rather out of my interest, and the C-Flat - what's that? :oops:
Thanks for help and Happy Holidays for all that just have it :D
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Post by chas » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:11 pm

I'm not sure what the difference is between a US curve and a European curve, but I did recently purchase a C flat from Reg Barber. I think he has a picture of one on his site. Essentially the base is flat except for a curve near the edge. It sort of a best of both worlds design attempt.
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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:29 pm

Thanks Chas!
Euro-Curve is deeper curved then US.
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Post by chas » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:34 pm

There's a photo of the C flat design at this bottom of this page:

http://www.coffeetamper.com/english/products.asp

It also has diagrams of the US and Euro curve designs, too!
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woodchuck

Post by woodchuck » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:26 pm

Coffeelab 53 for me. I would like to pick up a few more but functionally speaking it works great.

Cheers

Ian

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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:00 pm

Thanks again!
Wow!
I'd essentially pick both Flat and American-Curve. The Coffeelabs must be tasty too! :)
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michael

tampers

Post by michael » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:43 am

i started with the bumper tamper when i first purchased my machine from chris; this was fine, but not great

next i moved on to the espro which i liked better, especially the ability to get the correct tamp each time

i recently received three hardwood tampers from les at thor tampers with slightly convex blackwood bottoms; i also purchased matching handles for my three portafilters, the single, double and bottomless to replace the existing plastic

the thor tampers are excellent, great fit and feel and look great, leave the others in the dust 8)

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Post by 4vDesmo » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:32 am

Same for me - started with the Bumper tamper, bought it with the VII. It worked, was certainly better than the plastic paperweight that came with the Spaz. But I never really liked it, it just didn't feel good in my hand.

Then bought an Espro along with ordering some other goodies from Chris'. I like the confirmation click a lot, as I'm still working on technique (and confidence in same). Also liked the feel in my hand better than the Bumper.

Recently bought a Thor, a really nice desert ironwood with matching PF handle. Both are beautiful, and the Thor is a much closer fit in the filter basket than both the Bumper and Espro.

I'm still favoring the Espro, mostly for the feedback click, but there is no beating the Thor for looks. Sure wish I could get the stinking plastic PF handle off to install the super nice one from Les. I think they welded that thing on!

michael

tampers

Post by michael » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:40 am

the thor tamper has a much better fit than the espro and feels great in the hand

the plastic handles are glued and screwed. there are a few posts around describing the removal technique; i got mine off and now have the really slick thor handles on 8)

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:53 pm

Steve,
The Spaz handles are glued on.
You can twist really hard to break the seal and it should be smooth sailing after that.
You guys should post some small pics of your handles and tampers for all to see.
...OK, maybe for me to see :wink:

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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:22 pm

4vDesmo wrote:(...)and the Thor is a much closer fit in the filter basket than both the Bumper and Espro(...)
michael wrote:the thor tamper has a much better fit than the espro
Do you mean that it's more then 53mm piston size?

I've just put espro on order two days ago, for I have to master out the tamp force.
My Vivace Ergo Packer 53mm US-curve works good, however it's not a tight fit.
I think that US-curve is perfect tool for double basket but sucks a little for the single, flat should do better - yet I'll try it when I get it.
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michael

tamper

Post by michael » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:50 pm

for me, the thor tampers are a tighter fit than my espro and the matching handles are very cool 8)

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Post by Consty » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:17 pm

Coffeelabs Gunmetal is the one for me. It's also my first 'serious' tamper. I used to pack the basket of a FrancisFrancis with a real cheap, lightweight sort of tamper thing, doesn't really count..

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:20 pm

You'll be fine with the Espro, Pawel.
I've been using that one for the last month or so with great results. As a matter of fact, tamping is overrated to me :lol:
I just tamp in one motion these days, straight down with no looking bak with grinds on the basket walls and everything but the shots are still godly. I learned this from studying the mechanics of the MACAP Autotamper (large tabletop unit), it just stomps the grinds in one motion and the resulting shots are repeatable down to the nano second and taste.
Distribution is key in my kitchen 8)

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Post by Zzyzx » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:41 pm

Here are the ones I use. The Espro has the best fit for me

Image
Image

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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:01 pm

Niko,

I added wdt to my routine and it improved my shots very much (the repeatability). wdt, nutation, tap, tamp and go.

Nice pics Zzyzx :)
the Espro convex is a little hard to get.
Last edited by coffeeowl on Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:03 pm

dAmN!
Where'd ya' get the purple CoffeeLabs handle?
I love it!
I had two CoffeeLabs tampers, a 53 and a 58...sold the 58 with the Anita a few months back. One in gunmetal, the other Raw - I liked tha Raw better so I swapped the handles :wink:

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Post by Zzyzx » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:07 pm

Niko wrote:dAmN!
Where'd ya' get the purple CoffeeLabs handle?
I ordered direct since Chris didn't have anymore :)

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:16 pm

Direct, huh?
How long did that take to receive all the way from down under?

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Post by Zzyzx » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:25 pm

It took about 10 days. The price was only $5.00 more ordering direct. I wanted purple anyway, so it worked out great!

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:40 pm

damn.
and I really liked the purple handle also.

I guess I can always get my Raw one powder coated in purple.

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Post by 4vDesmo » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:24 pm

Niko, it would probably be easier and cheaper to just buy a new one than finding and paying someone to powdercoat (or anodize, more likely) yours.

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:45 pm

Yeah, I know...
I was actually going to try and sneak it in one of my dad's company orders. He gets window framing powder coated and I was going to try and pull a fast one on him by saying "hey look over there!" and then casually slip it to the guy who sends the frames out :wink:
I can pretty much get any color I want but I'm beginning to think a nice camouflage would be nice, then again it might end up like Chas' tamper and blend in with the house - he still hasn't found that tamper....

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Post by NewEnglandCliff » Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:29 pm

I probably have 15 pricey tampers, but the one I use all the time is this "Classic Nuss" walnut tamper made by Joerg Rexroth of Concept Art in Germany (www.concept-art.de). It's all walnut and pretty light. While he does offer a 53mm tamper, this one he custom sized to my exact basket dimension and scribed a groove around the circumference of the piston for me, to help in eyeing an even tamp.

The wood grain on the piston face helps "trowel" the grinds and create a uniform surface of consistent density on the puck surface, unlike a smooth tamper that seems to just slip over the grinds as you twist. You can feel a slight resistance as you rotate the tamper.

I bought this in March and Jeorg only charged me $9 to make and ship this - can you believe that? I'm sure the price is higher now with the falling dollar and, perhaps, his rising business sense.

This photo has poor lighting and contrast, but here it is:

Image
Dolce Vita,

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Post by chas » Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:48 pm

It's been a while since you checked in. Welcome back. Very nice looking tamper!
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Post by NewEnglandCliff » Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:52 pm

Hey Chas, thanks for the site! Not sure I ever expressed that.

Happy Holidays,

Cliff

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:44 am

Welcome back indeed, Cliff!
I've read several of your posts in the past, it's nice to see you back.

Oops, almost forgot...thanks for posting the info on that nice tamper :thumbleft:

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Post by NewEnglandCliff » Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:32 am

Hey Niko, thank you and your welcome!

You've read several of my posts, eh? Well it's safe to say I've read more of yours, almighty Extreme Supreme.

You're in one of my favorite towns. Loved the Blue Bottle kiosk on Linden, and Ritual on Valencia during my last visit a few months ago. Plus all the great beer and food. Wish I could get there more often, although Boston's a fun town, too.
Dolce Vita,

NEC

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:11 pm

Boston, eh?
My wife used to live behind the Green Monster several years ago.
Her sister lives in Medford.

I'm going to have to hit you up for the names of the best coffee houses and pubs before I visit out there.

Next time you're out West, make sure you hit Barefoot Roasters down in the San Jose area, it's worth a shot or two...

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Post by NewEnglandCliff » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:55 pm

Heard about Barefoot but didn't have the time to get there.

There are a lot more good pubs in the Boston Area than coffee houses. And the best cheese shop in the country!
Dolce Vita,

NEC

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:57 pm

NewEnglandCliff wrote:And the best cheese shop in the country!
I've heard that from several people!

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Post by EricC » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:29 pm

Niko wrote:I was hoping to get your attention, Eric.
I would love see some (small) pics of those tampers you're talking about.
Niko, Sincere apologies. I have only just revisited this topic and seen your post.:oops:

I hope that the photo's below are what you are after. :D

Image

Image

Regards
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Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:47 pm

Wow...
I'm drooling now.
Those are some hot looking tampers!
Thanks for posting, now I have the urge to collect more tampers.

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Post by Mizspresso » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:02 am

So far, I only have the Reg short handle, but I have just ordered one similar to this baby. Really looking forward to trying out the asymmetrical shaped handle.

Image

Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:24 am

That's cool!
I noticed you're in the S.F. Bay Area also, there's probably enough of us Spaz owners to get together sometime to show off our coffee stuff.
Got a bunch of Thor stuff and a wholelotta' of iLLy cups.

I have a triple basket :wink:

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Post by Mizspresso » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:29 am

You HAVE a triple basket! I am hoping to get one of those!

It'd be fun to get together with other Spaz owners. Nothing like exchanging knowledge in person. Cool to see other's stuff and good to swap info about the craft of good espresso.

Lucky me, I live about 5 miles from Barefoot!

Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:40 am

OK.
There's at least 4 members of this forum in the area 8)

Copious amounts of espresso will be consumed (mostly be me :thumbleft:)

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Post by JohnB » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:30 am

Another source for 53mm wooden tampers & p/f handles:
http://www.espressoaccents.com/

Very reasonable pricing also!
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
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Post by coffeeowl » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:17 pm

Nice ones!

OskiFan

Best Tamper to Combat Side-Channeling

Post by OskiFan » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:56 am

I have had the La Spaz for about 2 months now and, while initially my pours were decent, I have ben plagued by side-channeling lately. I use the Espro click tamper with a flat bottom and was wondering if a convex bottom would help me combat this. I have a Macap stepless with doser. Any suggestions?

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:44 am

Try cleaning the grinder out really well for starters.

Do you tap the PF with the tamper? - If so, don't! You may be tapping harder than usual without noticing it, therefore, causing that side channeling. I would try not tapping it at all since any disturbance of the coffee cake may be causing these problems.
Don't make too many changes to your routine, otherwise you'll lose your mind trying to figure this out. Clean your equipment, focus on distribution really hard and tamp like a champ and you'll have some good shots in no time.

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Post by hlsheppard » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:02 pm

woodchuck wrote:Coffeelab 53 for me. I would like to pick up a few more but functionally speaking it works great.

Cheers

Ian

Image
I'm with Ian. The Coffeelab is my runaway fave. However, I have an Espro 53 and a Thor that see very little use these days...
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Post by zoey » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:30 pm

:shock: They are $87 + shipping :shock: Did you get a free kangaroo with that?? :lol:
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Post by coffeeowl » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:55 pm

zoey wrote::shock: They are $87 + shipping :shock: Did you get a free kangaroo with that?? :lol:
female :)
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Post by zoey » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:32 pm

Good! Because when you have a litter of Joey's you can sell them to pay for the tamper :lol:
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Post by Niko » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:08 pm

I got my free kangaroo!
...it's draped over the ottoman in the living room :lol:

I've been using the CoffeeLabs tamper exclusively for the last 3 months non-stop. I love this tamper.

I still want a purple one :cry:

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Post by JohnB » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:09 pm

I've got to stop reading these threads! Just ordered my Tasmanian Tamper now I've got to make room for that kangaroo.
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Post by zoey » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:56 pm

You could have the 'Roo anodized purple :wink:
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:01 am

But then I'd have to dye the kangaroo skin purple too :lol:

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:01 am

HEY! You guys just gave me a great idea!

A few years ago I bought a small metal lathe to manufacture parts for my race bike. It is designed for making clock parts.

It would be perfect to make my own tamper!

Anyone know what grade aluminum they typically use? Is the base material made of stainless?

Anyone willing to take a few measurements for me?
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:11 am

I'll bust out the caliper tomorrow and measure the kangaroo.
It might be series 7000 aluminum? - Not sure though :?

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:14 am

Is the base aluminum?
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:57 am

It's steel.
Image

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Post by JohnB » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:10 am

Materials are mentioned here: http://www.coffeelabdesign.com/tamper.htm
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
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Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:31 pm

You mean to tell me that kangaroos weren't harmed in them making of these fine tampers? :lol:

Seriously though, these tampers are awesome and I forgot about the removable rings for height adjustment - I removed those instantly and tossed them into a drawer. They're great for different counter heights, one can use the tamper at full height for short counters and then remove them for bigger heights. When I had two of these tampers, one was set for the lower counter height by keeping the rings on. This makes a HUGE difference, believe me :wink:

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:13 pm

Thanks for the info and the additional photos.

I've got a feeling that turning stainless steel on the lathe might be challenging if not impossible. But, you never know until you try. I might have to get some different cutting tools to handle the job.
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:29 pm

Nothing wrong with using aluminum for the whole tamper, after all it will be your own so you can do whatever you like with it.

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:44 pm

True, true! On the other hand, I really like the weight of my Bumper.
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:35 pm

So fill it with bismuth or some other heavy material...

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:40 pm

:lol: :lol:

That reminds me of pouring molten lead into the drilled holes on the soapbox derby cars back when I was in the Boy Scouts :lol:
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Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:32 pm

I remember those days!
I won 1st place in my pack with my molten-lead poured pinewood derby car :lol:

I'd say use lead but it's not politically correct these days to use lead on anything food related, especially out here in California :roll:

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:46 pm

Hey! I took second! Was it you that beat me?? :evil:

We even went as far as using graphite on the axles and buffing/polishing the wheels to reduce drag. :lol:
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Niko

Post by Niko » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:49 pm

damn right it was graphite that stole the show :lol:

Maybe it was me if you lived in the SF Bay Area back in the 'ol days :lol:

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Post by zoey » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:52 pm

Sorry, never been there.
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Post by Weska » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:00 pm

The Torr tamper from pasmarose.de has been doing a good job for me lately. I'll designate it my favorite, although I have only the Reg Barber for comparison.

The thing about the Torr is that the top surface of its piston is parallel to the bottom surface (or in my case to the notional transection at right angle to the axis of the handle because I have a convex curvature on the bottom). The upshot is that, as Dan Kehn noted in the Tamper Roadshow, this tamper gives you a lot of clues about leveling.

I generally grasp my tamper in my palm, place it in the basket and then release it to let my fingertips probe around the top of the piston and the edge of the pf to judge alignment before putting the final pressure to it. This seems to be a lot more intuitive about leveling than using the Reg Barber's sloping piston shoulders for the same techniquie.

Another tiddle into the cup. But the Torr is warmly recommended by this user.

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Post by zoey » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:40 pm

or in my case to the notional transection at right angle to the axis of the handle because I have a convex curvature on the bottom
:| :scratch: :|
I can't even begin to Google the meaning of this J/K :lol:

I generally grasp my tamper in my palm, place it in the basket and then release it to let my fingertips probe around the top of the piston and the edge of the pf to judge alignment before putting the final pressure to it.
I do this very same thing. The Bumper tamper makes it easy because the base is taller than the Reg. I know that with 16g of coffee, the trailing edge of the Bumper will be even with the top of the PF when I've applied the proper pressure.
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woodchuck

Post by woodchuck » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:40 am

My favorite. Seems to be a popular choice of La Spaz owners.

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Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:10 pm

Here's the collection to date with the newest arrival in the center. Only used it once so far but it felt pretty good & seemed to fit the p/f better then the other two.Image
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
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Post by chas » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:37 pm

Now you need to update your signature!
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Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:04 pm

chas wrote:Now you need to update your signature!
Done!
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KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
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Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:23 pm

Nice!
I still want one of those in purple 8)

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Post by hlsheppard » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:05 pm

I want a Reg Barber and I don't even know why!! LOL :)
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Ale

Post by Ale » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:40 pm

hlsheppard wrote:I want a Reg Barber and I don't even know why!! LOL :)
Hi Howard

I have a reg barber with aluminium base from vision espresso for only $37
http://visionsespresso.com/cart.php?m=p ... tail&p=363

Ale

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Post by zoey » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:36 am

How do you like the weight of the aluminum?
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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:24 pm

zoey wrote:How do you like the weight of the aluminum?
I don't like it LOL! :D
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Post by JohnB » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:16 pm

I've got to say I'm really liking the new Tasmanian Tamper! The other two may be heading for display only status.
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Post by Ale » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:20 pm

zoey wrote:How do you like the weight of the aluminum?

Yes, it's similar to others tamper.

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Post by zoey » Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:25 am

I can't see how it could be that heavy when compared to the stainless bottom of my Bumper. Do they core it with lead?

I should say that I've only used stainless so I have no experience with aluminum.
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Post by JP » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:14 pm

Doesn't anyone here use an auto tamper? I've got a solid stainless tamper, but I think I'd like to get an auto tamper. Seems to me like the best tool for getting a consistent pressure, and level tamp, and quickest too. No matter how hard I try my tamps are not perfectly level, and for pressure, I doubt I'm at all consistent.

Many of these tampers look beautiful and are probably a joy to fondle and use, but they are all only as good as the hand that works them.

I'm seriously thinking of ordering the "Auto Tamp" from The Original Espresso Machine Company. I think it looks beautiful too, I love polished stainless and chrome.

Any other thoughts on auto tampers?

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Post by ronsil » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:54 am

- If you want to spend the money:

http://www.versalab.com/server/coffee/pressnew.html

I just ordered a Versalab Grinder so no change left for this baby :cry:

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Auto tamper

Post by PBL » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:33 pm

The Versalaba at $375 plus the set up this is an expensive proposition. Practice will make one pretty good withou the automated tools. However still looks intesting. I guess it is for the barista who has everything. :?:Image
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Post by JP » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:05 pm

While $300 seems like a lot for a tamper, I could see myself spending just as much collecting an assortment of hand tampers in search of my favorite. :D

I'd have to say I like the mechanical simplicity, and the looks of the arbor press style tamper like the "Auto Tamp". While the Versalab is an interesting concept, I don't care for the complexity of a hydraulic press, I think that's too overboard for me. And I'd have to say that I think that one looks ugly and prototype-ish, I certainly wouldn't want that on my counter. I could see it in a lab or shop, but not at home.
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Post by JP » Sat May 17, 2008 12:48 pm

Well since no one else was willing to talk me out of it, I talked myself out of getting the full auto tamper and went halfway with the Macap Dynamometric tamper from Chris' Coffee.

Though when it first arrived and the first few times I used it, I really didn't like it and thought it was a mistake. But over the last few weeks of using it I've really started to like it. It's made tamping extremely quick and easy, just push till it pops and your done, it's even easy to get a good level tamp I think because it's much taller than a regular tamper it's easier to keep it straight. My desire for an arbor style tamper has faded away for the time being.

Though it's sold as a Stainless tamper, and in the photos online it looks like stainless, It not. It seems to be made of a mix of Chromed Steel, aluminum and Stainless parts. It's not the prettiest or sleekest thing, the various material colors don't match, but it handles OK and works well. In use it's a little harsh, it pushes against the spring until the set pressure is reached and then it just releases. It has an aluminum apron that slams down on your portafilter rim when the spring releases preventing you from falling over, or bottoming out and re-slamming your coffee. It feels like you didn't quite get to finish tamping but the result is a nice consistent tamp. The pressure is adjustable by loosening a set screw and tightening or loosening the handle, it seemed awfully light when I got it so I checked it on a scale and it released around 20 lbs, so I cranked it up until it was about 30 lbs and have left it there.

The only thing I don't like is the base is machined so sharply and still has all it's machining marks that it doesn't feel smooth on the coffee. When I twist it, it feels like it's tearing and cutting rather than smoothing, that goes for the sides as well as the bottom surface. I think I'll buff it smooth and see if that makes it better.

Though I wouldn't call it a piece of art, it is a good tool that is easy to use and does a good job, and has made consistent tamping quick and easy for me.
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Post by chas » Sat May 17, 2008 1:13 pm

After seeing the various Versalab designs and then reading the owner's resume' it makes sense. He's an old time machinist and definitely not also a home decor designer.

For those with wives that barely kept their sanity when the S1 and a grinder showed up on the kitchen counter, one of these might be that last straw! :pain10:
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Post by PBL » Tue May 20, 2008 7:49 pm

Now this is a tamper. Image
From La Spaziale - DYNAMOMETRIC TAMPER - with 25kg of pressure.



I guess I need this if I were to get the S5, seen at my local cafe.

Here is a picture. Actually would be too large for my kitchen.

Image

I think I am getting espresso machine envy, either that or have had a few too many today! LOL 8)
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Post by coffeeowl » Wed May 21, 2008 11:14 am

chas wrote: For those with wives that barely kept their sanity when the S1 and a grinder showed up on the kitchen counter, one of these might be that last straw! :pain10:
my humble advice for them would be rather to stay away from mechanical autotampers... otherwise soft parts of their body may be in a danger LOL :lol:
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Re:

Post by JohnB » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:54 pm

Niko wrote:Nice!
I still want one of those in purple 8)
Looks like they don't offer it anymore. Only 4 colors available but with the $ up they are a much better deal then when I bought mine.
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Re: Re:

Post by Bushrod » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:15 pm

JohnB wrote:
Niko wrote:Nice!
I still want one of those in purple 8)
Looks like they don't offer it anymore. Only 4 colors available but with the $ up they are a much better deal then when I bought mine.
Wow, I hadn't even thought of the exchange rate. I just ordered one.

Thanks for the tip!

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Re: Favorite Tamper?

Post by Endo » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:21 pm

How come this post has over 7000 views? :shock: There are only 300 members!

This is about as exciting as staring at a gear shift knob. (I just don't get it).
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Re: Favorite Tamper?

Post by JohnB » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:33 am

Endo wrote: This is about as exciting as staring at a gear shift knob. (I just don't get it).
Buy a decent shift knob & it might make more sense. I have a beautiful wooden s/k in my bimmer that matches the wood trim. Nice to look at & it feels right in my hand. Just like my Tasmanian tamper.
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Re: Favorite Tamper?

Post by Niko » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:28 pm

Endo wrote:How come this post has over 7000 views? :shock: There are only 300 members!

This is about as exciting as staring at a gear shift knob. (I just don't get it).
A tamper is about the closest thing that will get your soul in touch with the coffee :lol:
I can never have too many of them :grin:
I kept breaking the shifter knobs in my bimmer so now I'm back to plastic, guess I better stop speed-shifting :roll:
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Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

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Re: Favorite Tamper?

Post by JohnB » Sun May 24, 2009 11:26 am

Time to revive this thread! Here's my current collection minus the Bumper which has been retired. The Thor spends most of its time preventing popcorning in my Major but the others see regular use. Dave from H-B made the Borate handle for the gold RB base.
Tamper Collection.JPG
Tamper Collection.JPG (81.94 KiB) Viewed 21863 times
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

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Re: Favorite Tamper?

Post by chas » Sun May 24, 2009 11:31 am

Ha! That's what I use my Thor for as well.
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