Espresso Tamping

Espresso TampingThis short article may be the to begin a few articles about espresso preparation. Espresso has got the potential to function as ultimate as a type of coffee, but is many times sour, bitter, and overpowering.

To prepare espresso properly a number of factors must be monitored.

The espresso needs to be freshly roasted, freshly ground with a sharp conical burr grinder, properly dosed and distributed, tamped correctly, and monitored closely during extraction. If done correctly the resulting espresso is going to be smoother, more aromatic, and more flavorful. The crema will likely to be darker and thicker in addition to bitterness is going to be minimized. This article will focus on the grinding, dosing, and tamping associated with espresso. Future articles will describe espresso extraction, latte art, roasting, and blending.

The Grind

To extract espresso properly it is vital to utilize a burr grinder and also to grind per order. The 2 major kinds of burrs used are flat and conical. Conical burrs are desirable because they raise the surface part of each coffee particle plus the number of flavor which can be extracted from the coffee. Since conical burrs have longer cutting edges, the burrs can rotate at a lowered speed, which reduces the heat created. Flat burrs must certanly be replaced after an overall total of 600 pounds of coffee has been ground and conical burrs must certanly be replaced after an overall total of 2000 pounds of coffee has been ground. Espresso quality burr grinders can range in expense from 0-,000.

Espresso is ground to a size in which the extraction process takes 23-28 seconds. It is essential to only adjust the grind and not the pressure one tamps with to control the flow rate. In addition to particle size, the humidity plays a dramatic role on extraction time. Since coffee is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture from the air causing a tighter pack and longer extraction time. Thus, the grind setting should be changed slightly through the day once the barista perceives changes in extraction time.


Coffee is freshest soon after it is ground. After grinding the volatile oils that were previously protected in the bean are confronted with the atmosphere, which oxidize and stale the coffee. This effect occurs just after grinding so it is vital that you tamp and extract the espresso as soon as possible. The grinder should really be activated for 15-20 seconds each time an attempt is desired to ensure that only freshly ground coffee is employed. While grinding, preheat and warm the group head by turning on the pump for a couple of seconds. Eliminate the porta-filter, dump out the espresso, and wipe the basket dry with on a clean towel. Wiping the basket dry will prevent water from finding a path of least resistance and certainly will help ensure a level extraction. To dose the freshly ground coffee the barista should pull many times until the entire basket is filled with ground coffee. To cut back wasting coffee use a timer to ascertain just how long you have to allow the grinder run to fill the basket.

Tamping Step By Step

Given that the coffee happens to be dosed properly the barista must tamp the coffee to prepare a super taut pellet of espresso. You will need to keep in mind that water under some pressure when you look at the porta-filter will attempt to get the simplest way out. If the espresso is unevenly tamped, loose, or jostled during the tamping or extraction procedure the espresso will be unevenly extracted. Tamping is among the easier types of espresso preparation to master and an adequately tamped coffee will improve quality considerably.

After the ground coffee happens to be dosed into the porta-filter it really is unevenly distributed. It is necessary to take your hands on the porta-filter within one hand while using the other side to quickly, but gently, level the coffee. This is usually accomplished by pulling the coffee to one side of the basket with a slightly curled pinky finger, then pushing the coffee back once again to the exact opposite side of the basket. One of the keys would be to evenly distribute the coffee without pressing in to the grounds or leaving any empty space regarding the sides of this basket.

apply tampThoughts is broken done distributing the lands it really is time when it comes to first tamp. Without moving the porta-filter, support the tamper so the base of the handle fits to the palm of the hand. Your wrist must be straight, while the tamper must certanly be a straight extension of your arm. Press gently regarding the coffee with five pounds of pressure. You will notice that some of the grounds will adhere to along side it for the basket. Therefore, you have to gently tap the basket utilizing the handle in the porta-filter to knock the lands on the flat pellet you just formed.

examine-tamp.jpgThe next thing is to put on the finishing tamp. The shape associated with the pellet was already formed, as well as the finishing tamp confirms this impression. With the tamper held as before, press on the pellet with exactly thirty pounds of pressure. It is useful to tamp on a bathroom scale unless you become comfortable with the quantity of force necessary to achieve the right pressure. After tamping turn the tamper 720° to polish the area.

Make certain you tamp evenly. An uneven tamp will result in an uneven extraction.

The aforementioned steps must be carried out in about twenty seconds. Although speed is very important, it is crucial to take care not to bump the basket in this process. Sharply hitting the basket will unevenly distribute the grounds allowing shortcuts for the water to feed. If there are any weak spots or holes into the espresso pellet the water will push through this area, over extracting this portion of coffee while under extracting the rest of the pellet. Improper tamping will result in a twirling pour or white crema.

The employment of the appropriate tamper is important. The first action you should take is to throw away the plastic round bottom tamper which you now have. The tamper ought to be made from aluminum or similar light metal and may have a diameter so that it fits firmly into the basket. Marzocco baskets are 58mm, so order the right size. Without an appartment packing surface you create indents which cause uneven extraction. You could order your tamper from Vivace's, which sells pistons of many different sizes to perfectly fit your basket.


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