Preparing espresso is a fun and traditional approach to beverage service. Pulling a great shot is as much science as it is skill. The right equipment will go a long way towards ensuring the preparation of a rich and delicious shot of consistent quality. Tamping is an important step of preparing a shot -- and it is one that eludes many people. Even experienced baristas are sometimes unclear regarding the reasons why tamping is done and how to do it correctly. Improving your tamping technique will certainly help improve the quality of your espresso drinks.
A COMPACT PREPARATION
The tamper tool is used to compress the espresso grounds into the porta filter basket. The strength and flavor of the shot depends in large part on the amount of espresso grounds used to create it, so baristas must carefully prepare each shot with an eye for consistency. Tamping down the espresso grounds into the porta filter basket gives a clear picture of the amount of coffee present in the basket. This helps baristas create an espresso shot that is just right.
Tamping is just one step of preparing a shot for processing:
- Begin by weighing the beans for the shot
- Grind the beans
- Place the fresh ground coffee into the porta filter basket
- Use the tamper to compress the ground coffee into a solid mass
- Fit the porta filter on the espresso machine
- Make the espresso
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TAMPER TOOL
Using a tamper is the best way to compact espresso grounds down to an optimal degree. A tamper is a solidly built implement that fits comfortably into the center of the palm. It is surprisingly heavy compared to its size; this is to help effectively compact the espresso grounds. The grip portion of the tamper is sometimes covered with a rubberized texture to make handling it easier.
Many different tampers are available immediately from Espresso Parts. Choose one that suits your style and handle preference.