The prevailing belief was that the coffee grinds should be tamped at around 30lbs of pressure, which is difficult to achieve and necessitates either mechanical intervention or further extraordinary strength.
This was a starting point, and it is now widely recognized that 8 pounds of pressure are more than sufficient to effectively compress your coffee.
Tamping is required to compact the grinds into an evenly distributed puck. Water will always seek out the path of least resistance during the extraction process, so it’s critical to ensure that the grounds are tamped firmly and uniformly to guarantee a good extraction.
We tamp so that water is prevented from escaping from the group head, allowing all of the tastes in the roasted beans to soak up. It absorbs all of the flavours before exiting out of the group head spout, which is called “coffee extraction.”
As a result, in order to get a high-quality extraction on a regular basis, we must be consistent with our tamping. It is far more essential to have an equal tamp than it is to apply pressure.
To even out the grinds, break up your coffee into small bits and grate it on your group handle.
Spread the grounds out with a slightly curled finger, making sure they are level with the top of the basket on the handle.
After that, use your finger to tamp the coffee for a few seconds. For the first tamp, make a puffy form by applying a little pressure and then continue to press firmly down until any obvious gaps between the grinds are removed.
When you’ve completed compressing the coffee, carefully rotate the tamper through 720 degrees to produce a smooth, uniform finish to the compacted puck of coffee – this is known as the “polish” – but it isn’t required. The goal is to make a smooth, even ball.
Make sure there are no visible gaps or cracks in the ice by checking the puck.
Step by Step Guide:
- Give your group a quick shake with the handle.
- On a clean flat surface or tamping mat, tape the group handle.
- Tamp lightly with a light touch to compact the ground coffee.
- Let it sit for a few moments.
- Tamp the ground coffee with approximately 8 pounds of force once more.
- Optional: Rotate the tamper to ‘polish’ the shot by rotating it.
- When the shooter releases the handle, a smooth, even, and the compacted puck is revealed.