Does Tamping Pressure Really Matter?

What happens if you tamp too hard?

If you tamp low-quality coffee grounds too hard, your espresso becomes over-extracted and thus extremely bitter. Besides pressing too hard or too light, a lot of beginning baristas tamp unevenly. While this mistake is underrated, it occurs frequently.

How much pressure should you tamp with?

Apply 20-30 pounds of pressure, and polish Baristas often recommend 30 pounds of pressure, but some do as little as 20 pounds. More and more are finding that tamping pressure is overrated—it’s hard on the wrist and cause an over-extracted, bitter brew.

Does a good tamper make a difference?

Tamping is a key part of making that great shot of espresso, and a quality tamper can contribute to your success. Too much tamping pressure can result in a bitter cup and too little pressure can result in a watery shot. There won’t be enough resistance in the grounds to impede the flow of the water.

How does tamp pressure affect espresso?

What happens if you don’t tamp enough?

1. Failing to Keep the Tamper Level. If the tamper isn’t level during an espresso tamp, it can make the espresso uneven inside the portafilter. And the water will flow toward the side of the espresso that is less compressed.

How do you get the perfect tamp?

Can I tamp twice?

Tamp twice. For the first tamp, apply a light amount of pressure to form a puck shape and for the second use give it a bit more force and press heavily down to remove any obvious spaces between the grinds.

Why is my espresso puck muddy?

If your coffee puck is too soft or muddy, then you are dosing too low (Picture #3). A low dose means that you may have had channelling through your coffee, causing an uneven extraction (see the holes in Picture #3).

What happens if you over tamp espresso?

The water sprays through the grounds, making something weak and unpleasant-tasting. On the flipside, tamping too hard leads to the opposite happening. Water struggles to get through the puck, and because it spends more time seeping through, your espresso becomes over-extracted.

How heavy should tamper be?

Weight Of The Tamper To apply the right amount of pressure your tamper needs to weight around 1-2 pounds. Avoid tampers made of plastic and opt for one made with heavy material such as stainless steel. According to professional baristas, tampers around 1 pound seem to be the best.