Coffee is a synonym for a good time, a drink to start off the day or cure a hangover, and there probable aren’t many people that do not like coffee. For some, making that perfect espresso can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be, and knowing how to tamp your coffee can make it taste like never before.
Why is tamping so important? When making an espresso, pressure is key. The process of making an espresso consist of a combination of pressurized water coming out of the espresso machine itself, as well as the resistance caused by the packed cake of coffee grounds that the pressurized water has to push through in order to brew. You can’t really do much about the pressure of the water coming out of the espresso machine, but you are the one who can pack those coffee grounds. But why do this process at all, and how does it improve the quality of the drink? Well, tamping is a method used by coffee makers, or baristas, to create a dense, compressed, evenly dispersed puck of coffee within the portafilter. It’s not the same thing when you push water through a loose puck of coffee and a highly compressed one, and this can have a huge impact on the taste of the coffee made by the espresso machine. When water goes through a highly compressed puck of coffee it has nowhere to go but through the coffee, capturing all the aroma and taste. This is why a proper tamp process is important. But how do you do it?
First off, you will need to find a good tamper. You can buy espresso tampers from online stores such as espressoparts.com. There, based on design preference or price, you can find the right tamper for you. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and weights. After you have acquired your tamper, let the fun begin.
When pressing the tamper into the coffee, you need to push down perfectly straight and your elbow should be bent at around a 90 degree angle. Never apply pressure if you are not perfectly straight. Without the proper form, you can actually get injured.
It’s not about pure pressure
The amount of pressure that should be applied on your coffee puck is a very common question among baristas and those who like to brew their own coffee. The key here is not the exact amount of pressure, but the way it is distributed. Consistency is key. You need to make sure that every time you press the puck of coffee with your temper, you apply the pressure the same way, at the same spot. Also, not moving while applying the pressure is also what’s very important.
And there you have it – just a few tips to improve your brewing skills and become the coffee guy in your circle of friends. Believe me, everybody loves the coffee guy. Once you implement these tips into your brewing, your espresso will taste like never before.