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Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Tamper Base...  
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canon
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Joined: 9 May 2006
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Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 1:23pm
Subject: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

When you order a new tamper what shape base do you prefer?   I am going to order a tamper and can choose either convex or flat.   Is there a reason you would choose one shape over the other?   The tampers are unique and wanted some thoughts on the shape before I order.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Bob
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

I don't know where you're ordering from, but Reg Barber offers several more types of bases: flat, american curve, eurocurve, rippled, and something called C-flat, which is a flat base that has a beveled outer rim. I've not used anything other than the flat, C-flat, and the eurocurve (less curved that the american), and honestly, can't tell much of a difference between the three.  I've read several opinions about which to use and why.  One is that you should try to match the shower screen.  Another is that VST baskets perform best with flat.  Those are the main two that come to mind at the moment.  I believe that the reasoning behind curves and c-bevels is to help prevent side chanelling.  If you've been having that problem, you might want something other than flat. I'm interested to see what other responses you get.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
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Posted Sat Jul 27, 2013, 7:53am
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

VST basket, settled on RB C-flat 58.4. The flat was fine to but I do NOT like convex in a VST. On EP baskets it is about a jump ball one shape to the next.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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canon
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Posts: 418
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Faema Legend
Grinder: Monolith, Compak K10 Fresh,
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Jul 28, 2013, 4:13am
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

Thanks guys for the input.   This helps a lot.  I used the same tamper for 5 years (Torr 58.4, european curve) but want to explore more shapes handles and base.  The Torr has served me well and reluctant to change   One of the elements in tamping for me is to be able to judge if the tamper is seated level in the basket before applying the weight.   About 50% of the time corrections have to be made, by me that is.  

Bob
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Espespesp
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Posted Mon Jul 29, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

I agree, prefer flat when using my VST baskets.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
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Posted Mon Jul 29, 2013, 7:18pm
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

canon Said:

One of the elements in tamping for me is to be able to judge if the tamper is seated level in the basket before applying the weight.

Posted July 28, 2013 link

I would hope everybody does that. Glad to see you do! Chris Nachtrieb demonstrates a nice way to level the tamper while he's demo'ing some of his machines. Check out one or more of his videos. Basically, he extends his fingertips past the tamper base all the way down to the basket lip.

.

 
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
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Location: Michigan
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Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 5:31pm
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

emradguy Said:

he extends his fingertips past the tamper base all the way down to the basket lip.

Posted July 29, 2013 link

I love the short bubinga handle because of short fingers....watch it on the joke :)

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 7:42pm
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

Ha! I have short fingers too...lol.

Oh and one correction to one of my earlier posts. The Reg Barber Eurocurve is less flat than the American curve (I said that the other way around before).
.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Flori
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Joined: 18 Apr 2013
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Location: USA
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Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 3:48am
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

i prefer to use flat tamper. have not thought of trying other shapes yet. do let us know what you have changed into and what can you say about it.

flori
blogger, coffeeloversofworld.com
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CMIN
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Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 4:20am
Subject: Re: Tamper Base shape, Convex or Flat
 

I just stick with flat. I've always wondered what the ridged bases do, not much info/reviews on them, but did find this older post that makes me want to try one out:

Non-ridged tampers leave a smooth surface, and the coffee, theoretically, infuses it evenly, resulting in an even extraction. In practice, however, IF there is a path of least resistance, water under pressure WILL find it, and exploit it. This means that unless the barista's preparation of the portafilter was absolutely perfect, there will be unevenness in the extraction.

The ridges are intended to encourage controlled channeling. The assumption is that the water will channel anyway(that is, create a path of least resistance, thus, causing uneven extraction,) so it might make sense to control this channeling rather than trying to fight it.

The ridges create valleys where the water will have a tendency to initially soak into the puck. This encourages an even initial saturation, which can only encourage an even saturation throughout the puck as the water pressure builds.

I have not tried it myself, but I have heard nothing but good things about the ripple design. By "good", I don't mean "on par with others". I mean people say it makes a noticeable difference in the cup. Enhanced sweetness is a commonly voiced result.
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