3 Press Tamping Technique

3 Press Tamping Technique

I do find a handle that's too long on a tamper is a definite drawback and over the years I have naturally found myself not only feeling the rim with my fingertips, but now also pressing on it with them.


To explain, imagine a long handle with a disk attached to it, when you press the handle, unless you are totally upright, you will get uneven pressure at the periphery of the disk, so nowadays I use my fingers to press 3 times (about 15 to 20lbs of pressure) around the tamper rim as shown below:

Placing my hand over the tamper with the handle comfortably in the centre of my palm:

1st press fingers resting on the rim at points 1
2nd press fingers resting on the rim at points 2
3rd press fingers resting on the rim at points 3

Then a gentle pressure and twist to polish….this technique helps me get the puck level and the coffee evenly compacted around the periphery (of course prior to the tamping I tap the sides of the basket, as you saw me do with Toasts basket when he was leveling off with a knife (the tapping reduced any voids)

Now this doesn't mean I am doing anything exotic or time consuming, the whole tamping process takes less than 5 seconds. The main reason I changed was that I had been given a US Curve tamper and found this method helped seal the edges of the basket better….it has over time become my preferred method with all tampers.