Tamping on a scale


New member
Mar 15, 2004
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I think If put a scale designed to fit into the surface of the bar, so tamping on that scale will easily reach 30lb pressure. By doing that it is easy to train the new staffs and to tamp each time right. Do you agree?
Honest it is. However using a scale to measure tamping is futile. If ther was a better or cheaper way to do it; I would. I guess you could have all the baristas make drinks and evaluate each for consistancy....hmmm, sound difficult. I understand the $$ issue...cause I have none...;) spent it on the autotamper..hehe
Geeze I have a hard enough time finding and keeping baristas much less trainig them to tamp at a specific pressure. I like the KISS method. It used to be that when I was in the FDA people would tell me that coating tablets was an " ART" . The funny thing is that thier process had to be validated and thats only done by science and testing. A craft can be learned, and should be..but processes that can eliminate variability should be implimented. MHO. P.S it was so funny to see my " evil empire" trained barista slamming the tamper on the counter.......
Indeed consistency is important...but tamp pressure is just one of the variables that must be taken into consideration. Have a read of this.... its from a SCAA report into making espresso.... interesting stuff....

Carl Staub, an industry scientist who has done a great deal of lab research with espresso, has noted that the uniformity of extraction can be effected as much as five-fold with even a small amount of canting of the coffee bed during tamping. Whereas a good uniformity of extraction might be in the +/- 6% range measuring the distribution of residual solubles in different sections of a nominally extracted espresso coffee bed, as little as a 0.10 of an inch "cant" (difference in bed height from one side to the other) can yield a significant increase in non-uniformity of extraction. The table below shows some of Carl's findings: Uniformity of Extraction
grams coffee/1 oz. espresso Acceptable Extraction Variance in Extraction with 0.10" cant

7g. +/- 6% +/- 16%
8g. +/- 6% +/- 21%
9g. +/- 6% +/- 30%
Well good luck to you. I am always keen to look at innovation...hey I even support the latest screw-tops to replace corks in quality wines around the world. If this machine works, each to his own. Problem is I have never had any problems producing excellent espresso's by following the time honoured methods I learnt 20 years ago. Maybe I am just too old fashioned :)
Alun, I truely honor your skill and craftmanship...Really I would/will be happy to learn from you. I plan on being around awhile and would/will enjoy our continued dialog,and your posts..I really do HAVE to learn and honor those who have so much to teach.
Thanks for the comment Troy...I would say debate and exchange of ideas is a healthy thing. I think no matter how long you have been doing something you can always learn a new and sometimes better way of doing it. Thats what this forum is for. You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks- looking forward to learning a few from you :grin:


New member
Jul 28, 2004
Madison, WI
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Man vs. Machine

Anybody else have any experience with the auto-tamper? The little I've heard has been ok, but I admit to being slightly resistant. The only thing I can think of that may be a true advantage is the possible reduction in "barista's elbow". This would only apply in a truly high volume setting, of course. As far as the original question is concerned, using a scale as a training method can be effective, but it is more important to teach each barista to compensate for their tamp by adjusting the espresso grind as necessary.


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Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
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training is the key...once someone gets the tamping down it should come natural...a barists should be able to check the brewed coffee and be able to tell if it was pulled correctly by the way the crema looks and through the time of the shot.


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Feb 11, 2004
Bristol UK
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I think you could get an idea of 30 psi on a scale but it would take a bit of maths work. if you group is 58mm accross thats 2.2", using Pi r 3 to work out the area gives 4.18" so if you want 30 psi 30 x 4.18 = 125.4 pounds :shock: (.4 is a decimal and not ounces)on a scale. But to me that sounds a little excessive, when talking about tamping to 30 pounds of pressure is it psi thats being stated or something else?