TO TAMP OR NOT TO TAMP:?:

SolitaryMan422

New member
Mar 10, 2007
1
0
Boynton Beach, FL.
I recently purchaced a \"Bialetti\" Electric MOKA pot. The instructions say Not to Tamp, Any reason why, & what would happen if I did? I don''t want to tamp the coffee then have it Explode on me!!??
I also switched from a blade grinder to a Burr grinder. BIG difference; much better grind...
Thanks...
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
DO NOT tamp with a Moka pot or steam powered machine. True espresso requires around 9 bars (132psi) for proper extraction. Steam powered contraptions only give out between 1-3 bars. After dosing the grounds all you need to do is LIGHTLY compact the surface just to keep grounds from flying around. If you do tamp with any considerable pressure the water just won't make it through properly, if at all, and can cause too much pressure buildup. That will either cause overextraction due to the water running through too slowly or something mechanically can give because the pressure has nowhere to go. I used a steam machine for 7 years or so before getting my first pump machine and did get some decent coffee from it. I never tamped at all, really just a light pat to settle the grounds. Do this and you'll be happy. Later!
 

Kuppe Mugger

New member
Apr 3, 2007
4
0
Simi Valley, CA
It will not blow up on you! there is a small pressure release valve on the side of the bottom chamber. You get the best results with just a good shake and a light slam on the table - light OK! Wipe off the stuff that will mess up your sealing area.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,553
2
Des Moines, Iowa
shadow745 said:
True espresso requires around 9 bars (132psi) for proper extraction.

We need to remember that espresso has been around for over a 100 years and there are many ways to make it. We have become more efficient at producing espresso with volumetric pumps that produce espresso between 9-10 bars. If true espresso required 9 bars, why do so many manufactures still produce lever machines for both home and commercial use?

As for Moka pot exploding, I have never seen one blow in to pieces. But I have heard from a few users that the pressure release valve can fail if it becomes dirty or jammed, resulting in a small rupture.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
The BEST espresso is brewed with around 9bars of pressure, give or take a bit. Sure there are other ways to extract. Moka pots and steam machines are OK, but just don't have enough pressure buildup or operate at proper temps. to properly extract flavors.

I could care less as to why companies still make lever machines. I think it's more for style than function. I've seen numerous shots from lever machines (both manual and spring loaded) and I'm not impressed one bit. For the most part, thin watery shots with very little crema. Could've been user error, but not likely. I think the "nostalgia" effect is the reason most people like them, nothing else. They don't stand a chance against a good pump machine. Later!
 

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