February 17, 2017

How Much Pressure? 2 VIDEOS Debunking The 30 lb Tamping Myth


Tamping is a small moment in the espresso-making process, but it’s an important one. Recently we looked at why it’s important and how to do it; now we’re looking at one of the commonly quoted facts about tamping: you should use 30 lbs of pressure.

Is this a fact, myth, or something in between? Find out!

How Much Pressure Should You Use When Tamping?

First we turned to this video from two coffee experts: Charles Babinski of G&B Coffee, and Scott Callender of La Marzocco. They’re not sold on the 30 lb tamping rule, instead arguing that consistency is the most important thing. Find out why, along with some key tamping tips, in this short-and-sweet clip.

SEE ALSO: Barista Skills: A VIDEO Guide to Tamping

So that’s the theory. But what about the practice?

A Coffee Experiment

Seattle Coffee Gear have decided to answer this question once and for all. That’s right, they’ve set up a tamping experiment. Watch as a highly caffeinated trio try the same coffee at 30, 25, 20, and even 15 lbs. They also adjusted the grind sizes.

The results? While they could definitely notice the difference, their favourite one might just surprise you.

SEE ALSO: Step-by-Step Guide to Milk Texturing & Pouring for Latte Art

So what does this mean? First of all, consistency is the most important part of tamping – like with any aspect of coffee making. Secondly,  30 lbs might be the best amount of pressure for some coffees but not for all of them. And finally, tamping is only one variable among many, including grind and dosage.

Feature photo credit: David Joyce via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.

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