Espresso Anatomy – To Tamp Or Not To Tamp

Espresso without the tamp...

seems like some kind of witchcraft to me.  Since I started in my specialty coffee journey I've never heard of such a thing. The workflow and preparation was the way it is, and the way it has been for decades. With the rise of distribution tools it was only a matter of time until someone took out the middle man and made something that would do both at the same time.  Many tried, but it turns out, a standard distribution tool may just be the answer to that question.

After a viewer, shoutout to Bobby, mentioned he had seen baristas not skipping the tamp I did some research.  Turns out this isn't all that new of a phenomenon.  I saw posts about it dating all the way back to 2010, which honestly feels like a lifetime ago.  I am surprised I hadn't heard of this sooner, but there's no better time than the present.  So I grabbed my Ona Coffee Distribution (OCD) tool, my original Push tamper, set them to the same depth (12mm) and knocked out some shots of espresso.

The results with and without the tamp came out pretty interesting.  Even though the flavor difference was not at all noticeable, it did seem like there is a possibility of removing a step from the age old espresso preparation process.  Not having to tamp could be a huge workflow hack for busy cafes.  Plus it would take the a piece out of the learning curve for new baristas who have issues tamping consistency. Anyway, I could go on but check out the video above to see how things work out, and let me know if you have any theories on the results.

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