Please Don’t Polish When You Tamp

Please Don’t Polish When You Tamp

Baristas have come a long way in recent years to abolish many myths of coffeemaking. One that remains fairly steadfast is the polish; the quick spin at the end of a tamp to make the surface of the coffee look smooth. I’ve spun a tamper in many a basket over my years...
How Hard Should You Tamp?

How Hard Should You Tamp?

Tamping for espresso is riddled with an incredible amount of folk-knowledge. When I was taught espresso in 2008, I was told to practice tamping on bathroom scales (I admit I don’t remember what the prescribed weight was). Today I’d like to shed some light on tamping...
Nutation: An Apology

Nutation: An Apology

Back in the 2013 World Barista Championships, I used a tamping style called ‘nutation’ for all of my espressos. Many of you have been asking about this technique via email so this week I’m going to explain what it is, how to do it properly and why I don’t recommend...
How To Distribute By Tapping

How To Distribute By Tapping

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post detailing distribution and what it should achieve. It all boiled down to evenness, speed, ergonomics, and cleanliness. I’m still a strong advocate for the tapping method—what I believe to be the most effective and practical choice...
Espresso Recipes: Understanding Yield

Espresso Recipes: Understanding Yield

Yield, the second component to every espresso recipe, is simple to measure but a little more complex to understand and apply. Very simply, it’s the weight of the espresso in the cup. More yield means more espresso in the cup. Less yield means less espresso in the cup....