What Is Tamping?
For those who keep an eager eye on their barista while they’re making your coffee, you may have noticed them press the coffee grinds down with a tamper before making your coffee. If you have ever wondered why, or how important this step is, we’re here to tell you it is VERY important and here’s why.
Tamping is basically compressing the coffee grinds in the filter basket in order to promote even and consistent extraction when the water flows through. If there is air between the coffee grinds, the water will speed through too quickly so therefore, the more compressed the grinds are, the slower the water will filter through. Even density means there’s no pockets of air and the water should reach the entire mass of grinds. Flat tampers are the most effective to evenly compress the grinds.
When tamping coffee grinds, one does not need to apply too much pressure, be gentle with your coffee grinds, they are precious. It does not take a lot of pressure to reach maximum density and there’s no such thing as ‘too much tamp’, so why exert yourself?
So, there you have it, you’re a tamping expert now (just like us).