Use The Right Tamping Pressure For Perfect Espresso Shots

Use The Right Tamping Pressure For Perfect Espresso Shots

An excellent tamp is key to making great espresso on a home machine. I Need Coffee’s visual tamping tutorial guides you through the tamping essentials.

This part seems particularly useful if you want to get consistent espresso goodness:

The goal with the tamp is to place even extraction with about 30 pounds of pressure. You can use a bathroom scale to measure how much weigh you are putting into a tamp. It is more important that you develop a consistent pressure in your tamp than it is to always hit 30 pounds of pressure. Your arm should be straight so the tamper makes contact with the coffee bed evenly.

Other espresso brewing basics like weighing the coffee and using the right grind still apply, but keep practising your tamping technique and your shots will keep getting better.

Espresso Tamping Visual Tutorial [I Need Coffee]


  • The key is that the combination of your beans, roast, grind and tamp result in a 25-30 second pour for around 30ml of espresso.
    Also, tamp first, then lightly polish, don’t tamp and polish at the same time.

  • The key is that it is all BS, this is just another hype to add to all the other BS from the coffee industry. What is going on here, people now need a tutorial on how to “tamp” Jesus.

    You could train a monkey on how to make coffee in about 30 minutes and 20 of those are putting on the silly little hat and apron down to the floor.

    Recently here in Hobart a local coffee shop owner broke the world record for the number of cup made in an hour (352) and I’m sure she did not “tamp” her coffees for 30 seconds or more. Funny enough I’ve been in her coffee shop many many times (my office was next door) and I had to wait 10 minutes or more for my cups, and yes I always had to ask for it to be made extra extra hot.

    • Dude, where does it say tamp for 30 seconds or more? It says 30 pounds of pressure and I said POUR for 30 seconds.
      Anyways, if you like a good coffee, be happy there are people who are willing to learn how to make it well. Or maybe you are just happy with shit coffee?

    • It’s not BS. It’s common sense that the pressure used to tamp the coffee would result in a certain level of extraction. If you’ve ever made a coffee you’d know that tamping too softly will result in a weak and watery brew.

    • Yeah, I mean why bother making wine out of specific grapes? I mean, they’re all grapes!!

  • Just had a good laugh about tamping of coffee, and even a tutorial! Really, is this for real? Sorry dunkyboy, but I’m with stubchain on this one.

  • Sorry Dunk, either way it is still BS. There are many BS industries and coffee is now firmly on the bandwagon. The art industry is a prime example followed closely by the wine industry (I know people from the wine industry and they are taught to make the industry as “mystique” as possible.

    The food industry started its BSness with all the nouveau cuisine, you know the more you pay the less you get. An example is Claridge’s of London were selling live ants (ants on a bit of lettuce) for 395 pounds a go during the London Olympics and sold out twice.

    People will believe anything. The daddy of all the BS industries is bottled water.

    The coffee industry is now firmly established as a BS industry trust me.

  • I am sure they were gourmet ants!

    Of course they would not have been ordinary, everyday GARDEN-variery ants!

    Your cynicism just smacks of classism! Plus you must be anti-employment. Think of all the jobs that are created; wine critics, barista trainers, specialist ant collectors (very hard to catch live ants without hurting them – it has to be done one at a time without bruising them), more cookbooks, etc etc etc.

    On the other hand, the definition of an espresso is enshrined in legislation in Italy and has been for many many years – this is where the 7grams/30ml/30-seconds comes from. By tamping in a repeatable way means that consecutive shots will have consistent taste. Many people don’t care but for those who do it is one of the necessary factors.

  • Yes Sebg all these BS industries create employment but nether the less they are still based on BS. You are also correct about the ants, they were imported from Denmark and had to send away for more.

    When I saw this I knew there was no way back for the food industry. Every place you go now days steak is served on a bed of mashed sweet potato and you have to have the now mandatory crescent moon of jus (not gravy) on the plate and a quenelle of beetroot puree.

    These people have been watching far to many TV chefs. Total BS.

  • Let me see……Stick that hat on. Put that apron on. Put that coffee powder in there and tamp. Stick on the machine and let it dribble for 30 seconds into a cup. Put some milk in a jug. Warm it up – not hot of course. Pour it into the cup. You are now a 90% trained “barista”. When you’ve mastered that (20 minutes), you’ll be taught how to make twirly whirly patterns in the milk froth. Sorted. Now let’s romance it up a bit for the punters…………..Welcome to the world of coffee.

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