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DavecUK

Coffee Leveller and Tamper

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11 hours ago, DavecUK said:

I pulled it because not totally happy with it, when I have a moment I will put an amended version with my further thoughts.

Thanks Dave, I thought it was my technical skills, or lack of, at fault.

Interested in reading the amended version when you get time.

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I have a Chinese Knock off Pullman chisel on the way. Why? I think it will be better at getting the surface  coffee to the edges of the basket, than my tapping routine is currently. But we will see. 

 


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Ok, I have now tried this with my ONA OCD.

The first shot i pulled with the thick and thin spacers that i usually have installed was a total gusher, a meltdown.

I do have an extra pair of spacers that i purchased for the OCD, and had to switch out the thick and thin spacers i originally had fitted for two of the thick spacers to get a decent pour.

I can confirm that for me, with my machine and grinder, that just using the coffee leveller with no tamp was identical to using a tamper, at least the tamper i have along with the settings that i have that tamper set for.

For me, i will continue with my normal routine, but it was an interesting test. 

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Slayer One Group ; Versalab M3/4

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I got  a cheap knock off and noticed an improvement almost straight away.

I'd normally grind into the Niche cup, invert, shake a little and if not even enough stir otherwise tap/ stockfleth then tamp. Distributing was always messy for me and I could never get my technique locked down as a third of the time could tell I wasn't tamping flat.

Thanks to a post here thought I'd give one of these a try at £15 and set the depth just deep enough so now I  get grounds roughly flat then spin, tamp and pull. Better looking and tasting extractions out of my fairly new 15g VST too.

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I have a three-edged  ‘Levelling’ tool that looks very similar to the one @DavecUK has. 

 

fullsizeoutput_983.thumb.jpeg.36dd783005c5c6bbf0defcc967ca4d68.jpeg
I did manage to read Dave’s review before he pulled it, and, once I got over the shock of him having splashed out £3.85, or whatever it was, on a coffee gadget, I too was surprised to read that he was rotating it, only, clockwise.  

The only basis for that surprise was me comparing it to the way I used to use mine.  I say used to use it, as it has been confined to a cupboard since I acquired, initially, a LevTamp and then, subsequently, a PUQpress.

Truth is, I don’t think I ever gave the process a great deal of  thought. Rather, from the get-go, it seemed intuitive to rotate the leveller anti-clockwise for a few turns…..thinking that the sharper edges would more readily collect, push, level and, evenly distribute grinds.  Then rotate a few clockwise turns…..  to finesse the puck surface prior to conventional tamping.

However, as Dave has pointed out, there is an almost inevitable issue with anticlockwise turning.  Dependant upon coffee / grind and, probably, atmospheric conditions, a small amount of coffee can collect behind the three steep edges.  This either remains as a small, loose, deposit on the otherwise flat puck or, it sticks to the tool itself.

Anyway, this thread prompted me to get the tool out of the cupboard and take a look at what it actually achieves.
The idea was to try and observe the mechanics of the process and so did not involve using the resultant pucks to make espresso.  There is no way that my methods can claim to be scientific but I did try to make them semi-sensible and, for what they are worth, my observations objective.

The tool is intended to be rotated with it’s shoulder running on the basket rim and so, needs to be set to a suitable depth. 
The centre of the base and the three radials are nominally flat and equate to about 50% surface area.
The other 50% is made up of the three sections which cut back 3mm and slow taper to nothing.

Immediately you drop the tool down onto the coffee bed, 50% of the puck is ’tamped’ nominally flat, to the fixed depth.

If you rotate anti-clockwise, a small amount of grinds gets swept by the sharp shoulder.  This either ends up left on top of the puck or stuck to the tool.  It rarely if ever becomes integral with the puck.  The amount of coffee wasted if it sticks to the tool is insignificant.  The amount of coffee that may be loosely deposited on the otherwise flat puck is insignificant if later tamped.

If you rotate clockwise, the coffee that, initially, takes up the space of the slow tapers, gets compressed and flattened. IMO it does NOT get moved or distributed around the puck. The puck surface will be flat and smooth.  It’s a great basis to aid getting a level,  subsequent, manual tamp.

There are three sections to this tool.  By the time it has been rotated little more than 120º, a third of a turn,  it has done as much work as it is going to do!

Unless set too deeply, the compaction density of the puck will be limited by the shoulder setting.
Any significant unevenness in the initial bed of grounds will be reflected by  uneven density of areas within the puck.

In summary, it provides a quick way to level the surface of a puck.  I don’t believe it significantly improves the distribution of the coffee grounds.  The consistency of density throughout the resultant puck is a factor of preparation, such as stirring and or shaking down, done prior to its use.

I’m not suggesting that it’s an espresso prep killer but, is it particularly beneficial over a fixed depth tamper?

There are similar tools, such as the OCD, which has four somewhat deeper segments, that may do a far better job than I believe mine does.
 

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11 hours ago, EricC said:

 Yes, i have the OCD version one, i'll give it a go later.

I must admit that it has been sitting in the cupboard and has not been used for a few months.

I simply grind from my Versalab M3/4 into the portafilter, a couple of taps on a puck and tamp using my PUSH tamper.

Works perfectly. 👍

I've just been using my Versalab (though distributed with a Londinium tool) and used my 3 finned knockoff. Nice and flat, with saturation starting at the middle and working out. When looking at the puck, it had a small delve in the middle and when I pressed it, it went in. The top 1/4 of the puck seamed to have delaminated from the rest of the puck which was more evident when I knocked it out. I think this layer must be the coffee that was 'distributed' by the tool and had not integrated with the 'un-moved' coffee below it. I think it still needs a tamp just to bind these two layers together at least.

I think all mine serves is to create a flat, level surface to enable an even tamp and isn't really necessary. See what you think as I was lead to believe the Versalab needed a degree of distribution to get an even pour?

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Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3 + Mahlkonig EK43 Turkish burrs + Niche

Output: KVdW Speedster + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

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Is the new review going to include EY measurements?

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1 hour ago, PPapa said:

Is the new review going to include EY measurements?

No because I don't think it's helpful.


ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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IMG_20190601_150147.thumb.jpg.38ce98dd2eb0454122123171e99c6aba.jpg
Where from ... link if possible

It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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7 minutes ago, MinesAbeer said:
10 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:
IMG_20190601_150147.thumb.jpg.38ce98dd2eb0454122123171e99c6aba.jpg

Where from ... link if possible

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F323376430562

There are some 58.5 versions from hong Kong on there too. 

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I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Tried twice to get the 58.5 version but both times ended up receiving the three pointed version which I already own and wanted to compare them side by side. Disappointing might try your link to see if I'm more successful. Thanks

It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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No because I don't think it's helpful.

What is, then?

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1 hour ago, PPapa said:


What is, then?

Dunno...


ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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3 hours ago, MinesAbeer said:
4 hours ago, Mrboots2u said:

Tried twice to get the 58.5 version but both times ended up receiving the three pointed version which I already own and wanted to compare them side by side. Disappointing might try your link to see if I'm more successful. Thanks

This happened to me too! I have up and just stuck with the 3 pointed one

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3 hours ago, MinesAbeer said:
3 hours ago, Mrboots2u said:

Tried twice to get the 58.5 version but both times ended up receiving the three pointed version which I already own and wanted to compare them side by side. Disappointing might try your link to see if I'm more successful. Thanks

Got mine from Scarlet Espresso from amazon. There are pictures floating around somewhere where it shows mine has a more pronounced slope compared to a Chinese one from ebay but the one pictured by Mrboots looks the same as mine and is about £10 cheaper. 

I've found if you remove the little rubber gasket you can just catch the threads and set it so deep it fully compresses the grinds of a light/medium roast (18g in 18g vst). A thing I've noticed is you put it in and spin it around a lot you end up with a wedge shaped puck but then if you remove it, place it back at a different position and give it a few spins you'll level it out. This doesn't happen when the tool is adjusted to sit a little shallower so it seems the 'distributor' is actually compressing the grinds with a horizontal force that sweeps around the basket and by removing it and changing position you push the coffee into the gap created by the wedge shape of the distributor itself. This would explain why after relatively small downward pressure with the distributor the puck cannot be compressed anymore with a proper tamp...it's mainly the spinning action that compresses the puck. 

I know wholelattelove sell one that they demonstrably tamp with and even pull decent looking shots with pucks that have visible indentations from the 'fins' of the distributor.  

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I've just read this thread and will give it a go over the next couple days as I have always just used the leveller and then tamped. Never really considered not using it but happy to give it a go.


Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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Posted (edited)

The Bravo Distribuidor has a spring and according to the designer should be turned two turns clockwise and then 2 turns anti-clockwise.

Pullman has put up a video of how to use (calibrate) their chisel tool. I think what they say can be applied to other tools as well.

Did anybody already see this? https://www.instagram.com/p/BheCgA0jtMp ... _of_sweden 

Edited by tohenk2

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At the moment I use the Niche Zero cup to grind in, shake a bit while lifting it after grinding, put the portafilter on top, flip, shake up down. 

Then I stir with a La Pavoni tool in the portafilter -nice even distribution, and collapse the grinds by tapping downwards. I think (!) this removes air pockets and reduces potential channeling further. At this point it takes little time and gives a level bed of grounds. But I keep thinking of how air is removed from poured concrete. I once almost pulled the trigger on some dentist equipment to vibrate the portafilter. @DavecUK I seem to remember a video of a very basic oscillator held to a portafilter and you commenting it was no good. Can you remember and tell me/us why?

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39 minutes ago, tohenk2 said:

The Bravo Distribuidor has a spring and according to the designer should be turned two turns clockwise and then 2 turns anti-clockwise.

Pullman has put up a video of how to use (calibrate) their chisel tool. I think what they say can be applied to other tools as well.

Did anybody already see this? https://www.instagram.com/p/BheCgA0jtMp ... _of_sweden 

Doesn't look like that prototype went anywhere ?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Isn't it their normal D2 tool without being fastened? But anyway you can observe a bit of what happens!

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Tried with different beans 15gr in 15gr Vst. Clockwise screwing down action until adjusted depth. Still works beautifully both with major and niche. No spraying at all. Not even doing wdt anymore.

I ditched my tamper for now :)

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Gaggia Classic 2010(PID&IMS 200µm shower screen&Brass Dispersion Plate&OPV&Steam Wand Modded) | Kinu M47 V3 | Mazzer Major Electronic 2017Niche Zero | Bottomless Portafilter&VST Ridgeless 15gr and 18gr | Decent Tamper V2 | MouMou 58mm Distribution Tool | 2X 64oz Airscapes & CoffeeVac

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Tried with different beans 15gr in 15gr Vst. Clockwise screwing down action until adjusted depth. Still works beautifully both with major and niche. No spraying at all. Not even doing wdt anymore.
I ditched my tamper for now

Have finally decided to try this witchcraft.

Two perfect naked shots in a row. No spritzing. No pinholes. No tamper!
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42 minutes ago, richwade80 said:


Have finally decided to try this witchcraft.

Two perfect naked shots in a row. No spritzing. No pinholes. No tamper!

Might try this on next shot, just out of curiosity 😁 👍

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Vesuvius • Hario VST-2000B • Distributor • Push Tamper • Niche Grinder

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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2019 at 13:50, tohenk2 said:

 

On 03/06/2019 at 14:30, Mrboots2u said:

Doesn't look like that prototype went anywhere ?

It might not be available to purchase but is simple to make. With the type of distributor I have both the bottom and top pieces are threaded, by removing the top piece you can just screw the distributor part down into the coffee until it gets to its deepest point, re-attach the top part to lock it and spin as normal, I found doing this produced perfect (looking) shots. Now to modify the top part of the distributor with some thread locker...or I could just pack the inside of the top part with something to restrict it from screwing down....a spring maybe...

EDIT: I stuffed it with bits of cardboard. Works fine. Washers will be a good long term solution allowing a set depth. EDIT 2: Or the rich man's solution (6 pennies). 

Edited by Rob1
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Expobar DB Office Leva IV, La Pavoni Professional -- FOR SALE: MBK HEFT, Torr Goldfinger Titan Convex & 58.55 Flat -- Ceado E8, Lido E, Pharos VDD -- 2 and 5 cup Syphons; Vintage Nicro Metal Filter -- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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