OE Screen Tamper for the Cafelat Robot filter basket. This Screen Tamper is the 2nd part of our Cafelat Robot Portafilter Basket preparation system. Part 1 of the system we use is the OE Leveling Rake.
The simple function of the Screen Tamper is to press the Filter Screen down evenly on the coffee bed in the portafilter basket. Our Screen Tamper is precision machined POM (Polyoxymethylene = Acetal aka Delrin) to a diameter of 57.45 +/- 0.02mm (the Robot Basket is 57.5mm ID). The POM body is straight sided, and acts as a self-leveling tamper.
The basis of this system is to aid the Cafelat Robot Obsessive (like us!) in preparing a level, evenly distributed, coffee bed in the portafilter basket, while maintaining the simplicity and ease of use of the Robot. Once this material handling portion of the Robot Basket prep is done, there are still other factors, such as water temperature, pre infusion time, pressure, etc., to be concerned about, but with this system we have removed a few of the variables, so that the espresso shot pull characteristics can be largely controlled by grind size. This system takes some of the guess work out of the prep!
Another advantage of using the Screen Tamper, rather than just dropping the screen in, and pushing with your fingers, is that you have a high level of control of the tamping pressure you apply to the coffee bed. We have found that tamping force, as little as one pound (measured using a scale!) is enough to do a great job! You can see the implications here, you have a lot of control over your puck preparation which is reflected in the ability to get an evenly saturated puck during the pre infusion phase of the shot, and that leads to greater consistency, and better espresso!
The solid POM body of the tamper is 40mm tall, there is a 10mm hole on the face of the tamper to accommodate the Robot Screen Pin, and it is topped with a varnished hardwood Maple Ball Knob.