Barista’s Guide To Automatic Tamping with Gwilym Davies

or copy the link
100% Kona Coffee

All you need to know about automatic tampers. We asked our friend Gwilym Davies to share his experience from teaching hundreds of baristas how to tamp correctly and from implementing Puqpress behind the bar at Prufrock cafe in London.

Disclaimer: Puqpress is an advertising partner of European Coffee Trip!

Gwilym Davies:

We would like to thank our sponsors:

Victoria Arduino –
DRWakefield –
AeroPress, Inc. –
Puqpress –
Comandante –

European Coffee Trip is an online magazine dedicated to speciality coffee culture in Europe.


Business contact:

# Music



  • Dune87

    I hate the premiere function.

    • European Coffee Trip

      Okay, thanks for the feedback!

    • Dune87

      @European Coffee Trip I watch YouTube with Chromecast. I add Videos to a temporary playlist. If there is a “premiere” video like yours the playlist stops until the premiere.
      You will also get less views because all of your subscribers are only notified once.

    • European Coffee Trip

      Yeah, we used this feature for a while, perhaps we should now compare it with a regular posting. Thanks for the insights!

    • Jaka Šter

      @European Coffee Trip I just don’t like it when I see a video but then notice I still have to wait until the release. I’d prefer regular posts.

  • brett turner

    Have a great stream/premiere/whatever this is!

  • jonthecoffeeguy

    Exciting with the countdown, especially when its followed up with good content! Thanks as always, but those poor tampers having to sit there while Gwilym speaks of their imminent doom haha

  • Guy Numbers

    Why not just a palm tamper? No moving parts and easy to calibrate.

    • Grandier

      his point still stands, if you’re a busy cafe then you should be aiming for efficiency and consistency. using puqpress also uses less energy that you can use for other tasks.

    • Ry Uemura

      @Grandier a palm tamper is just as effective and consistent as the puqpress. all you do is set the height adjustment and you’re done. it sits on top of the portafilter basket so it tamps level and at the same amount of pressure every time, it’s 1/10 of the price of the puqpress, and uses no electricity. i have the pullman chisel and palm tamper (big step base), and i love this combo. i agree that the puqpress is an amazing addition to any busy cafe that can justify it though. the only difference is time and effort, but you have to ask yourself if it’s worth an extra $1000+ to shave 1-2 seconds off of each shot? keep in mind that you still need to distribute the coffee before using the puqpress, you can’t leave a mound of coffee in the basket as it tamps. to each their own

    • gwilym davies

      @Ry Uemura I agree with the comments from @Grandier . you are also right, the palm tamper can work very well if the height adjustment is done correctly and it is inserted in straight. I have 1 more comment to add: Having more than 1 coffee on bar could mean more than 1 setting for the palm tamp

    • Guy Numbers

      Or simply more than one palm tamper.

      In principle, a puq press serves the same function as a palm tamper as far as reducing the amount of training a barista requires. Even so, my opinion is that robots tend to cheapen the value of going to a nice coffee shop. I may get a nicer cup of coffee from a poursteady, but it’s nice to watch a barista carefully brew pourover. As a home barista, part of the appeal of a nice shop is you can watch the pros do what you do at home. If I watch a pro using a poursteady and a puqpress, I feel disconnected from the experience.

      Anyway, to each their own.

    • gwilym davies

      ​@Guy Numbers fully understand your opinion, I actually prefer a milk drink if the espresso has been sitting for more than 5 minutes but i would feel unloved if i walked into a bar and never heard the grinder go. I have seen customer perception changing as the coffee scene in a country/ city develops, once trust is established in the barista and cafe, small automations are accepted by most customers, this of course opens up a market for a cafe that stays manual (unless of course they get really busy & the RSI gets too much – so maybe high prices and slower output)

  • ola ola

    Its nice but i like manual tamp 🙏

  • discovery

    When Chris Baca tested the Puqpress back in the days there was a problem with suction. The pucks just fell out of the Portafilters when you turned them around. Is that still an issue?

    • gwilym davies

      Never altered the taste and TDS readings were higher and more consistent on the puqpress V1 though the puck fell out when turned. the tamper of V2 Puqpress rises more gently but I have not tried it. (Also something I found strange was the puck gets loosened by the suction action of a Lever machine but I still get a more even extraction over a traditional pump machine)

    • European Coffee Trip

      @gwilym davies from what we know, V2 has also a precision tamping mode that adjusts a speed of the movement during tamping (it gets slower up to prevent the suction). We should try it next time!

    • Puqpress

      @European Coffee Trip Yes that is all correct 🙂 
      We received the message from Chris and developed the Precision Setting (Standart on every Puqpress bought after September 2018)
      The precision setting allows using a tighter fit between basket and tamper. With VST and a 58.35mm tamper for example, no more pucks are falling out.

  • Maxime

    Too expensive, too wobbly, you can actually see the portafilter moving during tamping.
    The idea is nice.

    • gwilym davies

      yes, in the video the Puqpress was set for different styles of portafilter but when I am on bar I set it for a tighter fit.

  • Michael Eric

    I really like the idea, but so far I’ve been having this static problem, on some cases it’s taking away up to one gram of coffee ground. Is it still happening?

  • Michal Karpisek

    How about some decent push tamper, hmm? 10x cheaper, and not that worse, hmm? And with OCD or chisel you can have total consistency among bar crew

    • gwilym davies

      my opinions about the OCD are for another place but if the combination works for you at high volume that is great

    • Michal Karpisek

      @gwilym davies yeah that’s for a longer talk, but would you agree that having a push tamper and a distribution tool (I prefer chisel or the new toy from Heavy Tamper, if you got your hand on it?) gives the baby baristas (or even some experienced ones) much more space to really focus on the flavors and the extraction?

    • gwilym davies

      @Michal Karpisek is there anyway I can contact via a DM?

  • Brent Roman

    I’m a recent convert to not tamping at all anymore. Now just using the re-distribution/chisel tool and that’s it. No more tamping. Better, more consistent shots. I’m a convert.

  • Brent Roman

    Is that a JimSeven T-shirt he was wearing?

  • yooser naime

    Dude…get another presenter or start using subtitles. I’m only getting about half of what you’re attempting to express in English.

  • yooser naime

    I guarantee that in a blind taste test, no one would ever be able to reliably distinguish between espresso tamped by a machine, by a barista, or by a monkey. The automatic tamping machine is good for one thing only: separating the gullible from their money.

  • Matteo M.

    Yeah let’s stop talking about tamping… Maybe we can even stop talking about baristas and start talking about fully automated machines… Am I the only one that gets in a bar and enjoys finding the very slight differences in taste between one time and another due to human variables?

    • European Coffee Trip

      We love it too but there are already so many more variebles that we are happy to cut the ones that can hurt baristas the most. As Gwilym said in the video – tamping is not a craft, there are better areas of coffee making where a human person makes a difference.

  • Freedom of espresso

    Nice video!