Video Overview | Pullman Big Step Tamper

Video Overview | Pullman Big Step Tamper

Aug 29th 2017 Written by meredithlangley

With its quality craftsmanship and thoughtful design, the Pullman Big Step tamper is a tool you’ll be glad to use daily. Made to fit securely in VST-style ridgeless baskets, the Big Step works to fully and evenly compact your puck, giving you less edge channeling and better extractions. It also features a uniquely tapered base, which reduces suction while removing the tamper, making fractured pucks a rarity. Want to see it in action? Watch along as Steve explores the ins and outs of the Big Step tamper, and puts it to use tamping for espresso.



Hey there, I'm Steve with Prima Coffee here. Today we're taking a look at Pullman's Big Step Tampers. Now, these are somewhat oversized tampers, with a base of 58.55 millimeters and they're intended primarily for precision baskets, like VST Pullman Baskets, that sort of thing, which have a very specific internal diameter. So, this is intended to be kind of an edge-to-edge style tamper, which will fully compress the entire upper surface of the puck and leave as little stray grounds as possible which weren't compressed into the puck. So, as such it's got some interesting design features. I'll talk generally first, we've got a stainless-steel base, it's a flat base, so no curves or anything like that. We've got this nice rubber cushioning, which really helps absorb some of the pressure as you're tamping. It compresses slightly and saves a little bit of strain on your fingertips. We've got an aluminum handle, these are all powder-coated, so you have few different colors available. And then, you'll notice here, there's a sort of silver ring. This is actually a spacer, of which there are three included with each tamper.

Pullman Big Step Tamper

58.55 mm base sized to snugly fit VST ridgeless baskets and Pullman baskets (may not fit ridged baskets)

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So this is a five millimeter, we've also got a two millimeter and eight millimeters, so you can add as many as you like to kind of stack up the handle and make it a little bit more comfortable for your finger height or your tamping style. So, to talk a little bit more about the base, it's made of 630 stainless-steel, so it's nice and hard. And it has this really interesting sort of chisel lip to it. So again, it's intended to be an edge-to-edge, you know, full basket. You know, very snug fit, and what that means is it actually needs to have some sort of airflow introduced as you pull it out to prevent a vacuum from forming and dislodging the puck, or cracking it in half, or something like that. So what they've done is they've designed this little lip, which helps air flow around the tamper piston and then kind of under it, as it's pulled back out of the basket. It's a really interesting design. One of the, sort of, downfalls is that you can't really beat this up too much because that lip is a little bit more delicate than the rest of tamper base. So if it gets dings, or dents, or something like that, you might need to send it in for repair and you might lose a little bit of your tamping precision, in that regard. So anyway, I'm going to show you tamping real quick with this. I'm just going to grind a dose. Again, I've got a VST basket, I should also note, it is intended for VST ridgeless baskets, so this basket has no ridge on the inside of the rim.

Ridged baskets can have a little bit of variance in their inner diameter. And for an oversized tamper like this, that can be problematic because if it's not 58.6 precisely inner diameter for the basket, your tamper is not going to fit. So, we really recommend ridgeless baskets, you might be able to get away with using a tamper like this with a ridged basket, but it's kind of a case-by-case thing. So, you always want to measure the inner diameter of your basket, just to make sure, because these only come in one size. So, anyway, I'll get to grinding some coffee here. And not quite a full dose, but it's good enough for demonstration. So I've got a nice little amount here. I'm just going to press down. Now, as I'm tamping, I can sort of feel that there's not a lot of play side-to-side, I can't really wiggle the tamper inside the basket that much. It's a very, very snug fit, but it does get nice and smooth. And you'll see I got a nice edge-to-edge tamp all the way around. So there are you know, maybe a few stray grinds but with a slightly smaller tamper, you'd see a bit more collected on the sides, I've got pretty clean side walls on my basket. So, it's a really a great way to make sure you're tamping nice and cleanly all the way around from edge-to-edge on the basket. And again, it has that little lip to prevent dislodging the puck when you pull it back out. So, that is the Pullman Big Step Tamper. Thanks so much for watching.

Aug 29th 2017 meredithlangley

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