PUQpress, the perfect addition to your coffee bar
I have worked in coffee shops and espresso bars since I was 18, starting with classic flappy grinders, no scale and the believe that real espresso is more “feel” than measure. Little did I know.
Fast forward 17 years and I have realised that precision is key to evolve in coffee quality and that every gram matters. I have become a fan of modern coffee tools and can't live without my scale when it comes to making coffee professionally. I have also realised that for years the so-called “emotion” that I have been putting into making coffee has left its marks on my body.
After years of tamping manually every single coffee and standing all day my back, my shoulders and my whole body suffered from the repetitive movement. It made working painful and not pleasant. On top of that, it made me inconsistent. Different pressures applied to my coffee puck resulted in varying qualities I served.
Working behind the bar as a barista is a social and very exciting job, it’s fun and can help you develop incredible skills like tasting, workflow, management, social skills and so on. But recently we are facing a new generation of baristas that don’t want to suffer physically for this job and you know what, good on them! There is no reason why they should! I have left the bar as well because it was time for me and because my body was aching every day.
So how can we make coffee bars as a workplace more sustainable?
We are living in the year 2023 and there is no reason to manually tamp your coffee anymore!
Tamping is one of the most tearing movements a barista exercises day after day for more than 100 times.
It creates a pressure on your joints, your wrists, elbows and shoulders.
A healthy employee is worth so much more than the initial cost of investing in a PUQpress. Imagine the costs that are generated by covering a worker's sick leave because he/she can’t move from back pain.
Despite the huge impact it has on the physiology of a barista, a mechanic Tamper can also improve coffee quality immensely.
The pressure applied during tamping can influence very subtle and refined taste elements of your coffee, which is very important when we talk about specialty coffee. Overall, the influence on tamping weight could be seen as secondary when we talk about commodity coffee, following the results of the research done by socratic coffee http://socraticcoffee.com/2015/07/the-impact-of-tamping-pressure-on-espresso-extraction/
What matters though is the level of tamping. If not tamped perfectly straight, the coffee puck is very likely to channel, which means an uneven flow of the water through the coffee grounds puck, when water finds a narrow path instead of flowing through the entire coffee bed evenly. Straight and even tamping will even out the extraction and insure a full saturation by the showerhead.
The likelihood of replicating both manually, even pressure and tamping level, during rush hour is very low.
A mechanical Tamper will help you work more consistently and more sustainable and a lot of the different models are made to fit on your countertop while taking up minimal space.
Would I also use a PUQpress at home?
The newest addition to my coffee corner is the PUQpress Q2, made for professional use but they also offer the PUQpress mini, made for small coffee shops or home use and it makes my morning coffee so much easier!
A few years ago I got my first espresso machine and I started disliking the ritual at home, although I loved it at work. I always thought my coffee corner looked messy with coffee grounds everywhere… Some of this had to do with my grinder back then. I have since then upgraded to a Rancilio Silvia Espresso machine and a Rancilio STILE grinder, which makes grinding a lot easier, quieter and cleaner as the funnel distributes my coffee much better. The main mess now came from my tampers. Coffee got stuck and I don't know why but it still made everything messy. I was spoiled from my clean work environment that the PUQpess was the next logical step in my equipment evolution.
It makes making coffee easier and cleaner.
Who should definitely get a PUQpress?
Passionate home Baristas, Cafés, Restaurants and OFFICES! The setup at many start up companies I have visited is good, but the tamping usually is a catastrophe. Between not tamping at all and pushing the portafilter through the bench, I think I have seen everything. The PUQpress will also shut up the know-it-all “you can only drink real espresso in Italy” colleges, that usually also are the ones that think tamping is some sort of sport exercise.
Tamping should be easy, should be consistent and not a strength battle.
So that is pretty much why I don’t want to make coffee without it anymore. It is one of my most recommended coffee making devices and I use it at home, in the bar and even during competitions.
If you have any questions, just message me!
Thanks for reading.