For all of those seasoned competitors out there, I'm seeking the tamper size for the upcoming NERBC competition. Do all the RBC's use LM Linea and if so, what is the professional preferred tamper size for your LM Linea? Of course, size does matter, basket size. So, do you bring your own baskets too?
You probably don't wanna be tamping past the ridge anyway.
La Marzocco is generally careful (now) to make sure the baskets are 58.0mm inner diameter right above the ridge. We've been using 58.0mm tampers with no problems.... that is, since 2005 (when there was a tamper-stuck-in-portafilter problem at the NWRBC).
I just received a nice Reg Barber 57mm tamper and it's definitely too small for my liking in my old Linea's new baskets. I find that it descends into the ridge and though it hasn't gotten caught in there yet I assume it will if I use it more. To overdose I would definitely recommend a 57.5 or better. I'd like to try a 58 and see how it fits in a deep, triple basket (24gm?)
CoffeeFest is in Washington DC. It alternates between DC (even years) and Chicago (odd years). Seattle is every year. Atlanta every so often as well.
The host indeed is Alterra Coffee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From the scaa.org website: "Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition (GLRBC) March 14-16, 2008 at the P.H. Dye Building in Milwaukee. Alterra Coffee Roasters is hosting the event."
As for the tamper-diameter issue, Jason, it's not "new" La Marzocco baskets that have the ridge the way they do. It's the standard La Marzocco original (OEM) double baskets that have always been that size and shape (at least for the last 5 years). Sometimes, people use other baskets, such as the Faema rounded-side baskets, but the ridged doubles are classic La Marzocco. If you're tamping below the ridge, I'd go even smaller than 57mm.
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