Since I have been a barista, I have followed the method of loading the portafilter, evenly distribute and swipe back into the dosing chamber, light leveling tamp with the tamper then (here is the part in question) a light, easy knock on the cleat of the portafilter with the handle of the tamper to settle the espresso off of the sides of the basket, followed by a harder polishing tamp before loading into the group.

 

Even if I deliberately try not to do the "tap" it is just muscle memory reflex and I do it anyway.  Pros, cons, good, bad??? Whats the deal, please post your position.

 

Happy tapping!!

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First, thank you to everyone who added input to this discussion!  So, let's eliminate the "tap" between the initial light tamp and the final harder polishing tamp, doesn't that mean simply eliminating the two step tamping method altogether?  Just go straight from swiping the espresso for redistribution to the final finishing tamp?  I will have to experiment but am I correct in my understanding of this?
That sounds about right to me!

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