The Barista Hustle Tamper
We are working in an era where the coffee industry has grown used to the idea of single origins, light roast coffee, hario v60 and servers made out of glass. The customers sort of know our menus now and know what to expect when they order a filter Coffee or an espresso from us (sometimes). Now the industry has shifted a little (not always) but, what used to be a war for the best espresso in town has turned into who has the coolest and newest gadgets in their shop. Who has the danish designer and who has a mod bar and who has not. The shops are prettier, the baristas are prettier , and the bags are glorious designer works of art.
Enter the original Perger Tamp, was a real beauty, sleek wood handle, heavy bottom Pullman base that had a slight smooth angle. It cost half a weeks wage but was steady, durable and pretty. I only got to try this Tamper for a day but I loved it. It felt great in the hand and was a joy to play with. But Two years ago, it really was indicative of the culture of third wave Coffee.
Skip ahead to summer 2017, and we have the Perger Tamp 2.0, now called the Barista Hustle Tamper. It's produced by Matt Perger and Barista Hustle, and made out of light weight matted plastic, either in black or white, with a round metal flat disk that screws into the handle. It's smaller, lighter, fits a 58.5 VST basket with ease and costs only 30 euros (give or take).
It's hard to compare both items indirectly, bit in general, the big difference between this and other tampers is the materials used to produce it. It's a Tamper for function not flair and by producing it, Matt Perger has almost boycotted current trends for fancy expensive gadgets. Of course, he s not telling you it's better or worse, but put simply, by facilitating this Tamper, you can now get a great Tamper at an affordable price.
But what is it like to work with? Well, it's small, light and took me about an hour to get used to handling it. It fits our baskets at work perfectly (18g VST) and I found myself adjusting to the weight with ease. It suits my style (simple press, no twists turns etc) but I did have some issues with consistency:
I found when I used the OCD with it that my shots channeled more, I have no idea why. I have since abandoned the use of the OCD as I feel I distribute better by tapping, but I include this just in case some scientific information comes out about this.
My biggest problem turned out to be though that sometimes the Tamper gets stuck in the basket. Now maybe sometimes my balance is off but when it gets stuck, it's stuck and when you take it out it sucks half the puck with it. But regardless of this I still love to work with it. I love the simplicity of the piece and its affordability. I think home users with VST baskets at home can get a lot of use from this without breaking the bank.
My last thoughts regarding this Tamper is super automation. I got this Tamper in May of this year but by the end of summer my coffee shop had already installed a pug press, which I also love, that renders my tampers unnecessary at work especially when it's busy. Matt Perger has suggested in both articles and in public speaking that super automatic machines or brewing is one possible future for coffee, allowing more time for the barista to engage with their guests. The pug press for me is one such development in automation in my work flow. It has removed a stage in my brew process that affects my hands and my posture. And in that sense the super affordable, easily produced and used Tamper is rendered obsolete in a cafe with a busy work flow that has decided to upgrade in terms of devices. But perhaps for the coffee shops who have no intention of buying such a device the Barista Hustle Tamper is an affordable and extremely useful tool that will get a lot of use on a daily basis. Get one from your nearest supplier or direct from the man himself and enjoy. ;)
Post update, I got to play with the matted black version today and I loved it. It's a little heavier but has a nice texture and looks totally cool.