Hand tampers properly pack the 'ground' espresso into the brewing head for a more even and consistent brew.
Similarly, the heavier construction hand tamper (above) we used yesterday hopefully packed the 'ground' as well, enough for an 'even and consistent' displacement of the weight of the large foundation boulders we had to push into place (also by hand) in preparation for the four-day 2011 Stone Symposium dry stone terrace workshop in Ventura California. Sean Adcock, Justin Money, Doug Bell,Tomas Lipps and I were fairly 'knackered' (as Sean puts it) by the end of the day.
The workshop starts on Jan 5th and it looks like it is going to be challenge to get the 9 foot high dry stone retaining wall finished in time, but hey, as many of you know, miracles often happen at these 'Stone Foundation' events.
We probably should have rented a mechanical plate tamper. It would have worked faster and been easier on the arms. It would have done a proper job of compacting the knobbly baseball sized rocks we have had to use along the base of this 100 foot stretch of wall. If we had gravel we wouldn't have had to use any tampers at all. And then again it would have been even easier if we had one of those shiny new 'Autotamps'. Of course that's only if we were making coffee not magic.
AUTOTAMP'S ergonomic design makes it easier to 'hand tamp' by simply pulling a lever in a downward motion rather than using a twisting motion of the shoulder, arm and wrist involved in hand tamping