Coffee grinding and tamping

Coffee grinding and tamping are important steps in making an exceptional espresso.

The first thing to think about is the grinding.

Grinding coffee is a key operation that every barista does on a regular basis as they work. A commonly-held belief in many coffee bars is that the barista should never touch the coffee grinder, but this is in fact completely untrue.

Knowing how to set your coffee grinder is really important in guaranteeing you get espresso coffee of consistently good quality.

The coffee beans that go into the bean container of your grinder aren’t always the same and they also change over time when they’re left inside the grinder. Coffee grinders experience wear and tear over time and if the barista never touched the grinder setting, you’d be serving up something that’s far from the ideal espresso extraction.

The only remedy for this is to understand how to set your coffee grinder so the coffee you’re serving is consistently of high quality.

The second thing to consider is how to compress your coffee, also known as tamping.

A skilled barista knows exactly how much pressure to apply when doing this. The basic coffee ingredient is important (and of course it must be excellent quality) but an expert touch is also needed to give you a well-balanced coffee that is pleasant to smell and taste.

The coffee powder should be treated right too – at all stages of the espresso extraction. This starts with how the coffee is stored and how it is ground before it goes into the filter holder. Every step is vital and guarantees that the final result is a quality one.

We then come to the tamping stage. This is when you make the coffee powder into almost a compact block so that the flow of hot water from the machine meets some resistance.

The coffee powder should not completely fill the portafilter and there should be a little gap between the surface and the filter spout. Getting the tamping right also means the coffee won’t loosen up as the water passes through it, which would then give you a much less aromatic brew with a very weak flavour.

Coffee compressing should be done with a special implement called a tamper (link to tampers).  This is quite a heavy, hand-held metal object which should fit the filter perfectly – if the tamper is too small, you won’t be able to get the coffee compact enough. Of course, to get a really good tamp, you also need the right amount of coffee and it needs to have been ground properly too.

It is from a story of passion that our blends are born

  • Silver

    Blend 100% Arabica Coffee

    Origin: Cental and South America
    Roasting profile: Medium-Dark
    Availability: Bags of 1 Kg

    Thanks to a very careful selection of Arabica coffees from the best plantations in Central and South America, we have been able to obtain a gourmet coffee with a balanced and particularly delicate taste, with a low caffeine and fat content. In the cup the cream is fine and shiny, the soft aromas and a pleasantly balanced acidity give this blend an extraordinary elegance and refinement

  • Top Quality

    Blend 95% Arabica Coffee – 5% Robusta Coffee

    Origin: Cental and South America, India
    Roasting profile: Medium-Dark
    Availability: Bags of 1 Kg

    Top Quality is the result of a scrupulous blending of the best raw coffees from Central and South America. Characterized by the high content of different qualities of Arabica coffee and with a small and selected composition of fine Indian Robusta, on the palate it has a soft and, at the same time, a bit more decisive taste, with a glossy and compact crema. It is a product that manages to meet the needs of true coffeehouse professional Baristas.

  • Martin

    Blend 80% Arabica Coffee – 20% Robusta Coffee
    Central and South America
    Africa, India
    Roasting profile: Medium-Dark
    Bags of 1 Kg.
    The perfect balance between the precious Brazilian and African Arabica with the Robusta from the best Indian plantations. The result is a perfectly balanced coffee, medium-bodied and with a fine and persistent crema. The palate will captivate its sweetness, accompanied by delicate floral notes and a hint of toasted hazelnuts.

  • Kaffee Cream

    Blend 80% Arabica Coffee – 20% Robusta Coffee

    Origin: Central and South America India, Africa
    Roasting profile: Medium-Light
    Availability: Bags of 1 Kg

    This is the result of a bet, where Varesina Caffè has the ability to adapt to the needs of its customers; thus was born Kaffee Cream, a blend created specifically for the Northern European markets. The particular light roasting enhances its sweetness. In the cup it has a blonde color and a consistent cream with a soft taste. A mixture for those markets where the typical long extraction is looked for.


  • Plata

    Blend 60% Arabica Coffee – 40% Robusta Coffee

    Origin:Brasil, India
    Roasting profile: Medium-Dark
    Availability:Bags of 1 Kg

    Plata is the result of the combination of the most refined South American Arabica coffees and the best oriental Robusta coffees, including the precious Indians. The high percentage of Robusta coffee guarantees a thick and compact crema; the aromatic profile has a slight initial acidity and it is completed with a finish rich in cocoa and chocolate aromas. On the palate it is particularly full-bodied and it is dedicated to those looking for a full and decisive taste in coffee

  • Junior

    Blend 50% Arabica Coffee – 50% Robusta Coffee

    Origin: Brazil, India, Africa
    Roasting profile: Medium-Dark
    Availability: Bags of 1 Kg

    The union between excellent Arabica and Robusta coffees has enabled us to obtain this blend with a particularly intense taste and with delicate notes of cocoa and bitter chocolate. The cream, with its typical dark brown color, is thick and compact. The decidedly structured body gives us a full and decisive taste.