I’m in disbelief. The “barista” at SOMA Cafe (on Camelback Rd. and 40th St.) completely failed to tamp before pulling espresso shots. I’m serious. I watched 3 of them being pulled. I counted how long it took for the pour to take place. It was just short of 4 seconds. How does this still happen in 2007? I thought we were supposed to be better than this? Who trained this nut? Sheesh.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Unfortunately your experience is indicitave of way to many places. On the other end of the spectrum, you have places like Cabin Coffee and Espresso. I’m going to be there tonight between 7-9pm to do a full staff training. They are closing the shop early and requiring all their employees to be present. Now that is dedication and a commitment to bringing quality to their customers! They are allready doing a remarkable job, but now they will be able to demonstrate a more complete coffee knowledge and help to educate the public on true specialty coffee!

  2. MikeFTrevino

    I believe that this “no tamp” prceedure is perpetuated by espresso machine maintainence people, or the reps that sell the machine. I’ve heard many people use the excuse, “the company that made this says I do not need to tamp.” I don’t know of any machine, besides the Super-auto, that does not need some sort of tamp.

  3. Larry: That’s awesome. Love to see that kind of dedication.

    The “no tamp” thing I MIGHT be able to look past if the shot were good, and the timing were within parameters. Even still, tamping is still better, and in 99.9% of all cases, absolutely necessary.

    It’s possible to get a passable shot without tamping, but it’s definitely not something you’d want to do in a commercial environment. (it’ll get dirty in a hurry, and you KNOW it doesn’t get cleaned on time in a shop that doesn’t tamp)

  4. hb2

    Im sorry, but SOMA Cafe has the worst service and coffee… I was there last week (same location) and my coffee was horrible…

  5. I’ve always found the service to be more than satisfactory at SOMA. I’m not complaining about that. I’ve been to SOMA a dozen times or more.

  6. Does Soma us automatic grinders — ie a La Marzocco Swift EPS? That might explain some of it (although the grind still seems to be off).

    I agree with Jason, why not just tamp?

    ..be bold

  7. Austin

    tamping is lame, and a 4 second shot is over-extracted. thats probably why it didn’t taste good.

    A perfect espresso shot should take not longer than 3.3 seconds using unground beans.

  8. Mike Kirby

    We at Soma believe in tamping. We have 2 tamps, one of which is on the grinder itself. Also we have
    a separate tamp. I have yet to see any employees not use one or other. Coffee is my thing. Any time you would like to espresso your ideas or taste a great shot, come in and talk to me. My name is Mike.