The café community is buzzing about the new automatic coffee tamper from PUQ Press. It’s going gang busters over the ditch, so the Altura team decided to take New Zealand’s first PUQ press on a tour around some Auckland cafes to find out what Kiwi baristas think of it.
The PUQ Press is billed as fast, consistent, safe, compact and simple — and the smooth little operator had no problem capturing baristas’ imaginations. Once you see it in action, you’ll find out why.
The beauty of the machine lies in the absolute consistency of the tamping – the PUQ press can be set anywhere from 10kg to 30kg of pressure depending on the desired extraction. From a barista point of view, it takes the strain out of ‘barista wrist’ – the repetitive strain injury caused by repeating a firm tamping action all day, every day.
Paul Lee, a barista at Newmarket’s Camper Coffee in central Auckland, told us he can’t wait to use the PUQ press at the shop. “I’d say it is going to be my lifesaver as a barista. I have wrist injuries and would probably have had to stop making coffee without it.”
After getting hands on with the PUQ press at the Black and Gold café and eatery on Auckland’s North Shore, David Huang found that he liked the PUQ because it’s easy, clean and cost effective.
But, as far as the coffee is concerned, does the PUQ Press really add to espresso quality? Altura head roaster and coffee expert Chris White gives us his view:
“Great coffee is all about consistency. The three biggest variables are the grind of the coffee, the amount of coffee in the handle and the amount of pressure exerted during tamping. The PUQ press takes care of two out of those three,” he said. “If the pressure on the coffee varies during tamping, the customer will taste the difference: over compressed coffee causes over-extraction giving a bitter, astringent brew; under compressed grinds produce a thin, acidic coffee with no body.
“We also see lots of baristas with strapped wrists. In a busy café, baristas can make between 500 and 700 coffees a day, putting in around 15kg of pressure per tamp. That’s a quick route to Repetitive Strain Injuries – and no-one wants their best barista injured or off-work. The PUQ press takes care of that problem and also irons out differences in tamping styles – and therefore coffee quality – between baristas; and we know from our own café, it’s consistently good coffee that keeps customers coming back.”
Call the Altura team to learn more 0800 ALTURA