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PUQ Preps for the Tamp with New WDT Tool, the Navigator

Puqpress Puq Prep Navigator 4

The PUQ Prep Navigator atop a 58-millimeter espresso portafilter basket. All images courtesy of PUQ.

Automatic tamping machine-maker PUQ (formerly Puqpress) has launched a new pre-tamping tool designed to improve espresso extraction called the PUQ Prep Navigator.

Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, the Prep Navigator’s motor drives what the PUQ calls a “randomness mechanism,” involving a ring that spins around the rim of a 58-millimeter espresso basket while propelling multiple needles through the bed of ground coffee in preparation for tamping.

The Navigator adds to a growing crop of tools, often called WDT tools, designed to promote even, clump-free grounds distribution in espresso beds.

A dot matrix display on the surface of the Navigator indicates the settings and status, and different lengths of needles are available to accommodate baskets with capacities of 18-20 grams or 20-22 grams.

Puqpress Puq Prep Navigator 2

“The Navigator achieves randomness through its unique needle configuration, which disrupts potential channeling, ensuring a full and even extraction with every shot,” PUQ Marketing Manager Thomas Verheij told Daily Coffee News.

The device’s battery can run for up to 2,000 cycles on a single charge, depending on the mode. At the push of a button, the device runs for either two, four or six seconds.

Users can also position the device on top of the portafilter prior to grinding and allow grounds to fall through it directly from the grinder. A delay mode adds a few seconds before activation.

Said Verheij, “Delay mode allows the barista to start the grinding and distribution process, making it a seamless part of the workflow.”

Puqpress Puq Prep Navigator 1

PUQ parent company Barista Technology was founded in Amsterdam by PUQ Press inventor and CEO Laurens Pluimers in 2011. The original PUQ automatic tamper launched in 2015 and is now distributed worldwide along with an expanded range of auto-tampers for different commercial settings.

A Mini PUQ Press is most suitable for home use, while other models of the machine are built for integration with specific commercial grinder models and sizes.

The company’s latest tamper model, the PUQ Press Pro, launched alongside the Prep Navigator at the World of Coffee Busan trade show this year. The Pro model introduces higher tamping pressure options, togglable tamping profiles and a built-in mirror for viewing and cleaning the tamper base.

Puqpress Puq Prep Navigator 3

Meanwhile, the new Navigator is expected to begin shipping to customers by the end of the year, with an anticipated retail price of around in the range of $350-400, according to Verheij.

(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the new PUQ brand (formerly Puqpress.)

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