Updated for 2022
The Asso Coffee The Jack Leveler has been, by far, one of our favorite products since we began carrying it in 2019. They’re just interesting little upgrades for a coffee bar, and we find them to be overall better than a regular tamper, as Marc, one of our coffee experts, believes his shots are more consistent with less channeling since he began using the Jack. The Jack Leveler has a simple, but awesome design that allows for precise adjustments in just moments.
The Jack is a coffee distribution tool that spreads out your coffee grounds into an even puck inside of you portafilter. This is done by dialing the Jack’s handle around clockwise to spin the metal level head. The four metal ridges in the head distribute and move your coffee each time you spin.
The trick with the levelers is adjusting its deepness. You can turn the Jack’s leveling head to adjust the depth, and there are about 11 clicks per rotation. There are a little less than 50 depths to choose from, plus there is a scale on the side to let you know what the measurement is.
To use the leveler, you set it into your portafilter and lightly turn it clockwise. The Jack is slightly oversized at 58.5 mm, so it fits snugly into your basket as you turn, and there is a ridge that curves around the metal head of the Jack that lets it turn smoothly. What you’re looking for is to not have any marks from the leveler in the coffee, because then your coffee won’t be a flat puck and there may be channelling. What’s nice is that, if you do get marks in your grounds, you don’t have to grind more coffee. Just dump out the coffee, mix it a little to get the clumps out, put it back into the portafilter, and try again.
Do you have to Tamp?
The Jack Leveler also works as a tamper, too. When Marc made a recent video on the Asso Jack, he showed how well it tamps coffee by putting a dry puck into his hands. The puck was firm, and he didn’t think that adding a tamp afterward was necessary. If you would like to tamp after you level your coffee, we say go for it, but we do think that the Jack does a perfectly good job. To read about The Jack as a tamper, we have another article, “Leveling with the Jack: A New Way to Tamp” on our blog.