A supreme cup of espresso is directly connected with accuracy. Just the slightest modification in temperature, quantity, pressure, and yield can alter a perfect shot into an undrinkable and bitter concoction.
One of the key secrets to the perfect shot is tamping the grounds before they are brewed. In fact, tamping is a major part of the espresso process. Fortunately, you can find a number of tamps that have precise designs and calibrated pressure settings for magnificent results.
For the most part, a professional barista has their favorite tamper. In fact, many baristas will bring their own tamper to work with them. A preferred tamper should feel natural in your hand. It should let you apply even amount of pressure to your portafilter without having to think about what you are doing. This is especially important in the morning when you are trying to wake up and make the perfect espresso for a customer.
More Reasons to Tamp
Coffee grounds are never the exact size. However, you need to make sure that the water flows through the grounds evenly, so that you have the perfect espresso every time. This is done by using a tamper. Tamping compresses the coffee grounds together and eliminates any void space.
If you don’t have a tamper, you can use your thumb to press down the coffee grounds. You can also use a shot glass. Just make sure that you press the coffee grounds down evenly. These methods are only used in an emergency. For quality espresso, make sure to purchase a tamper as soon as possible. In truth, a quality tamper with a few techniques will produce the perfect shot.
Choosing the Perfect Tamper
When you are selecting the best tamper, there are certain features to look for. Precision is the first important attribute. In fact, some of the coffee will be uncompressed if the tamper is not the same size as your portafilter. Uncompressed coffee results in an irregular extraction when the water from your machine takes the least resistant path through the untamped grounds. This results in weaker coffee.
Secondly, the tamper needs to be relaxed in your hand. The weight and size should feel comfortable when you hold it. Lastly, the tamper should be durable as well as pleasing to the eye. It needs to have a long shelf life plus keep its aesthetics.
The Size Matters
Espresso tampers come in several sizes that are measured in millimeters from 48 mm to 58 mm. However, the majority of brands use a 58 mm tamper size. To determine the size needed, you need to match the tamper size with the espresso machines basket. If you are not sure what size of basket you have, make sure to check an espresso tamper sizing guide to be on the safe side.
Weight Makes a Difference
A tamper requires the right amount of pressure to correctly press the coffee grounds. The weight of the tamper needs to be around 1-2 pounds. Likewise, a tamper that weighs 1-2 pounds will have around 30 pounds of pressure. Generally, the heavier the tamper, the more pounds of pressure you will have. Most professional baristas recommend tampers that weigh around 1 pound. Avoid tampers made of plastic; look for sturdy materials such as stainless steel.
Flat Bottom vs Convex
Flat bottom tampers have a flat smooth surface. Convex tampers have a slight rounded surface. The convex tamper is said to prevent channeling. It puts more pressure in the center and pushes the coffee grounds up the sides. However, a convex tamper can somewhat overextract the center underextract the sides making an uneven tamp.
On the contrary, many professional baristas believe that a good tamp technique will have a greater impact on the shot quality than the base shape. In result, the shape of the tamper bottom is usually a matter of preference and technique.
Calibrated tampers are used by both the novice and expert baristas. It has an innovative design with the handle that’s divided from the base of the tamper. The bas and handle connects when there is 30 pounds of pressure. Generally, you will hear a ‘click’ sound when the base and handle connect.
Calibrated tampers are great for beginners and professionals who desire 100% accuracy when pressure is applied. It is the ideal barista tool for the perfectionist.
The Importance of Style
First impressions are always the most important. It for want to impress your customers, do everything possible to offer them a “show”. Astound your guests with superb coffee and optimum aesthetics, For instance, the best “show” includes techniques with finesse and style, fancy white porcelain espresso cups, lattes with decorative foam like a tulip, and extravagant coffee tamper or that is custom made or engraved. Do you best to impress and you customers will come back for more.
Tampers come in a variety of styles and prices. For example, a basic tamper can be as low as $5. On the contrary, a fancy and extravagant tamper can cost as much as $200. The good news is tampers easily fit into any type of budget.
Top Espresso Tampers of 2020
To make it easier for you to select the perfect tamper to fit your needs, we have reviewed the best espresso tampers on the market.
|BlueSnail Espresso Tamper||Fully automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
|RSVP Dual Sided Espresso Tamper||Fully automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
|LuxHaus Calibrated Pressure Tamper||Fully automatic||Ceramic Disc grinder||Check Price|
|HIC Harold Import Co. 43739 Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper||Semi-automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
|LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper||Super automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
|Diguo Elegance Wooden Coffee Tamper||Super automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
|Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper||Super automatic||Conical burr grinder||Check Price|
Product Review Guide
1. BlueSnail Espresso Tamper
The BlueSnail Espresso Tamper is the best overall tamper on the market. It is ideal for tamping fresh ground espresso prior to brewing. The tamper has an iron interior and stainless steel exterior for ultimate durability and accuracy.
The base is 51mm and will fit the majority of portafilter baskets. Its flat base design offers steady pressure when entirely compressed. In addition, the heavy weight structure and top quality distribute the right amount of pressure.
What is more, the tamper has an affordable price that can fit most budgets. Additionally, the tamper is easy to clean by hand.
- Rust resistant
- Reasonable price
- Fits most portafilter baskets
- A little on the heavy side
- Some reviews claim that it has a chrome finish rather than being stainless steel
2. RSVP Dual Sided Espresso Tamper
The RSVP Dual Sided Espresso Tamper is a high quality barista tool at a competitive price. It is composed of a tumble finish cast alloy that is free of chemical coatings. The finish also resists corrosion that can be caused by acids found in coffee.
The tamper has duel ends that evenly compresses and distributes the coffee grounds so that you enjoy a richer and tastier espresso. It features two flat tamping sides 51 and 58mm. It is simple to clean and can be easily hand washed.
- Easy to clean
- Dual sided flat tamper
- Made of long lasting cast alloy
- Has no chemical coating which resists corrosion
- Slow overseas delivery
3. LuxHaus Calibrated Pressure Tamper
The LuxHaus Calibrated Pressure Tamper is a high quality precise tool that makes a bold and full flavor espresso. The 57mm tamper is craftily made of stainless steel. It features a durable plastic handle free of BPA and has an ergonomic design for complete comfort. With minimal effort, its calibrated perfection guarantees 30 pounds of pressure every time you use it.
The LuxHaus Tamper offer s deluxe, flawlessly crafted espressos with taste and simplicity. In fact, it is one of the most precise tampers on the market.
- Calibrated precision
- Made of 100% stainless steel
- Is chemical free with no coating
- 100% perfect tamp every time you use it
- The spring pressure is a bit too high
- Engraving of the LuxHaus brand name on the side may interfere with tamping
4. HIC Harold Import Co. 43739 Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper
This dual-sided espresso tamper artfully compresses ground coffee into the puck entirely dense and level offering a rich and more wholesome brew. With excellent compression the pressurized water can easily flow more slowly for the best extraction possible. In addition, the tamper creates an essential space between the water disbursement screen and top of the grounds. This is also to prevent moistened grounds from swelling which can cause clogging.
The dual ends (milliliters and milliliters) fit the majority of portafilter baskets. The tamper is composed of heavyweight aluminum that resists corrosion. It has a 4 ounce weight which also makes it easy to handle. In addition, it is simple to clean and can be hand washed.
- Dual sided
- Resists corrosion
- Reasonably priced
- Robust and durable
- Made of heavyweight aluminum
- Not real fancy
- A little roughly cast
5. LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper
The LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper is top-of-the-line in quality and performance. In truth, it is one of the best tampers on the market. It is a premium solid espresso tamper that has a 100% flat stainless steel base with no coating. Unlike cheaper brands, this tamper never flakes off metal pieces into your coffee grounds when tamping.
Although it is a touch costly, it is well worth the price. However, you will never have to buy another tamper again. In fact, many professional baristas look at buying a high quality tamper as an investment. Nonetheless, it saves you money in the long run.
In addition, the LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper looks fantastic on the counter. It has a professional appeal and aesthetic contours. As well, the tamper has an ergonomic design that feels great in your hands. An ergo design is extremely important for comfort, especially when you work with your hands all day.
- Durability merged with high quality
- Articulate and even tamping pressure
- Has a 100% flat stainless steel base with no coating
- Comes with a red velvet pouch for great gifts or safe storing
- Just a touch on the costly side but is well worth the cost
6. Diguo Elegance Wooden Coffee Tamper
The Diguo Elegance Wooden Coffee Tamper is an elegant tamper that has a touch of class. The tamper is structured for 58mm portafilter baskets for the ideal pressure and ultimate espresso shot. It features a solid wooden handle with a stainless steel flat bottom. In fact, the handle is not just for aesthetics but has a smooth and comfortable to hold for extreme comfort.
The design supports a consistent tamping pressure every time you use it. Actually, the structure allows for an even and hard pressure so that you get the most full bodied flavor from the freshly ground coffee beans.
- Stainless steel flat
- Solid wooden handle
- Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes
- Evenly graded tamp with amazing results
- The cost is a little high but well worth the investment
7. Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper
The Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper offers consistent pressure with amazing results. In fact, even with continual use, it never requires adjustment or recalibration. In addition, the tamper feels good in your hands and offers comfort and ease. What is more, the click is quite subtle and is hardly heard when the tamper is in use. In addition, the tamper has the perfect pressure and never bothers the grinds or causes channeling.
The Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper comes in 4 different options so that you have the perfect size for your portafilter basket – – 53 mm, 57 mm, 58 mm, and 58.35 mm
- Consistent & reliable
- It has an ergonomic feel
- The click is very quiet and subtle
- You can select from four flat base options
- Never needs recalibration or adjustment
- Higher priced
- May be slow on international delivery
The Best of the Best
Although our list has some of the best tampers on the market, the LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper takes the lead overall. The LuxHaus 58mm is a top performer with high quality results. Although the price is a little high, it is definitely worth the investment. In fact, the premium solid espresso tamper is built to last. In addition, it features a 100% flat stainless steel base with no toxic coating.
What is more, the LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper has great aesthetic appeal and look fantastic on the counter. In addition, the advanced ergonomic design is very comfortable in your hands. In truth, an ergonomic design is very important, especially for health and well-being.
When it comes to the perfect tamper for your home or business, you cannot go wrong with the premium LuxHaus 58mm Espresso Tamper. It is by far, the best of the best. And with the 100% flat stainless steel base and innovative design, you will get a perfect shot of espresso every time.