When you’re trying to get your espresso grounds into the machine, you want to make sure you’re getting an even pack so you can get a quality shot. An espresso tamper is a tool that helps you easily do this. The goal is to make the grounds tightly compressed and there are different tampers out there, this review will help you in choosing the best.
Why Buy Espresso Tampers?Proper tamping is needed to get a quality shot and the science behind it explains why this is so. Water has to get through the coffee ground-filled basket during brewing and if they’re not properly tamped, some sections will be left without water. This distribution is necessary to produce coffee with a more pronounced flavour. Coffee grounds can swell and escape the basket when water is added but tamping keeps them in there so this is another benefit though a minor one.
Calibrated TamperA very important part of tamping is determining the pressure to apply to your grounds, too little or too much and you don’t get the full flavour of your coffee. 30 pounds is the ideal pressure needed to be applied and a calibrated tamper is designed to deliver exactly that so you don’t have to guess the right pressure to apply.
Flat TamperThis is the most common tamper type out there. They’re also called handle tampers and have a flat bottom with a knob-like handle finished with rubber, wood or metal. The handles give you a good grip during tamping and are preferred by professional baristas that prefer a more hands-on approach.
Dual-Head TamperTraditional tampers have a base and a handle, dual-head tampers have two heads so there’s a base at each end and a handle between both, the bases are usually of different sizes.
Puck TamperIt’s so-called because it looks like an actual hockey puck, so it has a very short handle with a flat or convex base. Some baristas have said its design provides for more stability.
Palm TamperIt has a similar design with the puck tamper, short handle with a base attached but looks nothing like a hockey puck and tamping is done mainly with the palms.
Size Of BaseTamping is done with the base on your portafilter basket so if you have a base that’s too wide, you can’t do it properly. It’s easy to do this by looking at your espresso machine to get the size of the basket yours came with, this information can be in the manual too, basket size is usually graded in millimetres.
WeightA good tamper is one you’re comfortable handling, they come in different weights so you may need to compare weights when buying online or place on a scale when buying offline.
AestheticsTamper handles and bases can be made with steel, rubber, wood or even gold, so you can get a tamper that serves as a useful accessory during brewing and also a work of art on your shelf.
Best Espresso Tamper: Reviews & Recommendations
BlueSnail Stainless Steel Coffee Tamper
LuxHaus Calibrated Pressure Tamper
HIC Harold Import Co. 43739 Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper
RSVP Terry’s Dual Sided Espresso Tamper
Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper