Need a coffee tamper? Need support to buy the right one for your espresso machine? We know sometimes buying one can feel like some sort of crazy algebra, and that is why this piece is tailored to help you make the right decision. By the time you read the last word, you will have finer details of the best tamper to purchase. So, keep reading to learn more.
The purpose of tamping
You may want to ask why a tamper is crucial. A tamper is simply a tool used to compress finely ground coffee into the portafilter of the espresso machine to make high-quality shots of espresso. This process is called tampering. Tampering makes sure every shot is properly extracted. Without proper tampering, reaching espresso perfection is not possible.
Proper tampering also prevents channeling, a scenario where water finds its way through cracks or small inconsistencies in the coffee “puck.” The result is an inferior shot of espresso due to uneven extraction.
Is there a way to tamp espresso without a tamper?
Yes, there are ways to tamp espresso without a tamper. For example, you can use your thumb or a small shot glass to press down the grinds. While these options get the job done, if you truly want a delicious drink, then make sure to buy a perfect tamper.
What to consider when buying
A good tamper will go a long way into helping you brew the perfect espresso. With that in mind, consider the following to purchase a tamper that will get the job done.
- Shape: There are two types of tampers you can purchase separately, flat and convex. Flat tampers are suitable for tampering flat surfaces while convex for tampering surfaces that are slightly bulged out.
- Size: To be sure you are buying the right size for your machine, always check out the espresso tamper sizing guide. Most tampers will include the size of the basket (portafilter) right in their name. So you just need to check the size to take home the right tamper.
- Material: Most of the tampers in the market are made of metal, which is heavier and provides a little more help in the pressure department.
- Calibration: While not all tampers are calibrated, the calibrated ones are perfect for pros or beginners who want to be 100% sure they applied the appropriate amount of pressure. In other words, calibration helps everyone exerts the same pressure when tampering.
- Weight: A weightier tamper is a better option. Such a tamper not only helps you to compress coffee better but also assists you in achieving a consistent tamp motion. You will want to apply 30 pounds of pressure when tampering. A heavy tamper makes it easier to apply this pressure.
- Appearance: When it comes to appearance, you have the freedom to choose a tamper that best fits in your home. For example, you can settle for a custom coffee tamper. Simply pick one that appeals to you!
- Cost: Your budget will decide what tamper is suitable for you. We recommend buying quality tampers, which are a bit costly, but you have the freedom to buy any tamper that appeals to you.
Best coffee tampers
The Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper
Weighing one pound the Espro Flat tamper is designed to deliver 30 pounds of tampering pressure for very use. Consistent pressure means a consistent shot of espresso every time.
Its weight makes applying pressure effortless. Although it is a bit pricey, it comes with a one-year warranty and available in different sizes. This means it is easier to find one suitable for your portafilter.
- Available in multiple sizes
- Consistent 30 pounds of tamping pressure
- Excellent weight- a stainless steel base with aluminum handle
The Zoie and Chloe Stainless Steel Espresso Tamper
The colorful stainless steel on the Chloe and Zoie espresso tamper comes in different colors-rose gold, red or blue, allowing you to add some color to your espresso machine. It is also easier to clean as the handle screw apart from the base of the tamper, making it easier to switch to a new handle and clean the tamper.
The small size of the tamper, only 49 mm, makes it fit well into most espresso portafilters.
- Well priced
- Good weight and designs for easy use
- Colorful, stainless steel
- The small size of the base may be too small for larger portafilters
- Hand wash only
The Rattleware Round Handle Tamper
This is yet another tamper that gets the job done. It weighs about a pound. This weight helps it apply 30 pounds of pressure needed to create a perfect espresso shot. Its size, 58 mm, is another thing you will love. Why? This size is standard and works with many portafilters.
- Heavy and durable
- Well priced
- Evenly flat stainless-steel base
- No bells and whistles (this could also be considered a pro depending on your view)
- The handle is on the shorter side which can be hard to use if you have larger hands
The Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper
If searching for a hefty tamper, go for The Benicci Espresso. It weighs about a pound and a half. This weight makes tampering an easy task. Benicci is rust-free, has a 58 mm convex base, and a sleek design that compliments your machine.
- 60 days money-back guarantee
- Rust-free stainless steel
- Solid, single body construction
- Only available in 58 mm size
- Metal may scratch easily
The Reg Barber Tamper
If you are looking for a tamper that is designed with you in mind, the Reg Barber will not disappoint. Almost every part of it is customizable, giving you the freedom to use it as you please. It comes with four different bases (copper, aluminium, stainless steel, and brass) to choose from. The handles are also interchangeable. You choose which style suits you best-aluminum, wood, colored stainless steel, and so on.
Basically, if you are looking for a more customizable tamper that is also appealing and gets the job done, the Reg Barber has got your back.
- Completely customizable from the base to the handle
- Extremely well-known brand
- Each tamper is handmade
- Too many options, it can be confusing when choosing.
Why is tamping required?
Tampering makes sure you enjoy the bold flavor and richness of a properly made espresso. Tampering increases extraction time by making sure water forces its way through the coffee grounds. This results in a delicious shot of espresso.
How do you tamp down espresso?
It is simple. Start by making sure the portafilter basket is clean and dry before adding your ground. Use your finger to even out and brush aside any grounds that are on the rim before tamping. Now tamp the shot by placing an even extraction using about 30 pounds of pressure.
How do I know what tamper size to purchase?
For the best experience, buy a tamper that is smaller than the inside diameter of your portafilter basket in order to tamp your coffee grounds evenly.