Let’s say you have decided to start your own breakfast spot, and you’ve got coffee on the menu. You would have to invest in top-notch equipment to ensure you produce only the best espressos with great consistency and flavor. An espresso machine is simply not enough to handle that.
To get the best out of your coffee beans in terms of consistency and flavor, you would need a tamper. This is a handheld, dual-sided device used to press coffee grounds evenly before being put into the portafilter for further processing. Tampers have been used for years by the best baristas, and it’s only fitting you get the best.
There are several factors to consider when buying a tamper, such as calibration, weight, construction material, flat or convex. There is also the need to strike a balance between affordability and features.
Keep reading to determine what key factors to consider before settling for an espresso tamper, such as the difference between a flat and convex tamper. After that, we would look at ten espresso tampers in the market we’re currently in love with.
Essential Factors When Selecting What Tamper To Buy
Baristas know the importance of a tamper in the coffee-making process, so this is something you have to get right. In the course of buying a tamper, you would have been asked if you prefer a flat tamper to a convex tamper. This is asides from having a tamper that aligns with your machine’s portafilter.
Flat Tampers Or Convex Tampers?
Flat tampers have a base that comes in complete contact with the ground coffee. If you prefer an even and uniform surface when tamping the compressed grounds, a flat tamper is definitely your best option.
Convex tampers differ from flat tampers as there is an incline running from the center down to its sides. Convex tampers create a shape that is convex in nature when used in coffee grounds.
Both tamper options are great depending on who is using which. Some baristas believe that the convex tamper may cause lower extraction compared to its flat counterpart.
However, convex tampers help prevent channeling, which is a problem faced when tamping. Channeling occurs when water flows quickly through the sides of the coffee grounds during extraction. This, in turn, could reduce the espresso’s flavor to some extent.
Size: Another crucial factor to consider is the size of the tamper being used. Tamper width is measured in millimeters and will range between 49-60mm. You must read the user manual of your espresso machine to know which tamper fits perfectly.
Material Used In Construction: The material used in constructing the espresso tamper is vital, as it determines the life span of your tamper to some extent. The standard material used is cheap plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Plastic is definitely out of the question as the handle could easily break. Aluminum is a better alternative, but stainless steel is the best option at the end of the day. Metal tampers tend to have a good and sturdy grip compared to others.
Weight Of The Tamper: The weight of the tamper is also crucial, as it determines how much force you would apply when tamping the coffee grounds. Heavy tampers can be difficult to handle compared to lighter tampers. The ideal weight for a tamper is between 10 to 25 oz.
Calibration or No Calibration: A calibrated tamper has a resistant spring situated between the base and handle. The significant advantage of a calibrated tamper is using the same amount of pressure to achieve greater consistency with your espressos.
Handle: The tamper’s handle should be sturdy with a firm grip, so it offers an excellent grip when you hold it. Tamper handles often come in wood, plastic, and metal, with wood and metal as the most durable options.
Espro 3058F Calibrated Flat Tamper
The Espro 305BF tamper is excellent for producing consistent shots of espresso every single time it is used. This is due to its calibration, which ensures 30 pounds of pressure is being used at any given time. This tamper weighs just one pound, making it easy to handle and apply pressure to the beans.
The quality of this tamper justifies the price, although some may find it as being expensive. Espro also gives a one-year warranty, along with size variants, so you can pick which fits your espresso machine.
- Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 3.5 x 2.25 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Diameter: 58mm
- Comes already calibrated
- Features a stainless steel base
- Multiple sizes available
- Delivers a consistent 30 pounds of pressure.
- Might be too expensive for some
LuxHaus 51mm Espresso Tamper
LuxHaus is known for making some of the best products out there, including stainless steel jugs and espresso tampers. This 51mm tamper is made with food-grade stainless steel and other durable materials. Thanks to its calibration, you can be assured of one hundred percent consistency with every tamp.
Its grip is also comfortable, with different sizes such as 49mm, 51mm, and 58mm. The design is quite pleasing, with a red pouch for storage.
- Product dimensions- 3.86 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches
- Product weight- 15.3 ouncesProduct diameter: 51mm
- Calibrated for consistent tamps
- Comfortable gripMade from durable materials
- A bit pricey
- Spring mechanism seems fragile
BlueSnail 51mm Stainless Steel Tamper
Here is your answer if you are in the market for a tamper that provides a mix of high-quality materials and affordability. Made from stainless steel and iron with a 51mm base and 39mm handle, this tamper is a great option for those who prefer flat to convex tampers.
Despite the lack of calibration, one can still get great espresso shots from this tamper. None of the parts are interchangeable, and the materials used in its making are consumer-friendly. This is an excellent choice for baristas who are just starting out their career In brewing.
- Product dimensions: 3.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 1.23 pounds
- Diameter: 51mm
- Light and can be used by amateurs
- Made from strong and durable materials
- Affordable compared to other tampers made from the same set of materials.
- Interior could get rusty with constant use
Apexstone 51mm Coffee Tamper
This is another espresso tamper made from solid iron and plated with chrome to give it a stunning look. Its diameter is 51mm, and it weighs 600g making it quite heavy. Be careful not to let this tamper fall on your feet, as it could lead to injury.
Lots of washing is not required, as you could easily wash off stains with soap or rinse with water. The chrome finishing makes it resistant t corrosion and rust even with prolonged usage. It also offers excellent ergonomics and fits nicely with portafilters.
We also love the premium look of this tamper, thanks to its chrome-plated finish. If you are on a budget, this might just be another great option for you.
- Product dimensions: 3.5 x3 x 2.8 inches
- Weight:600 grams
- Diameter: 51mm
- Very easy to clean
- Premium look and great value for money
- Corrosion and rust-resistant
- Strong and sturdy build
- Chrome plating may not be durable
- Could cause injury if mishandled
Omgogo Stainless Steel Coffee Tamper
This is one of the best lightweight tampers in the market that offers excellent value for money. Its stainless steel and rosewood finish provides an excellent grip. The sizes available are 49mm, 51mm, and 53mm.
Some may find it challenging to get in enough pressure to grind with this tamper due to its wooden handle and lack of calibration. However, we love how light it is at 7.2 oz making it easy to handle and maneuver when in use.
- Product dimensions: 2.3 x 2.3 x 3.2 inches
- Weight: 7.2 oz
- Dimensions: 51mm
- Wood handle feels solid
- Great ergonomics
- Great value for money
- Quality control feels somewhat poor
HIC Dual-Sided Tamper
Being a dual-sided espresso tamper means that there is no dedicated handle. That might pose a bit of a problem for some baristas. However, there are a lot of other positive aspects to this tamper than just the handle.
It is made of corrosion-free aluminum, with each side having a different diameter. One side is 50mm, while the other is 55mm. Lastly, it is really light at 4 oz, making it one of the best lightweight espresso tampers on the market.
- Product dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 2.75 inches
- Weight: 4 oz
- Diameter: 50 mm and 55mm
- Two bases with different diameters
- Made from high-grade corrosion-free aluminum.
- Easy to clean and does not clog.
- Due to its lightweight, more effort is required for use.
- Outer paint coating is not durable
Zoie + Chloe Stainless Steel Tamper
When it comes to aesthetics, this espresso tamper takes the prize. It is available in three colors, namely blue, red, and gold. Aesthetics are not all this product has to offer. This tamper has a flat base allowing for even distribution of pressure with a diameter of 49mm.
You also get an excellent grip courtesy of a sturdy handle, an easy-to-clean tamper, and a premium stainless steel base at an affordable price. This tamper also fits perfectly with small portafilters but could be too small for larger-sized portafilters.
- Product dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6 ounces
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Diameter: 49mm
- Cleaning is easy
- Uniform pressure due to flat base
- Well-built and ergonomic design
- Not safe for dishwashers
- Bottom gets loose at times
FEENM 58mm Calibrated Tamper
Another calibrated tamper on our list, the FEENM 58mm espresso tamper, delivers nothing short of consistency and quality. Ofter referred to as a heavy-duty tamper, this product can handle large amounts of espressos with perfection. There is a spring that allows for 30 pounds of pressure exertion when in use.
Stainless steel metal and aluminum means you do not have to bother about replacing parts for a long time. It also comes with a sleek appearance, excellent ergonomics, and a high rating by most baristas
- Product dimensions: 2.8 x 2.6 x 4.8 inches
- Weight:1 pound
- Diameter: 58mm
- Easy to handle
- Calibration offers consistency
- Constructed from strong and durable materials
- Calibration could be better
Youdepot Stainless Steel Tamper
Super easy to clean and is made with iron and stainless steel, the Youdepot espresso tamper is reliable and easy to use. This tamper can be used in the kitchen to press your pastry into pans comfortably. This is also a heavyweight tamper, so you do not need to exert a lot of force when pushing.
The tamper has a diameter of 51mm with superb ergonomics aside from being easy to wash. This tamper work well for seasoned baristas and amateurs alike. The best part is that it is very affordable at less than twenty-five dollars
- Product weight:
- Product height:
- Diameter: 51mm
- Very affordable
- Easy to clean
- Great build offers a firm grip
- Gradual rust due to continuous washing
Motalius Solid Espresso Tamper
If you’re looking for a great coffee tamper made entirely from stainless steel, the Motalius Espresso Tamper is your best bet. It is heavy, meaning you don’t need to exert a lot of force. It is also rust-resistant with a 58mm base.
However, there is only one variant: the 58mm, which we have tested. Due to that, it means there won’t be a lot of portafilters where you can use it. Some users have stated that the base is a bit smaller than 58mm
- Product dimensions: 3.3 x 3.1 x 5.2 inches
- Weight: 1,4 pounds
- Diameter: 58mm
- Solid unibody build of stainless steel
- Convenient grip and ergonomics
- Easy to clean
- Only available in one size
- Slightly smaller base results in lose fit in portafilters
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Use An Espresso Tamper
An espresso tamper should be used right after the coffee beans have been ground. Tampers are used mainly when preparing espresso and espresso-based drinks.
What Type Of Espresso Tamper Works Best For Novices
For beginners, it is best to use a tamper with calibration. Calibration helps deliver constant pressure for consistent results. As you get better with time, you can then switch to non-calibrated tampers.
Read More: How to Tamp Espresso