This is a well-crafted, pleasing on the eye, heavyweight coffee tamper that is extremely functional and great value for money compared to others of a lower quality.
Perhaps you have taken delivery of a new coffee machine and it has been supplied with a plastic tamper that weighs about 3 grams and feels like it might snap if you try and press down with any kind of force whatsoever.
Or maybe you already have an existing tamper that is not up to the job and it’s time for a change or you may be looking for a gift for someone and you want something that looks good as well as does the job of compressing the coffee ready for extraction.
Tampers come in a number of different sizes to accommodate the size of the basket that fits into your portafilter so be sure to measure the width of the basket before you decide on the one you want to go with.
All coffee machines come with different size coffee baskets but some of the most popular are 53mm / 54mm / 49mm and 58mm.
Your tamper doesn’t need to be precise to the exact millimetre but it obviously can’t be too big but 1mm too small is absolutely fine so if you measure it and you think its 54mm get a 53mm tamper not a 55mm
Next you need to choose something that has a little bit of weight to it because you want to be able to feel the tamper in your hand as it makes it easier to insert into the basket and apply the pressure required to compress the coffee correctly.
This tamper weighs 100 grams which feels good when holding it. We would suggest avoiding anything that weighs less than 80 grans because you are probably not going to get the feel that you need to apply a good tamp.
The total height of this tamper is 8.1 cm which is also an important factor because ideally you want to be able to place the palm of your hand on top and have your fingers on the base so that you can apply the pressure evenly and firmly.
What you want to try and avoid is an uneven tamp because that can cause water to leak down the sides of the coffee when it is being forced through the coffee grounds at high pressure making the drink diluted and with less flavour.
Tamping your coffee in the right way is a very important part of creating a great tasting espresso based drink whether it is espresso itself or milk based drinks such as Cappuccino or Latte.
A double shot of espresso needs to be delivered into your cup with approximately 60ml of coffee in about 25-30 seconds.
If you don’t tamp firmly enough and you find that the coffee is flowing through quickly and you are getting your double espresso in around 10 seconds then your drink will be watery and flavourless because the water has not spent enough time passing through the coffee grounds on its way into your cup.
On the other hand if you press too firmly and you find that the coffee is dripping its way into the cup and taking more than a minute to get your double espresso shot into the cup then this is equally as bad because you will get a bitter taste due to over extraction of the coffee.
With a little bit of practice, you will be able to find the correct pressure so that you get your coffee delivered within that 25-30 second window.
Historically there has been a view that you need to apply 30 pounds of pressure for the perfect tamp but in our opinion that is not true because it varies depending on the type of coffee bean you are using and the fineness of the grind.
I like a number of different types of coffee and find that the pressure that needs to be applied changes for each different type of bean so the most important thing is to be consistent each time when you tamp and you will get the same delicious tasting coffee every time.
This particular coffee tamper comes with a flat head which is ideal for compression. Some tampers come with a convex head which leaves the edges of the coffee slightly higher in the basket. Neither type have been proven to be better than the other and the convex type tend to be more expensive so we would recommend going for a flat head tamper which will work just fine!
Importantly you need the ground coffee to be evenly compressed in the basket post tamp and a way to check this is happening is to raise the portafilter to eye level once you have completed the tamping process and see if it is straight. If it’s not and leaning to one side then make the relevant adjustment.
Some of the tampers that you can buy take applying the correct amount of pressure out of the equation because when you press down you will hear a click and that tells you that 30 pounds of pressure has been applied.
These are fine but will cost a little bit more and as already mentioned you may want to apply a slightly different amount of pressure anyway depending on the coffee beans that you are using.
This tamper is a little different to the standard one’s as in it’s a combination of wood and stainless steel which does two things – it looks really good and will look great sat next to or on top of your coffee machine and it also feels really good in your hand during the tamping process.
It is already recommended by a number of happy customers as well as us so regardless of whether this is a small indulgent treat for yourself or a gift for a coffee lover, we are pretty sure that this will provide many years of happy coffee tamping.