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* Best Espresso Coffee Tamper Reviews - Range of mm sizes

Updated on March 14, 2011

About this espresso tampers review

This review will show you how to use an espresso tamper, what to look for in an espresso, and takes a look at some of the most popular tampers, including one adorned with crystals.


What is an espresso tamper / coffee tamper?

An espresso tamper (or coffee tamper) is used to compact the ground coffee into your espresso or coffee machine. To get plenty of flavor in your espresso, you need plenty of coffee in your espresso machine, so you need to tamp (compact) it down.

An espresso tamper will ensure the coffee is packed down evenly in your filter. This will help the water flow throughout the coffee, giving even saturation, which will yield the most flavor from the coffee.

Watch an expert at work - courtesy of Riendemeij

How to tamp my coffee?

To tamp your coffee, first you need to fill the filter with coffee, then skim your finger across, in one even movement, to give a level surface. Take your espresso tamper, and apply between 30-50lb of pressure, evenly on your coffee.

There is some debate about what the appropriate level of pressure is within this range. Too little pressure, and you will not get the best flavor from your coffee. But apply too much pressure and the coffee will be so tightly packed in, that the water will not be able to flow evenly through it. You may need to experiment a little to decide what level of pressure works best for your espresso machine, and your own personal tastes.

You can use your home bathroom scales to measure what 30lb-50lb of pressure feels like - just take your espresso tamper and push it against your scales a few times until you can reliably deliver the level of pressure required.

Before lifiting the espresso tamper, give a short twist. This will stop any coffee sticking to the tamper and ruining your beautifully flat surface of evenly packed coffee.

Espresso tamper sizes

Espresso tampers sizes readily available:

  • 45mm
  • 47mm
  • 48mm
  • 49mm
  • 50mm
  • 51mm
  • 52mm
  • 53mm
  • 55mm
  • 57mm
  • 58mm

All these sizes of espresso tamper are available to buy online.

How to choose the right espresso tamper?

If you already have an espresso machine, it probably came with a tamper. That espresso tamper was probably cheap, flimsy and plastic, and that is why you are looking for a new one.

If you are looking to buy an espresso tamper for someone as a gift, go ahead. The tampers featured on this page will be better quality than the tamper that was included with their espresso machine.

A double-ended scoop and cofee tamper can offer good value for money. But it can be difficult to grip, making it difficult to apply the required pressure.

Look for a model with a handle that you think will be comfortable for you to use. This will help you to apply the pressure needed to tamp your coffee.

The higher quality espresso tampers tend to be made of heavier, more durable stainless-steel. This weight also helps you to apply to required level of pressure.

Some tampers are flat-bottomed, some are convex (curve). It is a matter of personal preference which you choose. If you are new to making your own coffee at home, I suggest you start with a flat-bottom.

Most important of all - you need to make sure you buy the correct size. Your espresso tamper needs to cover your coffee basket completely, to ensure an even spread of the coffee. Make sure you carefully measure the inside of the portafilter insert on your espresso maker. You will get a more accurate measurement if you use millimeters.

Espresso tamper with scoop

Although it is really useful to have both the scoop and tamper in one tool, it may not be the best tamper for you. There is limited tamper sizes available with a built in scoop, and to get the best tasting coffee, you should get the closest match possible to the size of your coffee basket.

Also, the design of the tamper with the scoop at one end, may make it difficult to exert the correct level of pressure to tamp the coffee.

Instead, invest in a good quality tamper, and a great looking coffee scoop.

Rattleware espresso tampers

Rattleware make high-quality, durable, coffee tampers.

The tampers with the balck handles are made from stainless steel, and come with either a round or angular handle - simply choose whichever you will find most comfortable to grip. Alternatively, Rattleware make a solid aluminium coffee tamper with a matt finish.

All three designs are available in 53mm, 55mm, 57mm and 58mm sizes.

Krups Tamper

Krups make espresso tampers especially designed for their Krups coffee machines.

  • The Krups 620349 Spoon & Tamper fits models XP2010 XP2070 XP4000 XP4030 XP405
  • The Krups 0900593 Espresso Scoop, Tamper, Froth Tip Wrench fits models 880.

RSVP Terry's Tamper

The RSVP Terry's coffee tamper is double ended. The largest tamper head is 2 1/4" in diameter, and the smallest is 2". If these sizes match your coffee basket, then this is a great value espresso tamper.

Vaneli's Rosewood Tamper

This Vaneli's wood handle tamper has a stainless steel body and rosewood tamper. It is far too beautiful to be stored in a kitchen draw, and deserves pride-of-place of your countertop. It comes with 45mm or 55mm diameter heads.

Cuisipro tamper

Don't be fooled by the 'large desciption' for the first Cuisipro tamper. It has a 1 3/4" diameter which is a 44.5mm, making it great for narrow coffee baskets. The 'large' refers to the long, ergonimic handle, that helps you apply pressure while tamping the coffee, The 'small' model has the same size head, but a smaller, shorter handle.

Original Gourmet Espresso Tamper

The Gourmet Espresso tamper has two heads, 50 mm and 55 mm. The concave tamping surfaces create a gentle hill or crown in the espresso grounds, which is designed to give a better tasting espresso through better water distribution. The tamper is adorned with Swarovski Austrian crystals to add some bling to your morning coffee-making routine.

This tamper requires careful handling. The short handle makes it easy to drag your knuckle in the coffee grounds and ruin your great tamping, so practice holding it with your fingertips.

This page features a selection of the most popular tampers. There are many more espresso tampers available to buy online. Keep in mind the size of tamper you need, and the style of handle you prefer, to help you find the best espresso tamper for your machine.

A good espresso tamper gives good espresso coffee

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Espresso tamper reviews comments

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      Rancilo Silvia 

      7 years ago

      Gracey, great Hub on tampers! Far too many people overlook this as a critical element in pulling great espresso shots because it doesn't seem to involver a lot of the technology that folks get excited over.


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