How to choose a coffee tamper

Plastic tamper vs. metal tamper

Lever coffee machine manufacturers are striving to develop powerful espresso machines. They are looking for new technological solutions to create a great espresso machine. And then they pack a little plastic tamper in the box with it for "a few cents". Why do they do that? Or is it that coffee foaming doesn't matter at all and a little plastic toy like this should be enough?

Believe me, such a "package" tamper is not really a suitable part of your barista equipment. It's usually in the package just to have one there. Respectively, so that you can try working with your new coffee machine right after unpacking and installing it.

The plastic tamper is a temporary solution. For great coffee results, get a good quality tamping machine with a steel base.

Then, at your discretion, you have to go to a barista shop - so just click through to our e-shop - and choose your own quality tamper. We know that everyone's preferences are unique, even when it comes to choosing a coffee tamper. That's why we have quite a line of these espresso brewing tools. Just take a look.

Coffee tamper with metal base

Let's be clear about the basics, i.e. that we need to fill the coffee with something better than a piece of plastic. The base of the tamper should be a well machined quality steel. This will have good weight, durability, straightness and is generally the ideal material for this purpose of use. This metal base is attached to the handle, which can look like anything.

Usually, the handle ismade from a piece of well turned wood to make it comfortable in the hand. You may find it easier to hold the tamper behind a handle made of plastic or metal. Or you may prefer a flat tamper, called a flat tamper. Some people leave the coffee filling to a fully automatic tamper. Such is the case with the PuqPress.

How to choose the right size tamper

A good quality tamper base is one thing, a comfortable grip is another. The third point of selection is the optimal size, i.e. the diameter of the coffee tamper. This figurecomes from the size of the portafilter cups you want to use for espresso.

A cursory glance may make all the cups look the same to you. But they can vary by half a centimetre or moreon average. In espresso, where every millilitre, second, tenth of a gram, etc. matters, even a few missing millimetres in the width of the tamper are crucial.

58 mm or 54 mm tamper? How to find out?

As the most common tamper size, tampers are58 mm in diameter. This is the standardized basket size for classic portafilters of professional coffee machines. In home settings, it is not uncommon to find coffee machines with 53 mm portafilters, 54 mm portafilters, or even the compact home coffee makers Lelit and their 57 mm portafilters.

In the case of using precision strainers IMS or VST, you will take the next step to better coffee extraction in such a basket, but at the same time you may need a 58.4 mm coffee tamper.

It is best to measure your portafilter basket. Remember that you are measuring the inner diameter of the basket in millimeters. Finally, subtract 0.75 mm from the total to get the optimal dimensions of the tamping device.

Guideline table according to coffee machine portafilter sizes

De Longhi 49, 51 mm
Krups 49, 53 mm
Breville/Sage 51, 53, 58 mm
Saeco 53 mm
Dalla Corte 54, 58 mm
Ascaso 57, 58 mm
La Marzocco 57, 58 mm
Lelit 57, 58 mm
Astoria 58 mm
Bezzera 58 mm
Cimbali 58 mm
ECM 58 mm
ECM 58 mm
Elektra 58 mm
Faema 58 mm
Faema 58 mm
Gaggia 58 mm
Gaggia 58 mm
Nuova Simonelli 58 mm
Rancilio 58 mm
Rocket Espresso 58 mm
Stone Espresso 58 mm
Victoria Arduino 58 mm

Recommended products6