How to Buy the Best Espresso Tamper: Our Top 5 List

When you buy a new coffee machine, it often comes with an Espresso Tamper and this is what we will be talking about here. Usually this will be a cheap, flimsy item – sometimes even made out of plastic – but at least it will allow you to get started pulling espresso shots right away. In the long run, however, you’re going to want a decent quality tamper.

Picking The Best Espresso Tamper

Tamping espresso serves three purposes. First of all, it evens out the ground coffee inside the filter basket for a consistent extraction. Uneven grounds allow water to form channels during brewing, rushing through the portafilter while barely touching the coffee. Tamping also compresses the coffee, slowing down the brewing process and maximizing the flavor and crema as the water “fights” to get through. Lastly, it creates a small space at the top of the portafilter that is essential to the brewing process. And overall it makes your favorite coffee taste good.

Which espresso tamper you choose will usually come down to your own personal preference. If you have small hands, you will likely prefer a smaller handle. If you are strong you may find that a heavier tamper does a lot of the work for you, while a less strong individual will find a lighter one easier to work with. A busy barista is at risk for repetitive strain injuries, so it’s important to have a tamper that is comfortable to use. Once you have a decent tamper, you can start working on using proper technique to prevent injuries on the job.

When choosing a tamper, it’s also important to get the right diameter to fit your espresso machine’s portafilter. If you are buying it in person, bring a filter basket with you so you can be sure you’re getting the right size. The tamper should fit closely but not tightly inside the basket. It’s better to have a tamper that’s a little bit too small than one that’s too big. If you’re shopping online, check measurements carefully, and don’t hesitate to send it back if it isn’t exactly the right size. The size listed by the manufacturer doesn’t always exactly match the size when measured, either for filter baskets or for tampers.

When tamping, it’s important to apply enough pressure, but how much is enough? Generally, between 30 and 45 pounds of pressure is recommended, and people sometimes practice pressing on a bathroom scale to see what 30 pounds of pressure feels like. As with most aspects of espresso making, it takes practice to get it right and there are a lot of differing opinions about the details. Some expert baristas will even adjust their tamping pressure to compensate for differences in grind, roast and other parameters.

To summarize, here are the main points you should think about when choosing the Best Tamper for Espresso Making.

How big and strong are your hands? Handles come in different sizes and shapes, and tampers can be heavy or light. Generally speaking, the heaviest tamper you can work with comfortably is the best because it exerts more even pressure on the coffee grounds without applying much force. Usually, a 58mm tamper is used widely, while there are other sizes too but are required by professional baristas only.

How experienced are you at making espresso? Some tampers are calibrated to deliver a consistent pressure every time regardless of your skill. This is a feature that may not appeal to you if you’re an expert at pulling shots but for novices, this is a golden point.

How much use will your tamper get on a daily basis? Some of tampers are built to last for a long time; others will eventually break under heavy use. There’s a reason why the prices vary so much.

What color and style are you looking for? You may want something that looks good with your machine, or you may prefer to match the look of your kitchen. You are going to spend a descent amount on tamper so also take color, shape and material as important considerations. Also color reflects your personality, so don’t choose the wrong one.

How much can you spend? Tampers can cost as little as a few dollars or as much as a couple of hundred dollars. If you understand tampers and how they work, you can find the best tamper available in your price range. If you are going to use it at home, you might not spend that much but if you are looking a tamper for a coffee shop, you might agree to spend a few hundred for it.

With all of these considerations in mind, we have put together a list of our five favorite espresso tampers that are currently in the market and are regarded as the best ones. We have tried to include a broad range of styles, sizes and price points so that, no matter what your needs and preferences, you’ll be able to find the perfect espresso tamper for you.

Best Espresso Tamper Picks

  1. Motta 8100/B
  2. Motta 620 Professional Flat Base
  3. Devereux Espresso Coffee Tamper
  4. Rattleware 58mm Round Handle Tamper
  5. Espro Calibrated Tamper 58mm Flat Base

#1 Motta 8100/B Professional Flat Base Coffee Tamper, 58mm

This attractive and good-quality 58mm tamper is comfortable to use and won’t break your budget. This is the one that can be found in many homes because of the feasible price tag and built quality.

Features and Specifications:

  • Flat stainless steel base (18/10 Aisi 304)
  • Solid ash wood handle in black, red or brown
  • Made in Italy
  • Fits 58 mm basket
  • Weighs 14.1 ounces (shipping weight)

Motta 8100b Coffee Tamper Black

If you’re looking for something that will look beautiful on your counter, this Motta tamper is an excellent choice especially if you lean towards traditional design. The metal base is perfectly machined and the subtle engraving of the brand name is a nice touch. All three colors look great, but the brown is particularly effective at showing off the grain of the wood.

Motta 8100/B Professional Flat Base Coffee Tamper, 58mm, Black Handle (Kitchen)


List Price:$58.90 USD
New From:$53.26 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

But this tamper is about more than just looks. It’s a somewhat lighter-weight tamper, making it easier to control if you’re not super-strong yourself. It’s well balanced and the round wooden handle fits perfectly into most people’s palms.

#2 Motta 620 Professional Flat Base Coffee Tamper, 58mm, Aluminum Handle

Here is another winning tamper design from Motta, this time with a more modern aesthetic. It looks a well built and durable piece of perfection.

Features and Specifications:

  • Flat stainless steel base (18/10 Aisi 304)
  • Aluminum handle
  • Made in Italy
  • Fits 58 mm basket
  • Weighs 14.4 ounces (shipping weight)

Motta 620 Flat Base Tamper

This 58mm tamper has many of the same advantages as the Motta 8100/B: it’s well made and well balanced with a good ergonomic design. It is a little bit heavier in your hand, which people with bigger hands may prefer. The aluminium handle gives this item a more contemporary style than the ash handle on the previous model.

Motta 620 Professional Flat Base Coffee Tamper, 58mm, Aluminum Handle (Kitchen)


List Price:$49.68 USD
New From:$49.17 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Both of these Motta tampers are manufactured in Italy.

#3 Devereux Espresso Coffee Tamper 58mm

The handle of this tamper is distinctive in both its shape and the material it’s made from. It will add a pop of color to your kitchen counter area.

Features and Specifications:

  • Stainless steel base (304 grade) with high gloss finish
  • High fired glazed ceramic handle
  • Made in England
  • Fits 58 mm basket
  • Weighs 15 ounces

Devereux Espresso Coffee Tamper

At first glance, the square handle of the Devereux tamper looks like it might sit uncomfortably in your hand. However, the soft rounded corners make it unexpectedly ergonomic to use. People’s preferences vary a lot, but some find that the square shape even helps make the tamper easier to grip and control. This is a fairly heavy tamper, weighing in at almost a pound.

Devereux Espresso Coffee Tamper (Fiery Orange, 58mm)


List Price:$59.95 USD
New From:$59.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

The combination of the glossy steel finish and the bright color ceramic handle is striking, but just be careful to look after it properly. The tamper is not dishwasher-safe, and in fact it shouldn’t be immersed in water at all. A quick wipe with a damp cloth is all you need to keep it clean.

#4 Rattleware 58-Milimeter Round-Handled Tamper, Long

This mid-range steel and plastic tamper is a popular choice with home baristas who are upgrading from the cheap plastic tamper that came with their machine. It’s a safe choice that works well for the majority of people.

Features and Specifications:

  • Stainless steel base
  • Round easy-grip handle made of ABS plastic
  • Weighs 13.5 ounces
  • Slightly polished base for clean tamp
  • Fits 58 mm portafilter basket

Rattleware 58-Milimeter Round-Handled Tamper

This durable tamper fits comfortably into your hand and is well-made enough to stand up to a lot of use. Its ergonomic design gives you plenty of control over how much pressure you apply when you tamp.

Rattleware 58-Milimeter Round-Handled Tamper, Long (Kitchen)


List Price:$39.95 USD
New From:$38.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

The contrast between the high polish of the stainless steel and the black handle make it a good choice if you’ve got a contemporary style in your kitchen. After all, an important part of a tamper’s job is looking good!

#5 58 mm Espro Calibrated Tamper Flat Base

This one costs quite a bit more than the others on our list, but it has a pretty clever trick up its sleeve. It’s from the same brand that manufactures a unique French Press too!

Features and Specifications:

  • Calibrated to deliver 30 pounds of force
  • Stainless steel base
  • Anodized aluminum handle, black
  • Weighs 16 ounces
  • One-year factory warranty, no questions asked

58 mm Espro Calibrated Tamper Flat Base

This tamper is calibrated to deliver exactly 30 pounds of pressure every time. When you press on it, you will feel a subtle but distinct click when you reach 30 pounds. This takes the guesswork out of tamping and allows you to control one of your variables perfectly.

Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper, 58mm (Kitchen)


List Price:$99.95 USD
New From:$99.00 USD In Stock
Used from:$55.00 USD In Stock

The Espro is a good espresso tamper even for a relatively new home barista who hasn’t quite mastered even tamping pressure yet. It would also be a good choice for a low-volume café or restaurant where you want consistent results but your staff don’t get much chance to practise pulling shots. For a really high-volume café, this tamper may not be sturdy enough to last in the long run, and experienced baristas may prefer the flexibility of a non-calibrated tamper.

Many people like to keep things always in arranged manner and these tampers too need some docking station to keep them perfect. Motta also sells a complete kit Motta Tamping Station Kit which includes tamping station, stainless steel tamper holder and professional flat base 58mm coffee tamper. This might also be a good option for your kitchen to look perfect.

Motta MO-00680/KT Motta Tamping Station Kit, Brown (Kitchen)


List Price:$115.22 USD
New From:$115.22 USD In Stock
Used from:$75.92 USD In Stock

Although, there are many other options of espresso tamper available in the market but the preciseness varies a lot. In the above list, we’ve tried to include only those which are perfect in giving a precise push to coffee grounds.

About

Hi guys, my name is Amit Ahuja and I am writing about coffee from since 2012. The love for coffee and gadgets bought me here to write about coffee makers, coffee grinders or any coffee gadget.

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