You finally took the leap and bought an espresso machine. And this means you’re well on your way to delicious coffee at home. However, you’ll need some accessories to perfect the process. A coffee tamper is a key tool for achieving the perfect pour.
Tampers pack down the espresso grounds in the basket. When you tamp the grounds evenly and with the right amount of pressure, you can extract the delicious coffee flavors and oils. Most pros recommend tamping with about 15 pounds of pressure, but you’ll find a technique that works for you.
When shopping for a coffee tamper, you’ll notice that most of these products are made of a dense metal like iron, stainless steel or aluminum. These materials are heavy enough to pack the coffee grounds effectively, and they can last a lifetime when cared for properly. You’ll just need to consider which handle material and shape you prefer. There are also double-sided tampers that act as two tools in one.
So you can get started on your at-home lattes, we’ve rounded up some of the best coffee tampers available online.
1. RSVP International Dual Sided Coffee Tamper
This coffee and espresso tamper has duel ends, one measuring two inches in diameter and the other 2.5. The heavy aluminum tamp is suitable for both professional baristas and novices. You can easily hand wash the tamper with soapy water, and the material will resist corrosion over time. Be sure to check the diameter of your machine’s portafilter before purchasing.
Pros: The coffee tamper is easy to rinse clean, and the grounds won’t stick to it. The flat tamping surface helps to pack the grounds evenly.
Cons: This tamper isn’t dishwasher safe. The product might have rough edges from manufacturing.
2. HIC Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper
This dual-sided espresso tamper is made of aluminum and weighs just four ounces. The lightweight design gives you more control over the tamp, and the even surface disperses the tamping pressure. The two sides are 50 and 55mm in diameter, which fit most espresso machines. This product is hand-wash only and resists surface damage from the coffee oils.
Pros: The product won’t tarnish when you hand wash it. The two sides are versatile.
Cons: The actual diameter might be slightly smaller than advertised, so it might leave a gap when tamping. The tamper might feel too lightweight for some users.
3. Apexstone Coffee Tamper
This coffee and espresso tamper is made of iron and coated in chrome. These materials prevent rusting and corrosion through regular use. Since the tamper is on the heavy side, you can easily apply pressure to the coffee grounds. You can purchase either a 51 or 58mm tamper, depending on the size of your espresso machine.
Pros: This tamper weighs around 21 ounces, so it has a sturdy feel. The handle is comfortable to hold.
Cons: The tamper head screws onto the handle, and the pieces may rust if moisture accumulates.
4. LuxHaus 51mm Espresso Tamper
LuxHaus’ coffee tamper is made of food-safe stainless steel and has an ergonomic handle. The smooth, flat base presses the grounds down evenly, which improves the flavor of your coffee. This product comes with a velvet storage bag. You can hand wash and dry the tamper before placing it in the bag, keeping the product clean and free of scratches.
Pros: There are three tamper sizes available. The sizes are accurate and compatible with most espresso machines.
Cons: The handle shape might not be comfortable for every user.
5. De’Longhi Coffee Tamper
This coffee tamper is made in Italy. The design features a stainless steel base and wooden handle, which is weighted for an even tamp. The base has a 51mm diameter and is compatible with most pump espresso machines. However, be sure to check the measurements on your machine before purchasing. Measuring 3.7 inches in height, the tamper is easy to store.
Pros: The natural wood handle is comfortable to hold. This product is easy to wipe clean after use.
Cons: This tamper is only available in one size. The paint on the handle might start peeling with use.