Last Updated on September 22, 2021
What is a coffee tamper? For those who are new to the art of crafting coffee, a tamper is a tool. While holding the handle, you press the coffee grounds into a tight cake inside the basket of an espresso machine.
A well-tampered cake produces a quality drink every time. Interested? Fantastic. To help you pick your perfect tool, here are the best coffee tamper reviews of the year.
The Best Coffee Tampers Of 2021
The best coffee tamper is the Espresso Tamper by De’Longhi. You can easily make the best home espresso with this heavy tamper. It’s not hefty, per se, but heavier than plastic tampers. For this reason, it can press espresso cakes to perfection every time. If looks are important in your kitchen, then this tool won’t disappoint. The handle, while being ergonomic and easy to grip, is also made of real quality wood. As a bonus, the stainless steel base adds more style and functionality.
- 5.1 x 5.1 x 9.1 cm.
- Quality materials.
- It is simple to clean.
- Works with minimal effort.
- With the wooden handle, this tamper might not be dishwasher safe.
- It only comes in one colour (blue)
This is undoubtedly one of the best espresso tampers. Sure enough, the stainless steel base offers several benefits. Not only does it press coffee grounds to perfection but it’s also easy to use and clean. This tamper will never break or deliver disappointing results with your coffee making hobby. As a bonus, it comes with a tamper mat to keep your tool in a certain place in the kitchen. The mat also doubles as protection for the tamper while not in use.
- The product measures 5.1 x 5.1 x 8 cm.
- Solid stainless steel.
- Dishwasher safe.
- It is heavy.
- The convex base takes some getting used to.
What makes life better? A single tool that can do many things. Indeed, this coffee machine tamper can be used to scoop coffee into the basket and also, of course, to press coffee grounds into an even cake. With this dual-purpose tool, made with high-grade plastic, you’ll enjoy a properly prepared portafilter and espresso shots. The tamper’s material also makes the base and handle a dream to clean.
- 20 x 7 x 3 cm.
- Doubles as a scooper.
- Quick to clean.
- Not as durable as metal tampers.
- If looks matter to you, this tamper might be too dull.
If you love a steel base and ergonomic wooden handle, then this is another great product. As one of the best espresso tampers on the market, the Italy-made quality becomes quickly evident once you use the tamper to compress the coffee inside the portafilter basket. The even tamping then produces the great-tasting coffee with minimal effort. The tool is also easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth, making this a truly useful and no-fuss espresso tamper.
- 5.8 x 5.8 x 9 cm.
- Crafted in Italy with high-quality materials.
- Easy to clean and use.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Doesn’t work with portafilter baskets smaller than 58 mm.
This high-quality espresso tamper is a solid choice if you’re looking for years of rich-tasting coffee. Made with the best wood and stainless steel parts, the size of the tamper fits most portafilter baskets. This versatile ability allows it to work with most coffee machines to create full-bodied Italian espressos. The design is also easy on the hands, quick to clean, and simple to store thanks to a special tamper mat.
- 5.1 x 9 cm.
- Beautiful wooden handle.
- Ergonomic design.
- The flat base builds perfect pressure inside the coffee puck.
- It doesn’t work with portafilter baskets smaller than 51 mm.
- Not dishwasher friendly.
This gorgeous coffee tamper is a must for the high-class kitchen. Heck, it will spruce up any room. Made from top-notch stainless steel and backed by a lifetime guarantee, you can rest assured that this tamper is among the best of its kind. Besides using it to compress coffee grounds to perfection, it’s also dishwasher friendly or you can just give it a quick wipe and it will be ready for the next coffee. You don’t have to worry that you’ll overdo it, either, if you have wrist issues, because this tamper is also ergonomic.
- 9.6 x 8.8 x 6.2 cm.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Food-grade stainless steel.
- It’s heavy.
- Cannot work with portafilter baskets that are too small.
Tired of over or under tamping your coffee? Then a calibrated tamper might be the answer. This model is easy to use, hold, clean, and does most of the work. Indeed, you’ll never have to worry about getting the correct tamper or technique ever again. With this calibrated tamper, you simply fill the portafilter basket, press down with the tamper and rotate until you feel a subtle click. Presto, your coffee powder is now a barista-grade puck that will produce authentic espresso shots.
- 11.2 x 6.4 x 5.8 cm.
- Calibrated model.
- It delivers professional tampering.
- It cannot work with baskets smaller than 58 mm.
- This is not a huge deal but the tool needs more attention during cleaning, especially the smaller area between the base and handle.
This is certainly one of the best espresso tampers on the market. While the majority of tampers have only one base, this silver beauty has two. Indeed, you can use the end of the handle like a smaller base. That way, the size of a coffee machine’s filter basket is no longer an issue. You can also use whichever base feels more comfortable to you. The stainless steel surface also has a mirror finish that makes it one of the best-looking tampers – and needless to say, a breeze to clean.
- 5.1 x 5.1 x 8 cm.
- The handle can also be used to compress coffee grounds.
- Easy to clean.
- A modern look.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- It’s heavy.
If you’re looking for another two-ended design, here’s a superb choice. The stainless steel makes this tamper a sleek addition to any kitchen, while also ensuring that the tool can be quickly and hygienically maintained. You can really just wipe the tamper down and do nothing else. But its main attraction is, of course, being a two-sided tool. Just like the previous product, this allows you more freedom with coffee basket sizes and your own personal choice for a better grip.
- 12 x 17 x 22 cm.
- A silver look.
- Two tampers in one tool.
- Works with many espresso makers.
- Does not work with baskets 50 mm and smaller.
- The flat ends of the tamper might not provide the best ergonomic support.
This tamper is another wood-and-metal classic. The flat base provides more even results than products with a convex base, while the wooden handle is designed for a good grip without straining the hand. The tool can be wiped down, like many other tampers, but if you prefer a good slosh in the dishwasher now and again, then you can simply unscrew the wooden handle and pop the stainless steel base into the washer. Overall, this tamper can compress coffee to a professional degree, supports the hand, and will last for years.
- A classy, old-school look.
- Easy to clean.
- Delivers intense taste.
- Cannot work with baskets smaller than 51 mm.
- Only the bottom is dishwasher friendly.
Coffee Tamper Buying Guide
Gather closer, kids. If you want to tamper espresso like a barista, here are the top tips to find your perfect kit.
Choose The Correct Size
This might be the number one mistake first-time buyers make. Unfortunately, tampers do not universally work with portafilter baskets.
The diameters of the tamper’s base and basket must be a match. It will also work if the tamper’s base is slightly smaller than the basket.
Calibrated Versus Non-Calibrated Tampers
Which one is best for you? Well, calibrated tampers are perfect for anyone who wishes to take the guesswork out of tamping. You’ll get the perfect compression each time. That doesn’t mean that non-calibrated tools are shoddy or inaccurate. Many people prefer them. This is a matter of personal choice but it’s best to decide before purchasing.
Choose Tampers Made With Quality Materials
Few people love it when a tool or appliance breaks down after a week. When that happens, the culprit is almost always the inferior materials that were used to build the product.
Tampers are no different. Those made with thin plastic, for example, are more prone to breakage (and probably deliver a subpar performance while they still work). The top materials for tampers must be durable and easy to clean.
At the end of the day, the winner here is stainless steel.
Look For A Heavy Tamper
Why? The heavier tampers deliver sterling service. Their weight helps to evenly compress the coffee to provide the professional consistency that you’re looking for. This is another reason why stainless steel tampers are reigning champions. Most are solid steel, which will give you all the weight that you need to tamp perfect pucks every time.
A Short Summary
A coffee tamper is an invaluable tool in the espresso-making process. Indeed, it can turn anyone into a barista in the comfort of their own home. To make sure that you purchase a tamper that will cater to your caffeine addiction for years to come, you need to checklist several factors. Make sure that you buy the correct size tamper, an item crafted from quality materials, and pick your favourite calibrated or non-calibrated model that’s also heavy enough to compress the coffee grounds with minimal effort.
Q: What Makes A Good Coffee Tamper?
A: What makes a good coffee tamper depends on a few factors. These include quality materials, an ergonomic design, and enough weight to compress coffee grounds without effort.
Q: How Do I Choose A Coffee Tamper?
A: You choose a coffee tamper by looking for a quality product that fits the diameter of your coffee machine’s filter basket.
Q: Why Are Coffee Tampers So Expensive?
A: Coffee tampers are expensive because they are specialist tools. However, there are tampers in the lower price range (they are made with plastic instead of metal). This means that tampers are affordable, no matter your budget.
Q: How Hard Should I Tamp My Coffee?
A: How hard you should tamp your coffee depends on what it takes to produce an even puck. That being said, great force is not always necessary. If you use a heavy tamper, like one made of stainless steel, you needn’t apply any extra pressure at all. A calibrated tamper will also do most of the work and then click to tell you when the coffee grounds are perfectly compressed.
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