Espresso coffee tampers
What is the principle of tamping coffee?
The principle of tamping your espresso is to make sure your coffee puck is compacted evenly and at the right pressure, each time. It is possible to tamp incorrectly - the tamp can be skewed so that there was overpressure on one half and not enough on the other half. This would result in a watery puck and only a portion of the puck would be extracted. Once the filter basket has the correct amount of coffee, you need to compact it by 'tamping'. Tamping compresses the coffee into a uniform coffee puck, making it possible for the pressurized water to flow into the puck uniformly. This method extracts the best flavor from the coffee. If you didn't tamp it, the water would run through the coffee very quickly, resulting in a weak, watery coffee. If tamping is not flat, the pressurized water will look for the lowest spot, which will result in burned or bitter espresso.
What tamper should I choose?
You need to choose the correct size for your portafilter basket. Most stock baskets are slightly oversized to accommodate different tampers and as a result, you can use competition-sized tampers. Most E61 groups for example use baskets that are 59mm wide so 58.5mm is a good fit, even with a basket ridge. Marzocco-type single basket is so deep that you can use a 41mm tamper even though the basket is 59mm wide.
In a commercial environment, tampers present different issues. Different baristas use different pressures for the same puck, so you will have different extractions - resulting in inconsistent-tasting shots. There is a way around this common issue with Dynamo-metric coffee tampers. Dynamo-metric tampers allow everyone to tamp at the same pressure, removing one of the inconsistent variables in espresso. Dynamo-metric or click-press coffee tampers allow you to have consistent pressure, so you are not over or under-tamping the coffee puck Another issue in a busy environment is skewing the tamper unwittingly - a solution to this is to use a Level Palm Tamper. Palm tampers will prevent skewing and help remove channeling.
What about the tamper handle?
If you choose the very popular walnut tamper handle, we have portafilter and tamper bases to match. Walnut is harder to wear and won't flake. Moreover, it looks very attractive next to stainless steel equipment. We have a range of espresso coffee tampers, dynamometric coffee tampers, flat or concave coffee tampers, 41mm La Marzocco tamper, 53mm coffee tampers, DVG lever 49mm coffee tampers, 57mm coffee tampers, 58mm coffee tampers, and many other excellent products for making delicious coffee.
Do I need other espresso tools to help with tamping?
If you wish to improve your shot, your journey does not end with a coffee tamper.
Coffee leveler or distributor tools allow you to spread the coffee in the portafilter before you tamp evenly, and this levels the coffee and allows for a correct tamp. It removes channeling and coffee pouring out of the only spout. Using a 58.5 competition tamper will let you get the best from an IMS competition filter as you will have the coffee tamper at right angles to the coffee puck, reducing the chance of uneven extraction.
At Blue Star Coffee, we supply top coffee tampers for the USA, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Deutschland, France, and all over Europe.