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Is there a good tamper for the masses?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Is there a good...  
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

To answer the OP, I have not found any good espresso tampers at any major store. Even stores that sell espresso machines like Macys and Sur la table.   I did find one at a coffee shop that roasts their own beans and sell prosummer machines and accessories.  Most people have no access to that type of store.  So the web is the best you can do.

Frcn was a bit brusk but if you go to the link in his sig file you will find some of the best espresso info on the interwebs.   And Frcn if you don't know what you need, 1700000000000000808 hits can be over whelming.  

In fact, I am not sure I have seen a good write up on what to look for in a tamper.  I personally want flat bottoms because that is what my screen looks like to me, but now they have curves and ridges.  And my basket bottom is now curved. Maybe curved would be better...

Has anyone done testing on the new styles?  I press down on the metal more than the handle. I saw Clive's has some that have a stub they call a butterfly that is meant to be used like that. Anyone test those?  I guess I need to google Home-barista.com that is right up their alley.

 
Coffeenoobie

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break
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break
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

No offense  taken from you.......I'll follow your suggestion

Yes Frcn is a bit abrupt.......that's for him to work out.

My in-store choice was a failure for a rather elemental reason...the cheap thing just broke in half on the initial tamp....and the Chinese want to build an aircraft carrier?

My basic requirement...the thing is available for multiple uses

Sadly, since few espresso machines are being sold in coffee shops, there are few if any accessories around. Staarbucks even used to cary a nice one....heavily weighted, rubber grip...about $20.

Naturally, I'll check out the Web

Many thanks
.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

Tampers have to fit the basket. So if you change machines your tamper might not fit your new machine.  I use my old 49mm tamper to flatten cookies and smash garlic.  I could even flatten meat with it I guess.  It was so cheap, it was not worth the cost of shipping back when I realized my krups would not make espresso.  Not that it really fit the krups anyway.

 
Coffeenoobie

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frcn
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

You can't break this one:
Click Here (www.clivecoffee.com)
 I have one like that which is 12 years old.

This is a good one
http://www.amazon.com/53mm-Espresso-Tamper/dp/B001JYB5MS

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

or this:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

 
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emradguy
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

break Said:

Looking for a reasonably inexpensive but solid espresso tamper. Bought one last week @ Sur La Table (OK, I know...) for about $10..got one use out of it before it collapsed.

Suggestons?

Posted September 25, 2012 link

OK, I've read all the other posts here (or at least skimmed them).  Despite the little spat, I suggest easing up on Randy (frcn).  He's a seasoned enthusiast in this world, and in my opinion, somewhat of a guru here. He's answered more questions here than I've even read.  If you take a little time to be more specific in the future, you will find he's extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and very friendly and respectful.  Ok, he doesn't need me to come to his defense, and in truth, that's not my intent.  I'm just trying to get you and him back on good terms.

Ok, getting back to the thread...

My first thought is...by inexpensive, did you mean $10?  Next, how did one ever collapse even a pos tamper (I'm guessing this was a plastic thingy)?  You're tamp pressure must be through the roof.  Did you use a hammer or something, or were you just putting your entire body weight into it? You might want to get out a bathroom scale, so you can see what roughly 30# feels like.  I hope you took it back to Sur la Table for a refund.

 
.
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IMAWriter
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

emradguy Said:

OK, I've read all the other posts here (or at least skimmed them).  Despite the little spat, I suggest easing up on Randy (frcn).  He's a seasoned enthusiast in this world, and in my opinion, somewhat of a guru here. He's answered more questions here than I've even read.  If you take a little time to be more specific in the future, you will find he's extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and very friendly and respectful.  Ok, he doesn't need me to come to his defense, and in truth, that's not my intent.  I'm just trying to get you and him back on good terms.

Ok, getting back to the thread...

My first thought is...by inexpensive, did you mean $10?  Next, how did one ever collapse even a pos tamper (I'm guessing this was a plastic thingy)?  You're tamp pressure must be through the roof.  Did you use a hammer or something, or were you just putting your entire body weight into it? You might want to get out a bathroom scale, so you can see what roughly 30# feels like.  I hope you took it back to Sur la Table for a refund.

Posted September 25, 2012 link

Ron, thank for that elegant and thoughtful posting.
Randy, thanks for the links. I know you to be most generous, and usually not testy.
Bygones for everyone?!!
To our OP, specifics around here can really make things much easier to work with.
Also, the least said about stores such as you mention, the better, as they are not meant for SERIOUS coffee GEEKS, which you now, unfortunately are!

Good luck with your tamper search.
BTW, for me, i like to check the group scree first. Is it curved a bit? (Convex) Maybe go with a tamper with a slight convex curve to the base.
If the screen is flat, maybe try a flat bottom. MOST importantly, you want a pretty tight fit.
Many here have several tampers.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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frcn
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 9:18pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

Tamping is generally the most over-discussed and over-rated function in espresso preparation. You will find advice to tamp from 5 pounds to over 75 pounds, shapes recommended will be flat, convex, and even patterned faces. Nutate, joystick, NESW, and just smash and go.

The only things that matter:
1 - It fits your basket(s)
2 - It feels good in your hand
3 - Made well enough that it doesn't self-destruct the first time you use it

#2 is only so that you have control and can tamp level without difficulty. This might include mass, height, handle diameter, and possibly material of which it is made.

And somewhere down around #76, it looks pretty to you.

Now...

You never told us what #1 should be.
We cannot possibly help you with #2. It's a subjective decision.
#3 encompasses just about any tamper available except the one you bought.

The only tamper I have ever held and did not at all like (not that I have held all that many) was the Espro Dillinger, but I wear an XL glove and that could be a factor with this.

And, in response to a request in an earlier post in this thread, I openly request every manufacturer of tampers to send me one 58mm tamper of each model you produce and I will start a tamper review section on my website. It will be fairly worthless because I only posses one size of hands, but I will do my best.

"And he did speak upon the masses saying, go forth and tamp righteously, for ye shall be known as the baristas."

 
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hankua
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

Best deal is on the bay from precisiontampermaker aka Hai Pham and he can cut it any fractional size you want. Located in Florida and has super fast shipping.
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CMIN
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 9:38pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

hankua Said:

Best deal is on the bay from precisiontampermaker aka Hai Pham and he can cut it any fractional size you want. Located in Florida and has super fast shipping.

Posted September 25, 2012 link

yup awesome tampers with top notch quality, and sized perfectly to fit any basket.
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GVDub
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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 9:47pm
Subject: Re: Is there a good tamper for the masses?
 

C'mon, Randy - we could start a traveling round robin of tampers. Everybody uses one for a week and sends it to the next person on the list, then reviews it and starts using the next tamper. Hit a variety of hand sizes, basket types, machines, tamping routines. We could accumulate a massive database about tamper shopping, plus everybody would get to try out a whole bunch of tampers.
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