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For a long time I was tempted to call this article the Second Annual Espresso Tamper Shootout, but I honestly don't know if this will become an annual thing.
However, in recent months I've been receiving a lot of tampers that didn't make my original Tamper Shootout article, and the opportunity of attending not one but two professional Baristi gatherings gave me the incentive to have a fresh look at espresso tampers, and present some results to you, the CoffeeGeek readership.
For this round of tamper evaluations, I had the help of many skilled and practiced professional Baristi, including some of the best on the planet. I attended the Barista Jam in Seattle in February, and I brought along eight tampers with me to get opinions and evaluations from many of the participants.
I also was a judge in an "in house" Barista competition for JJ Bean House of Coffee, one of Vancouver's best cafe / roasters, and I brought along the booty to that event to solicit opinions. What follows in this article is primarily the opinions of these Baristi, along with my own comments.
This detailed review is a bit different from the others - we're comparing a range of products, so the structure is quite different.
With regards to this being an annual thing - it might very well be. Three months after initially posting this review, I am now in possession of another four new tampers, so look for the 2004 shootout sometime in Feburary or March, 2004 :)