I have been involved with espresso for several years, but only serious for the last year. I only began reading more about espresso, online, a few months ago, and that is when my fever began. Up until then, I didn't realize how important a good tamp (and by extension a good tamper) was to the process of making good espresso. After I got a good machine, I realized that my old aluminum tamper was just not cutting it. I attempted to use it on a bathroom scale to make my tamps more consistent, but found this to be very cumbersome.
Enter the Espro. I found it one day while reading various coffee sites on the internet, and purchased one the same day. I initially planned on using it as a training tool, and then buying a "real" tamper once I got a feel for a 30 pound tamp. To be honest, I do not feel that a 30 pound tamp is the "ideal" tamp, but rather I feel it is more important to just be able to get reproducible tamps. I was very excited when the Espro arrived.
The packaging was not too impressive, and was actually fairly flimsy. My first impression was how well built this thing is! The handle is hardened aluminum that is black, and feels delightful in the hand. The base is beautifully machined stainless steel. It seems very well put together.
The instructions were kind of confusing: they depicted 2 different tamp methods, but the instructions were in a format that was mostly pictures. I soon decided to ignore the pictures, and just try the thing out. This was easy enough to do, as it doesn't really work any differently than any other tamper. I pulled my personal best shot (up until then) on my very first tamp with the Espro. After a little bit of dialing in of the grinder (this was before I got my Mazzer Mini, so the dialing in was a somewhat difficult process) I was pulling excellent shot after shot.
It only took a couple of weeks use for me to decide I would not be buying another tamper. I just really like using the Espro, and I have been very satisfied with my espresso shots. Naturally, they keep improving, and I know there is plenty of room for even more improvement. Still in search of that God Shot!!
What I really enjoy, is the feel of the Espro in my hand. It just fits so well! I also like the subtle, but very satisfying, click when the proper pressure has been applied.
Overall, I am thrilled with the Espro. I would purchase it again, even though I do feel it was too expensive.