In a rush? Our top pick for the best espresso tamper is the Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper.
Does your espresso taste a bit off?
The reason might be because you’re still using that plastic tamper your espresso machine came with.
You don’t need to be a barista to make excellent coffee, but you do need proper tools for the job, including a tamper.
Luckily, I’ve already done thorough research to find the best espresso tampers out there.
In this article, I’ll share with you what I’ve found, from the best models to the most important features of a tamper.
Let’s get straight to the point!
Best Espresso Tamper: Our Top 7 Picks
- Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper (Best Overall)
- Rattleware Round Handle Tamper (Most Durable)
- Zoie And Chloe Stainless Steel Espresso Tamper (Best Design)
- LuxHaus Calibrated Espresso Tamper (Best For Gifting)
- MATOW Dual Head Coffee Leveler (Best 2-in-1 Leveler And Tamper Tool)
- Fino Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper (Affordable Option)
- Crema Coffee Distributor/Leveler & Hand Tamper (Best Size Options)
Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper
I feel like this model by Espro is great for both beginners and pro baristas. With a 30-pound calibration that assures you tamp the grounds the same every time, you can make great coffee in the morning when you’re only half-awake.
What I love the most about this coffee tamper is that it comes in different sizes: 45, 51, 57, and 58 millimeters. So no matter how big or small your coffee machine is, you can definitely find a suitable tamper.
This tamper has a really good ergonomic handle that feels comfortable and naturally fits into your hand. It’s simple-looking, but it does the job really well. I do wish it was dishwasher-safe, but it’s easy to clean anyway.
Not going to lie, this tamper is quite expensive. In fact, it costs almost as much as a basic espresso machine. But its quality and performance really do prove its price, and it’s something that’s going to last you a lifetime (unlike most machines).
- Comes in a variety of sizes, so you can find the one that suits your espresso maker model
- A 30-pound calibration makes it easy for you to achieve the right pressure every time
- With a “click” that lets you know you’ve reached the desired tamping pressure, even a newbie can get perfect results
- Made of stainless steel and anodized aluminum, this is a product that you can pass down to your kids
- You’ll have to set aside a bit more money to purchase it
Rattleware Round Handle Tamper
To me, this tamper looks sturdy enough to survive through an apocalypse. After all, it’s made of heavy-duty materials. It features a stainless steel base while the handle is made of ABS thermoplastic.
Now, before you start shaking your head at the thought of plastic, let me tell you – ABS is the same material Lego bricks are made of. If that doesn’t speak of its sturdiness, I don’t know what does.
The design is pretty simple – a round metal tamper base with a black handle. It might not be the first thing to catch your eye, but your opinion will definitely change if you try it out. It weighs about a pound and it just feels right in your hand.
The handle, however, is a bit shorter than most models on this list. For that reason, it might not be suitable for people with large hands.
- It’s made of high-quality, durable materials, so it can last you a very long time
- You can wash it in the dishwasher and save you the hassle of doing it yourself
- The non-slip finish makes the handle very comfortable in hand and easy to use
- Considering its price and feature, this product gives you really good value for money
- The shorter handle might be difficult to use for people with large hands
Zoie And Chloe Stainless Steel Espresso Tamper
I love colorful things, so naturally, this tamper by Zoie and Chloe instantly caught my eye. But it didn’t take long for me to realize the tamper is not just pretty to look at, but also a very good product.
The handle comes in three color options: rose gold, blue and red. I love that you can play around with colors and make your coffee-making area fun and vibrant. The handle can also be unscrewed, which makes cleaning a much easier task.
Speaking of cleaning, this tamper should be hand washed only. Luckily, that’s pretty easy to do. In most cases, you can just grab a wet towel and wipe off the excess grounds.
With a diameter of 49 millimeters, this tamper is a bit smaller than standard ones. Still, there are plenty of models on the market with portafilters of this size. But if you’re really set on this design, don’t worry. The brand makes tampers in a standard 58 size, as well.
- Affordable – won’t break the bank
- Colorful design can bring a bit of vibrance to your coffee making station
- This model comes in both 49 and 58-millimeter versions, so you can find the one that suits your machine
- The shape of the handle makes it very convenient for holding and pressing down
- The colors might not be as vibrant as they appear in pictures
LuxHaus Calibrated Espresso Tamper
Not going to lie – this model got me at the packaging. It comes in a beautiful red velvet pouch that literally speaks “royalty.” If your friend loves making espresso, this coffee tamper is a perfect present for practically any occasion.
This is a calibrated tamper, so you can take the guesswork out of tamping. You can rest assured you’ll achieve consistent pressure each time.
This tamper comes in three sizes: 49, 51 and 58 millimeters. This covers about 99% of espresso machines out there, so you can surely find the one that suits yours.
The base is made of stainless steel with no coating, so you don’t need to worry about metal flakes ending up in your coffee. The handle is finely polished and has a nice grip, so it sits really well in your hand.
Aside from offering great products, this brand also has really good customer service. If you end up not being satisfied with the product, for whatever reason, they’ll send you a new one or give you money back. In any case, you’re winning.
- It comes in three sizes, so you can surely find a model that fits your machine
- The elegant red velvet pouch it comes in makes it a perfect gift for your espresso-loving friends
- The wide ergonomic handle makes it easy for you to apply pressure without hurting your hand
- With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth or money back
- You need to adjust the spring yourself to achieve 30-pound pressure
MATOW Dual Head Coffee Leveler
You can tamper all you want, but if the grounds aren’t leveled correctly, they won’t extract evenly. And we all know that the final result won’t be satisfactory.
That’s why I love these 2-in-1 tools. Why tap and use your fingers, when you can use the blade side of this dual-head model by Matow and instantly achieve perfectly leveled grounds.
Then, turn it around and extend the flat side to the desired height. It only takes a gentle press to get the perfect result. With this product, it’s clear that you don’t need a handle to achieve adequate tampering pressure.
This 2-in-1 tool is made of aluminum and stainless steel, so you can rest assured it’s food-safe and very durable. However, you shouldn’t wash it in the dishwasher as aluminum can get discolored. Instead, just wipe it clean with a damp towel.
This specific model is 53 millimeters in diameter, which is slightly smaller than the standard size. But don’t worry, the brand also makes them in other sizes, so you can definitely find the model that suits your machine.
- It’s also a coffee distributing tool, so you don’t have to level the grounds with your fingers anymore
- You can set the desired tamping depth, so it works perfectly every time regardless of the amount of coffee you’re using
- It can be easily disassembled, which makes cleaning an easy task
- For a 2-in-1 tool, it’s quite affordable
- The grounds can get retained in the grooves of the distributor part
Fino Dual-Sided Espresso Tamper
This is a dual side tamper, with one side being 50 and the other 55 millimeters. This means it’s suitable for most espresso machines on the market.
The main reason why this espresso coffee tamper is so affordable is the material. It’s made of aluminum, which isn’t as heavy as steel. This model, in particular, weighs only 4 pounds. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the perfect pressure with it.
Aluminum is also rather durable, so you can rest assured this tamper can last you a very long time. Just make sure to hand wash it with warm, soapy water. Stay away from dishwashers, as the finish can get dull and stained.
- Compared to most models on the market, this tamper is least likely to hurt your wallet
- It features different-sized tampers on each side, so it fits most espresso machines out there
- The large handle makes it easy for everyone to use it, regardless of the hand size
- When cleaned properly, it can last a very long time
- Not as comfortable in hand as most models on this list
Crema Coffee Products | 53.3mm Coffee Distributor/Leveler & Hand Tamper
I feel like the brand has thought of everything when making this 2-in-1 leveler and tamper. Not only does it come in different sizes, but there are also several color options available. My personal favorite is rose gold, but you can also get the product in black or silver if you prefer.
I love how easy this product is to use. You’ve got a grounds distributor on one, and a tamper tool on the other side. And in case any side can’t reach coffee, just twist it and you’ll increase its depth.
This 2-in-1 coffee tool weighs just a bit over a pound, so there’s really no need to push hard when tampering. Gentle pressure on the top is more than enough to achieve the perfect result.
One thing to keep in mind though – coffee grounds can remain in grooves on the distributor side, so it’s important that you clean it after each use. But because the middle part is made of aluminum, you should avoid using the dishwasher.
- Comes in a variety of sizes, so there’s a model that suits your coffee maker perfectly
- With three color options available, you can find the one that suits your kitchen color scheme the best
- Both the tamper and the distributor are independently adjustable, so they’ll work regardless of the amount of coffee you’re using
- It’s rather heavy, so achieving proper pressure is a piece of cake
- The grounds can get stuck in grooves on the distributor part
Things To Consider When Buying An Espresso Tamper
With most tampers on the market being pretty similar in appearance, picking the right one seems like an impossible task.
But it really isn’t, as long as you know what features to look for.
Here are some things you should consider before you go shopping.
Portafilter baskets come in different sizes, so it makes sense that tampers do too. Their sizes range from 49 to 59 millimeters in diameter. Home espresso machines usually have smaller portafilter baskets. Commercial-grade models, on the other hand, feature a 59-millimeter one.
You can find the size of your portafilter basket on the packaging of your espresso machine. But if you threw the box away, don’t worry. Just grab a ruler and measure it.
One thing to keep in mind though – you should choose a model that’s about 0.5 millimeters shorter in diameter than your espresso machine’s basket.
A tamper bigger than that probably won’t be able to fit in. A tamper smaller than that won’t achieve a good seal around the edges, and won’t do properly what’s designed to do.
Most espresso machines come with plastic tampers. And the biggest issue with them is that they’re too light. As a result, you need to put all of your strength into tampering your grounds properly.
But who wants to waste energy on that? Especially if it’s early in the morning and you’re barely keeping your eyes open.
That’s the main reason we want to avoid using plastic tampers.
Instead, you should look for something heavier, like stainless steel. Tampers made of this material usually weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, which is ideal for applying the right amount of pressure.
Calibrated tampers have a slight gap between the handle and the head that closes as you put the pressure on the tamper. Now, the whole point behind this mechanism is to achieve consistent pressure with every tamp.
This is super helpful for someone that’s still an espresso-making beginner. But it’s not a necessary feature for a barista.
Coffee Grounds Leveler
You’ve probably noticed that some models on this list are 2-in-1 products. While one side features a flat tamper, the other side comes with a blade leveler.
What this tool does is ensure that your coffee is evenly distributed inside the basket. That way, you can rest assured your coffee grounds get equally extracted.
Now, is this an absolutely necessary tool?
No, but it saves you the trouble of doing things yourself.
While 2-in-1 leveler and tamper tools are designed like a hockey puck, most traditional tampers feature a stamp-like handle. The handle is supposed to make it easier for you to push down and tamper coffee grounds.
Still, some people find those puck-like tampers easier to use. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.
To Sum Things Up
To make the best espresso, you need the best coffee tamper. Among tons of models on the market, the Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper surely stands out.
With a 30-pound calibration, this product assures the right pressure every time, even when you’re only half awake.
And since it comes in different sizes, you can find a model that suits your machine.
If there’s a tool that can make you look like a professional barista, it’s definitely this tamper.