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Coffee Tamper FAQ
We have put this FAQ page together from research and experience gained since 2004, to answer the most frequently asked requests for information, we hope you find this useful.
Q1: What sizes do the tampers come in?
A1: Our coffee tampers generally come in two sizes, these are 57mm and 58mm (sometimes quoted as 58mm).
Q2:What size tamper do I need for my espresso machine?
A2: Domestic machines like the Gaggia Classic, Espresso, Coffee and Tebe along with a fair few others do have the 57-58mm diameter filter baskets, as does the Rancilio Silvia. All commercial machines use 57-58mm filter baskets and therefore require a 57 or 58mm tamper with the exception of San Marco and La Spaziale commercial machines which use a 53mm standard.
A 58mm tamper can be used for the 57mm baskets but it must be noted that if you are using a low dose in a single or double basket with a wider diameter tamper then you run the risk of hitting the sides of the basket.
Q3:How can I tell which size tamper I need?
A3: You can determine this by simply measuring the inner diameter of the machines filter basket. You must be accurate with this, please do not second guess if you are unsure then mail us your machine and model name and will normally know what will work for you.
Q4:Is a convex tamper better than a flat version?
A4: This is subjective but in general the answer for most people is yes.
When we tamp we are compressing the coffee so that we can get the water to run through the grounds at an even pace. As the majority of baskets slope inwards at the edge the compression or tamp is more significant than to that of the middle. The domed middle of the convex compensates for this leading to a better level of compression relatively speaking across the expanse of coffee in the basket.
Even with a straight side walled basket the principle is to a degree the same, the wall is a barrier and therefore when the coffee being compressed comes into contact with that wall it is effectively being pushed in from two sides, so the outer edge ends up with more compression than the area of grounds sat within the more central area.
The feedback from people who buy the 58mm convex is that the improvement after using one of these is significant.
Q5:What metal is the bottom of the tampers made of?
A5: All the tampers are stainless steel based, the quality of every tamper we supply is excellent, all except the cheap plastic one, which is not very good at all.
Q6:What wood is used to make the wooden handled tampers?
A6: Unless stated we don't know, but the workmanship on these tampers is superb and is often commented on in feedback from customers who have purchased them.
Q7: What make is the tampers?
A7: Unless stated our tampers are unbranded, the quality is as good as any we have seen elsewhere and more often much better. The majority of our tampers are designed and manufactured in Italy, this is the preferred source, products from other regions may look similar but the quality is way inferior.
Q9: Do your wooden tampers have a metal disk in the top for tapping the side of the filter with?
A9: some do yes you can usually spot these in the product images, though the disk, as normal is neither removable or replaceable and will scratch over time if it is used for this purpose, it is better to use the palm of your hand for tapping, it is more accurate and after a while this becomes second nature.