All professional espresso tampers, from all manufacturers, are 58mm in diameter. It’s the chosen standard for all commercial espresso machines and most home ones. While a number of good espresso machines uses other size portafilters (and thus tampers), it’s generally a good size to see 58mm equipment.
If you are in the market for a 58mm espresso tamper, we are here to help. The cafe world has settled on 58mm tampers as being the standard, which means there are a huge number of options, but navigating those options can be a challenge.
Espresso Tampers Explained
An espresso tamper is a basic tool: it’s designed to apply pressure to finely ground coffee which is contained within a portafilter basket. The application of pressure is important because otherwise the water from the espresso machine would simply run through the grinds, leaving you with hot, brown water instead of thick, sweet espresso. Tampers come in a huge range of materials, a wide range of prices, with significant levels of difference in precision, style, and technology behind them.
This video is one of our favorites. It’s an fine introduction to espresso tampers…
While espresso tampers come in all shapes and sizes, this article will be focused on 58mm tampers. Other resources can provide help on other sizes, such as the best 49mm espresso tampers. but we’ll focus on 58mm ones for casual, enthusiasts, and professional use, with some examination of high-end “exotics.”
Espresso Machines With 58mm Tampers
This is a brief list of the most popular espresso machines that use 58mm tampers. It is by no means exhaustive or a list of recommendations, rather it’s sorted by popularity (based on our best guess!).
- Rancilio Silvia: The most popular espresso machine with first time buyers who are looking for spend under $1000 on their espresso machine. This machine has a reputation for scaling with the buyer and lasting for years after the purchase. It include a flimsy plastic tamper that is essentially garbage.
- Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso: This is one of the top-reviewed espresso machines. The $1200 price point means it’s focused on high-end home users and prosumers, as well as people who trust Breville’s increasingly formidable brand.
- La Marzocco Linea Mini: This is a full-on professional espresso machine — from the king of espresso machine makers — scaled down for home use. This is the end-game espresso makers for a huge number of people that make espresso at home. It’s a pro-grade machine, so it uses a 58mm tampers, just like its counterparts in coffee shops.
- Gaggia Classic: No longer made, but this is another affordable, classic machine with a cult like following from home baristas.
- Profitec Pro 300: This is a killer home machine. It’s compact, has dual boilers, as a PID with a display, has a sweet boiler pressure gauge, and sells for around $1500. It’s a perfect home machine if you want something with some very cool tech built in, especially now that it’s sold in a 15 amp variety (110V version).
Best 58mm Tampers Under $30
These are our favorite budget espresso tampers in 58mm size. These are generally affordable tampers designed for home users, but some coffee shops prefer to use cheaper tamper since they get so much wear and tear and have been known to take a drop now and then.
- Rattleware 58mm: Despite being officially titled the “Rattleware 58-Milimeter” tamper, this is popular option with budget-focused tamper buyers. It’s clean-looking with a black ABS plastic handle and a stainless steel business end. This is a 58.00mm tamper with near perfect reviews on Amazon and it’s been sold there since 2008 so you know someone would have pointed out flaws by now!
- Luxhaus 58mm Calibrated Tamper: Calibrated tampers are all the rage. They let you know when you’ve tamped hard enough, without going overboard. Luxhaus has been a popular option for Amazon buyers for years.
- Omgogo Stainless Steel: Simple, effective, and pretty good looking… all for just $15.
- Yolococa 30Lbs Calibrated Pressure Tamper: This is a clone of the calibrated tamper from Espro, but at $25 instead of $100, you’ll have to decide it that matters to you. A calibrated tamper will “click” when you hit a preset amount of pressure. This way you know when to stop pushing the coffee down and you’ve elimination one major variable from your espresso making! It’s worth nothing that a very similar product, also with good reviews, is sold by LuxHaus.
- Rattleware 58mm Round-Handled Tamper: Rattleware is a top name in functional coffee tools. Basically if you need something affordable that works, and will continue to work for a long time, Rattleware is a go-to company. What their products lack in flash, they make up for in reasonable pricing and sensible design.
- SMKF Palm Tamper: One of the hottest styles of tampers is what is known as a palm tamper. These don’t have the raised handle of a normal tamper, and generally short and flat. They used to be in the exclusive realm of boutique, $100+ offerings, but now they are available for much less (under $25 in this case).
- Rhinoware 58.4mm Coffee Tamper: As the name would suggestion Rhinoware is known for tough, no-nonsense coffee gear. This $30 tamper is exactly that — no frills, no unnecessary designs, just an accurately tamper that is sold in both 58.0 and 58.4mm varieties so you can get exactly what you need for your basket.
Best 58mm Tampers under $100
Spending between $30 and $100 will be a sweet spot for many buyers. Under $30 and you might be limited with options won’t see too many premium brands, but spending over $100 on a tamper might seem excessive, even to people with $2000 grinders!
- Barista Hustle Tamper: Barista Hustle started off as a newsletter for coffee professionals, but they have since released their own tamper. It summarily became a cult hit and is constantly sold out. This is a pro-quality tamper for just $50 (it was originally $40). It has a Nylacast Polyacetal (like a high-end plastic) handle and replaceable stainless steel bases that are precision made, down to the the fraction of a millimeter. They recently released a black version which is made of aluminum as well.
- Thor Tampers: If you love the idea of an all-wood tamper than Thor is the brand to get. Note this is fine for home use but probably not the best for commercial settings. Their 58mm tampers start at about $80.
Best 58mm Tampers Over $100
- Kafatek LevTamp: Makers of the popular Monolith grinder, Kafatek also makes lust-worthy custom tampers. They aren’t cheap — often over $150 — but these are endgame tampers for many espresso enthusiasts.
- Saint Athony Industries Thoroughgood: This is a boutique coffee equipment brand that makes a small range of premium goods. They make the tampers for La Marzocco’s high-end home store, which is a pretty amazing seal of approval. The tampers aren’t cheap though, expect them to start at $149 for a hardwood and steel combination tamper.
- Reg Barber: The most respected brand in espresso tamping. They have a huge range of tampers in all diameters. Of course, they have many offersing in 58mm, from the mundane to the exotic.
|Reg Barber||Wood, Brs, Cpr, SS, Al||$80+||Yes||Reg Barber|
Espro Calibrated Tamper Review
Yes, yes, we know — this is an article about 58mm tampers, but our evidence suggests that many of you are coming in in the market for a 54mm tamper. So here are some quick suggestions for you…
- 54mm Calibrated Tamper: This looks to be the LuxHaus calibrated tamper sold under a different brand (Dfamy). If that’s the case, this is a popular and reliable option.
- Reg Barber: Reg Barber makes tampers in 0.1mm increments in a huge range of sizes, so if you want 54.2mm or 54.4mm, they have you covered.
- Breville Tamper: This is a replacement tamper for a number of Breville espresoo machines. It has a magnetic top that allows the tamper to stick right to the machine, and a sleek, low-profile design that’s a great match for the Breville.
- Krome Dispense C2275: For a tamper that has such good reviews and a stainless steel body, $25 looks to be a steal.
- Maya Premium 54mm: This tamper is popular in the 49mm and 53mm sizes, but it’s also sold in 54mm if that’s what you need. It’s differentiate from the competition by its handsome, angular design and Delrin handle.
Espresso Tamper Basics
A tamper is a simple device, but it’s worth brushing on on the basics. The factors you’ll want to keep in mind are Price, Precision, Materials, Weight, Technology, Base, Ergonomics, and Design.
This will mostly be self-explanatory, but some are worth thinking through. For example, you can get a high-end espresso tamper with a polished brass base. It’ll looking amazing… until it tarnishes. Do you want to maintain it over time? Or you can buy a wood handle tamper that matches your kitchen, but how much does the selection of wood type effect the weight? Or lots of espresso tampers are “calibrated” so that they will help you level your tamper. Sounds awesome, right? Do you always use the same 25-30 pound tamper or do you like to experiment with heavier/lighter tamps?
Ultimately the main question for most people will be price. If you are a professional user who is making dozens of drinks a day then ergonomics and durability will be a factor (as will the ability to take a drop) but for the home user price and design tend to be the major factors in making one’s selection.
Should I buy a convex or flat base tamper?
A flat base. While companies have tried to sell buyers on the virtues of convex tamper bases, there is no evidence (anecdotal or tested) that supports the use of convex bases. Flat base tampers are the default and the ones used by almost all professional and home baristas. While experimenting with tampers and tamping technique is a good idea, the single most important quality of a tamp is the amount of pressure and that's all the vast majority of
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