How to choose a tamper? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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Team HB

#11: Post by cannonfodder »

I think having a perfect tamper fit is less critical than most think. Just get a standard 58mm and not worry about it. Unfortunately the handle is very subjective, what feels best in your hand (which is the most critical measurement) can only be decided on by trying. Try out a Reg Barber, see how it feels then work on what you want. Is the handle to tall, to short, the handle ball to big, small, etc... Based on the measurement of the know handle, you can make an educated guess as to what will fit your hand best.
Dave Stephens

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#12: Post by drdna »

EspressoGirl wrote:I have some RSI problems from typing, so ergonomics are crucial to me.
I would really recommend you strongly consider Les Albjerg's custom tampers at He is a very nice guy and will make a custom tamper for you to your specifications. That way you can have one that fits your hand perfectly, which I think would be important. He makes a special type of tamper called a Ridgeline that keeps you from tamping unevenly, and I think this would be just what you would want to make the job of tamping easy and stress-free on the hands.

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#13: Post by zin1953 »

cafeIKE wrote:Handle shape can be completely irrelevant
As long as it's comfortable . . . :wink:
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#14: Post by Bushrod »

I just got a new tamper from Coffeelab Design. The height is adjustable. I really like it! The exchange rate is pretty good right now.
Rich A

LMWDP #131


#15: Post by Theodore »

...And if somebody,is of some age,and feels a pain in the shoulder,then a Macap CPS auto tamper,is a must.
I bought one,and I feel,very well.
(And the quality in my cup,is way better).
PS.And if there are much money,there is a true professional auto tamper by Mazzer,the X-Bar,which is 18Kg of weight,but costs some Euros 800.00,plus postage.
Espresso uber alles.

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#16: Post by JohnB. »

Bushrod wrote:I just got a new tamper from Coffeelab Design. The height is adjustable. I really like it! The exchange rate is pretty good right now.

I'll second the Coffeelab recommendation. I have a beautiful Thor tamper as well as a Bumper but the Coffeelab is the only one that fits my baskets correctly. The Thor is just a little tight & can get hung up depending on the dose.


#17: Post by Lockman »

I will third the Coffee lab as a very nice stainless tamper. Good people out back as well. I also picked up 3 tamps on Ebay. 2 are very nice and the other is POS. Came pre-dented and sticks in the basket. It went by the name of "Lava tamp" in the auction but I could find no such name on the packaging. It is hollow as well and I would not recommend that style from experience. The other tamps were solid convex base and much better construction. Also about the same price... No where near the functional beauty of the Coffee Lab but the the tamp result is the same.
LMWDP #226.

"It takes many victims to make a culinary masterpiece"

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EspressoGirl (original poster)

#18: Post by EspressoGirl (original poster) »

Thanks to all you nice people who responded so far. I am seriously considering an adjustable (handle) tamper. Any caveats about that?

And is CoffeeLab stuff only available from Australia?

I have heard good things about the Bumper Tampers. Don't remember if they had adjustable ones. There is an adjustable tamper I saw on Whole Latte Love site (different brand) that someone said is perfect for my Gaggia Classic basket. I was wondering if the adjustable ones are unstable and if the handle keeps unscrewing -- I guess that could be a problem.

EspressoGirl (original poster)

#19: Post by EspressoGirl (original poster) »

BTW, does anyone know anywhere in NYC one can actually try a tamper ? (I doubt it but thought I would ask).

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#20: Post by cannonfodder »

Try a cafe, a real cafe that still grinds and tamps. Just tell them you are looking at tampers and wondered if you could see the ones they use, and get their opinion on them. 9th street and Cafe Grumpy are both in Manhattan.
Dave Stephens