EspressoGirl wrote:How does one choose a tamper when one cannot try it/hold it first?
Welcome to the World of Espresso, Sarah!
Seriously, not being able to touch, feel, or try out a tamper before you buy is
a problem, but at least it's less of a problem than buying an espresso machine or a grinder without trying it! You've already been referred to the Home-Barista Roadshow Tamper Review
. . . definitely
worth reading. Keep in mind, too, that most of the tampers can come with different handles. For example, Bumper
tampers can come with four different handles on either flat or covenx 58mm bases (let alone their other sizes). So with Bumper alone, you have eight options . . .
Personally, I have two Bumper
58 mm tampers, both convex -- one for my Elektra and one for my La Valentina. I also have a flat 49mm Compressore
Tamper with a round Cocobolo handle for my Olympia Cafferex., and a 45mm tamper for my Arraex Caravel.
The largest selection of tampers that I know of is at Espresso Parts NW
, but they don't carry everything by any means. For example, you can get Thor Tampers
direct; they are beautiful works of art. And Reg Barber
tampers can be ordered from various vendors (including Espresso Parts NW), but they will also make custom tampers just for you (and your machine).
The bottom line is you have to try them . . . and you may end up owning a couple . . . you can always sell them (or make sure of the return policy before you buy!).