58mm Espresso Tampers
All professional espresso tampers, from all manufacturers, are 58mm in diameter. It's the chosen standard for all commercial espresso machines and nearly all high-end home ones.
If you are in the market for a 58mm espresso tamper, we are here to help. The commercial world has settled on 58mm tampers are being the standard, which means there are a huge number of options, but navigating those options is challenging.
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, and a significant level 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 site 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."
Popular Espresso Machines That Use 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 sorts by sales rank and popularity people with buyers who have a propensity to upgrade their tamper past the one included with their machine.
- 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: This is another affordable, classic machine with a cult like following from home baristas.
- La Marzocco Linea Mini: This machine was an instant classic the day it came out. After all, it was the first La Marzocco professional-quality espresso machine designed specifically for home users. It's since been adopted by many restaurants, small cafes, and traveling baristas as their on-location machine, but it was originally intended for demanding home buys. It's not cheap (starting at $4500) but it's more affordable than a GS3!
- 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 59mm Tampers - Budget (under $30)
- Rattleware 58-Millimeter: 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!
- 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.
- Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper: This is a super simple stainless steel tamper that sells for under $20 and comes with Amazon's seal of approval.
- Feenm Palm Tamp: 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 ($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 - Premium (Over $100)
- Reg Barber: The most respected brand in espresso tamping. They have a huge range of tampers in all diameters. Of course, they have many offering in 58mm, from the mundane to the exotic.
- 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.
||Wood, Brs, Cpr, SS, Al
Best 58mm Tampers - Mid-range ($31-$99)
- Barista Hustle White 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 $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.
Espro Calibrated Tamper Review
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?