49mm Espresso Tampers
Espresso is all about pressure. The tamper is the human side of the pressure equation.
If you are in the market for a 49mm espresso tamper, you've come to the right place. The only goals of this site are to connect you with the right tamper for your espresso machine and to advocate for 49mm portafilters. Sure, the commercial world has settled on the 58mm tamper, and we're totally fine with that, but 49mm tampers shouldn't have to be second class citizens! This site will identify and connect coffee lovers with the best 49mm tampers sold today.
Espresso Tampers Explained
An espresso tamper is a very simple object: it's a tool, usually made of plastic, metal, wood, or some combination of the three, that applies pressure to the ground coffee once it's placed in a the espresso machine's portafilter basket. A good tamper is sturdy, precise, ergonomic, consistent, and easily cleaned. It does not have to be expensive, stylized, spring-loaded or in any way fancy.
This video is an excellent introduction to espresso tampers:
Importantly, espresso tampers are categorized by their diameter because this determines which portafilter baskets they can be used with, which determines which portafilter can be used, which is determined by your espresso machine. The standard size for professional espresso machines in cafe and other professional environments is 58mm. Some home machines are 58mm, and some aren't. This site is dedicated to 49mm tampers, which are used on a select number of espresso machines, a number of which have built up cult followings over the years.
Espresso Machines That Use 49mm Tampers
Here is a list of well-known espresso machines that utilize 49mm tampers. It's not an exhaustive list, but we'll try to cover the big ones. The 49mm size is very popular with lever-action espresso machines in particular.
Best 49mm Tampers - Budget (under $30)
- Zoie + Chloe Stainless Steel Espresso Coffee Tamper: Handsome, functional, and just $18 -- this is *the* tamper for people who are looking to spend under $20. Available in red or blue aluminum handles matched with a hefty stainless steel base, feel free tp stop your search right her.
- RSVP Terry's Tamper:This super simple all-metal tamper is just $7.33. It's small, simple, and all you need to get the job done. It has 1700 reviews on Amazon and nearly a perfect rating. There are scattered complaints of this breaking though so maybe spend more at get something a big sturdier if you really like you tamp hard.
- RSVP Stainless Steel Espresso Tamper: A simple stainless steel tamper that is incredibly strong reviews and is shipped (and backed up by) Amazon Prime. At $15 you really can't go too wrong with this model, especially given the nearly 5-star rating with over 200 positive reviews. Available with a red or clear top.
- Orphan Espresso HLE IIT Classic: Also known as the "Flat Disk Tamper" this is a simple, well-made tamper that is available in a number of handle shapes and base diameters, including 49.4mm. It's a steal at $32.50.
- Omgogo Stainless Steel Coffee Tamper: At under $20 with a rosewood handle and a stainless steel base, this is going to be a big hit with many buyers. The wood makes it look much more fancy than it actually is.
- Yutro Stainless Steel Tamper: This model uses a super clean, super simple angular design. It's pure stainless steel with no emblishment or design flourishes. This tamper would look perfect next to a Europiccola.
Best 49mm Tampers - Premium (Over $100)
- Reg Barber: The most famous brand in espresso tampers. Their design, which utilizes a removable base, had base diameters at 49.0mm up to 50.0mm in 0.1mm increments.
- Kafatek: High-end, custom and semi-custom, ultra-precision tampers made out of exotic materials. Kafatek, who is famous for its Monolith grinder, mostly makes 58.4mm tampers, but does small batches of 49mm bases in their Bellissimo and Levtamp designs. Starting at $160.
- Espro Calibrated Tamper: This tamper is built around a spring mechanism that is factory-calibrated to compress at exactly 30 pounds. This is the ideal amount of force for tamping your espresso, so as soon as the spring compresses you can let up on the tamper knowing you've down your job perfectly.
- Naked Portafilter: This brand, mostly known for their bottomless 49mm portafilters also makes 49mm tampers with a "pencil handle" -- it actually looks like it's made of a bundle of pencils that have been laquered together and shaped. They start at $120. Exotic wood handles (bubinga, wenge, and zebrano) are available as well.
||Wood, Brs, Cpr, SS, Al
Best 49mm Tampers - Mid-range ($31-99)
- Thor Tampers:If you love the idea of an all-wood tamper than Thor is the number one brand to keep an eye out for. Starting at $80.
- Olympia Tamper: The matching tamper for the Olympia Cremina, complete with a vibrant red handle and Olympia's iconic walking man logo. Priced at $90.
- Orphan Espresso One-Piece Tamper: A high-precision 49.5mm tamper made specifically for the Olympia Cremina. It's machined from one piece of metal with no frills or ornamentation at all. Sells for $42.50.
- Jimei Calibrated Coffee Tamper: This reasonable prices ($38) tamper looks just like the Espro but sells for a third of the price. It also uses 30 pounds of force as the point where the spring compresses and uses a black aluminum handle. Despite the low price, there are no reviews on Amazon yet, so you might want to wait (or be the first!).
Tamper Diameter Reference List
- Reg Barber sells their tampers 0.1mm increments from 40.0mm to 59.9mm
Espro Calibrated Tamper Review
Orphan Espresso 49mm Tamper Review
If you are looking for an affordable 49mm tamper for your lever espresso machine and you don't want to break the bank, than look no further than the Orphan Espresso HLE IIT. This minimalist tamper comes in multiple handle shapes and colors, but all offer excellent value and superb accuracy. The tamper has a flat, stainless steel bottom. This tamper is the perfect example of a simple, effective design that gets the job done.
When considering a tamper, here are the attributes to keep in mind:
- Price: Tampers range from free (as in, included with your espresso machine) to costing close to $200 (USD). There is certainly one at your price point.
- Materials:Tampers are available in all sorts of different materials but the most common are plastic, stainless steel, wood, and aluminum. Some brands have aluminum handles and steel bases, other use wood handles and steel bases. No combination is better than another, though you want something that is going to hold up over time and have the maximum precision possible, so steel bases are the most common. That said, there are vanity materials as well, like Reb Barber's gold-plated tamper, which is available with a brass or even a copper base.
- Design: This category might also be called ergonomics. Do you want a tall tamper? A short one? A conventional style? A short "button" tamper? It all comes down to preference, as no design is definitely better than the rest. It's also worth noting that the importance of design will vary based on used: a barista making hundreds of shots a day has different demands from a home barista.
- Aesthetics: This should be self-explanatory, but do you want an exotic wood handle? Something that matches your kitchen or espresso machine? Or maybe you want something blinged-out in copper and brass? Tampers come in almost every color and material imaginable.
- Special Features: Most tampers are very simple tools, but some are spring-loaded so know when to stop applying pressure, and others are self-leveling so you have the flattest espresso puck possible.
- Precision: Some brands, especially the higher end ones, pride themselves on precision. This is when you'll start to see the 49.4 and 49.5mm tampers being offered instead of simply 49mm.
- Base Profile: Some tampers use flat bottoms, others use convex (rounded outward) bottoms. While there is no right or wrong answer here, most baristas and espreso experts agree that you always want to go with a flat base.
Rok Espresso Maker Tamper
There has been some confusion about this online, but it's worth pointing out, for sure, that the Rok manual espresso press uses a 49mm portafilter basket and thus a 49mm tamper. The most exacting home baristas online have pointed out that the size is exactly 49.7mm, but this means any 49mm tamper will work with the Rok. Just make sure not to buy a 51mm or 50mm -- those will be too big for your basket!
Convex or flat tamper base?