Espresso Tamper

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)

Best 49mm Tampers - Premium (Over $100)

Type Materials Price (USD) Available? Link
Reg Barber Wood, Brs, Cpr, SS, Al $80+ Yes Reg Barber
Kafatek Wood, SS $160 Limited Kafatek
Espro Al, SS $105 Yes Lowest Price

Best 49mm Tampers - Mid-range ($31-99)

Tamper Diameter Reference List

All Sizes

49.4mm

49.5mm

49.7mm

Thor Wood 49mm Tamper Review

If you are looking for a simple, handsome wooden tamper, Thor is the go-to name. Wood tampers generally aren't used in professional settings, but many home users have come to love their style, ability to be customized, and hand-made nature. Thor's 49mm models start at $55.

Espro Calibrated 49mm Tamper Review

When it comes to calibrated (as in spring-loaded) tampers, Espro is the top choice. Yes, there other other companies selling these, but Espro is the official brand associated with the technology. You'll pay a hefty price for their track record of success and pioneering engineering, but the tamper's flawless reviews should be a good indicator of the quality and reliability of what you are getting. The simple fact that it lets you essentially remove one big variable from espresso making is a huge benefit. Plus, wow, that click just feels so right!.

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.

Tamper Qualities

When considering a tamper, here are the attributes to keep in mind:

Best Tamper for Rok Espresso Maker

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?

Here at 49mm Tamper we recommend a flat base tamper with no patterns on it. It's nice to think that a convex base or some clever patterns will improve your espresso, but we simply haven't found that to be true. Save your money and save your time testing -- a flat-based espresso tamper is simpler, cheaper, and easier to store. Ultimately the difference between flat and convex will be extremely minor (if present at all!), so recommend you just don't worry about this variable. Espresso is hard enough already!

Best Tamper for La Pavoni

If you are looking for a great tamper for a Pre-Millenium La Pavoni machine, then you are going to want to go with a 49.6mm model. This video clearly demonstrates the improvement when upgrading from a budget 49.0mm tamper up to a 49.6mm Reg Barber. The espresso puck is much cleaner, with no spillover or "flashing" around the tamping area. The grinds go in the pressed puck and nothing spills out. Apply even pressure and you can be sure that you'll get a great shot with no channeling and a nice smooth flow.

Best 49mm Portafilter

Yes, this is a site about 49mm tampers, but you might need some help with a buying a new 49mm portafilter as well. Here are some tips to get you started, just keep in mind your options are limited!

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