In the flashy world of espresso-making, chromey espresso machines and sleek steam wands often steal the show. Meanwhile, unsung heroes of quality, consistent espresso like an espresso tamper, go unrecognized.
Well, that is about to change.
Today we are reviewing the Espro Calibrated Flat Espresso Tamper, a tool any barista or coffee enthusiast would be delighted to integrate into their brewing routine. The Espro is our favorite espresso tamper on the market for several reasons which we will get into below, so read on!
SUMMARY: The Espro Calibrated Flat Espresso Tamper
- Calibrated to click when 30 lbs. of tamping pressure is applied
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Ergonomic, high-quality design
There’s a reason this product is sold in over 30 countries, there is a reason it comes standard with any La Marzocco Strata Machine in the world, and that’s because precision in tamping matters.
– Bruce Constantine, President at Espro
The Espro Calibrated Flat Espresso Tamper Review
The Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper is an expertly-designed tool to help you compress your espresso grounds in order to pull the best possible shot every time you brew. Though it is certainly a larger investment than other espresso tampers out there, the calibration click, sturdy build, and natural hand-held fit make it second to none.
Build Quality – 5/5
Given the higher price point of the Espro tamper, you should expect nothing less than excellent materials and build, and indeed, Espro delivers! The tamper has a stainless steel base and an anodized aluminum handle, both of which hold up well under tamp pressure and over time. (1)
Espro’s Flat Tamper comes in four different sizes: 53mm, 57mm, 58mm, and 58.35mm.
For anyone who is wedded to the idea of a convex base, rather than a flat one, Espro makes the same tamper with this base.
Tamping – 5/5
This calibrated flat tamper makes applying exactly the right amount of force to the ground coffee beans easy and stress-free. The sturdy 1lb. tamper does some of the work already just through its weight, making it easy for you to apply the remaining amount of tamping pressure.
When you reach 30 lbs. of tamp pressure, the tamper will emit a subtle, yet distinguishable click. Espro has designed the calibration system to click in a way that does not shift or disturb the grounds, meaning you can actually forget about trying to tamp “just so” and let the Espro do the calculations for you. (2)
Relying on the balance and calibration of the Espro also means ditching the often habitual tamping “polish,” or the quick spin of the tamper after applying the right amount of pressure. While some people think it smooths out any remaining loose grounds for a more even extraction, it actually has the opposite effect. (3)
Humans suck at doing things precisely and consistently… Tamping horizontally with enough force is already a task that tests our mettle. Why introduce a spin?… [When you polish,] you’re compressing the grinds on one side of the basket, making it more difficult for the water to travel through
The calibration of the Espro is set by the manufacturer and does not ever require re-calibrating, making this tamper wonderfully low-maintenance.
Style – 5/5
Like the Rattleware, which we also reviewed here, the Espro Flat Tamper has a sleek, minimalist style. It has an ergonomic anodized aluminum handle and classic stainless steel base. With the logo placed on the top of the handle rather than the side, the view of the tamper while tamping is delightfully understated, keeping the focus on the coffee and the craft.
This tamper is available in the classic black along with fire-engine red so you can select the one that best matches your vibe.
Value for Money – 3/5
We love the Espro Flat Tamper, in fact, we have named it our favorite tamper on the market. That being said, it does come with a heftier price tag than other comparable tampers out there. The truth is, any good tamper will help you make delicious espresso, and the difference between that tamper and a top-of-the-line tamper like the Espro may not be big enough for you to go out and buy one.
While the materials, calibration, style, and overall design are impeccable, not everyone is willing to pay double the price of any decent tamper to see only marginal improvement in the brew.
However, if you are a die-hard espresso enthusiast or professional barista looking for the tool to push your brew over the edge and reach the next level, you just found your new best friend.
Do Not Buy the Espro Calibrated Flat Tamper If…
You are focused on style – We understand that, depending on your cafe or coffee set up, you have an aesthetic that you may want to match. While the flat base Espro is a great tamper, it is limited in the color options available. We suggest, then, that you check out the Zoie + Chloe Stainless Steel Espresso Tamper that comes in bright red, electric light blue, and rose gold. This tamper is only available in the 49mm size, so be sure it fits your portafilter before you buy it.
You want an even heavier tamper – Yes, the Espro is slightly heavier than the Luxhaus, but is it still a little a light for you? Are you the type of person who wants to minimize the elbow grease involved in tamping? We get you. The Benicci Espresso Tamper weighs 1.4lbs., so don’t drop this one on your foot! Though it is not as stylish as the Espro and only comes in 58mm, this tamper is a great choice for someone who wants a heavy-duty, no-fuss tamper.
The Espro Calibrated Flat Espresso Tamper is an excellent tool for achieving delicious, balanced espresso. Not only is the calibration set for life by the manufacturer, but the build and overall design of the tamper are sure to go the distance and help you brew your best for years to come. Just as you treat your coffee grounds with love to grind them, keep the TLC coming as you tamp and brew. Thanks to all of the size options and the two different colors, there is an Espro tamper for every barista and espresso machine, go get yours!
- ESPRO Calibrated Coffee Tamper, Flat. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.espro.com/catalog/espresso/coffee-tamper-flat
- Constantine, B., & Whole Latte Love. (2014, April 27). Inside Look: Espro Calibrated Tamper Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBWwaSthiXo
- Please Don’t Polish When You Tamp. (2017, January 30) Retrieved from https://baristahustle.com/blog/please-don-t-polish-when-you-tamp/