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By now, you’ve been enjoying for some time the wonderful coffee your Presso or ROK can make. Most likely, you’ve been experimenting with different fineness of grind and adjusting the pressure you exert on the arms to tune your results. If everything you’re doing is producing exactly the coffee you want, our congratulations to you!

However, some of you may be experiencing one of the most frustrating things about making espresso, which is consistently getting good crema from your pulls. If you’ve had this problem, there is an easy cure. (Hint: It’s not your portafilter!)

Tamping your portafilter properly is key to pulling a good shot. Yes, both the Presso and the ROK came with a combination scoop and tamper, but let’s be honest: You didn’t really think that was going to do the trick, did you? Maybe you tried tamping your portafilter with the bottom of your Porlex, and that improved your results, but you can do so much better!

In keeping with our commitment to exquisite coffee, Espresso Unplugged now makes available one of the finest tampers on the market. Manufactured by the famed Reg Barber for distinguishing baristas both professional and home, these 49 mm tampers have black anodized aluminum handles and a stainless steel base with an American curve. Let’s delve into these a little more deeply.

The style we’ve chosen is elegant and understated, yet it is one of the most effective and easiest to use tampers. It starts with a tall, black anodized aluminum handle weighing in at hefty 175 grams. Building on that, we added a 49 mm stainless steel base for both durability and weight. The Italian Espresso National Institute says 30 pounds of pressure must be used to properly tamp your puck, and this handle and base together come in at 415 grams, which is almost a full pound of tamping power in your hand!

But we didn’t stop there. Reg Barber offers six different base curves, and each has its proponents. Chief among them is the American curve, which lends the perfect concavity to the grounds in your portafilter! Having such a concavity minimizes channeling, which can lead to weak espresso, and the American curve means it’s easier than ever to achieve this without breaking the coffee’s seal at the edge of your portafilter!

Finally, you can change the base to any other style you may desire in the future by heading over to Reg Barber and selecting whatever you like. If you’re confused about which ones you might want to expand your collection, check out their FAQ for a better understanding of what’s involved!

If you prefer an economical alternative, look no further than our solid stainless steel tamper with a flat bottom. Completely dishwasher safe and with no moving parts, you can still get a much firmer pack to your puck with these beauties!

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