Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tamper Size: Finding the Perfect Fit

by Mads

How to Find the Perfect Fit Tamper Size for Your Coffee

As a coffee aficionado, you know that tampering your coffee is an essential step towards achieving a perfect cup of coffee. However, choosing the right tamper size can be perplexing, and using the wrong size can result in uneven extraction and inconsistency in flavor. In this article, we will provide tips on how to find the perfect fit tamper size to enhance your coffee experience.

What size tamper is best?

Choosing the right tamper size is critical to produce the best quality coffee. The size of the tamper should conform to the size of your coffee grounds. Typically, there are three main tamper sizes available: 49mm, 51mm, and 58mm.

A 49mm tamper size is commonly used for espresso machines with pressurized portafilters. This tamper size is ideal for small home espresso machines or single-serve espresso makers. If you enjoy brewing your coffee using a small espresso machine, then a 49mm tamper would be an excellent option for you.

For standard or commercial espresso machines, a 58mm tamper size is the most commonly used. This size tamper is suitable for a regular double shot espresso. If you have a commercial-grade espresso machine or a standard home espresso machine, then a 58mm tamper would be the perfect fit.

The 51mm tamper size is typically used for manual brewing methods such as AeroPress, Moka pot, or pour-over coffee. It is also an excellent tamper size for small single-serve espresso makers. If you are a fan of manual brewing or own a small espresso maker, then a 51mm tamper would be the right choice.

Factors to consider when choosing a tamper size

While choosing a tamper size, several factors need to be considered. Here are some of the factors that you should keep in mind:

Portafilter Size

The size of the portafilter is one of the essential factors to consider. A 49mm tamper would fit well with a smaller portafilter, while a 58mm tamper would be suitable for a larger portafilter. Ensure that the tamper you select fits the portafilter snugly to ensure even tamping.

Coffee Grind Size

The texture of your coffee grind directly affects the tamper size you choose. Coarser grinds require a smaller tamper size, while finer grinds require a larger tamper size. If you grind your coffee at home, experiment with different tamper sizes to find the perfect fit.

Pull Pressure

Pull pressure refers to how much pressure you apply while tamping your coffee. The tamper should be comfortable to hold and apply pressure evenly. If the tamper size is too large or too small, it may require you to exert more pressure when tamping, which can lead to inconsistent extraction.

Why Tamper Size Matters

The size of the tamper matters because it determines the amount of pressure and consistency of the extraction. The tamper compresses the coffee grounds, making them uniformly packed, which creates resistance to the water flowing through it. Using the wrong size tamper can cause an uneven distribution of coffee in the basket, resulting in an inconsistent extraction, and hence an unsatisfactory taste.

The correct tamper size leads to a denser and more evenly packed puck, resulting in a higher chance of achieving a perfect coffee shot.


Choosing the right tamper size is an essential step towards producing an excellent cup of coffee. Take note of the factors to consider and experiment with different tamper sizes to find the perfect fit. Correct tampering is an art that takes practice and patience to perfect. Follow these tips to improve your coffee experience and enjoy a consistently delicious cup of coffee.

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