A tamper is a device used to compact coffee grounds in the brewing sieve or portafilter. It ensures even distribution of the freshly ground coffee and prevents the formation of weak and watery espresso. Correctly compacting the ground coffee with a tamper optimises the extraction of aromas and flavours.
When choosing a tamper, it is important to consider the size of the portafilter. The tamper should match the size of the filter basket to allow for even and consistent compaction. Tampers are often made of materials such as stainless steel or aluminium and have a wooden handle for comfortable handling. Some coffee machines even have built-in tampers to simplify the brewing process.
To properly tamp the coffee grounds, it is recommended to apply gentle pressure instead of excessive force. The goal is to achieve even compaction of the coffee grounds. One technique is to place the tamper on the coffee and turn it slightly without applying pressure. This distributes the coffee grounds evenly, resulting in better extraction and a high-quality espresso. Overall, the use of a tamper is essential to obtain a balanced and tasty espresso by evenly distributing and properly compacting the coffee grounds in the portafilter.