<<Reg Barber Tamper Review>>

 

<Preface>

- The importance of choosing the right tamper for a perfect cup of espresso -

Theoretically, everything can be a tamper, the bottom of a glass cup, plastic pot.......anything whichever the diameter of the object is fit for your portafilter. Alhtough everything can be a tamper, it doesn't mean it's a GOOD tamper.

The job of a tamper is transferring the power evenly applied by a barista to compress the coffee powder into "coffee cake" which provide even compact for preventing the pressurized water from creating channels in the coffee during brewing.

As you will say, most of the responsibility for the quality and consistency of the tamp falls on the barista themselves. I have started to use a "Terry's Aluminum Tamper" since 2001, but I still found my shots aren't elapsed evenly most of time until I got my Reg Barber Tamper on March 2005 (like an adv :P).

 
01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg 04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg
- Fresh from Canada! -
           
           
07.jpg <<Comparsion of Different Tampers>> 11.jpg
08.jpg 09.jpg 10.jpg
Rancilo Original Plastic Tamper Terry's Aluminum Tamper  Reg Barber Tall Bubinga Tamper
It's the plastic rounded bottom tamper included with my Silvia. As I knew, most of other home or professional espresso machines are also attaching this type of plastic tamper in their package.

I don't know why Rancilo and other decent coffee machine manufacturers invest huge resources in the R&D of the water pressure and temperature control, but overlooking the importannce of this little tamper.

It's the first tamper I bough for my "Steam" home espresso machine on 2001.

It's made by aluminum with flat packing surface. The lower packing surface measures 55mm, and the upper grip measures 50mm.

I used the larger side for my Silvia for around a year. (Remark: Silvia portafiler diameter is 58mm)

It's the latest and most expensive tamper I got. The handle is made by Bubinga (African Rosewood). Bubinga is a deep red African hardwood with a dark grain. All wooden handles are polished to a beautiful finish and have white inlayed crowns.

The base shape is flat. The base metals is stainless steel (304 food grade) in 58mm diameter. Height: 85mm (3.3in) Weight: 528g (18.5oz)

At least they should supply the tamper which fit their portafilter.

(See the dust on the top, I have never used it since it's here)

   
     

 

<Test On Shot>

- Do it make a better taste ?-

 

Bean for testing: Pokka Italian Espresso Blend (Dark Roasted, Full Arabica Bean)

Production Date: 17/02/2005

Testing Date: 11/03/2005

12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg
 
First Test: Using Terry's Aluminum Tamper

Tamping : First light tamping 20lbs power, followed by a light tap on the portafilter side and then the 30 lb tamp with a twist, plus a few light tamps around four sides.

Elapsed Time for the Shot : 28s

 
15.jpg
16.jpg

As you can see, I have tested 2 shots by using the same tamping method, both of them elsape from the same single side since the undersized&weight tamper can't provide even compact for preventing the pressurized water from creating channels in the coffee during brewing.

The coffee cake is collapse and uneven water flows can be found from the mark on the portafiler.

17.jpg
18.jpg
 
 
Second Test: Using Reg Barber Tamper

Tamping : First light tamping 20lbs power, followed by a light tap on the portafilter side and then the 30 lb tamp with a twist.

Elapsed Time for the Shot : 28s

19.jpg
20.jpg
21.jpg
22.jpg
23.jpg
24.jpg

This time the full and rich crema are elsaped from the both side evenly and the coffee cake is flat and smooth. Even water flows also can be found from the mark on the portafiler.

The fit-sized and heaey weight provides a packed cake of coffee that is an even thickness. And the balance tamper body between gloss rosewood and stainless base give me comfort and effective with improved shot-to-shot consistency and better quality and quantity crema.

25.jpg
26.jpg
27.jpg
28.jpg
29.jpg
30.jpg
 
       

Other than using it to make espresso, admiring this fine finishing and outlook is also an enjoyment.

- No Perfect Shot; No Excuse Again -

   

More About Reg Barger

Reg Barger Enterprises Inc. is located on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. They have been designing handcrafted Espresso Coffee Tampers since 1995.

Their tampers are one of the most famous tampers on the international market and are often used as the trophy or prizes in regional, national, and world Barista competitions.