ESPro Calibrated Tamper Review Spotlight

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

ESPro Calibrated Tamper Review Spotlight


In the world of tampers, the ESPro 30-lb Calibrated Tamper stands apart in quality, and in price. Built to balance the classic design of handheld standard tampers with the functionality of a modern spring-loaded tamper, the ESPro 30-lb Calibrated Tamper provides beauty and brains, without sacrificing on quality.

In this accessory spotlight we will cover the purpose of espresso tampers, compare standard tampers to spring-loaded calibrated tampers, and highlight the premium ESPro Calibrated Tamper.

Let’s get tamping!

Table of Contents

Purpose Of The Espresso Tamper

After the Grind, Before the Extraction

The tamper is one of the many tools used in the puck preparation process. Transforming whole coffee beans into a bed of coffee ready for high-pressure extraction is a multi-step process, and tamping is arguably the most important step after the grind itself.

Once the whole coffee beans are uniformly ground and transferred into the portafilter, the must be compressed into a tightly packed puck of coffee. This puck of coffee is what creates pressure inside the portafilter during extraction, giving espresso its unique flavors, aromas, and textures.

Even and Consistent Shots

To get even and repeatable shots, the bed of coffee must be evenly tamped. This means applying even pressure across the grounds to ensure the compression is even from left to right and top to bottom.

Having a consistent tamp with proper ground distribution means that the water will interact with the coffee uniformly, preventing challenges (where water flows through specific areas in the coffee).

What Are Calibrated Tampers

Standard vs Calibrated Tamper

Eliminating the Guesswork

Although tamping is not a particularly complex process, there are a few ways in which the tamp can vary from shot to shot. Calibrated tampers are designed and built with an internal spring calibrated to a specific pressure.

When the tamper is pressed into the coffee, it travels downward, compressing the coffee. When the coffee is compressed enough that it gives the preset amount of resistance, the tamper internal spring will give, allowing the tamper handle to depress. This is a signal to the barista that the tamp has reached the optimal pressure and the puck is ready for extraction.

Compared to Standard Tampers

Standard tampers do not have an internal spring and are often a solid piece of metal, wood, or plastic. Standard tampers, when used correctly, are more than capable of producing delicious shots and an even extraction.

Standard tampers fall flat when being used by less experienced (or just busy) baristas who do not have the muscle memory to create a perfectly even tamp every time.

ESPro Calibrated Tamper

ESPro Calibrated Tamper


ESPro is a manufacturer of high-end coffee equipment and espresso accessories. One of its most popular accessories is the ESPro 30-lb calibrated tamper. Built from premium materials, this heavy and dependable tamper was designed to balance a classic design with modern functionality.

Ergonomic and Classic

The ESPro calibrated tamper was designed to resemble traditional standard tampers in size and shape. With a rounded top and tapered neck, it uses an aluminum handhold that gives way to a solid stainless steel tamping base.

A joy to hold and use, the ESPro 30-lb Calibrated Tamper is actually the daily driver of ESB Chris!

Premium Build

Experienced home baristas will know that not all tampers are created equally. Many entry-level tampers are made from flimsy plastics or cheap metals. The ESPro tamper is one of the most premium built tampers you can buy.

Weighing a full pound (453 grams), the ESPro calibrated tamper feels heavy in hand and solid when pressed into the portafilter. Unlike the 26-gram Breville Bambino hollow-flexible tamper, the ESPro Calibrated Tamper is built to last.

ESPro Options Calibrated Tamper

30-lb Calibrated

The ESPro tamper comes designed with a 30-lb tamp-spring. As a barista presses the ESPro tamper into the bed of coffee, it will compress the grounds until 30 lbs of pressure is reached. When it is, the spring will give, allowing the tamper handle to depress, signaling that the optimal pressure has been reached.

Unique Shaping

The ESPro tamper is available with two base designs: a flat shape and a convex shape.

The flat-shaped base is a standard design meant to spread and pack the grounds into a smooth and even plane. ESPro claims that this design produces a fuller-bodied espresso.

The convex has a slightly pointed bottom that pushes grounds down and out, creating a tighter seal between the grounds and the edge of the portafilter. Contrary to the flat base, ESPro claims that this design produces a slower, even extraction.

Multiple Size Options

The ESPro 30-lb Calibrated Tamper is available in 4 size options, including 53mm for Breville and Sage, 57mm for Lelit products, and 58 or 58.35 for commercial style and E61 machines.

Is the ESPro Calibrated Tamper Worth It?

Quality and Build

The premium build quality and feel of the ESPro Calibrated Tamper cannot be understated. Compared to other tampers, it feels heavy and solid in the hand, has an extremely satisfying click when depressed, and is an overall joy to use.

Value The ESPro is a premium product with a premium price tag. In 2024, the ESPro tamper’s MSRP is $99, a significant difference from many of the entry-level tampers on the market.

Should I Buy

If you value a premium feel in your workflow and want a tamper that is truly buy-it-for-life, then the ESPro Calibrated Tamper is a phenomenal pick. If the price of the ESPro tamper is a little high for your current brew bar, look toward a more affordable alternative like the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper.

ESPro Tamper Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ESPro Calibrated Tamper made of?

The ESPro Calibrated Tamper is made of three primary materials: stainless steel, aluminum, and thermoplastic.

The tamping base is solid machined stainless steel, while the handle is made from semi-gloss machined aluminum. Atop the tamper is a thermoplastic ‘ESPro’ badge.

What size tamper should I get?

The size of the tamper depends on your machine and use case.

For Breville or Sage, buy the 53mm tamper.

For Lelit using the Lelit57 group, buy the 57mm tamper.

For commercial and E61 groups, buy either the 58mm or 58.3mm tamper for a snug fit.

Where should I buy the ESPro Calibrated Tamper?

ESPro primarily distributes on Amazon and is also available on their website and via some specialty dealers.

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