Spotlight: Normcore Spring Loaded Tamper V4

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

Normcore Spring Loaded Tamper V4 Review Spotlight (2024)


The Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper V4 is one of the best espresso tampers for the price. When you want to eliminate guesswork from your morning workflow, this calibrated tamper will help you get repeatable, even pucks of coffee.

In this accessory spotlight, we’ll cover the importance of tampers in espresso puck prep, highlight the standout features of the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper, and cover some of the most frequently asked questions when buying this incredible accessory.

Let’s get tamping!

Table of Contents

What Are Espresso Tampers?

Espresso Tamper vs. Spring Loaded Tamper

Espresso Requires Pressure

Brewing espresso is the process of extracting coffee with hot water at high pressures. This unique environment is different from any other brewing method and gives espresso unique flavors and aromas not found in brewing methods like drip or French press.

Compressing Ground Coffee Into A Puck

To generate the pressure needed for brewing, the coffee must resist the water coming from the espresso machine. This resistance is generated by creating a ‘puck’ of coffee.

A puck is made by compressing the loosely ground coffee inside the portafilter. When water tries to find its way through this puck, the ground coffee creates resistance and, therefore, pressure.

A coffee tamper is used to compress the ground coffee. A tamper is a device that is used to press down upon the loosely ground coffee in the portafilter, compacting it into a tight puck.

Spring Loaded Tamper vs Regular Tamper

Standard Tamper

Standard hand tampers are often made of a single piece of metal, wood, or plastic. They are easy to use, with a simple handhold and flat base.

When the ground coffee is transferred into the portafilter, a barista uses their arm and body weight to press the tamper into the ground coffee, compressing the coffee into a puck.

While standard tampers are simple and affordable, they often leave a lot of room for variation and error. If a barista does not tamp evenly or with enough pressure, the coffee puck could not be uniform, leading to an improper and inconsistent tamp.

Spring Loaded

Spring-loaded tampers are relatively new inventions in the world of home espresso. Spring-loaded tampers represent a big step forward by adding a calibrated spring inside the tamper to ensure the tamping pressure is consistent from shot to shot.

When a barista presses down on the tamper, the tamper moves down into the bed of coffee, compressing it into a puck. When the optimal amount of compression is reached, the internal spring ‘gives’, allowing the tamper handle to depress into the tamper base. This action tells the barista the optical tamping pressure has been reached and that the puck is ready for extraction.

There are many types of spring-loaded tampers on the market, ranging in material, diameter, and price. What they all have in common is the ability to set a standard tamp pressure, taking the guesswork out of tamping.

Which Is Better

When used correctly, standard and spring-loaded tampers perform the same job. Delicious coffee can be brewed with either a standard or a spring-loaded tamper.

That being said, a spring-loaded tamper is often much easier to use and removes one of the many variables in the espresso puck prep process.

Normcore V4 Spring Loaded Tamper

Normcore Spring Loaded Tamper


One of the most popular tampers today is the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper. This tamper has gone through quite a few iterations and is currently on four versions. Featuring a unique dual-action leveling design, the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper V4s balances quality, functionality, and price. If you are looking for an all-around solid tamper that won’t break the bank, the Normcore tamper is a great pick.

Innovating Leveling Action

While almost all spring-loaded tampers use an internal spring to limit compression pressure, the Normcore Spring-loaded tamper goes one step further by adding an innovative leveling plate.

Even with a calibrated tamper, a barista can accidentally tamp unevenly, with pressure higher on one side of the puck than the other. This can lead to an uneven tamp across the puck and, therefore, an uneven extraction.

To eliminate this potential error, the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper uses an innovative leveling plate that sits on top of the portafilter to ensure the tamper travels into the portafilter perfectly straight up and down. This design further eliminates any guesswork to make tamping perfectly repeatable.

Spring Loaded Action

Two Part Action

When the Normcore Tamper is depressed, the entire tamper base travels down into the portafilter, with the leveling plate staying on the outside of the portafilter.

Once the tamper reaches the ground and begins to compress the coffee, the spring begins to activate, allowing the user to compress the puck to the specified pressure. When the pressure is reached, the spring gives, allowing the handle to further depress to indicate the tamp has completed.

Customizable Springs

The Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper V4 comes with three unique springs, each with a different level of tension. Each tension level corresponds to a unique tamping pressure ranging from 15lb to 30 lbs.

The standard 25-lb spring comes pre-installed, and the package includes the 15-lb spring, and 30-lb spring should the user want a lighter or heavier tamping pressure.

Multiple Sizes Available

The Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper was designed to work with a variety of espresso machines, not just commercial 58mm portafilters. The Normcore tamper can be purchased in diameters ranging from 45.5mm up to 58.3mm and is compatible with brands like Flair, ROK, La Pavoni, Breville / Sage, and, of course, E61 machines.

Should I Buy The Spring Loaded Tamper


In 2024, the Normcore V4 Tamper will be priced at $50 and is one of the highest-value tampers on the market. While many standard tampers are priced between $25-40, the Spring-loaded Tamper brings a ton of value for a relatively small price increase. Although the Normcore tamper may not be the absolute most-premium tamper on the market, it perfectly balances the point of diminishing returns, providing high quality and great functionality at a very competitive price.

Highly Recommended

If you are looking for a go-to tamper that will work for you day in and day out, the Normcore V4 tamper can't be beaten. Built with quality materials, customizable springs, and multiple portafilter size options, the Normcore V4 is one of EspressoSetupBuilder’s top picks.

Where to Buy

Normcore primarily distributes through Amazon, and the Spring-loaded tamper can be found there with easy 2-day shipping.

Normcore Spring Loaded Tamper Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Tamper Should I Get?

The size of the tamper depends on the particular espresso machine that you have.

45.5mm | Flair Pro & Pro 2

49.7mm | ROK Espresso

51.5mm | La Pavoni Europiccola

53.3mm | Breville / Sage

58mm | E61 / Commercial

What Spring Should I Use?

Although the tamper comes with three springs, you’ll likely only need the 15-lb spring. The 15-lb spring is enough pressure to compress the puck. If you want slightly more pressure, the 25-lb spring will do more than enough. While appreciated, the 30-lb spring does not necessarily require the creation of a compressed puck of coffee.

Is this better than a standard tamper?

If operated perfectly, both a standard tamper and the Normcore Spring-loaded Tamper will provide a balance puck and even extraction.

But if you are looking for more guardrails to help eliminate the guesswork of tamping, then the Normcore tamper with leveling plate and custom springs will help simplify your daily workflow.

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