The Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper Review
Espresso tampers don’t get enough credit if you ask us! Variables like grind size and water temperature are also vital to a successful extraction but many people forget that a well-tamped bed of coffee is also an integral part of evenly extracted espresso.
Not all tampers are born equal though, and today we’re looking at the Benicci Espresso Tamper to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Summary: The Benicci Commercial Espresso Tamper
- Heavy and compact
- The American convex base helps prevent channeling
- Available in the 58 mm standard size
The Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper Review
This classic tamper by Benicci is a basic tool that helps you ensure even extraction of your espresso without any extra flash or flare. This tamper is perfect for the experienced brewer who is looking for a tamper that does its job without distracting from the real star: the coffee.
Build Quality – 4/5
The Benicci is sturdy, period. It is a one-piece tamper made of stainless steel and weighs almost a pound and a half. The hefty weight here actually helps minimize the amount of elbow grease you have to put in to tamp effectively, but be careful not to drop it on your foot or any dishware. Don’t worry if the stainless steel body gets wet or steamy, it’s guaranteed not to rust over time!
Unlike many other espresso tampers, the Benicci is only available in one size: 58 mm.
Since this is the standard size for most portafilters, the chances are that it will probably work for your espresso machine, but, to avoid disappointment, we highly recommend double-checking the size of your portafilter before purchasing it.
Tamping – 4.5/5
Marketed for commercial use as well as for any homebrewer who is really serious about their coffee (we are looking at you), the Benicci espresso coffee tamper ensures smooth and consistent tamping. We mentioned before that tamping is an often-overlooked step in the brewing process, though it is actually as vital as every other variable in your brew. (1)
The Benicci Tamper has a convex, rather than flat, base which is optimal for avoiding channeling in your espresso. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, channeling occurs when coffee is not evenly pressed, channeling the water through certain parts of the coffee bed rather than allowing it to pass evenly throughout the puck. (2)
Water always takes the route with least resistance, so it will ignore those clumpy sections and go straight for the areas with more air. The result? Some of your coffee will be under-extracted (sour) and some will be over-extracted (bitter and ashy).
Since the Benicci is made of 100% Food Grade stainless steel, it’s also guaranteed not to alter the taste of your coffee grounds. Nothing quite ruins a cup of coffee like the slightly metallic taste of poor-quality brewing tools.
We should also mention that the Benicci is a tool that is best suited for seasoned espresso brewers, as it is not a calibrated tamper. Calibrated options signal, usually, via a subtle click, when you have reached the desired 30 lbs. of pressure. Calibration, in the world of tampers, is much like a set of training wheels on a bicycle. A classic, non-calibrated tamper, the Benicci is a great tamper for someone who is ready to ditch the kiddie wheels and go for the real thing.
Style – 3.5/5
It’s clear that, when designing the Benicci, the focus was on quality and functionality rather than a flashy aesthetic.
The no-frills stainless steel unibody is designed to be durable and ergonomic, but it still has a solid classic look.
The lack of a wooden handle also means that there’s no risk of grease spots. The only downside of this all stainless steel unibody design is that the handle could feel a bit slippery if you have wet or sweaty hands.
Value For Money – 4/5
More expensive than the cheapest (and tackiest) tampers on the market but much more economical than some premium models, we think that the Benicci has very good value for money.
Equipped with quality materials and a design you can trust this professional-grade espresso tamper is bound to last you for years. Benicci is willing to put its money where its mouth is by providing a lifetime warranty for each of its tampers.
Things we liked:
- Sturdy, long-lasting
- Food grade stainless steel
- Convex base to minimize channeling
- Good value for money
Things we didn’t like:
- Slippery when wet
- Not calibrated
Do Not Buy the Benicci Espresso Tamper If…
You want a calibrated tamper – As we mentioned before, the Benicci is a standard, non-calibrated tamper. This means that it is up to you to know what 30 lbs. of pressure feels like so that you can apply it consistently to your grounds for even extraction. Perfect tamping with a non-calibrated tamper certainly requires a level of expertise, so if you would prefer a tool that ensures you tamp correctly with each brew, consider something like the Espro Calibrated Tamper, which comes in both flat and convex base options. Read our full review of the Espro Tamper here.
Your portafilter doesn’t measure 58 mm – If, when we recommended that you checked your portafilter size, you came back to the screen bummed because it’s not actually 58 mm, don’t worry. We recommend the Rattleware, which has a convex and even an angled option. It’s also available in 4 different sizes. Read our Rattleware Tamper review to find out more.
You want a flat base – While many baristas prefer convex bases because they can help prevent channeling, many wouldn’t even touch their espresso machines without first using a flat tamper, that could do a better job at pressing the edges of the basket. (3) If you’re one of them, then the Benicci is definitely not for you. We recommend that you try out the LuxHaus calibrated tamper, available in several sizes.
Solid, durable and ergonomic, the Benicci Espresso Coffee Tamper is one of our favorite coffee tampers. Its weight, quality design, and convex base will guarantee a smooth and consistent tamp, eliminating the risk of channeling. Whether it’s used with a professional espresso machine or home equipment, the Benicci will be a trusted cog in your coffee-making process: an espresso that starts with the perfect tamp is bound to end with an even extraction!
- Meister, E. (2015, February 17). The Tamping Debate. Retrieved from https://freshcup.com/the-tamping-debate/
- (n.d.). (2017, January 27). Barista Skills: A VIDEO Guide to Tamping. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/01/barista-skills-a-video-guide-to-tamping/
- Challender, J. (2013, July 10). Letter To A Tamper Man. Retrieved from https://www.home-barista.com/tips/flat-vs-convex-tamper-t29910-10.html