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How to Tamp the Perfect Espresso


It might seem like a simple gesture, but tamping is one of the keys to ensuring the machine delivers a masterful coffee extraction. After acquiring good beans, four steps transform those beans into the perfect cup of coffee, the second of which, after grinding, is tamping coffee.


Why is tamping coffee so important? 

Tamping is a delicate phase as it is the act of compacting ground coffee, before brewing. A good tamp creates an evenly compacted puck which makes the right resistance to the brewing water flow that extracts the coffee flavours. 

An authentic Espresso shot requires specific dosages that have to be pressed at the right pressure. Years ago, the measurement was 7 grams per cup. Today, however, specialty coffees, shorter toasting curves, and lighter toasting colours have increased this value to 16 grams (+/- 2 grams) for two cups, as long as grain size and percolating times are respected. To give an idea of how precise the movement must be, the tamping should be firm and even, compacting the coffee perpendicular to the filter without applying unnecessary force. Think it’s impossible to be one of the few with the magic touch? Think again. Luckily, there’s a way to tamp like a pro. Whether you prefer a machine that acts independently or one that lets you interact and put your barista skills to use, De’Longhi has a machine for you.

Tamping made for you 

With the touch of a button, De’Longhi fully automatic coffee machines like Dinamica Plus and PrimaDonna Soul take care also of this phase: they feature Automatic Dosing with the internal brewing unit activating after grinding and automatically tamping the ground coffee to the correct compactness. The machines also implement infusion, soaking up the ground coffee, and then compressing it again to guarantee the water is distributed evenly. After dispensing each cup, the brewing unit discards the used coffee puck into the ground container tray and is ready to brew another cup.

Train your barista skills with manual tamping  

Intrepid home baristas can opt for a manual machine like La Specialista Maestro to practise and develop professional-style skills. 

After grinding, the user simply pulls the side lever to tamp the coffee in the portafilter by applying the right pressure for perfectly compact doses, consistent results, and no mess thanks to the Smart Tamping Technology. 

The machine handles everything–there’s no spillage and the countertop stays clean. Other manual models like La Specialista Arte EVO allow coffee lovers to tamp independently with a complete barista kit for a precise and mess-free operation. 

Getting the tamping pressure right could be tricky but not impossible. De’Longhi’s fully automatic and manual machines help coffee lovers execute the process smoothly to achieve a perfect result in the cup from grinding to moving on to the next step: brewing.
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La Specialista Maestro

Bring out the barista in you and craft your Hot and Cold coffee experience with La Specialista Maestro, the first-ever manual coffee machine that combines both hot and cold coffee.
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