this blog parted with its espressocraft tamper for a weekend. which, yeah. brings up all those weepy, effusive things we wrote about it lo these five-odd years ago. especially this:
it would appear to this marveler that what espressocraft does is flout an assumption, generally held amongst tamper designers, that you want to relay the pressure of the barista down a uniform cylinder, then distribute that weight outward, in a downward slope, so that it is flatly and evenly applied to the surface of the coffee bed. instead, our marvel does the opposite — collecting the barista’s pressure into a narrow center through a severely tapered handle. a slight dip in the top of the tamper base allows the fingers to slip in — not out — further centralizing the pressure, which is tranferred to the middle of a curved tamper surface, pushing through the center of the espresso bed first and splaying the pressure outward as it moves down. middle-and-out, instead of flat and uniform.
clearly, i don’t know what i’m talking about.
obviously, ardent followings have since sprung up around other, more craftsmanlike tamper makers. and they sure look pretty! but i don’t really get it. beefy, flat-bottomed tampers that transfer force through a cylinder don’t seem to do the same thing, physically speaking, at all.