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UPDATED: Removed a star. Seller keeps abusing the Amazon buyer-seller messaging system harassing me to take down this review. No, LuxHaus, getting an honest report on your poor product taken down does NOT quallify as “Additional information required from Amazon seller”. STOP HARASSING ME.f
TL;DR? Nice on the outside, poorly made on the inside, but workable with some cleaning. Really best as a training tool.
Here's what you need to know about this, coffee nerds:
1) The handle and the stainless press are really nice. Matte black anodized aluminum and good machining on the stainless.
2) The internals are shamefully bad. Absolutely shocking. There's a stainless (I hope it's stainless) hex piece that screws onto the base. That's actually okay. Then there's a threaded nut with an internal hex opening. Machining on this looks like it was done by drunks. No deburring. Zero. Off the lathe, into the box. THERE ARE METAL SHAVINGS LOOSE, which are exposed and ready to FALL OFF INTO YOUR COFFEE. Then there's an off the shelf spring, and another poorly machined aluminum fitting. The top aluminum fitting actually had a huge extra lip leftover from the cutoff operation. Wow. Just wow. And all still covered in machining fluid, not that you'd have guessed by the torn surface finish.
3) NO, IT'S NOT 30 lbs. It's 30 lbs at some point in the stroke, but I could easily get between 20 and 45 lbs on a calibrated scale. I find putting my pinky finger between the base and handle, then pressing until it *just* starts to squeeze on it is a near perfect 30.
The tamp includes engraving of the LuxHaus brand name on the side, this can interfere with tamping, and in turn result in channeling of espresso. I cannot recommend.
PS: LuxHaus was kind enough to send me a replacement tamper because the first one delivered had scratches in the metal. I appreciate their great customer service, but the issue I described above is a real problem that cannot be avoided - and is an unrelated issue to the scratch problem which LuxHaus graciously solved. If LuxHaus ever decides to make a new run without the engraved logo on the side and improved calibration of the tamp, then I would reconsider.
This tamper allowed me to extract the ultimate naked shot after 2 grinding adjustment. I had hard time to do the same using the ordinary tamper. I guess it is not easy to get 30-35 pound of pressure unless you doing it routinely. I got now the confidence to do it with this tamper. I blame myself why I did not buy it long time age. Those experts always advise against it because of their ego complexes. Calibrated tamper is the answer for ordinary people who like to grind their own shots provided the have a good grinder and a good machine.
Just got this to replace the stock tamper that came with my Breville Barista Express. For the first time, I feel good about the consistency of the tamp. Made 3 doubles this morning and they all were consistent in the pour, just as I had hoped. Tamper feels solid and quality seems really good. Well worth the low cost in comparison to the other ~$100 calibrated tampers.