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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.
For literally decades I have made myself a cappuccino or two in the morning. After grinding the beans I used a solid metal tamper to compress the grind in the filter. It became such an enjoyable ritual that I took my espresso machine, grinder and tamper with me on summer trips. In July I managed to misplace the tamper and arrived home without it. I improvised for a few days but nothing works like a properly sized hefty tamper so I pulled up Amazon and chanced upon this calibrated pressure tamper. I didn’t know why I needed “calibrated pressure” but decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It turns out that correct and consistent compression of the grind actually makes a big difference - my cappuccinos are better than ever. This tamper is well made, just feels right in my hand, and takes the guesswork out of how hard to press the grind. If you make espresso you want this tool. LuxHaus gets 5 stars for the product, the price, and for following up after my order to inquire as to my satisfaction. Good folks.
The first thing that struck me was the weight - this is a hefty device! I was blown away by how sturdy and solid this tamper is. Despite the weight, it is very easy to handle and way more ergonomic than my previous tampers. It's very comfortable and immediately became my favorite. The build in calibration takes the guess work out of getting that 30 pounds of pressure. I can't say enough about this tamper. I've used it about 4-6 times a day for the last several weeks and can't see any reason to use something else. Quality build, comfortable, easy to use and super effective. Couldn't ask for more!
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.
Keeps you consistent. Perfectly flat. Made me realize how much I was over tamping previously. Also made my realize my other tamper was not perfectly flat. Needed to grind finer once I got this tamper. Once my grind was dialed in I have been getting really good consistent shots from my machine. Highly recommended.
Should also note that my item was lost when initially shipped to me. Seller quickly resolved this issue and sent me a replacement item at not extra cost. Seller - Luxhaus - gets 5 stars as well.