Choosing a quality tamper is often overlooked as an important consideration of brewing good espresso. I like to think that brewing espresso is a lot like a science experiment. You have many variables that need to be adjusted or altered so that you are able to brew the best shot possible. Tamping is a key part of making that great shot of espresso, and a quality tamper can contribute to your success.
Too much tamping pressure can result in a bitter cup and too little pressure can result in a watery shot. You will need to find the pressure that works well for you based on your grind setting. Great Baristas know that once the perfect combination of tamping pressure and coffee grind fineness are determined, that it is crucial to repeat those elements every time you brew so that the end result does not vary from shot to shot.
I like to use the Espro calibrated tamper because it gives you feedback by a clicking motion once you have reached 30 PSI of pressure which is often considered the optimal tamping pressure. This is beneficial because you will now be able to have a consistent tamping pressure which will bring you one step closer to constantly repeating the perfect shot. After a bit of trial and error you will be able to hone-in on the correct tamping pressure.
I am confident that a little more attention to the important element of tamping pressure will make a wonderful difference in your espresso brewing skills, and yield some great tasting espresso!