Check out the ECM Tamper Station, an espresso accessory I had no idea I needed until I saw it (on IG Reels, FWIW). It is my second favorite espresso accessory after the Asso Dosing Funnel I reviewed last week because it makes every tamped puck easier and faster to do. I’ll tell you why!
(Check out my SciFi thriller, Accidental Intelligence. It’s 2139, and private detective Mason Truman has a problem. There’s this crazy AI named Miranda, and she wants his help stopping a conspiracy to destroy humanity. Only, when she says “help,” what she means is “bait.”)
I Love my ECM Tamper Station
This device, made in Germany, is an aluminum cylinder with a notch for your portafilter handle. It’s designed to hold your portafilter, giving you a stable and level platform on which to level and tamp your puck. And, it’s the same “stable and level” every time, which means less variance in my tamping. That, in turn, means more consistent pull quality and the same, great shot every time. I value that. You might, too.
The ECM Tamper Station is especially useful if you’re using a bottomless portafilter, which I have personally found awkward to make level on a counter. If you have a lip on your counter, forget it. But I also found it useful when I was using a portafilter with spouts, as those spouts were leaving marks on my counter when I tamped. The rubber mat you see in the photo above would have also solved that, but if your spouts are detachable, they probably come off when you’re tamping. That is, at least, what I experienced when I tried tamping on the counter with removable spouts, and the ECM Tamper Station will solve that, too.
The ECM Tamper Station is $60 from Clive Coffee, which is probably expensive, but I think it’s worth every penny. If you’re super handy with a CNC machine, you could surely make your own. I haven’t seen competing products, but to be fair, I haven’t looked. Let me know in the comments if you know of something.
In addition to the aluminum cylinder, there’s a rubber gasket on top, as shown in the pics. There’s also a rubber gasket on the bottom to add grip and add a little cushion for your countertop if you don’t have a mat. I also see that the current version of the ECM Tamper Station has a larger plastic ring on top. I’ve never had an issue with mine, but it does look a little better, so yay you if you get one now.
The rubber gaskets on mine are removable, and will probably wear out. They look like standard rubber rings, though, and I’ve never been worried about finding eventual replacements. I also put mine through the dishwasher roughly once a week, and that does a great job of cleaning it. You could hand-wash it if you preferred. You might also note that mine has developed a hint of patina in the 2 1/2 years or so I’ve been using it. The new ones have a nice, bright, mirror finish.