There are several filter diameters for espresso machines. The La Pavoni Europiccola coffee machine that I use has 51 mm diameter filters. Upon purchase, a plastic tamper is provided. As a result, the investment of a metal tamper becomes necessary. For this type of accessory there is a price range from 15 to 150 $.
The first tamper I bought for this machine was a 15 $ model found on Ebay.
A few months later, I bought the official tamper La Pavoni (manufactured and designed by BPlus, the same company that makes the excellent Apollo coffee grinders) for 90 $. Precision, for 90 $, the tamper is marketed with a funnel for filter holders which reduces by the same the difference in price. The funnel for filter holder is an accessory not essential but really usual. I will present it with other practical accessories for coffee machines in a future article.
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The difference in the diameter of the two tamper alone justifies the reason that pushed me to write this article. One (the first price) is exactly 51 mm in diameter, the other (the La Pavoni) is 51.5 mm in diameter.
In use I actually noticed a difference between the two products. With the 51mm tamper (on the right picture) you can notice that there is coffee left over the edges of the basket. With the 51.5 mm diameter model La Pavoni, this problem does not appear.
As a result, if you are looking for an ideal tamper for your La Pavoni coffee machine, I recommend you look for a 51.5 mm diameter tamper. I opted for the BPlus that suits me perfectly. BPlus also markets 49.5 mm tamper for La Pavoni Pre-Milennium.
On the tamper The Pavoni, the whole tamper is made of stainless steel. Because of this, it is heavier than the other model presented. It is the pleasure of everyone to prefer a heavy tampering or a light tamper. Overall when you take a tamper with the aluminum or wooden handle, the weight is around 400g.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a tamper for your La Pavoni coffee machine, I recommend that you favor a 51.5 mm tamper rather than 51mm diameter. this half-millimeter makes all the difference because it avoids that there is coffee that hangs on the edges of the filter.