Only Reg has ridges!
Reg Barber out of Canada makes some great tampers. I think they are unquestionably one of the two most prestigious tamper makers in the world – up there with Torr Tampers and perhaps they are even the most recognized name all by themselves in elite tampers. I confess that it has always been my bias that a good tamper is more or less just as good as a great tamper functionally, but that the art form of the tamper is often as much what one pays for as the function of it.
Hey they must be the name to see in tampers when they own the website “coffeetamper.com”
A friend was kind enough to buy me a nice tamper as a gift once and gave me the choice of what I was most interested in. The Reg Barber with ripples won the day as the tamper that pulled me most. (I wanted to make my own handle, so I only needed the piston). They have ripples underneath the tamper piston. You can see them pictured at the bottom of the page here…
Here is a website with a great photo of both the tamper bottom and the coffee after being tamped.
Now the obvious question to ask is if the ridges affect the taste of the coffee and although I could not find it on their website I'd heard some theory that coffee will extract better with the ridges than without.
For me the truth is that I do not think there is any real difference with one exception. I love the way it looks when you polish your puck after tamping. There is something very zen about the concentric circles. It may not affect taste, but it does not hurt that I get that extra burst of joy from the circles. Sometimes in life it is the simple things and this is why it is the tamper I always reach for.
You can see my tamper, too, as it is my avatar that appears with my posts. Again it is a reg barber piston, but I made the handle on a wood lathe.