- Looks cool on the counter - Provides a place to set down a loaded (or empty) portafilter
Negative Product Points
- You can do with out it - Raises the PF a bit, so if you're on the short side, may make tamping on the stand inconvenient. - With the machine, the grinder and the knock box already on the counter, can you spare the counter space?
This thing looks great and feels well made. How much it helps you tamp the single spout PF depends on whether you find it hard to balance your PF for tamping without the stand. For me it was not a big change. I suppose it helps if you have a bottomless PF and it bothers you that some stray coffee grounds stick to the bottom, but as I have a regular PF, I can't say. Where it becomes really handy is that every now and then I find myself in a situation where I've already filled the PF with coffee, and at that point I need to drop everything and go rescue one of my sons from being strangled by his twin brother. This is where the stand is most effective. Instead of trying to carefully balance the untamped PF on the knock box I can now easily set down the PF without losing the coffee. Is this worth the $40 plus shipping? Probably not. Never the less, I like it. It looks cool and well made. In addition Bumper coffee will sell you replacement parts if the rubber mats wear down. Did I mention it looks cool?
Bottom line is that I can't really say that it has affected the quality of my tamping. It's slightly easier to tamp (because the edge of my counter is curved), but it didn't really bother me before. Unless you have a problem balancing you PF or you use a bottomless PF, I doubt this will effect your tamping. That said (written), I love it. I like the way it looks with the tamper sitting on the round area in front, I like using it and not having the PF drip on the kitchen floor, and I like having a place where I can set down the single spout PF whether it is full or empty. I've given it an overall rating of only 8 due to my feeling that it is not really necessary (because I think that for most people it will not change the quality of the tamp).
Bought it on espressoparts.com, it was easy to order and arrived promptly. After I placed the order I emailed the store and added an item. Response was very quick and they added the item I asked for immediately to the website and then to the order. I would definitely order from them again.
Three Month Followup
After three montrhs not much has changes. It still looks great, it's still not essential but it is somewhat easier than using the counter's edge. It has not shown yet any sign of wear and tear. I like it as much as I did 3 months ago, but I still think you buy this for the kick and not because it improves your espresso. Never the less, I'm glad I have it and I use it everyday.