The Citizen Kane coffee tamper features lovely rosewood handle attached to a satiny stainless steel base. The Citizen Kane is the standard in beautiful and classic coffee tampers. This coffee tamper is a basic on any espresso bar. The Citizen Kane gives a great tamp, and being a classic, it makes an excellent gift. The rosewood handle on this coffee tamper is relatively light, but even so, this coffee tamper weighs in at ¾ pounds. What was it that Citizen Kane said? Was it "Rosewood"? Or something like that - I think he needed an espresso.
Most standard espresso machines (semiautomatic and automatic) use 57 mm or 58 mm coffee tampers. Many people want coffee tampers that fit snugly into their portafilters, and some people prefer a millimeter (or so) of wiggle room within the portafilter basket, so that they can more easily manipulate the coffee tamper while tamping. But note that coffee tampers don't get pushed down into the bottom of the filter basket (which can be slightly tapered) when you're tamping, because the basket is full of coffee. That's why you're tamping it!
So when sizing the diameter for a coffee tamper, it's the inner diameter at the top of the filter basket that you'll need to measure to size your coffee tamper correctly. At The Coffee Brewers, we tend to believe in a firmer fit in coffee tampers (i.e., 58 mm) to minimize loose particles in the portafilter basket. The Citizen Kane coffee tamper will give you this, and it will give it to you beautifully.
Read our article on "How to Use a Coffee Tamper Correctly for Uniform Extractions" if you're not exactly sure how to use coffee tampers. Note that "How to Use a Coffee Tamper Correctly for Uniform Extractions" was written with the professional barista in mind, so there are various moves described that sound complicated, but these have more to do with not touching the coffee directly with your hands than with pure function. Using coffee tampers correctly is not complicated. Citizen Kane coffee tampers give you ample weight to work with. They're solid pieces of art. They're well balanced tampers, and they're great coffee tampers to use.
We recommend that you do not wash coffee tampers in the dishwasher, because over time, the dishwasher will damage their beautiful glossy finishes. To clean coffee tampers correctly, simply wipe them down with a damp cloth. You wouldn't want to damage the gloss on these coffee tampers. Your coffee tamper should not be "dirty" in the first place. You wouldn't "wash" a work of art, would you? Especially not the Citizen Kane coffee tamper. Not unless you want him to say "Rosebud."