This 58mm coffee tamper is made of Brazilan cherry, which is known for its density and resistance to water. It makes this coffee tamper our Carioca. Note that since it is a natural wood that will continue to darken with time, this coffee tamper has not been stained. The coffee tamper will eventually darken to a maroon hue. Variations in wood color are normal and to be expected on this coffee tamper.
Most standard espresso machines (semiautomatic and automatic) use a 57 mm or 58 mm coffee tamper. Many people want a coffee tamper that fits snugly into the portafilter, and some prefer a millimeter (or so) of wiggle room, so that they can more easily manipulate the coffee tamper while tamping. But note that the coffee tamper doesn't get pushed down into the bottom of the filter basket (which can be slightly tapered). So it's the inner diameter at the top of the 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 (i.e., 58 mm.). If you're not sure, measure your filter basket before buying a coffee tamper.
You should read our article on "How to Use a Coffee Tamper Correctly for Uniform Extractions" if you're not exactly sure how to use a coffee tamper. 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 have more to do with not touching the coffee directly with your hands than with pure function. Using a coffee tamper is not complicated.
We recommend that you do not wash these coffee tampers in the dishwasher, because over time, the dishwasher will damage the beautiful wood finish and discolor the stainless steel head of your Carioca coffee tamper. To clean the Carioca coffee tamper, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. Your coffee tamper should not be "dirty" in the first place. After all it's a Carioca! This coffee tamper makes a great gift.