To tamp your coffee correctly, you'll need a good coffee tamper, and you'll need to use that coffee tamper to put about 40 pounds of pressure on the coffee in the portafilter to make sure that your espresso machine extracts espresso optimally. While the portafilter is built to take this, your counter or table - the one on which you've put your espresso machine will likely get gouged and/or damaged by the tamping of espresso in your portafilter over time. So you should get this elegant, hard-rubber tamping mat to complement your espresso machine, and to use with your coffee tamper
Do your coffee tamping with your portafilter on this tamper mat, then lock it in and extract! This coffee tamper mat keeps the work area around your espresso machine neat, and it keeps your countertop from being gouged. A coffee tamper mat is a worthwhile investment.
If you are buying a coffee tamper, you should buy a coffee tamper mat too. It will keep your work area neat. This one angles over the edge of your table, where it naturally locks in place. The mat has a raised edge that will prevent the grounds from winding up on your table.