The Barista tamper hit the streets in 2008 and doesn’t need much improvement. But talking to many people who use a Barista, we found people like to stack the spacers to achieve a wider height range than we had planned. Because the original spacers had curved sides this didn’t feel comfortable under the thumb.
We did some experiments and found that there was no discernible difference to the touch between straight-sided and curved spacers, so have changed the design of the spacers to make them straight-sided. This means the height adjustment on the handle has gone from four options spanning eight millimetres of adjustment, up to eight options spanning 15mm of adjustment! This provides much greater flexibility for the user as well as getting greater value out of their spacers (beforehand, two of the three spacers would be unused at any one time).
We’re rolling this change out across all models and is expected to be complete by the end of May 2012.