Silicone espresso mats are an accessory that may seem odd to low-profile home users. For true espresso aficionados, those with a barista spirit and who frequently experiment at home, it is an indispensable complement to their coffee press or tamper and their picamarro drawer. They can also be found as coffee mats.
Obviously, if you don’t use an espresso machine at home or have these other instruments, the non-slip coffee mat will not do you any good. It is a rather cheap accessory but very specialized. Not surprisingly, many coffee presses have their own mat included in the pack.
When buying a non-slip espresso mat, an essential tool for the barista, you won’t have to spend more than about 10 pounds. These are some of the options available on Amazon today:
What is the purpose of non-slip coffee mats?
If you have ever used a coffee tamper, you will quickly understand the usefulness of the mat or espresso mat.
The process of pressing the ground coffee into the filter is key to ensuring that the surface of the coffee is completely flat and even and that the coffee is compacted to the right size. No more, no less. Slight variations in the pressing affect the time it takes for the water to filter the coffee, and therefore the taste of the drink.
In order to carry out the pressing with the precision it deserves, it is necessary to have all the guarantees. The filter holder of the coffee maker, as you know, is never flat underneath, so you can’t just lean it on the table and press it.
It has to be secure, and that’s exactly what the coffee mat is for. It has a small die cut with the right shape (usually a semicircle) to fit the filter holder and so support it so that when you exert pressure with the tamper, the filter does not move even a millimetre.
In other words: the espresso mat serves to ensure that your coffee is pressed with optimum precision and safety.
In the following video, you can see how the mat is used for the coffee press:
Why are espresso mats made of silicone?
Because the coffee tamper mats protect the work surface (table, worktop, etc.) from damage and scratches. There are other non-slip materials, of course, but silicone is the one that usually offers the best balance between grip, hold, cleaning and protection of your furniture.
The finishes are usually black, although there are also versions in other shades such as grey or brown. The dimensions also vary, but it is normal that the espresso mats are between 15 and 25 cm wide.
As you can see in the picture, apart from the hole to support the filter holder, the rugs also have a small hole of the right diameter to support the tamper there and have it at hand.
We selected the best mat for your coffee press
Most of the non-skid espresso mats that can be found on the market come from Asian suppliers and are all very similar in both quality and price. So it isn’t easy to make distinctions.
If we have to suggest a model, we will opt for this one:
It is a 25 cm wide, brown mat with a space where any tamper of 60 mm diameter fits (the largest). We have chosen it because the price is very tight and, although there are cheaper ones, it includes a metal measuring spoon as a gift.
Another less common option is to find only the silicone base: just enough space to fit the press. Of course, you can also rest the filter holder on it to compact it safely while you have the tamper in your hand. It’s not made of non-slip silicone for nothing.
In any case, if you are looking for the best non-slip mat for your coffee tamper, the ideal is to buy a press that already has its own mat included. This way, you can be sure that the dimensions of the mat and the quality are right for your presser, as it will be made to measure.
If you choose to buy a universal model, we recommend that you first check the diameter of your tamper (between 50 and 58 mm is usually the norm) and buy a mat adapted to it.