It was bound to happen sooner or later unfortunately. The good folk at Espro forwarded us an email theyd received a couple of days from a Chinese company trying to sell them (poor) replicas of the Pullman Barista. Why they thought Espro would be interested in buying rip-offs of someone elses product is another question but there you go ::)
The product theyre currently making is a poor replica and anyone whos familiar with the genuine article should be able to pick it easily. At this point in time from the information I have, these are the main differences with these cheapie knock-offs:
* Handles dont have the Pullman logo
* Handles dont have the acetal insert in the top
* The black insert in the base is anodised aluminium, not rubber
* This base insert sits on top of the base (in a genuine Barista there is a spigot of stainless steel which extends from the base up though the base insert and is visible at the top of the base)
* Surfaces such as the base, spacers and some handles are highly polished and / or chrome-plated, rather than being smooth-machined
* Grub screw for fastening base to handle is mild steel (black in colour) rather than stainless steel
* It goes without saying they dont have a serial number stamped into the top of the base and dont offer custom sizing.
Essentially these people have tried to make a tamper that looks like a Barista but havent been prepared to make the expensive decisions which give it its functionality, which is probably true for most cheap counterfeit products. For example:
* Using an aluminium insert in the base rather than rubber will make the base heavier, thereby destroying the balance designed into a genuine unit. Obviously it will also be a cold, hard surface to push on rather than comfortable rubber.
* Because they dont care about weight, balance or comfort, the aluminium base insert basically sits on top of the base, meaning a lot less machining is required of the base. Thus there is no stainless steel spigot extending through the insert which is why the top of their base is just black.
* Shoddy materials and processes give poorly finished surfaces which then have to be polished or chrome-plated. Highly polished surfaces also accentuate the slightest scratch
* Mild steel is cheaper than stainless steel, but as shown as soon as it gets wet (which is kinda expected in a cafe environment), it starts rusting.
Theres every likelihood these will end up on the shelves of unscrupulous (or unsuspecting) coffee accessory shops in Australia at some point, even possibly in the lead-up to Christmas.
Of course in time these people or others may try to make their product a better copy so the best way to avoid getting duped at any time is to buy through our website, or through one of the resellers listed on our website http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/resellers.html.
Forewarned is forearmed ;)