At the same time I was trying out the Weiss Distribution, discussed in Convex tamper and NSEW technique. Pros may eschew this technique, but John Weiss' (RapidCoffee) and my own experience support the assertion that the extra stir action does enhance the evenness of an extraction, especially for grinders that tend to clump. I bet newbies who are still working on their distribution technique will also see better results with this "cheat."
Tracing circles in search of better distribution (link)
While the difference in extraction quality with or without the Weiss Distribution may be minor with a forgiving E61, the difference is likely more stark for demanding machines, which reminds me of Ken Fox's point in the conclusion of The Impact of Preinfusion on the Taste of Espresso Shots:
Ken Fox wrote:If you have a rotary pump driven machine and it does not preinfuse the grounds, the modification I have done is fairly easy and cheap to do. The result of doing this modification should be greater tolerance to grind settings, easier switching between coffees, with less sink shots resulting. This is to say that with preinfusion added a non-preinfusing rotary machine begins to more and more resemble the way that a vibe pump driven machine operates. For ease of operation and less hassle, I'd suggest just installing the delay timer in your non-preinfusing rotary machine, without a need for an on-off switch.
HB wrote:His comment prompted me to work the last couple days trying to answer the question: Is a rotary E61 less forgiving than its vibratory pump equipped cousin? No doubt the difference, if it exists, is very small. I strived for hyper-even extractions in the attempt to demonstrate to myself that the difference was either noteworthy or negligible. After days of the most even pours I've ever managed, I'm still undecided. Perhaps this is a good group test for EspressoFest (Anita / vibe versus Vetrano / rotary), most even extraction wins?
Very thoughtful and interesting post Dan, but I must disagree with the assertion that the Weiss Distribution Technique is a) a cheat , or b) that the difference in extraction quality, even with an e61 may be minor, for the following reasons:
a) sure a pro would eschew this technique, as it takes more time than a NSEW, chop, or Stockfleth, and would lead to less through-put (ie.$); but it involves less pawing of the coffee, and is clearly a more consistent method of achieving even distribution. Sometimes the HB is in a better position to strive for absolute quality.
b) A naked PF will show gross errors (as Ken puts it) in the puck, the puck itself acts as another sign of errors, and the taste will show all errors. The Weiss Distribution often gives perfect NPF pours, perfect to near-perfect pucks, and my worst pours using the WDT taste miles better than my best NSEW pours.
It has made such a difference to my extractions that I hope that any reader who has not tried the WDT to give it a try before considering a new machine or grinder.
Split from The Buyer's Guide to the Quickmill Vetrano by moderator...