Coffee distributor mystery

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
federete

#1: Post by federete »

Hi there,

Before getting a coffee distributor for Christmas I distributed the coffee with my finger, gentle touches on the portafilter and then tamp it.
Now, with the distributor, coffee flows so much faster, even if I tamp it strongly afterwards. To me this can only mean that the coffee is not properly distributed, but this gadget is called a coffee distributor. I am very puzzled, am I doing something wrong?

My gear: gaggia classic, IMS Gaggia competition 12/18 ridgeless basket, Motta Coffee Levelling Tool Pianacaffe, Motta 8102/B 27058 Coffee Competition Tamper, Sage smart grinder Pro

Entreri

#2: Post by Entreri »

I think the general consensus has become that the distributor/leveling tools do not provide constancy throughout the full depth of the puck, and only makes the top half look smooth and nice while actually potentially leaving the bottom layers in a worse condition.

I got much better results when I stopped using my leveling tool and only did WDT with needles.

Check Lance Hendricks YouTube-video on WDT :)

federete (original poster)

#3: Post by federete (original poster) »

Thank you! Good to know, but sad to have got a Leveler as a present though. And surprised people recommend this tool when it was so obvious to me (relatively inexpert) that it doesn't work well. I'll watch that video

federete (original poster)

#4: Post by federete (original poster) »

Can't find that video. What does WDT MEAN?

harris

#5: Post by harris »


federete (original poster)

#6: Post by federete (original poster) »

Very interesting!
I'll get some acupuncture needles and make a WDT tool with a cork.

Should I use two like Lance Hendrik or would one tool work? What do you recommend?

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

federete wrote:Before getting a coffee distributor for Christmas I distributed the coffee with my finger, gentle touches on the portafilter and then tamp it.
Now, with the distributor, coffee flows so much faster, even if I tamp it strongly afterwards.
My suggestion would be to do your prep as before then use the distribution tool - and grind finer till you get the desired flow in the desired time frame.

Taste is the final arbiter.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

I use the LeverCraft WDT tool and get essentially flat and level beds with minimal leveling after a quick, deep stir (Niche Zero, no RDT/water spray, lighter roasts). It seems that the design was well thought out and well executed. It isn't inexpensive, or otherwise I'd recommend it without hesitation. If out of your discretionary budget, that is the design I'd emulate with cork and needles.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#9: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

I have a slightly different take on these.

I think the leveler serves a purpose. You have to adjust the depth so it does some level of compaction and it does level the coffee so the tamp is better. So if you can try adjusting the depth.

On the WDT tools, many people love these needles. I find the ergonomics the handle to not be as good as a keycap puller with the tops cut so you have four right angle prongs. I find the stirring to be much easier with the thin handle.

So lots of variables.
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klee11mtl

#10: Post by klee11mtl »

When I switched from a leveler to WDT, I did not notice any difference. I use a dosing cup and shake during the transfer from it to the portafilter so I experimented with shaking only, WDT only, and leveler only. The conclusion I came to for my setup is shaking was the most significant factor for a proper extraction.

My experience is purely anecdotal, I do not do any type of EY measurement nor do I log any shot information. I am going purely off observing the shot as it is pulled and by taste in the cup.

My current workflow is shaking during transfer and WDT if needed to level the mound before tamping.