Do you use the Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT)? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Do you use the Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT)?

Sometimes (explain)
Total votes: 137

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#11: Post by Psyd »

Marshall wrote:No. Never did. I spend a lot of time at espresso bars watching the experts grind, level and tamp. Never saw one yogurt cup. Don't expect to see one, either.
Even with my Majors, the yoghurt cup is a handy thing. I can thwack away to my heart's content, and I don't get a kitchen dusted with black dust. Having the cup in there allows me to break up the few clumps that the major's do provide me, and an even distribution from a fairly waste-free dose. I don't have to sweep up around the grinder as much as the 'experts', don't have as much waste as they do, have far more time than they do (as any time I have a line it's a line of very eager, and very patient 'clients') and usually get at least as good a product as the 'experts' in my neighborhood.
All of the things that the pros do aren't necessarily good for the HB, and all of the things that the HB gets to/has to do aren't necessarily good for a pro environment, or necessarily necessary.
I do, however, notice a pull/taste improvement from dose-level-tamp pull to dose-WDT-level-tamp-pull, and a slight improvement with the nutating motion between level and tamp.
So, I should maybe abandon those techniques that improve the quality of my espresso because I don't see the pro's use them?
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#12: Post by MattB »

I make two doubles every morning. The first for my wife's mocha/latte. The second for a myself, straight. I definitely use the WDT for every one of my own shots - I'm much more consistent that way. But I like practicing without it on my wife's shots (she can't taste the difference with all that chocolate, anyway), to see if I can get a decent pull without doing it. If I get good enough, I'll abandon the WDT. But right now, can't live without it.

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#13: Post by nixter »

I've got a NS Grinta grinder which gives fantastically consistent grind albeit kinda clumpy. I just use a table knife to push the grinds around as they fall into the basket. When I'm done I bust up the large clumps but nothing too meticulous. I smack the side of the PF with the palm of my hand to get things even and settled. I tamp once then bang around the edge of the PF with my tamper a few times to make the grinds that have "walled" up the side of the basket fall down. Then I tamp lightly again with a twist. I don't really know the details of any particular technique, this is just what I've come up with myself based on what feels right and what works. I tend to pull shots based on blonding rather than any set time which I think levels the playing field a bit. Usually my shots will blond around 25-30 seconds and occasionally they'll take much longer, sometimes close to 50 seconds! As long as I use blonding as the shutoff guide they all taste pretty damn good! I actually enjoy the subtle variations.


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#14: Post by DC »

Marshall wrote:[EDIT] I know "fetish" is a provocative word, but I used it because I see the technique as one of many symptoms of a tendency of web forums to encourage ever more elaborate espresso-making rituals, most of which are useless, and some of which are even counterproductive. I am thinking of things such as weighing every shot on a gram scale, loading the hopper one shot at a time, removing and replacing the basket for each shot, cleaning out the burrs after each change of blend. Someone posted on this week about using a dental vibrator to redistribute the grounds in the basket.

I recognize some great espresso advances have been developed or encouraged on the Internet, and I'm not really a Luddite. I wouldn't have a PID in my machine or a Cimbali Max Hybrid on my counter, if it weren't for on-line discussions. But, I really think we let some of this stuff get out of hand.
Yeah I agree with that, I've gone through som crazy rituals myself in the past, most of which as you say were pointless/detrimental. I can only talk from my own experience, which as a "home-barista" is only a year or so, but in back-to-back shots with/without WDT or equivalant on my setup the result is the same: using WDT produces better coffee in the cup.

If I had a better or professional grinder that did not produced clumped-up coffee, I doubt I'd do anything different to you. But I do believe that for grinders that produce clumps the WDT produces obvious improvements in the cup.


#15: Post by drminpa »

I used to use the WDT when I first started - it helped a great deal. After I got used to dosing evenly and tamping level I started using the Stockfleth move. Been doing it that way ever since. Much faster.


#16: Post by RomaCapoccia »

I agree with Marshall.

I've been using the stockfleth's move for some years (long before somebody named it that way) with different grinders, doser and doserless, and never felt the need of using any other distribution technique.
If you use that simple (and fast) technique, clumps do not usually affect the result in the cup.
That's my experience at least!

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#17: Post by Bex » grinder choice was made to avoid it, and that has worked as hoped.

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#18: Post by jamhat »

Yes, I use the WDT method since I use a Rocky doserless. I use a really short yogurt cup (maybe less than an inch tall), so it fits in the basket and under the spout without having to remove the portafilter holder. I find it's really simple and quick and also helps keep my kitchen counter a little cleaner.


#19: Post by roblumba »

If you have a good grinder and machine, I think all these techniques get debunked when you watch the WBC Champions use simple techniques. Look at Heather Perry and her simple technique. Or Matt Riddle and his simple technique. If they can perform at that level, providing a top of the class taste experience for expert tasting judges, then it's good enough for me. It makes me feel a little silly to go through anything more complicated than that if the best of the best are doing fine without it.

Also, consider that they developed their blends using those techniques, so it probably taste great that way. Of course, it helps to have a good grinder. A used Super Jolly can be found pretty cheap. I found a Rio Normale for $365.

I use a moderate "thwacking" technique during dosing and a very simple NSEW, a light leveling tamp, then a harder tamp with a twist and then blow off the loose grounds into the sink. My sink happens to be right next to the machine. It's very quick and has provided consistently good results.


#20: Post by Outsider »

As a newbie, the WDT seems a bit complicated, needles, yoghurt pots cut to size etc.

Why not just use an ordinary fork in the portafilter?

Alternatively, why not dose into a cup, shake or stir as vigorously as needed, and decant into portafilter?