Question: Distribution tool not needed when WDT'ing?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
DoubleR
Supporter ♡

#1: Post by DoubleR »

I'm beginning to question the need for a distribution tool if using the WDT technique as part of prep. The purpose of the distribution tool, from my understanding, is to assure that the coffee is evenly spread across the basket and it create a flat surface for tamping. Whenever I WDT, the grinds get evenly spread across the basket with a big fluffy surface on top. To get that surface down I just tap the portafilter on my tamping mat and the volume drops, making a good surface for tamping. I have been doing this now the past week and do not notice a difference in taste. Am I missing something here? Is the distribution tool superfluous in this situation?

Jonk

#2: Post by Jonk »

DoubleR wrote:Is the distribution tool superfluous in this situation?
Yes, you already Distributed better using Weiss' Technique :D
An OCD or clone can only make things worse after that.

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by PIXIllate »

Generally speaking the spinning "leveler" tools have been thoroughly debunked as providing lower extraction yields. While they do leave a pretty surface the density beneath is far from uniform. A good WDT tool like the Levercraft will provide much better results.

DoubleR (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by DoubleR (original poster) »

Thanks, that's what I was suspecting ever since I upgraded my WDT to an SWORKS the other week.

iyayy

#5: Post by iyayy »

i started with distribution tool only when using 54mm basket.
going to wdt the effect was obvious.
im now on 58mm basket, but dont have distribution tool.

not sure if i'd need it, personally it seems careful wdt done well gives quite good results already, even when i'm doing 10g doses.

i'm still curious if the wedge type would help tho. totally not interested in clover design.

tried looking at pesado gravity, once held it in hand and immediately feels disappointed. its too exorbitant for something clunky and rattles when shaked. my old 54mm china $15 distributor tools has more premium and better machined tolerance and finishes.

User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ❤

#6: Post by cafeIKE »

PIXIllate wrote:Generally speaking the spinning "leveler" tools have been thoroughly debunked as providing lower extraction yields. While they do leave a pretty surface the density beneath is far from uniform. A good WDT tool like the Levercraft will provide much better results.
Debunking data?

WDT leaves a far from uniform density. With some coffees, the basket looks like a deeply plowed field. Settling and tamping still required.

DoubleR (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by DoubleR (original poster) »

cafeIKE wrote:WDT leaves a far from uniform density. With some coffees, the basket looks like a deeply plowed field. Settling and tamping still required.
Totally agree that tamping is still required. But is it reasonable to WDT, use the portafilter "bumping" method, meaning hit it off the tamping mat to let the grounds settle / drop and then tamp... that's the question I'm after.

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by PIXIllate replying to DoubleR »

Yes, WDT then tap vertically then tamp. The only thing that you have to be mindful of is tapping at a slight angle so that you unlevel the WDT'ed bed of grounds. It's the part of puck prep I pay the most attention to now that I have the muscle memory for the micro movements that good WDT requires.

ira
Team HB

#9: Post by ira »

And I will point out that in the end, we have no actual idea how uniform the bed it, the goal is just to get it as close to uniform as we can and hope that's good enough. Not to say all the gyrations don't help, it's just it's unclear how to measure in a way that would give meaningful answers. Maybe a scale that balances the edges of the basket on 3 points that shows how the weight balance changes between empty, ground, raked, leveled and tamped. That might give us an indicator of actual overall distribution, but not of localized distribution.

pandoobus

#10: Post by pandoobus »

I'm familiar with the socratic coffee article stating that levelers are worse than doing nothing to the coffee in terms of EY, but are there any studies comparing EYs for pucks prepared using WDT + levelers?
"The best is the enemy of the good"