Why don't pros use the WDT? More advanced distribution techniques? - Page 7

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Phaelon56

#61: Post by Phaelon56 »

I suppose it's been by osmosis but my home technique (with Super Jolly) has evolved to the following:

  • * Keep hopper filled with at least 1/4 lb to 1/2 lb of beans - about a three day supply. If I expect to be away from home for a few days I empty the hopper into an airtight container. I no longer weigh the dose. An old Time-O-Lite darkroom timer gives me a timed grind and 8 to 9 seconds always gives me about the right dose.

    * Use rapid multiple pulls of the doser lever and tap the portafilter on the forks gently a few times while dosing

    * Stockfleth type distribution - I tried the chopstick, the spatula and few other flat edge items but I don't see the benefit in a home environment. I do believe there's an advantage in a commercial setting if one is trying to achieve a standard of consistency for distribution when a variety of barista's with differing techniques are rotating in and out in one location.
If I recall correctly... Intelligentsia has the front line crew in their shops using a metal blade of sorts for distribution (some type of bottle opener which consists of a flat metal blade).

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HB
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#62: Post by HB »

Phaelon56 wrote:If I recall correctly... Intelligentsia has the front line crew in their shops using a metal blade of sorts for distribution (some type of bottle opener which consists of a flat metal blade).
Yes, the so-called "Chicago Chop" (from Home barista techniques that the pros shun):
ThaRiddla wrote:Ah, the "Chicago Chop" or "Intelligentsia Chop" or the "Hassan Chop" (well, not really the Hassan Chop, but I'm a huge classic bugs bunny guy.)

I think someone on CG coined that phrase a while ago. We started using that when we switched over from the swift about 3 years ago, now. We needed to come up with something that was ultimately repeatable for the baristas. Since there are sometimes upwards of 6 people working at once, we needed something that wouldn't take the "art" out of making shots, but was still able to be used by more than one person on a shift without the lag time of changing the grind every time someone went on break. Enter the chop.

As for competition, none of us use the chop method. We have all developed our own techniques for distribution and leveling... (cont'd)
I noticed that Counter Culture includes the same technique in their training.
Dan Kehn

Phaelon56

#63: Post by Phaelon56 »

I have tried the "Chicago Chop" at home and found it far more successful with a flat edge metal blade than with a chopstick. But I still found myself underdosing - or so it appeared. I wasn't getting as consistent a distribution as I get from using my finger (this assumption based on watching the bottomless PF).

k7qz

#64: Post by k7qz » replying to Phaelon56 »

No reason to change if this works well for you. We're all different and I never could get Stockfleth's or the likes to work for me. I'm likely several inches taller than most here with big hands. Wandering from the OP but I was in a shop several months ago (name changed to protect the innocent) where the barista had a cold. He coughed into his right hand and then wiped his runny nose before doing a Stockfleth's on my shot. I wasn't sure I wanted to drink the resulting beverage he served me or not... :roll:

The C. Chop is my personal favorite approach. The first time I saw the chop in action was at a convention where one of the Josuma guys was using a popsicle stick for this. I overdose the basket a little from the doser, chop, chop, chop back and forth in a NSEW pattern, swipe, swipe, swipe the basket level with the straight edge (I use a silicon spatula as it's quieter than a metal straight edge) and away we go. I did find that I ended up grinding a notch or two finer using this technique than with a finger method- On track with the OP, I abandoned the WDT when I moved to my Kony as it didn't seem to need it vs. my DL Mazzer.

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John P

#65: Post by John P »

At the caffe I use a Stockfleth's type distribution method and then level off with the doser lid. Most important part from my experience is 1) keeping grinder burrs clean&sharp 2) HOW the grinds fall into the basket Of course when your done, tamping level is a good plus.
John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
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cannonfodder
Team HB

#66: Post by cannonfodder »

Over the past week I have stopped everything in regard to distribution. I was dosing into my portafilter one day and stood there looking at the nice neat and clump free mound in my basket and thought 'I wonder what would happen if I just smashed it flat with my fancy hammer'. So I did, half expecting a sink shot. To my surprise I pulled a very good shot. I have kept with the dose in the basket and squash it technique for a week with no ill effects. In fact, I think my shots are just as good, or better than normal possibly due to minimal fussing with the dose.
Dave Stephens

k7qz

#67: Post by k7qz » replying to cannonfodder »

Why don't the pro's use the WDT? Answer:
:P

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Phaelon56

#68: Post by Phaelon56 »

cannonfodder wrote:Over the past week I have stopped everything in regard to distribution. I was dosing into my portafilter one day and stood there looking at the nice neat and clump free mound in my basket and thought 'I wonder what would happen if I just smashed it flat with my fancy hammer'. So I did, half expecting a sink shot. To my surprise I pulled a very good shot. I have kept with the dose in the basket and squash it technique for a week with no ill effects. In fact, I think my shots are just as good, or better than normal possibly due to minimal fussing with the dose.
So.... this means you have really really good aim and a hammer with a 57 mm diameter head? :wink: My neighbor watched me hammering on a carpentry project once and said I worked like lightning - almost never hit the same spot twice :o

I will have to try grinding finer and using the chop again. My hands are also big but my fingers aren't especially long (thank goodness I'm as handsome as a movie star and don't have to work with my hands :wink: ) The only easy way to do the Stockfleth's for me is to use my pinky. Maybe that's my problem. But the fact is that I use a Swift at my part time job (not my choice) and only grind and tamp six or eight shots per week just at home on the weekends.

Pete

#69: Post by Pete »

Another possible benefit of "fines migration", assuming that it occurs:

Water pushes through the puck from top to bottom, so you could conclude that during the full course of the shot, the fines that make up the bottom layer of the puck are less extracted than the coarser grinds of the top layer. Considering that it takes about 8 seconds for the first drop of liquid to make it from the dispersion screen to the cup, that might be a significant effect.


I've been using a toothpick to stir the grinds coming out of my Mazzer Mini for the past few days. No yogurt cup, but since I don't usually updose, my hand easily prevents spill-over. The added step has definitely improved shot quality.

Pete

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BuzzedLightyear

#70: Post by BuzzedLightyear »

THANK YOU MR WEISS!

I have tried it for the first time last night and it is amazing how it made the whole espresso process much more forgiving especially on the finicky Miss Silvia. Other people can call it a cheat but I think it is more of a solution.

I believe if new beginners knew about this process, the learning curve to making espresso would be much easier.

The only thing that bothers me is having invested so much money in espresso equipment I wish I could find something a little more classier looking than a plastic cup