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Found 25 results

  1. This is how I use my eureka Mignon. Using a ceramic ramekin means I can easily stir the grinds, being ceramic means I don't get any static. I'm Always making two drinks at once so find it easier to just halve the amount that comes out as it can vary slightly by up to a gram either way over the 2x15gms I'm aiming for. I've adopted this method because I don't like grinds getting on the worktop. The scales are on top of an espresso cup that fits perfectly between the two feet of the grinder. The scales are tared with the ramekin on them. I've got the timer set to dispense 15 grams approx and I'm using a 15 gram VST ridgeless basket. [video=youtube_share;LAPVpwPSphw]
  2. Saw this new to the coffeehit site. http://coffeehit.co.uk/ona-coffee-distributor Apparently designed by Sasa Sestic. In combination with a tamper such as great leveller, push Mahlgut etc, it could be a good way to control barista consistancy in a busy shop, but at £99 I think I'll stick with my paperclip WDT for now. Anyone with spare cash and a love of gadgets tempted to buy one?
  3. Stumbled across these and thought others might enjoy , posting the link for the first video but there are plenty more .
  4. Distribution , surely starts at the grinder as the coffee falls into the basket , I am going to put myself out there pose a few questions and hopefully stimulate some feedback towards what others think. Will your distribution be effected by how you tend or prefer to grind ? Either single dosing or grinding by on demand from hopper ? Your ground coffee, is it made of small and large particles ? and if so Is it better to mix these up or just work with the output what the grinder gives you ? what would happen if you sieved the particles of ground coffee and separated them so they were all an even size ? when making an espresso how much do we encourage the coffee to bloom to help it regulate itself ? Is it possible if the grinder creates much finer and smaller particles that channeling is more or less likely to occur ? hopefully these questions are the sort of questions we are all asking ourselves and it's not just me , sure I can read many articles about distribution but I find others opinions and views more stimulating and also more fruitful. There is also a lot of chaff on the Internet but there is a lot of members on the forum with great hands on experience I think it would be great to read what others think.
  5. Not unnaturally, Reiss Gunson of Londinium Espresso is enthusiastically promoting the Londinium Distribution Tool. He has referred to it as 'the silver bullet that can transform your espresso’ and has said it will give you ‘the best per dollar improvement in your current setup, compared to any other thing you might change’. Bold claims indeed. Both prior and subsequent to it becoming available there have been forum posts questioning it's efficacy, compared to other traditional stirring implements and many have raised their eyebrows at it's selling price. I will admit that I joined in the lighthearted fun on one, pre launch, thread and produced an LDT 'lookalike'……. made from the stub end of a pencil and three loop-ended pins….. cost of about 70p. Just for the record, when it came to using it, it was absolutely useless. Also, my first reaction to it’s selling price was that it appeared to be an expensive bit of kit for stirring/distributing your espresso dose….. especially as you would, ideally, want to pair it with the aluminium dosing funnel. So, how come I ended up buying one? Well first off, it looks the business…… a nice Wenge handle, a shiny stainless steel ferule and three springy stainless wire prongs that terminate in a nice little loop! Secondly, the engineer in me suspected that the three pronged design would likely be very efficient for mixing the grinds. Thirdly, by the time I decided to order there was nothing but positive feedback from owners, most of whom I would consider have far better coffee credentials then me. Many have reported discernible improvement in the cup and most certainly it would appear to promote an even and central pour when using a bottomless portafilter. So what are my thoughts? It is a very well made item. It feels great in the hand and is a pleasure to use. ‘Ok’ I hear you say…. ‘Thats all well and good but what about the coffee?’ To some extent I will have to let you ferret out the comments of some of the aforementioned coffee folk. I do not use a bottomless portafilter very often, preferring to split a shot using a double spouted. I don’t have a super duper refined palate so struggle to detect and describe taste nuance and ….. sin of all sins…. I take my coffee with milk! Before using the LDT, and distributing with a mini whisk, not every pour would start from both spouts at the same time. Since using the LDT, every pour has started at the same time which to me indicates an even and central pour. In addition, I have been using two beans that are new to me and for me, the coffee has been top notch. Bear in mind that I am using it with an OE funnel that has a 45 degree taper so the dose does not easily drop back down into the basket as they would if using the straight-sided alum funnel. I am pleased with my LDT ! I reckon that all sounds pretty positive but let’s be honest it is all a bit subjective and it’s also the opinion of those who have pushed the boat out for one. Please rest assured that I would have no issue whatsoever in owning up if I felt that I had bought a pup and wasted my money. Anyway it did occur to me that there might be another way to assess the LDT and I offer that to you, below. It is by no means a robust scientific test but I do feel it is a bit more objective. I used a clear plastic pot, just 2mm greater than a VST basket, in order to simulate a vertical sided funnel being used over a basket. I used a 9g layer of ground coffee below a 9g layer of ground ‘Grinds’ for each test. Ten seconds vigorous and purposeful stirring with a cocktail stick and the top surface looks reasonably well mixed. However you can see that a lot below the surface is not. Ten seconds vigorous and purposeful stirring with a mini whisk. A good proportion of the dose is well mixed but there is a dead band at the bottom that has not mixed. Ten seconds mixing with the LDT (In fact I reckon I could have stopped before 10 sec ) and the whole dose appears to be extremely well mixed. In fairness I did achieve a similar perfect mix by putting a lid on the pot and shaking it vigorously for ten seconds but that would mean not grinding directly into your portafilter. Make of that what you will. As I say I am well pleased. Anybody want to buy a cocktail stick ?
  6. Hi all, For the people that grind into a container before distributing into the portafilter, I'm interested - what do you use and would you recommend? I've tried a small square tupperware container, which is okay but not completely ideal as it's square. I've also tried a jar which I originally thought would be better as it's round, but the ridge near the rim actually makes it more fiddly. The HG1 blind tumblers and shakers look great but a little pricey - http://lynweber.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/blind-shaker-store-3.jpg I'm after some ideas! Cheers Luke
  7. Broke out the naked handle today as I had a bit of time, Shocking , darker extractions on one side, lighter on the other . I am happy with the dosing and adjusting the grind to alter extraction times and can adjust the grind finer and coarser to suit. But I am thinking I could improve my distribution technique . I am not doing the thwacking method but rather allowing the grind to fall into the doser and fill the basket from there. There are a few clumps in the grind but after a little nutation with the tamper all seems fine. I have tried the cocktail stick and swirling in the basket which makes little difference. Am I asking too much from the super jolly , or is it just my technique that needs revising. I have been happy with the end result so far and I have been getting good constancy , but the naked handle doesn't lie and the extraction is far from perfect. Group head and screen are spotless as well as basket. i am using a 58mm convex tamper maybe 58.4 will make a difference i don't know. Would sieving the grind show up if its the SJ and yes if need be I will do some video clips .
  8. Unashamedly, I have cut and pasted this blog, from Reiss Gunsons blog page on the londinium website. I read this every day as when he is not promoting the machines, you often get pearls of wisdom, and this explains a lot! L1 - user tip: it's all about distribution if you've ground too fine and made a lousy job of the distribution of the coffee grinds in the basket what you will experience is the portafilter dripping almost instantly in the pre-infusion phase, and then when you release the spring, the extraction phase taking way too long when you are 'doing it right' the portafilter won't drip for at least 10 seconds in the pre-infusion phase (longer with a light roast and/or a high dose), yet the extraction phase will still be in that 27-30s zone what is distribution? well even the very best grinders in the the world, regardless of cost, don't grind the coffee to a uniform size and shape as a result you need to ensure that the 'mix' of slightly different shaped and sized grinds is about the same throughout the puck so give the coffee grinds a vigourous stir with a cocktail fork or anything similar that you have to hand for example, you dont want all the smallest grinds in one part of the puck and all the largest grinds in another part of the puck if this occurs the resistance presented to the water is not uniform over the surface of the puck and so the water heads for the spot where the resistance is least, and that is what is known as 'channelling'. The bulk of the water flows through a single point in the puck at low pressure resulting in an under-extracted espresso, which will taste poor bear in mind that channelling varies greatly from severe (water just gushes through a single point in the puck extremely quickly - obvious) to almost undetectable (less water flowing through some areas of the puck than others, but water still moving through all areas of the puck) when you make an effort to get an even distribution of the grinds of different shapes & sizes throughout the puck you will be able to grind coarser, yet the puck will still hold back the water for a long time in the pre-infusion phase the payoff is the extraction phase will then reduce to the 27-30s zone and you will experience whatever roast you are using at its best rightly or wrongly i believe that the optimal extraction time is the same for all roasts (around 27s), but the pre-infusion phase needs to be varied (short for low doses &/or dark roasts - long for high doses &/or light roasts) if your extraction phase is currently significantly longer than 30s you will be tasting a woodiness, much like sucking on a pencil as i remember from school days improve your distribution so it doesn't drip immediately, then you can grinder more coarsely and your extraction time will reduce and the unpleasant woodiness will disappear and your espresso will suddenly taste a lot cleaner. If the roast is meant to have fruit notes in it they will suddenly appear too as you get the extraction time down so go on, make an effort to get the distribution right & taste the difference immediately Reiss Gunson 2013 Mar
  9. I've been thinking lately: if I'm using a blend of 3 beans, and assuming the three types are equally represented in the overall roasting batch, what are the chances of getting two identical shots? Everything else being as equal as I can get it - temperature, grind, tamp pressure, shot time (generally a function of the previous two or three) - still the resulting drink can vary a fair bit from one cup to the next. I grind a double's worth only, each time I'm about to make a coffee. I've not actually counted, but say there were 60 beans (for ease of arithmetic) each time, then the average would be 20/20/20. However it could be as extreme as 0/0/60, with each combination having an equal probability. Vary the blend and the flavour alters. Has anyone else found themselves pondering far too much on this?
  10. Hi I have recently switched from the La Spaz to the GS3. i think i now have a dosing and distribution issue. I am trying to grind straight into the portafilter and, as you know, you get the classic volcano. The issue is that i try to 'fill' the volcano but this is quite difficult to do reliably. I either have to bang the portafilter to try and get the hole filled or else i try and use my finger but the level of the coffee is below the top of the basket so this is not very easy and leads to poor results. The outcome is that i get a lot of duff shots with massive channelling and (with a naked portafilter) are clearly not right. To try and compensate for this problem i have tried upping the dose to 20 gr (18 is my standard) and this is successful. When i do this there is now plenty of coffee in the basket and i can use the usual north, south, east, west technique to fill the hole and get a flat puck. However, i really don't want to be dosing 20r for each shot and wanted to know: 1. shall i buy a new basket...in which case the issue is what size. i was thinking i could get a strada 14r basket and then dose 18 gr and hopefully this would be ok. 2. Should i get a VST basket or are the La Marzocco baskets already VST... i think this is the case from my reading? 2. Or should i just grind into a cup and then get some sort of dosing ring etc to make sure the grinds a nicely distributed. This seems like a poor option as the whole point of the M3 is that it is meant to give great distribution when you grind straight into the portafilter. It would also add in extra steps and fiddling Finally, as you know we did have an informal versalab thread 'what weights 38lb and can fit it your hand luggage'. This has now been closed by i have contacted Glenn who suggested i start a new thread for this enquiry and he would investigate what happened with the previous post. Any advice gratefully received thanks
  11. Hey all, I came across this video when I was looking on YouTube for Duetto videos. I'm sure the coffee tastes lovely, but is this taking distribution a little too far? I definitely couldn't see myself doing that every day, and you would never see anyone at the WBC doing anything like that, so is it really necessary? Would love your opinions!
  12. I purchased several of these and have two available. They're lovely little dosing cups with a small segment taken out of the collar to accommodate the EK43 bag holder (they can be used on other grinders with space, I've used mine on a mythos too). You can then simply dose into it, pop the PF over the top, flip, jiggle and robert's yer fathers brother. Can be seen in action (by someone who know what they're doing and not my clunky hands £24 + PP (or collection from Sheffield).
  13. var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.8"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
  14. I've got a small number of the Chinese adjustable tampers - both normal flat tampers, and the 3 wedged distribution device thing. The "Adjustable Flat" tampers are 516.5g in weight, and 58.5mm diameter - I've got a red one, a blue one and a purple one currently - £ 34.50 each plus £4.45 postage (1st Class Signed For) The "Adjustable Distribution" devices are 505.6g in weight, and 58.5mm diameter - again I've got a red one, a blue one and a purple one currently - £ 36.50 plus £4.45 postage (1st Class Signed For) (Combined postage is £6.60 if you wanted both a tamper and distribution thingy together) The coloured part of the tamper/device seems to be anodized aluminium - in the various colours - and the actual tamping/device is polished stainless, and looks very nice. I'm quite surprised at the nice quality and feel to them and both fit the ridgeless VSTs very nicely. The "Adjustable Flat" tamper compares well with the Mahlgut Palm SL (680.5g, 58.55mm) - with a very similar action and mechanism. Any interest before I put them on eBay for a few quid more? A few more pics: Other colours: Blue: Purple:
  15. Hello, PRAT gods. I would like to get into PRATting, as I can see the science behind this being beneficial (I'm currently using WDT) - only one thing that stops me basically, which is something to grind into. I'm using an EK, and ideally would like something I could clip in to grind into. Problem is everything I find is either to small to clip in, or really rather big. What are other people using - I have some of the single dose pots left over, which just about fits on the end of an EK, however I worry they are in fact a little small. Does size matter with PRAT? Yours in confuzzledness P.
  16. Hi all. For anyone who is after a mechanical flour sifter to improve their distribution, I've found a cheaper alternative to the Tala Mini Sifter. It's made by a company called Metaltex and the seller has confirmed to me today that the funneled hole underneath is 55cm diameter. I've only ordered mine today so as yet can't vouch for build quality but at just under a fiver is got to be worth a punt: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/182305356846
  17. Please let me know if you're interested in one of these fancy shaking things: http://lynweber.com/accessories/blind-shaker/ If so - I'll try and get a deal and at least save us some money on the postage.
  18. I have just gone through 1/3 kilo of beans trying out different distribution and packing methods, as well as adjusting grind sizes and tamp pressure, to get a shorter shot but not too short. After the second grind adjustment I managed to get a 23 second extraction spot on before blonding, just filling the shot glass to the line, before then adjusting the grinder randomly and trying to iron out faults to achieve the desired result through packing and tamping. The Gaggia Classic is quite forgiving and produced a decent cup even given pretty rubbish grounds (packed to an acceptable standard) to work with. I'm looking forward to the new grinder arriving this week so that I can repeat the same tests.
  19. With which ek43 distribution do you have the best results so far? Stockfleth, OCD or other, WDT, HB Holdswhirl, tapping, Tala sifter,... Is it a subjective feeling or it was measured?
  20. I'm still getting used to my Gaggia Classic, but I wanted to hear some people's thoughts on dosing and distributing. The barista technique books I have read have advocated overdosing the basket, then using either a finger-sweep (NSEW) to distribute and remove excess or stockfleth move (using a twist from the elbows to rotate the finger around the basket). The trouble with both of these is that you end up with a very full basket - so full it will swell and press against the screen :/ I'm aiming for a 16.5 g dose target into a double basket. I'm using a paperclip to break up clumps (WDT - from Scott Rao's Prof. Barista Handbook), then a gentle tap to level it and check clumping. After that, I place the tamper on lightly to level it, then apply pressure to tamp. This works for me, but my main concerns are: 1) this wouldn't work in a shop 2) the broken up grinds are too low in the basket for distribution using a finger sweep (or similar). So what is your technique for dosing and distribution?
  21. Hi As my skills start to refine a little I find myself thinking about distribution tools. Currently I just grind and give a few taps. What do people think about the disc type distribution tools compared to the metal pronged stirrer thingies I have read of people using? Don't want to be one of those hobbyists that has all the gear, no idea!!
  22. Hello all I struggled with distribution and tamping for a long while and still sometimes get uneven pours. I had put it down to the slight clumping that can sometimes occur with my MC2, but generally my technique was okay. For those of you who know London, I quite often have meetings around London Bridge. Last week I popped into Monmouth for a cup of Finca Las Nubes (mmmmmm!) for the tube ride back to the office. Whilst I was waiting for my cup to brew, I found myself watching their very capable barista and wondered if I might pick up some tamping tips whilst I was there. I was quite surprised to see him avoid any kind of distribution technique at all - he simply ground into the PF and tamped the mound of coffee straight away. This week I have been doing the same and my shots are much more regular. Do we perhaps over-think some aspects of technique sometimes? I'd be interested to hear about your technique and if you REALLY think it makes a big difference to the quality of your espresso.
  23. I've possibly just made the best espresso I have ever made (and not even from not my most favorite beans)... I think it was down to some new gear: VST/IMS shower screen/Naked PF. But maybe I'm just justifying the splurge. Anyway - when using the PF I can now see how the coffee is extracting, and, well, it's not 100% even! Does anyone have any recommendations for optimal distribution please? (I'm using the Olympus 75e)
  24. Hi, I'm having some trouble lately with the distribution on my Mazzer Mini Doserless E grinds. Any suggestions other than WDT (not that that's a bad option!)
  25. I have had a couple of weeks playing with the Brewtus but I seem to be having issues with uneven extraction. I'm getting consistent extraction times and weights however 9/10 times the extraction is uneven with channeling. I don't think I have ever got a single stream in the center, and usually with nasty spritzes. I'm using a 18g VST with 17g in the basket, ground direct into the portafilter, tapped level and tamped. Any ideas where I might be going wrong. I had similar issues with the Mignon and Silvano so the issue must lay with the barista!
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