Have you heard of the WDT?

Have you heard of the WDT?

It's the best little tool you must add to your coffee tool chest. 

It stands for Weiss Distribution Technique.  (WDT) and is named after John Weiss, who developed this technique. Frustrated with the excessive clumps created from home grinders, he developed this method in 2005 as a way to evenly distribute the coffee grounds in the portafilter before brewing.  The premise being that evenly distributed grounds creates a more even extraction by eliminating channeling, resulting in a better cup. 

This tool is small, but effective in un-clumping and redistributing the grounds evenly.  There are three methods used:

  • Deep, the original method created by John Weiss
  • Puck Raking popularized by John Buckman, the owner of Decent Espresso
  • Shallow made popular by Scott Rao.

Since it has gained popularity and depending on your school of thought and preference, several types of WDT's have been made.  If you are interested in using this tool, make sure it has the following characteristics: 

  • The needles need to be thin, no wider than 1mm.  Thinner than this and they could break with heavy use.  Thicker than this and they don't effectively break up the clumps. 

If you use the Deep method, the needles need to be long enough to be able to reach the bottom of the portafilter basket so that they can evenly distribute ground coffee throughout the entire basket 

  • The needles need to be evenly spaced.

The WDT is simple to use. 

  • Dose the coffee grounds as you normally would and add them to the portafilter.
  • Tap the portafilter gently to level them. 
  • Insert the needles of the WDT tool into the basket and move in a circular motion to de-clump and distribute the grounds.
  • Tamp as brew as usual. 

As a side note, this can create more puck resistance, so adjust your variables as necessary if the shot flows too slow.

It can also be used with pour-over methods.  It's called the Wet Weiss Technique.
To help the coffee achieve a faster bloom, you can use the WDT tool to stir your coffee bed. It will help to get all the grounds wet and help achieve a more even extraction. Then use the WDT again after the first pour.  It will release the gas that is stuck in the coffee bed, helping to improve extraction.

If you use the Breville Barista Express espresso machine, like we do, you will find this tool extremely helpful as those particular machines are known for rather clumpy grounds. 

You can find so many styles available with different price points on Amazon and Etsy.



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