Barista Hustle AutoComb: How does it help in making better coffee?

Espresso with a richer taste and aroma is within your reach. The WDT AutoComb tool with 12 needles and automatic coffee distribution is the secret weapon of the world's best baristas. Want one too?

AutoComb: manual-automatic WDT

When perfection and simplicity are the goal at the same time, a tool that combines automatic precision with the advantage of easy-to-use manual tools may be the solution. Take this idea and apply it to the oft-discussed WDT barista technique of late. Well, you don't have to anymore, because this is what the coffee pros at Barista Hustle and have created AutoComb.

12 hand-powered needles for the perfect espresso

From barista competitions to coffee shops and the homes of coffee enthusiasts. The WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) method has found its way to anyone looking to improve their coffee extraction. And what true espresso lover wouldn't want that, right? But... using WDThas a few rules to get the right result: a tastier espresso.

Optimal coffee distribution with WDT:

  • WDT tool with ideally thin needles (approx. 0.3 mm),
  • for the number of needles, in general, the more the more even the coffee distribution,
  • regular needle placement helps to work better with the WDT tool,
  • last but not least, there is the skill of the barista in handling the WDT tool.

AutoComb solves all this. It contains 12 needles precisely arranged in a spiral pattern. Its design ensures that the needles pass through all the coffee in the portafilter. Both horizontally and vertically, or the width and height of the coffee bed.

AutoComb's guide to perfect coffee distribution

The instructions for using AutoComb basically involve just two steps: attaching the tool to the portafilter with the ground coffee, a few palm movements through the rotating mechanism and you're done. AutoComb does all the work that requires precision and your time.

The clever folks at Barista Hustle have managed to prepare a tool that is guaranteed to spread the coffee well across thecomplete coffee bed in the portafilter. The AutoComb fits most portafilters, or rather those with a diameter of 58 mm. Typically all Nuova Simonelli or Victoria Arduino coffee machines

RDT vs. WDT and AutoComb

Since we are on the topic of perfect coffee distribution in a portafilter, you will want to ask whether the AutoComb i.e. WDT method is better than RDT? For those who have not heard of RDT, I will briefly explain that it is a technique of David Ross and his water dropping into coffee (Ross Droplet Technique = RDT). Simply, the idea is that a bit of water from the atomizer on the coffee beans minimizes the static electricity generated during the subsequent grinding of the coffee, so that coffee clumps don't form.

The advantage with RDT is that you apply this method before grinding. When working with manual WDTthere is a risk of spilling the already ground and weighed batch of coffee from the portafilter. On the other hand, with RDT you still need to use a distributor or other method of settling the coffee in the lever. The topic is explored in depth by Christopher Hendon and his research team in a new study.

Coffee grinding, static electricity and distribution techniques

The problem of static charge generated during coffee grinding is one that grinder manufacturers are trying to address, for example with special grinder parts - crushers- that they place in the grinding mouth. The above mentioned study is indicative of the different static charge generated during grinding. It can bepositive or negative and varies according to the type of coffee.

Coffee grinding, static electricity and distribution techniques

If coffee is roasted darker, it will tend to generate a negative charge. Especially for extra fine particles. Fine negatively charged particles tend to form clumps, sometimes referred to as boulders in ground coffee. This leads to extraction problems: less surface area of the coffee and uneven flow through the coffee bed.

In RDT, a dose of water of about 2% of the coffee weight should be used. This will minimize the formation of coffee clumps, increase the extraction time (up to 50% longer) and increase the extraction yield by 10%. Longer extraction leads to the use of coarser grinds, which can result in reduced grinder retention. However, Barista Hustle have done a test where it is not the grind grade that is considered stable, but the extraction time. From the results they made a comparison between RDT and WDT using AutoComb.


AutoComb as the best technique to enhance the taste of coffee

The test of distribution techniques showed that RDT:

  • Is fine for minimizing boulder formation from ground coffee,
  • it also promotes a reduction in grinder retention,
  • has an effect on extraction time, which it increases.

With the use of the AutoComb tool, espresso extraction yield increases. This is the case when using AutoComb alone and in combination with RDT. So it is clear that RDT does not affect the extraction strength, but the WDT technique using the AutoComb tool does!

I want my AutoComb for the perfect espresso!

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