Why use a coffee distributor?

Why distribute coffee?

A tamper alone is usually not enough to make a top-quality espresso. This is because you can squeeze the coffee crookedly during the tamping process, leading to uneven extraction. Some of the espresso will be under-extracted and some will be over-extracted. But by using distribution, you can even out the coffee in the lever and make tamping easier and more precise.

Coffee distribution methods

There are several ways you can distribute the coffee. First, I'll introduce a few amateur techniques and then we'll discuss how you can distribute coffee like a pro.

The NSWE method (North-South-East-West method)

One of the most basic methods is called north-south-east-west, or north-south-east-west. And it consists of straightening the coffee with the underside of your index finger first in the direction of the two of you, then towards you, then to the right, then to the left.

The Stockfleth method

This method is based onrotation. Place your thumb and the edge of the lever and your index finger straight across. Rotate your hand and the portafilter in opposite directions. Repeat the process until the coffee is sideways.


Another option is to tap from underneath the lever or from the side. This method, however, is more likely to spill the coffee out of the lever (I speak from experience).

Card alignment

You can also use a playing or credit card, or even a ruler, to align the lever and get rid of the coffee grounds. But this isn't the most hygienic or practical option, do you think?

The Weiss method of distribution

The author of this method is Mr. Weiss. Themethod involves stirring the coffee with a thin object such as apaper clip or a pin. According to the proponents of this method, it is the mixing of the coffee throughout the cup that is key to proper extraction.

Straining the coffee from the cup

The last amateur method involves grinding the coffee in a cup, then pouring the ground coffee through the cup to prevent it from clumping, and then transferring it to the lever.

Settling the coffee with the distributor

If you want to straighten your coffee like a real pro, I've got something for you. Acoffee distributor who can help you settle your coffee the fastest and best. This is a tool that is designed for straightening.

Which distributor to choose?

Distributors come in several sizes, just like tamers. So first you need to look at the diameter of the distributor. This should be the same as the diameter of your tamper.

The distribution works on the basis of the blades at the bottom of the distributor. These spread the ground coffee in the portafilter by rotating the distributor. After that, the only thing left to do is to tamp the coffee.

Czech distributors Heavy Tamper

Not only tamper but also distributors are produced by the Czech brand Heavy Tamper. They have 2 blades. At first glance, they impress mainly with their wooden design.

Coffee distribution with Motta

Motta produces distributors in several diameters. You can also choose from several designs. As far as the blades are concerned, you will find two or even three of them with Motta.

Lelit distributors directly to the coffee machine

From Lelit you probably know mainly home coffee machines. But their portfolio also includes coffee accessories, including distributors. These are tailor-made just for the portafilters of these coffee machines.

Distributors Barista Space

Barista Space distributors are made of high-quality stainless steel. Their upper part is convex and so they fit beautifully in the palm of the hand and are great to handle.

Coffee distributor and tamper in one

In case you have a Rocket Espresso coffee maker in your coffee corner, I have a little gadget for you. Rocket Espresso has made a tamper and a distributor in one.

One side has a smooth flat surface to tamp, the other side has a surface with three blades for proper distribution. With the screw center you can adjust the thickness of both sides.

Coffee lumping during grinding

Since this article is dedicated to coffee distribution, I would like to mention the lumping of the coffee during grinding. This has quite a big impact on distribution. If you don't break up the lumps, they can cause complications during extraction.

What is the biggest influence on coffee clumping? The most typical reasons are humidity, heat or very fine grinding. In the case of heat, it may be a case of overheating of the stones. Check that everything is OK with them.

It is best to use a pin to break up the lumps, or more accurately, practice the Weiss method. A dessert fork with thin tines may also be useful. Then you can also use a distributor.

However, a good quality grinder is the best solution for lumping. For example, theEurekahome espresso grinders from the Atom range have the ACE system, which prevents lumping and electrostatic effects.

For professional grinders, you can reach for the grinders from the Mythos edition. For these, you can buy a special component called the crusher, which is located in the outlet and serves to break up lumps.

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