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  1. #101
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    ONA coffee distributor

    I'm not convinced about the accuracy of cheap scales. Whilst I acknowledge that different scales may be different, I think the digital read-out gives you a false sense of confidence. I had some cheapish Sofritto digital scales that I used for coffee and baking but it became clear when measuring gelatine that the scales were not consistent (and the jelly in a cake was rubber). I replaced with a Bonavita and the improvement has been huge.

  2. #102
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtW View Post
    I'm not convinced about the accuracy of cheap scales. Whilst I acknowledge that different scales may be different, I think the digital read-out gives you a false sense of confidence. I had some cheapish Sofritto digital scales that I used for coffee and baking but it became clear when measuring gelatine that the scales were not consistent (and the jelly in a cake was rubber). I replaced with a Bonavita and the improvement has been huge.
    Yeah it's a bit hit and miss in my experience. I've got 3 sets of cheap digital scales now and am only fully confident of the accuracy of the larger white ones pictured above. I check it occasionally and it hasn't ever been out by more than 0.5g, which is good enough for what I need. Performance deteriorates with the battery life as well. The other two are pocket scales and one of them at least is fairly poor for accuracy and performance. It's a handy design so it's a shame, but I just keep them at work now and only use them as a rough guide that's more accurate than the old 7g scoop. The set I'm currently using at home for yield measurement seem better, but they'll be replaced by a Brewista when I can afford it.

  3. #103
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    With no calibrated weight set available a good way to check the accuracy of your scale is using coins. Use ones in as close to mint condition as possible. To see if your scale is varying over time keep the coins you use set off to the side so that you're using the same exact coins every time.


    Java "Cali-what?" phile
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  4. #104
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Who can afford to keep a pile of coins lying around for scale calibration?
    Just use the coins to buy a better set of scales!
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  5. #105
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I do have a set of small metric weights.

    Checked my $10 scales a few minutes ago, seems they are 0.25% heavy over their range so 18 grams becomes 18.045, think I can live with this margin of error, we ain't weighing diamonds.
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  6. #106
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    A dollar or two pile of coins won't buy you much of a scale upgrade.


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  7. #107
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Ahem...

    If anyone is in a capital city and interested it looks like you can rego for a free demo of the Ona OCD...

    Australian Barista Champion Hugh Kelly will be travelling around giving demos. Enjoy!
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  8. #108
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Ahem...

    If anyone is in a capital city and interested it looks like you can rego for a free demo of the Ona OCD...

    Australian Barista Champion Hugh Kelly will be travelling around giving demos. Enjoy!
    Thanks for the tip-off, have registered. Maybe it'll be enough to convince me to upgrade from the generic version!
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  9. #109
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    A dollar or two pile of coins won't buy you much of a scale upgrade.


    Java "Pile 'o what?" phile
    Yeah but Yelta is talking about diamonds now

  10. #110
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    I've just received a Kafetek Conical grinder and it came with a distribution tool designed by Denis Baseric from Kafetek . I already had an OCD V1. Used Denis' version and I prefer it. Very easy to adjust the height, and nicer grip (doesn't slip). If anyone's interested, I can post a picture.
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  11. #111
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    I'm interested in a pic
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    I'm interested in a pic


    I do like the ONA tool and recommend it you anyone looking for consistency. It is simply a tool to help improve consistency. Is it necessary? No. Is it helpful in making channelling a thing of the past? Yes.

    The ONA tool weighs 410g and the Kafetek one weighs 505g. They both really achieve a well distributed level base, perfect to tamp on. Would I have changed tools if I didn't get one with the Kafetek grinder? No.

    I have two ONA tools, one for home and one at the office. One is now surplus.

  13. #113
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    How do the base designs compare? The OCD is 4 bladed, others I have seen are 3 and the blades do not appear to be as aggressive.

    Cheers

  14. #114
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    You are correct Artman. I have tried both. With the 3 blade you need to go a little deeper with a small amount of compression to get a good distribution. If you don't go deep enough you end up with cracks which might remain after tamping leading to channelling. I'd love to know how the Pullman chisel compares to these as it has a "V" shaped base
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  15. #115
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Thanks for the tip-off, have registered. Maybe it'll be enough to convince me to upgrade from the generic version!
    I'm wondering how the night went?
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  16. #116
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    I'm wondering how the night went?
    Interesting! Kicked off with a side-by-side taste test of two espressos, one using the OCD and the other another distribution tool. There weren't enough to go around and as I wasn't with a group I didn't get to try both. Most people seemed to agree that there was a noticeable difference in profile Awkwardly, a slim majority preferred the 'other' tool. 😅

    Hugh ran through the design process and showed a few prototypes, explaining why they didn't work as well as the final shape. The most interesting revelation to me was that the OCD is designed to "roll" the coffee over like a wave as it sweeps, meaning the final distribution is as even as possible - which is why the design has fairly shallow angles and large flats on the top surface. More aggressive designs tended to push the coffee down into the basket, rather than sweeping it across, forming compacted areas.

    Hugh made the point a few times that the other designs Ona tried (some of which are strikingly similar to other tools on the market) might achieve a nice looking flat surface, but didn't improve distribution; in fact some even made it worse.

    Clearly the tool is designed for a commercial environment, and many of the benefits relate to having a repeatable, speedy work flow and the presentation reflected that, but I found it interesting nonetheless.
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  17. #117
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    A couple of slides from the night illustrating the differences between the OCD and other designs.

    (apologies for the distortion - had to do quite a bit of tweaking as I was sitting at a pretty obtuse angle to the screen).
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  18. #118
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    Was this a heavy sales pitch Matt? Were you convinced that OCD is "better" than the Chinese clones or Pullman chisel or is the jury still out?

  19. #119
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Socratic Coffee guys were there..
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  20. #120
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    I wonder if the Socratic Coffee guys were there..
    I doubt they were invited.
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  21. #121
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    Was this a heavy sales pitch Matt? Were you convinced that OCD is "better" than the Chinese clones or Pullman chisel or is the jury still out?
    Well, it was certainly a sales pitch, but I think everyone there expected that.

    Look, I was certainly convinced that Ona have put a lot of time and money into researching the most effective design. I strongly doubt that the direct-from-factory versions have anything like the amount of R&D behind them. Hugh didn't say a lot directly about the Chisel except to identify it as the mystery second distro tool used for the shots that won the vote, and he said something to the effect of "there is no one best tool, they have different effects in the cup and what works for one coffee might not be the best for another."

    In reality I think Ona believe they have the best design (I'll add another photo with some of their prototypes and rejects), so perhaps whether it was a sales pitch or not depends on your perspective.

    Also to paraphrase, "I'm not saying you have to use a distribution tool to get an excellent shot; for years WBC champions have used manual methods and made outstanding espresso" IOW the emphasis was on cafe work flow and training (he gave an example of a junior barista who went from struggling to keep up and spending 15 seconds on distribution to less than 5, meaning she stressed less and had more time to concentrate on managing dose, tamp and monitoring the extraction).

    Which kinda begs the question, if new baristas become reliant on distro tools, what will happen when they get a job in a place that doesn't use them? 🤔
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  22. #122
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Apparently the second one from the right held heaps of coffee...

  23. #123
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    ONA coffee distributor

    Will that barista not be tempted to buy an Ona OCD and bring it with them to work?

    Just as a chef or butcher brings their bag of knives to work?

    I suspect tapping to settle and even out the the grinds in the PF does most all of the work. However in situations where the barista may not be as confident I suspect this device will help level the field.

    Socratic / BH crew have tested and noted their results. Ona have noted their results.
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  24. #124
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Will that barista not be tempted to buy an Ona OCD and bring it with them to work?

    Just as a chef or butcher brings their bag of knives to work?

    I suspect tapping to settle and even out the the grinds in the PF does most all of the work. However in situations where the barista may not be as confident I suspect this device will help level the field.

    Socratic / BH crew have tested and noted their results. Ona have noted their results.
    ... step n: profit! 😉

    The technique using the OCD is not to settle the grinds at all - the theory being that this causes the fines to move to the bottom of the puck (stratification) and compacts the piled up areas so although the puck looks evenly distributed, it has areas of higher and lower density.

    Hugh told another story there - his understudy was roped into a barista comp at the last minute; using the same beans Hugh had been preparing with for months, he went further in the comp. Hugh put the difference down his offsider being the only competitor *not* tapping to settle.

  25. #125
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Tapping on the side, or tapping as in collapsing?

  26. #126
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Tapping on the side, or tapping as in collapsing?
    I interpreted it as collapsing, but tapping on the side is really just a gentler version of the same thing, no?

  27. #127
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    I reckon there'd be just as much fine migration tapping on the side of the portafilter as using a distributor - but that's entirely conjecture.
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  28. #128
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    So Magic Matt, what are your feelings about distribution tools after seeing the full presentation?

    Ps thanks for the great summary
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  29. #129
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Hi Matt,

    Did Hugh talk about any results that ONA got in testing of the OCD as far as espresso extraction percentages goes? I haven't actually heard if ONA have done much testing of the OCD in this area, and if they have how widely they've tested the device using different equipment and coffees. The feeling I get is that there is a bit of a consensus forming when you put together all the independent tests, and its sort of along two lines:

    1. The OCD, Chisel and similar distribution tools may provide some good assistance in regards to workflow consistency, especially in a very busy cafe setting. This is obviously dependent on the set up of a particular cafe as well as the individual baristas, and the equipment and coffee being used. At the end of the day Sasa Sestic and ONA actually designed the OCD for this very purpose. While I'm sure he knew there would be uptake from dedicated amateur coffee geeks, the target market is a commercial market.

    2. The OCD at least, as well as some other distribution tools potentially make very little difference when it comes to results in the cup and extraction percentages. At worst there's the potential for the OCD to dramatically LOWER extraction, and at best it makes it neither more consistent or better than a simple tap and settle. While the experiments that have been done that have garnered these results need to be considered I don't think they should be the sole deciding factor for anyone looking to buy a distribution tool. I think anecdotal evidence is also important and the story Hugh told of a particular junior barista that gained great efficiency and confidence through using an OCD is definitely relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Well, it was certainly a sales pitch, but I think everyone there expected that.

    Look, I was certainly convinced that Ona have put a lot of time and money into researching the most effective design. I strongly doubt that the direct-from-factory versions have anything like the amount of R&D behind them. Hugh didn't say a lot directly about the Chisel except to identify it as the mystery second distro tool used for the shots that won the vote, and he said something to the effect of "there is no one best tool, they have different effects in the cup and what works for one coffee might not be the best for another."

    In reality I think Ona believe they have the best design (I'll add another photo with some of their prototypes and rejects), so perhaps whether it was a sales pitch or not depends on your perspective.

    Also to paraphrase, "I'm not saying you have to use a distribution tool to get an excellent shot; for years WBC champions have used manual methods and made outstanding espresso" IOW the emphasis was on cafe work flow and training (he gave an example of a junior barista who went from struggling to keep up and spending 15 seconds on distribution to less than 5, meaning she stressed less and had more time to concentrate on managing dose, tamp and monitoring the extraction).

    Which kinda begs the question, if new baristas become reliant on distro tools, what will happen when they get a job in a place that doesn't use them? 樂
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  30. #130
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Hi Matt,

    Did Hugh talk about any results that ONA got in testing of the OCD as far as espresso extraction percentages goes? I haven't actually heard if ONA have done much testing of the OCD in this area, and if they have how widely they've tested the device using different equipment and coffees. The feeling I get is that there is a bit of a consensus forming when you put together all the independent tests, and its sort of along two lines:

    1. The OCD, Chisel and similar distribution tools may provide some good assistance in regards to workflow consistency, especially in a very busy cafe setting. This is obviously dependent on the set up of a particular cafe as well as the individual baristas, and the equipment and coffee being used. At the end of the day Sasa Sestic and ONA actually designed the OCD for this very purpose. While I'm sure he knew there would be uptake from dedicated amateur coffee geeks, the target market is a commercial market.

    2. The OCD at least, as well as some other distribution tools potentially make very little difference when it comes to results in the cup and extraction percentages. At worst there's the potential for the OCD to dramatically LOWER extraction, and at best it makes it neither more consistent or better than a simple tap and settle. While the experiments that have been done that have garnered these results need to be considered I don't think they should be the sole deciding factor for anyone looking to buy a distribution tool. I think anecdotal evidence is also important and the story Hugh told of a particular junior barista that gained great efficiency and confidence through using an OCD is definitely relevant.
    Hey Leroy, he sure did... testing my memory now though! 😂

    So, I may not have this 100%, but afaicr Hugh made the point that uneven distribution, and to some extent the stratification of the coffee bed caused by tapping prior to tamping, leads to overextraction of some parts of the coffee puck (either through simple faster extraction in areas of lower density, or channelling and other problems caused by stratification). So you have to cut the shot shorter and get lower TDS.

    From memory he did say something about their testing revealing the OCD resulting in higher TDS, but also that some coffees might work better with a different approach or tool. He mentioned a few times that the material used for the distribution tool had a noticeable impact on flavour, which I found surprising.

    This graph doesn't relate directly to TDS - but does show that the distribution tool used can impact flow rate.
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  31. #131
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    I reckon there'd be just as much fine migration tapping on the side of the portafilter as using a distributor - but that's entirely conjecture.
    Mayyyybeeee... or then again, maybe not 😂

  32. #132
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    So Magic Matt, what are your feelings about distribution tools after seeing the full presentation?

    Ps thanks for the great summary
    No worries! Wish I'd paid more attention; tbh I was slightly distracted as I'd already bought a V1 OCD from someone on the forum!

    Still waiting for it to arrive (just got a couple of Aus Post notifications so it might be waiting in a parcel locker now).

    So I was already curious enough to throw down a hundred bucks to do my own experimentation. I already have a generic 120/3 "blade" distro tool, which has been interesting to use, so I'm looking forward to doing some back-to-back tests with it, the OCD and some other distro methods. So far, my experience with the generic is that it improves the evenness of the extraction, but doesn't entirely solve channelling and sometimes even seems to make it a little worse (mostly with lighter roasts).

    Distribution has been a bit of a journey for me - started using WDT with my Sunbeam 480 years back, have used various manual methods single-dosing with my conical and recently have used a combination of dosing cups and the V-Titan's dosing funnel, all with mixed results but never quite satisfactory... I'm cautiously optimistic that the OCD will be a step in the right direction.

    Hugh's presentation certainly gave me some confidence that Ona have done their homework and it's not just an expensive paperweight, as some are fond of saying... 😉 The proof will be in the results; though just today I asked a mate who runs a busy cafe in the CBD about it - he's been using a V1 for almost a year and had only good things to say.

  33. #133
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    Thanks Matt, will be even more interesting to read your personal comparisons
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  34. #134
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Hey Leroy, he sure did... testing my memory now though!

    So, I may not have this 100%, but afaicr Hugh made the point that uneven distribution, and to some extent the stratification of the coffee bed caused by tapping prior to tamping, leads to overextraction of some parts of the coffee puck (either through simple faster extraction in areas of lower density, or channelling and other problems caused by stratification). So you have to cut the shot shorter and get lower TDS.

    From memory he did say something about their testing revealing the OCD resulting in higher TDS, but also that some coffees might work better with a different approach or tool. He mentioned a few times that the material used for the distribution tool had a noticeable impact on flavour, which I found surprising.

    This graph doesn't relate directly to TDS - but does show that the distribution tool used can impact flow rate.
    Hmmm, interesting. I thought the jury was still out on whether 'stratification' of the coffee bed actually occurs when the PF is tapped. And then if it does occur is it actually a bad thing.

  35. #135
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Hmmm, interesting. I thought the jury was still out on whether 'stratification' of the coffee bed actually occurs when the PF is tapped. And then if it does occur is it actually a bad thing.
    More'n possible! I'm a novice to this stuff really; always been happy with a bit of a bucket chemist approach tbh 😉
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  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Hey Leroy, he sure did... testing my memory now though! 😂

    So, I may not have this 100%, but afaicr Hugh made the point that uneven distribution, and to some extent the stratification of the coffee bed caused by tapping prior to tamping, leads to overextraction of some parts of the coffee puck (either through simple faster extraction in areas of lower density, or channelling and other problems caused by stratification). So you have to cut the shot shorter and get lower TDS.

    From memory he did say something about their testing revealing the OCD resulting in higher TDS, but also that some coffees might work better with a different approach or tool. He mentioned a few times that the material used for the distribution tool had a noticeable impact on flavour, which I found surprising.

    This graph doesn't relate directly to TDS - but does show that the distribution tool used can impact flow rate.
    Those two charts don't look particularly conclusive. Do you know if they represent individual extractions or averages?

  37. #137
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Those two charts don't look particularly conclusive. Do you know if they represent individual extractions or averages?
    Not at all conclusive - I *think* they were an average but far from certain - and they were obviously intended only as a comparison between two different tools. It's a case of the most relevant slide I took a photo of rather than one that's actually relevant 😉
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  38. #138
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    A friend of mine came around the other day and we did a comparison between the Chinese cheapie and the OCD V2. This is not based on any scientific readings, just gut feeling, observations and taste.

    1. Aesthetics .... OCD does look pretty classy but this is purely subjective
    2. Build quality ... OCD a clear winner
    3. Adustability ... OCD was much easier to lock in and with a scale on the side it was easy to come back to a setting after changing coffee .
    4. Distribution ... OCD was more aggressive and left a fluffier surface. Chinese version had to be a little deeper and left a smoother surface. The OCD appeared to have a better distribution (see point 7)
    5. Taste .... A draw. Well to our overly mature taste buds
    6. Feel ... Chinese version felt more comfortable in my small hands. OCD felt bulky
    7. Diameter ... OCD was 58.4mm which was a better fit in VST basket. The other was 58mm and the edges, consequently, didn't seem as well distributed which may lead to chanelling

    Conclusion ......

    The OCD is a better product and does a better job at distribution leading to better consistency. Is it worth it? $35 compared to $210 is a no brainer when they both lead to similar tasting coffees. If you're thinking of buying one of these and you have an adequate disposable income then get the OCD but it is very difficult to justify the price difference when they pretty much do the same thing. I still like what these do.

    I have not experimented with a V shape tool eg Pullman chisel but i'm sure they're similar.

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