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Thread: Cafelat Robot distribution tool?

  1. #1
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    Cafelat Robot distribution tool?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I've had Wobbert for a couple of weeks and starting to make some decent shots now. Limiting factor for me seems to be getting the coffee evenly distributed before tamping. I'm giving it a few taps on the side but really want a product like OCD ONA or Pullman Distribution Chisel - but these obviously won't work with the deeper basket of the Robot. What is everyone else using?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Tried a few things like the palm tapping, toothpick, needle. Iíve been getting drinkable results with palm tapping so am happy with that.

    In terms of brewing...
    Have you tried a long low pressure low flow preinfusion stage?

    Loving the Robot

  3. #3
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    I've found a distribution tool like the attached to be helpful. It seems to have totally prevented side channelling.
    I have noted on the Paul Pratt videos that he uses what looks like a cut down chop stick. It is also worth looking at his videos to see his tamping technique; which is very simple.
    The following observation recently made by Yelta is also worth bearing in mind. "The simpler you can keep the process the better the outcome, check out the technique of barista's in your area, no fancy tools, geegaw's or rituals involved, they dose, tap, tamp, that's it, sure some are better at it than others, but that's just down to experience/aptitude."
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  4. #4
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Love it Otago!

    Plus I get to drink a bottle of wine first.
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  5. #5
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    I found that champagne provided a better distribution pattern. Or at least that was the assumption after imbibing.
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  6. #6
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    Yes, have been trying to keep it simple: grind (Niche) direct to portafilter, maximum 7 or 8 side taps, 1 gentle vertical tap, quick light tamp, go. Maybe my side tapping skill will take years to develop. Right now the surface is at best generally level but undulating after several taps, and doesn't improve with more taps.
    Are you worried about scratching the portafilter with that cork and needles (looks like needles, pointy end out?)? I'm guessing rust wouldn't be an issue, but it would be a pity to lose the relative non-stick (not a coating, just smooth steel) that allows the puck to fall out during clean up.
    Are you using the cork and needles to spread the coffee around, or to break up clumps?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Have you tried a long low pressure low flow preinfusion stage?
    Not really - have been pre-infusing 5-10 seconds, then ramp up the pressure when first drops fall.
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  8. #8
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    Hi cybrewer. On a recent topic of autocorrect do you know that your handle is turned into cyberwar?

    Forgot to say in response to your first post welcome to the Robot world and happy to hear that you are starting to get some good shots. In response to your queries in post 6, here are some comments.

    No chance of scratching the portafilter. The distribution treatment occurs within the basket.

    I grind into Pharos catch tray, throw into Robot basket using an Aeropress funnel, maybe one side tap or shake, then stir with distribution tool, tamp with maybe a polish spin (controversial!) add dispersion screen then pull shot.

    It is my understanding that the distribution tool breaks up any clumps. Even though I never see any clumping, the stirring just seems to help. I added it to my routine after seeing Paul Pratt use it consistently in his videos and he uses a Kafatek Monolith grinder!

    Haven't felt the needles touch the basket yet, and in any case you may notice that the needles only cover a smaller diameter than the cork. I'm wondering how this contributes to the prevention of side channelling. Does it leave an undisturbed donut of grounds around the circumference of the basket that helps with this?

    As to potential for rust from any scratches, Paul Pratt states that all parts that have contact with water (except the silicone seal) are stainless steel. If you want to maintain or improve the internal surface of the basket to help with puck removal, a polish with very fine wet and dry or a metal polish like Autosol will do the trick. Stainless steel is very amenable to polishing.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the Robot.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Otago,
    Yes I meant scratching the basket not the PF! Will have a go with the cork and needles thanks, and just avoid scratching. I do like how easy the puck falls out - as I live off the water grid it's important not to flush too many grinds down the sink. I'd be reluctant to use something like Autosol that may leave a residue. I'm still tempted to fashion a custom distribution tool based to provide a smooth level, evenly dense surface for tamping, but will try my luck with needles next. Cheers!

  10. #10
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Why not use pins rather than needles if concerned about scratching.
    Still some risk, but will be reduced.
    dress pins.jpg
    Even the all metal ones still have a flatter end.
    dressmaker-pins.jpg
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  11. #11
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    Have been having some fun with this double-ender I made a few weeks ago. Inoculation loops from fleabay and regular toothpicks stuck an eraser. All good, but not necessarily better than a single toothpick held in your fingers. ymmv depending on beans, grinder, humidity etc.
    IMG_20190406_090654957.jpg
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  12. #12
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Very clever. The Swiss Army knife coffee edition

    Cheers

  13. #13
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    Paul Pratt has also just commented on development of a prototype self-centering and levelling tamper for the Robot's deep baskets .
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  14. #14
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otago View Post
    Paul Pratt has also just commented on development of a prototype self-centering and levelling tamper for the Robot's deep baskets .
    Hi Otago. Forgot to ask where you saw that from Paul Pratt?

  15. #15
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    Cafelat Robot distribution tool?

    Hi matth3wh

    He mentioned it on his Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv06qh3hakC/ where there are also a couple of pics. Looks quite neat.
    I also saw mention somewhere else (probably on the Robot User Experience thread on Home Barista) of him using the tamper during demos at the Specialty Coffee Association Expo at Boston in April. Incidentally, the Robot also won a best new product award at the Expo.
    Last edited by Otago; 20th May 2019 at 11:46 AM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    That's a good idea, having the second disc higher up. The further the distance between the two the less horizontal movement is possible. Wouldn't work with a standard basket as it doesn't have the depth to make it work.

  17. #17
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    He's also made comment more recently on a 40mm single dose basket.
    It seemed to be made in the context of the Robot but I'm not sure how it would work - whether it involves a separate 40mm piston to swap out, or just a reduced diameter section in the bottom of the 58mm basket.
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