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Thread: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

  1. #1
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    Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Since I now have myself a professional type grinder, I figured that I really should be able to do away with some of the voodoo I used to use in regards to dosing and distribution.

    Im interested in how some of you baristas do dosing and distribution in a commercial environment. Is it thwack, thwack, knock to settle, thwap and strike off? Or.... you get my drift.

    Thanks for the input.

    Grant

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    But voodoo is where the fun is at!!

    Im no barista (but love to comment on these threads anyway) and I love my "no worries" distribution method.
    1. Thwack, thwack thwack while the grinder is grinding. It gets a little over full.
    2. Swipe the finger over the top with a few grounds going back into the doser (for the next coffee if its coming up - or for the vacuum when I clean it). Note: no tapping on the bench to settle
    3. Tamp
    4. Pull shot

    Rinse and repeat :D



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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    i WAS a barista working at the first pour. i always manually dosed, (ground on demand), distributed using modified stockfleths and tamped.

    the routine changed, with i guess, an emphasis on pulling the sweetness from the shot. i would say that i pretty much always collapsed at least once to allow for more coffee in the basket (although keep in mind that the stock La Marzocco double basket is deeper than most traditional double baskets). often there were two collapses, usually with one in the middle and one at the end of dosing up. followed by a medium pressure tamp, a quick twist of the tamper, and a second, lighter tamp with a twist to polish the puck.

    at home with my setup, i tend to use the chicago chop method as i dont always want coffee on my hands (usually before heading in to work in the am).

    FD - what youll find is that most people have their own thing going on in terms of what they do and how they do it. i will go out on a short limb to say that often what people do routinely doesnt change all that often as it is seen to work. and while it probably does work in most cases, that doesnt mean that some modification wouldnt make the shot even better.

    i would say from my own experince that the most important variable is distribution - and this will depend on the grinder (for example the BNZ conical that ive played with dosed such a beautiful even pile of grounds that i wonder if distribution helped all that much), but with my setup, if i dont distribute, then my shots suffer.

    i can only collapse very lightly at home otherwise my puck hits the shower screen. i am going to look into a triple that might fit the spaz so i can collapse.

    aaron

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Thanks for the detailed answer Aaron :)

    I guess there are a couple of things... the M4D used to throw out densely packed coffee, so collapsing at all was really a no-no. When I wasnt in a rush, I would often grind into a ramekin and fluff the grinds up so that I could distribute from above the basket (distribution without this was painful because even at 18g it was below the rim of the basket).

    With the Robur, its a whole different story. The coffee comes out much "fluffier" and so the volume to weight ratio shifts a lot - I can afford to collapse, and could probably do so twice.

    Was curious to see how simple I could go... though I guess theres nothing like trying it for yourself ;)

    Grant

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    holy mackerel batman
    you got a robur for home????
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet man

    is it the doser or the e?

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 322F2B2E2525400 link=1245834493/4#4 date=1245847686
    holy mackerel batman
    you got a robur for home????
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet man

    is it the doser or the e?
    Grant has a Robur-e....He uses it for cupping only :P ;D

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Ive got a robur at work and the grind is pretty fluffy - so I do as Aaron does - dose and collapse, then does and collapse again before sweeping and tamping with a single firm tamp - polish optional!

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 055A42545F5458515152525A5659370 link=1245834493/5#5 date=1245848500
    Quote Originally Posted by 322F2B2E2525400 link=1245834493/4#4 date=1245847686
    holy mackerel batman
    you got a robur for home????
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet man

    is it the doser or the e?
    Grant has a Robur-e....He uses it for cupping only :P ;D
    And I still need to send you the serial number... off in Perth this week but home this weekend. Will shoot it across then.

    Grant

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A6763666D6D080 link=1245834493/4#4 date=1245847686
    holy mackerel batman
    you got a robur for home????
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet man

    is it the doser or the e?
    The e... and its beautiful I must say. Though the wife isnt too happy about the size! Im now being pressured to build myself a coffee stand to put all the goodies on so that she can have her kitchen space back.

    Grant

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 40544F484143794251434A4A4354260 link=1245834493/8#8 date=1245889206
    Though the wife isnt too happy about the size! Im now being pressured to build myself a coffee stand to put all the goodies on so that she can have her kitchen space back.

    Grant
    Ive done exactly that and earnt many browny points. I am also cleaner than she is so having my own space is blissful. Highly recommended. ;D ;D

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Yeah thats my problem with the collapsing.

    Any more coffee (than what I get with an uncollapsed mound) and I hit the shower screen.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4652494E47457F4457454C4C4552200 link=1245834493/8#8 date=1245889206
    The e... and its beautiful I must say. Though the wife isnt too happy about the size! Im now being pressured to build myself a coffee stand to put all the goodies on so that she can have her kitchen space back.
    Ahh the agonies we share....... ;)

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 20342F282123192231232A2A2334460 link=1245834493/8#8 date=1245889206
    Though the wife isnt too happy about the size!
    Theres a response going begging.

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Great control there TG and leaving the privilege for others to boot ;D

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5864796268697E6B63680C0 link=1245834493/12#12 date=1245899912
    Theres a response going begging.
    Wish Id written "wife isnt too happy with how big it is" :D

    Grant

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    are you talking about the grinder????? ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 24302B2C25271D2635272E2E2730420 link=1245834493/14#14 date=1245908072
    Wish Id written "wife isnt too happy with how big it is" *
    I knew what you meant.
    It reminded me of a particular Sex in the City episode. *:o

  18. #18
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Im going to leave the sizing talk well alone... :-X

    Though I did want to say my 3 cents seasonally adjusted worth about dosing and tamping techniques.

    This might be horrifying for some but to me, its about what works for my situation, not necessarily what is considered the absolute correct way to do things. I dont actually agree that my method would be improved on by what others perceive as being better. I guess it really would have to be proof in the cup for me I suppose and having watched others do it "their" way, I still think I can get just as superior a pour my way...but, this is all my opinion of course! ;)

    Anyhow...

    In my busy workplace, I run the grinder, dose through the hopper, tap to collapse the grinds a couple of times (on the grinders holder, not on the bench either.) and then when filled to my satisfaction, tamp firmly. Then light twist to polish or sometimes even not. Wipe off excess...lock and load...

    I think I have to give Wushoes credit for showing me that some people werent tapping the group handle (portafilter in the USA) with their tampers anymore.

    (someone did that today with my precious Coffeelab tamper and I nearly grabbed it off them in shock! ;D )

    I also dont use my finger to wipe excess back into the hopper...and I dont have time to use any kind of device to do that either...really, it is a time consuming practice and I figure that I can get the correct amount in every time anyway...which I do and rarely have to dump it all back in the hopper to try again! I also think that customers might not quite understand me using my finger to wipe coffee out of the basket! As it is, they dont see the quick wipe over of any stray grinds off the rim of the group handle (portafilter in the USA), as its usually down behind the machine when I have to do that...

    And thats my method...

    Which, reading back, sounds pretty similar to roknees...so...there you go!

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    hey SG
    i agree with you partly about doing what works for you.

    but

    a. not sure how you dose thru the hopper, i think you were thinking to write doser...
    b. in my experience and opinion, i can say that short of having a grinder with an exceptionally good timer that doses up the same amount of coffee each time, then it is very hard to get a consistent amount of coffee in the handle as you describe. maybe this is getting pedantic, but for example, if i was to load up two handles, and had collapsed twice for each, but collapsed at different points as i dosed, then there would be a different amount of coffee in each handle.
    also, you dont distribute, so parhaps this doesnt apply to your style, but using the modified stockfleths distribution for example, i think partly relies on some sort of post distribution wipe either with a finger or other utensil to help provide consistent doses. again, being pedantic, even wiping the excess coffee with a finger that is straight for one handle and slightly crooked for another is going to impact the dose and therefore to some degree, the characteristics of the resulting shot.

    i am guessing you judge consistent dosing by eye, and im not trying to say that thats inconsistent, but i dont know that id get consiistent results doing it your way (maybe with a lot of practice).

    aaron :)

  20. #20
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Hmm...good points aaron...

    Hopper! ;D I must have been thinking of my kangaroo when writing that! ;D (yep, it was a long day!)

    Yes...I meant the doser...you know...that round thingy on the front of the shiny silver thingy...which has the little wiper thingys in sections in the round thingy... ;D...sorry couldnt help myself...

    I guess, not drinking every shot I make, I couldnt really be honest and tell you that every single one is great with my current tamping method. However, what my eye sees when watching every pour, is consistently the same to my eye. Sure, I know that there are the odd occasions when Ive under dosed and I can tell by watching that bad pour. (of course, theyre the ones I start again!) But those arent very often...Id be lucky if there was one a day if that.

    So...well, all I can say to the distribution idea is...nothing until I can get another opportunity to be with another industry pro and watch and observe their methods. Which I plan to do in July when I get down to Sydney...

    I know...I think we are getting close to pedantic... :D...because ultimately...I reckon we must be talking like a few grinds here or there at this rate!

    Also, using the larger baskets as is now common amongst various cafes, I think that there is more chance of getting a better coffee. You know the more is more approach and less is less kind of thing...IYKWIM...

    Im not talking about cutting corners here...Im just talking about what seems to be working for me and isnt slowing me down at the same time. I guess, in my case (and Im not trying to make excuses here), is that if we get a rush, its just me at the machine and Ive got to be as fast and efficient as possible. Adding another aspect into what is already a pretty quick method, would seem to me to be another cog in the work that could slow it up.

    I guess really, I should see just how quick someone using the dose distribute method could be in a busy scenario...(and its not something I have seen yet I must admit)

    Great discussion, guys...has got me thinking here...cant wait to get to speak to a few people in real life about this too... :)

    Id also like to point out that I still get customers who come in and tell me that they reckon I make the best coffee in NSW...(which hasnt increased my head size at all because I can still fit it inside that helmet! :P ;D) and of course, that is what all this is about to me...the customer...(well, you did ask for a pro opinion fringedweller!)

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    hmm, havent read most of this yet, but after having using/playing with the Robur-e at work, Ive found you can pretty much set the programmed dose, let it grind into the basket, collapse and straight up tamp it and get a great pour (thats with the Synesso). Being a doserless grinder, theres no real need/reason to strike off especially if youve pre-programmed the dose, and no real distribution either, ala "Stephen Morrissey WBC 08 style".

    Its a deadly grinder. 8-)

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3C20203F24450 link=1245834493/20#20 date=1245957139
    hmm, havent read most of this yet, but after having using/playing with the Robur-e at work, Ive found you can pretty much set the programmed dose, *let it grind into the basket, collapse and straight up tamp it and get a great pour (thats with the Synesso). Being a doserless grinder, theres no real need/reason to strike off especially if youve pre-programmed the dose, and no real distribution either, ala "Stephen Morrissey WBC 08 style".
    Gwilym Davies (WBC 09) was using a dosered K10 (i think) and I dont believe there was any distribution.

    Thwack, thwack, thwack......tamp

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    and then theres the big bad BNZs which i reckon make the nicest little mountain of coffee youll ever see...

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 382521242F2F4A0 link=1245834493/22#22 date=1245995102
    and then theres the big bad BNZs which i reckon make the nicest little mountain of coffee youll ever see...
    I love my BNZs! :)


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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    we just swapped out our mazzer major for a BNZ, god i love this thing.
    i dose 8gs from a full dose chamber, we only use double baskets so 16g per shot. collapse once onto the bench, tamp medium pressure, tap basket lightly to release grounds and tamp again lightly, twist to finish.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 58797272756F1C0 link=1245834493/23#23 date=1245998630
    I love my BNZs! :)
    Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is a BNZ? :-?

    Mal.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D20242825490 link=1245834493/25#25 date=1246024745
    Quote Originally Posted by 58797272756F1C0 link=1245834493/23#23 date=1245998630
    I love my BNZs! :)
    Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is a BNZ? :-?

    Mal.
    Honking big grinders Mal - drop grinds dead centre and beautiful stepped adjustment, and look like this...


  28. #28
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Looks a bit large for carry on luggage but Ill give it a go :)

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F494C4C5D5F535A5A59593C0 link=1245834493/26#26 date=1246052006
    Honking big grinders Mal - drop grinds dead centre and beautiful stepped adjustment, and look like this...
    A very apt description, it makes my Macap look puny by comparison ;D

  30. #30
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    My Lord :o :o

    They are bigns Den... Ive never heard of them before. Had a quick look on their website and from the limited info available there, they do appear to be impressive. Very reminiscent of La San Marcos top end grinders in some ways... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    dave seng (wushoes) hooked up a pid to create a timed dose on Makins that he used at the world barista comps.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Interesting discussion guys! One that pops up every now and again and one that always gets me revisiting my dosing and distribution technique. This will forever be an evolving process as there is no right or wrong. Its a very grey area with many barista subscribing to many a different technique.

    My dosing, distribution and tamping technique has really not changed for the last 2 years, however now that I have to work with a Robur-E, things have changed slightly. Most of the time the Robur-E delivers a precise enough dose in a perfect mound. Two collapses mid way through the dose delivery and a simple tamp and polish. I have to say, this grinder really gives me the s**ts though. In fact, I hate it. I prefer the control I have over a dosered Robur. Thats another story.

    No fuss dosing, distribution and tamping? Im all for it as long as the results in the cup are good. I simply (haha, not that simple) dial in the grind and dose appropriate for the coffee I am using (tasting and watching each dial in shot to determine whether to simply adjust grind or change dose & grind - this takes a fair bit of experience to know what to do and how to do it, unfortunately there is no text book to teach you these things, its just one of those things that comes with pulling shots everyday). After the dial in of dose and grind, a simple strike off (south to north) and medium pressure tamp (optional lift slightly, low pressure tamp and polish). If I find consistent flaws in my pucks, I will use the Stockfleths distribution technique.

    Sidenote:
    1) I think the steps on the BNZs are too large. Dennis, perhaps you should modify your grinders to be stepless? Youll love the extra control over the grinder. Are yours conicals?

    2) Im pretty sure Gwilym Davies used an Anfim Super Caimano and not Compak K10 WBC.

    3) I did not actually put a PID on David Makins grinder. I pulled the damn thing apart, rewired the whole thing (2 grinders in total) and installed a digital timer. Two very different controllers. PID is a control systems controller used for control-loop feedback such as temperature or pressure, the other is also used in control systems but basically just controls a set of relays based on input and output mode. By the way, what are you doing these days mate? Finished the masters?

    Cheers,

    Dave S

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5D5B40474D5B280 link=1245834493/31#31 date=1246285804
    Most of the time the Robur-E delivers a precise enough dose in a perfect mound. Two collapses mid way through the dose delivery and a simple tamp and polish
    Yeah sames.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5D5B40474D5B280 link=1245834493/31#31 date=1246285804
    I have to say, this grinder really gives me the s**ts though. In fact, I hate it. I prefer the control I have over a dosered Robur. Thats another story.
    Yeah sames ;D Im glad we have both Robur-e & Robur dosered. There was some charge to put the "e" as the main grinder, that didnt last long ;)


  34. #34
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C6E6873747E681B0 link=1245834493/31#31 date=1246285804
    1) I think the steps on the BNZs are too large. Dennis, perhaps you should modify your grinders to be stepless? Youll love the extra control over the grinder. Are yours conicals?
    Hi David and yes theyre conicals. Before I consider making them stepless theres a little tweak Id like to do to the group heads on the Elektra. Im getting great temp stability due to the restrictors I put into the heat exchangers, but Im still not 100% happy with the flow rate through the heads where there are another set of restrictors. So the plan is to convert the .9mm restrictors in the heads down to .6s to calm the flow down. It can be never ending cant it! ;D

    Once thats done I might do what youve suggested to the BNZs, and maybe even mod one of them to doserless, as per Hazels mod....

    http://coffeealchemy.com.au/blog/

    Cheers!

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    wow 0.6 mm are what mistrals run on.

    @ Dan, haha...glad to see Im not the only one. Other people seem to love them. Feel like a push button idiot...but thats not entirely a bad thing.

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    Re: Any baristas prepared to comment on their dosing/distribution?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 795B5D46414B5D2E0 link=1245834493/31#31 date=1246285804
    By the way, what are you doing these days mate? Finished the masters?
    yeah pretty much. converted to a DPsych though and just have some minor revisions to make on my thesis.
    how u goin at cafenatics? tell us about the mistral...
    and yeah i have to agree that although the robur e is nice in some respects, eg, giving you one more hand as it doses up shots for you, i preferred the more manual control. thwacking is good for the soul. and spekaing of which, i loved the dosing lever on the bnz as well. real sweet



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