Learn Coffee with Gwilym: #1 Coffee Distribution

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The first video is about the effective distribution of coffee from the grinder into the filter basket before tamping. To have a consistently even extraction without ‘channelling’ you need an effective and consistent technique for distributing the coffee evenly throughout the filter basket, leaving a flat and level surface before tamping.

This video looks at what Distribution is and how to do it effectively and consistently.

About the project:

The knowledge of baristas is improving quickly but we need a strong foundation, if we get the basics right we will progress faster and better. The goal of the project is to explain the techniques of the modern barista in an easy to understand, inclusive and forward thinking manner. It's a mutual project of European Coffee Trip and Gwilym Davies.

Gwilym Davies is a World Barista Champion from 2009 in Atlanta, World Coffee Events Head Judge and Certified SCAE Trainer. Gwilym is also well know for being a co-founder and director at Prufrock Coffee.

About Gwilym Davies:

– World Coffee Events Head Judge
– World Coffee Events Representative
– 2009 World Barista Champion
– Certified SCAE Trainer (AST)

Our dear sponsors:

Nuova Simonelli – http://www.nuovasimonelli.it/
Gill's Coffee – http://www.gills.cz/

Subtitles created by:

ENGLISH: Lucie Marková (Kávové Listy)
CZECH: Lucie Marková / Adéla Demlová
ITALIAN: Cristina Caroli (SCAE Italia)
POLISH: Ana Wolsztajn
HUNGARIAN: Enikő Takács
GREEK: Despina Santorineou
VIETNAMESE: Vincent Tran
JAPANESE: Emi Fukahori
ESTONIAN: Pille Lõhmus
RUSSIAN: Nicholas Chistyakov
THAI: NutRada Kunavivattananon
GERMAN: Daniel Koening
KOREAN: Jay Roh (BWIssue)
BULGARIAN: Krasimir Kovachev
SPANISH: Fabiola Solano J. (Soy Barista)

Find out more at:






  • GDCoffeeffee

    Love it, look forward to the rest of the series

    • gwilym davies

      +Gareth Davies Thanks Gareth, it is our first time at trying to do something like this, hopefully we will get enough interest so we can do another series with our new found film/ camera skills

  • Mark O'Neill

    Have to say I’m not overly impressed with this lesson. For me the biggest improvement I made when using splurt-tastic VST baskets was nutating the bed with my tamper. 

    • gwilym davies

      Hi Mark, have you signed up for Matt Pergers Barista Hustle http://baristahustle.com/ you may pick up more there. 
      I find nutation useful to slow the flow due to the single peak granulometery of filter grinders but with espresso grinders I find the speed of flow from nutation difficult to repeat between staff. 
      I have only experienced splurt problems with VST due to grinder or technique issues.

    • Mark O'Neill

      +gwilym davies Yes, signed up. I wouldn’t be worried about distribution/splurts if I had a Mythos or EK. Nutation (and WDT) are essential tools when using multimodal “lesser” grinders to ensure even and clump-free distribution of the grounds, more than tapping down or bashing with a tamper. I haven’t found adding nutation into the tamp routine any more difficult than being consistent with pressure. Still, looking forward to the rest of the series 🙂

    • gwilym davies

      +Mark O’Neill Glad you found a solution with the nutation. are you using a flat tamper or curved?

    • Mark O'Neill

      +gwilym davies flat 58.35mm tamper

  • vlinhart

    Just before the cut and saying “Check my dose, perfect” There is much more cofee there! It just magically disappeared.

  • Jaroslav Slámečka - Kávový klub

    “Don’t do it. Stop it!” 😀

  • Vaclav Dekanovsky

    Thank you Gwilym and ECT, all the knocking and wrist dancing si fun, when actually it is quite simple. 
    For locals, Czech subtitles are on Amara and vokafi.cz

  • Itaint Rite

    Can you explain why you prefer your espressos to be pulled with the sprouted portafilter please? I’m very curious.

    • murky

      Thanks for answering. I find your videos straightforward, engaging, and informative. Your statement about the spouts did leave me scratching my head, however. I was glad to see this question asked. Do you have any hypothesis as to why shots taste different from the spouts, and why you prefer the spouted shots? Are you confident you could blindly distinguish one from the other?

    • gwilym davies

      Definitely prefer spouts, I have no facts as to why: coffee is full of semi scientists who have many unproven ideas, i would rather not join them 😉

    • gwilym davies

      the spouted shots are sweeter, more balanced.

    • Itaint Rite

      Maybe something to do with the crema being broken up as the shot is pulled? I get that this is personal preference, but it’s mind-boggling haha

    • gwilym davies

      maybe. also the temperature is lower.

  • Iam Matrix

    hello gwyllim. 🙂 What if coffee is Unground evenly . i got eureka mignon grinder and evertime do lumps when i change grinder setting to fine

    • gwilym davies

      There is not much you can do about the clumps. It helps if you dose 1/2 then tap vertically on the grinder forks and tap horizontally with your hand to level, then dose the 2nd 1/2 and repeat.
      You could also try the Weiss Distribution Technique (on YouTube)

  • rodluvan1976

    this seems easier said than done and highly dependent on your grinder (and ability to manoeuvre basket around during grinding). I feel you glossed past this a little bit too fast: ‘how do I do it, I just distribute it evenly under grind’. that’s not really how you do it, that’s the result. a bit like:

    a question, you don’t seem to push down very hard during tamping (i.e, not close to the e.g. classic 30lbs). I know you said it doesn’t have to be very hard, but still some force is needed, no?

    and thanks for the series of videos, highly thought-worthy and interesting

  • Łukasz Pochroń

    Hi Gwilym, I love your series, it inspires me a lot when I teach others. At 1:43 Polish version needs one word replaced (…)espresso z kolby z wylewką (…) – it’s a factual.

  • Uuriu

    The most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen

  • Hillel Lowinsky

    Hey Gwylim, you are a very gifted teacher. Thank you for your videos. How would you recommend equally distributing the coffee on an older Gaggia MDF? I have to pull the lever onthe grinder while I hold porta filter, therefore making it difficult to evenly distribute. Could you help me?


  • Jay Wong

    May i know what scale you are using?

    • European Coffee Trip

      It is Brewista scale, check it out. Acaia scales are better (in our opinion) but this is very interesting alternative.

    • Jay Wong

      +European Coffee Trip thanks! I have an Acaia lunar, it works great with espresso machine, but it’s kinda small for weighting portafilter, I guess I will go for another Acaia pearl. Thanks for your reply.

  • Marco Traini

    Hi Guys,
    this video is very helpful, easy , direct ,full of content. It doesn’t though explain COFFEE DISTRIBTION for a semiautomatic grinder. How would you use the same technique with a semi-automatic?

  • CoonShoot

    This guy doesn’t know anything about espresso.

    • European Coffee Trip

      Hello, could you be more specific about your comment? This person is World Barista Champion 2009, of course, it is not only reason you should follow his advice but it would be great to know more about your point of view!!

    • CoonShoot

      +European Coffee Trip
      Sigh… yeah I know his credentials… that is why I was kidding…

  • UltiMogr

    that looks like a light tamp. how heavy do you rekon this is in pounds?

  • eizhowa

    I only came here to find out how to pronounce Gwilym, so I learnt nothing.

  • Ez Al

    May I know what scale you are using in this video? I have checked Brewista scale. it is not the same.

  • Anastasia Ua

    i have wached this series of video before i got to work as a barista i came back to it a few month ago and now that i’ve got the opportunity to work in one of the best coffee shops in town i had to come back to it, thank you very much for this series, each time i find something new 🙂

  • fulesmackofule

    Hm. Seems like you are still hitting your portafilter to metal, don’t you?
    I usually knock my filter to the table vertically when it is in level horizontally.