by Ghostbird Coffee on October 08, 2021
What is distribution though? It is the process of preparing coffee before we compress it using a tamper!

Distribution is an integral part of making delicious cups of coffee, this is because in the process of extracting coffee, if your coffee grounds aren’t properly distributed within your coffee basket, the flavours one would get could either be too bitter or too watery depending on how the coffee has been distributed. This is because, when coffee has been tamped well with proper distribution, it would mean coffee is resisting the flow of water in an even manner to the force that has been emitted from the espresso machine.

Espresso Distribution: what is it?

Why is this topic so important, in the beginning we have mention how it is a force or element in creating enough resistant to the water that is forced through the coffee to extract the maximum flavours of the respective coffees used.

The other reason why one would need to distribute coffee is because once the coffee has been grounded and has fallen into a portafilter, typically it would be a little lopsided to one side of the coffee basket, this would in the end cause channeling due to the imbalance that is the resistant of water to coffee bed.

By performing one of these techniques when distributing, it would in the end influence a even extraction due to the even level of resistance to water.

Distribution Techniques, what are they?

In our testing, we have tried and believe in these few techniques which is commonly seen and used in the industry which may be simple and easy to use for any individual in any setting whether it be home or cafe set up.

  • Manual Technique

The manual distribution is essentially you using your hands to shift the grounds around to ensure that the coffee has been spread out evenly for that said distribution. By holding the portafilter on one hand and using your other hand to push the grounds around. By placing your finger in a 4 and 7 o’clock position, your would then move your hands in a swirling motion to evenly spread the ground coffees in a consistent manner, hence the ability to distribute evenly.

  • Tap On Bar

Tapping on the bar is a simple hands free motion as once the grounded coffee has released from its grinding chamber, the barista or individual will tap the portafilter on the grinder's bracket to then spread the coffees around. Alternatively, you may tap the portafilter on a surface to distribute the coffee around. This may be another option for you in terms of tapping the side of your portafilter to encaourage distribution.

  • OCD Tool

This tool is a popular tool today due to its ease of use and cleanliness, how would it be easy because each OCD that has been released in the market has this one basic principle which is to flatten any mounds and to spread it out evenly. With each bump within the tool, it is indirectly bumping the coffee in place so that it is spread evenly without pressing it too hard in place until it causes a “tamp” upon each use. There is one tip or rule of thumb though, to ensure consistent extraction upon each use, always ensure that when one spins the OCD, regardless if it is 2 or 3 times, always ensure that it is consistently 2 to 3 times as it is an easy way eliminate any other possible factors that one would need to worry about when brewing ones coffee.


Distribution is an important component to bring your brewed coffee to the next level, this is because it is a step before actually tamping your coffee and then locking your portafilter into the actual coffee machine. If it is not distributed well, your tamping will be uneven which will result in a not so tasty cup of coffee. By ensuring your distribution is done right, then will you be able to consistently have a delicious cup of coffee!