Experienced baristas know that an even distribution of ground coffee in the basket is ideal for creating the perfect extraction. But what’s the best way to achieve that elusive perfect texture? Everyone seems to have a favorite method: sweeping the coffee with a fingertip, stirring with a paperclip, tapping the basket, or just tamping it and hoping for the best. But what really works?
Enter Australian superstar barista Sasa Sestic. As he knows well, if you don’t distribute the ground coffee properly, you end up with channeling – hot water dribbling unevenly through the grounds, and a shot with all the trademarks of underextraction: bitterness, off flavours, and an unappealing mouthfeel.
Through his company, ONA, Sestic is rethinking the science behind great coffee, and introducing tools and solutions to revolutionize the way coffee lovers think about their favorite beverage.
He designed the ONA Coffee Distributor (OCD) with a barista’s wish list in mind: it’s easy to use, doesn’t add time to workflow, and leaves behind a perfectly flat surface on top of a puck of unbelievably even density. No more channeling – just a perfect, even shot every single time.
As Sestic says, “Making delicious coffee is all about understanding variables and taking control of them… The OCD eliminates those inconsistencies.”
The main feature of the OCD is the angled slopes on its underside, which glide over the coffee grounds in a quick circular motion, leaving them perfectly distributed and ready for tamping.
Using the OCD for the first time, the first thing you’ll notice after giving it a spin over the grounds in the basket is how flat and smooth they are. Remember: the OCD isn’t a tamper – no matter how smooth the grounds look, they still need tamping when you’re done.
But the true test of the OCD’s effectiveness comes when you watch the extraction from beneath a bottomless (naked) portafilter. With other distribution methods, you may notice that the extraction “leans” to one side or another, or results in multiple streams of uneven extraction. With the OCD, the grounds are evenly distributed, so you’ll witness a single stream of richly-flavored, perfectly extracted coffee every single time.
Now, after several years of users’ experience with the OCD, Sestic has just released the next-generation model – and it’s even better at what it does than the original was.
Beyond its attractive golden finish, the OCD v2 offers numerous advantages over the original model: it’s easier to adjust the depth for the dose in your basket. Once you’ve chosen the desired depth, it’s easy to tighten to lock your setting in place. The new model is also made of brass, which conducts electricity better than the stainless of the original model, resulting in less static. Finally, the rough texture of the exterior gives you a great grip and fantastic durability.