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Masterful Espresso Distribution: 2 Key Steps using the Stockfleth Method

Tim Wendelboe

What is the Stockfleth Method?

Internationally recognized, the Stockfleth Method for espresso distribution is a technique used to distribute coffee grounds in a portafilter basket. The move, which is known for its effectiveness at packing and tamping a portafilter, originated in one of the oldest coffee houses in Olso Norway, Stockfleths. Multiple world champion barista, Tim Wendleboe, who began his coffee career as a barista at Stockfleths café, is well known for using this method of espresso distribution.

TIM WENDELBOE

Tim Wendelboe, began his career as a barista at Stockfleths Cafe in Oslo Norway. He is a 2004 World Barista Champion and 2005 World Cup Tasting Champion. Stockfleths Cafe was founded in 1895 in Oslo Norway and is the backbone Norway’s specialty coffee community.  It’s Norway’s largest specialty coffee roaster. Three barista champions and numerous competing baristas trained at Stockfleth. In the 1990’s the cafe was transformed into a modern coffee shop and presently has 6 locations around Oslo, Norway. Watch Tim preform the Stockfleth method of espresso distribution.

Solo Tamper by artpresso design is inspired by stockfleths method

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The Solo Tamper

To learn more about the Artpresso Design Solo Tamper read the Solo Tamper blog post

We emailed Tim when we first started to develop the distribution side of the SoloTamper because we wanted to understand more about the concept of distributing coffee. He told us some interesting information about the Stockfleths method beginnings.

“That distribution technique actually came from a late night espresso session I had with Robert Thoresen after he won the WBC in 2000. We made espressos together in a bar in Monaco on the afterparty and the portafilters, and machines were not the best to work with. In order not to spill too much coffee in the bar, Robert and I started doing something that weeks later developed in to the Stockfleth’s move and since I like to work clean and neat, I taught it to all the baristas at Stockfleths.”  Tim Wendelboe

Many different variations have resulted because it is a difficult technique to communicate and learn without hands on instruction. However, it is considered one of the best techniques because once mastered, it can result in consistently improved extractions. For this reason, Steven Monti, owner of Artpresso Design, wanted to create a distribution action in a tool that would replicate the same action as the hand motion of the Stockfleths Method. This is what makes the distribution side of the Solo so unique compared to all other coffee distribution tools.  

The Solo has a faceted surface with the smallest foot print area of compression out of all the distributors on the market. When adjusted to the proper depth, only a single line of stainless as thin as a piece of thread and as long as 29.1mm/1.15in touches the surface of the coffee grounds as it re-distributes the coffee. The facets emulate the Stockfleth’s method of a finger swipe and allows for rotation in any direction when resting on the rim of a 58mm portafilter.  The angles of the facets ensure density of the coffee is not localized and eliminate friction so coffee grounds wont stick to surface. Rotating the distributor in any direction as it rests on the portafilter will create a uniform, evenly distributed density of coffee mass throughout with the least amount of compression and air pockets.

Hover over the images to read more.

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Multiple prototypes of the best angles were tested before the final design of the solo tamper
After researching and studying various methods and tools used to redistribute coffee grounds, Artpresso discovered the Stockfleths Method to be a reliable favorite amongst professional baristas. This discovery became the inspiration behind the SoloTamper.
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How one distributes coffee grounds is an important focus of the professional barista
The goal of distribution is to create a uniform bed of coffee in the portafilter basket. When this is achieved, the pressurized hot water will produce even saturation, and ultimately, even extraction of the coffee grounds. The design concept originated by looking at the angles of the index finger and palm of the index finger while over the grounds in the portafilter basket.
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The move begins with the barista forming an L shape with the hand by positioning the thumb on the rim of the portafilter while the index finger is on top of the coffee bed
The proper motion is to run your thumb along the rim of the portafilter while using your index finger in a circular motion on top of the coffee bed. The circular motion is caused by the rotation of the portafilter in an opposite direction using the other hand.
Stockfleths slider mobile-1
The images demonstrate the position of the hand and actions used with the Stockfleths move
The index finger and the pad of the palm of the index finger gently push and grab the grounds into empty spots. Then, a finger swipe is used to smooth the top. The faceted distribution side of the Solo is inspired by the Stockfleths Method. When rotating the Solo distribution side over the grounds, the facets gently push and grab the grounds while the radial, raised line smooths the top.
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Outside image of a Stockfleths Cafe
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Tim Wendelboe standing outside another Stockfleths Kaffe

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