Thursday 22 February 2024

Weber Workshops is releasing the Moonraker, the WDT tool for espresso puck preparation

The Moonraker is a WDT tool that moves its needles along a spirographic path, creating a fully de-clumped, randomized and homogenous bed of coffee ready for tamping. Whereas typical WDT tools follow circular paths repeatedly to create “trenches,” the Moonraker needles never pass over the same path twice

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MILAN – On April 20th, 2023, Weber Workshops released the Moonraker, its vision of the ideal WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) tool for espresso puck preparation. Back in 2016 Weber Workshops released the Blind Shaker, which grew to be a staple for espresso preparation in competitions in addition to cafés and consumer homes around the globe. The Moonraker rewrites the book on WDT and espresso puck prep as we know it.

Weber Workshops releases the Moonraker

The Moonraker is a WDT tool that moves its needles along a spirographic path, creating a fully de-clumped, randomized and homogenous bed of coffee ready for tamping. Whereas typical WDT tools follow circular paths repeatedly to create “trenches,” the Moonraker needles never pass over the same path twice. The Moonraker uses two gauges of stainless needles, 300 and 200 microns respectively, which are configured at 2 separate heights to break up clumps deep in the bed and rake the surface effectively for a flat, tamp-ready surface.

Puck prep with effective WDT is well-known to improve consistency in espresso shot-to-shot extractions, reducing channeling and maximizing extraction yields. It can be time consuming and fussy, however, in many cases causing more harm than good. The Moonraker takes the guesswork out, and performs the task better than even an experienced hand.

moonraker
The Moonraker (image provided)

The needles are all removable and replaceable in seconds as they are held in by neodymium magnets. The Moonraker will also ship with 20 spare needles, as they are fragile in nature and may need to be replaced after accidents. It will also ship with a spare set of longer needles that can be trimmed to a custom length for nonstandard baskets.

The Moonraker being produced in two editions, the Standard and  the Ultra. The two are only different in the materials used for the movement (gears). For the Standard edition, the gears are moulded from a food-safe, self-lubricating, and antistatic polymer that ensures a lifetime of smooth use. The Ultra  edition, with a nod to its watchmaking roots, features solid brass gears with resin-filled text and lap-finished surfaces.

When not in use, the Moonraker stores on the counter in its fully machined and anodized aluminum stand. It will also ship with a cleaning brush for cleaning out coffee dust from the gear mechanism.

As the movement of the gears through space is mesmerizing and enjoyable to watch, that motion has been kept visible through a protective layer of chemically strengthened glass. The base of the Moonraker is a ring of solid stainless steel co-moulded with an elastomer foot that grips the top lip of the portafilter basket, allowing for 1-handed operation.

moonraker
The Moonraker (image provided)

Douglas Weber, the Founder and CEO of Weber Workshops, mentioned that: “WDT has become a staple in the ‘ultimate puck prep’ repertoire of the world’s specialty coffee baristas. We knew it could be done better with a good design and solid engineering, and we spent months developing our own geared movement and product to take the guesswork out of perfect puck prep. The product, in the end, became our love letter to the art of espresso.”

In particular when used in conjunction with Weber’s Unifilter or Unibasket, with the Moonraker a barista can achieve consistency in their puck prep unlike ever before. Consistently homogenized beds create consistent extractions, which means fewer wasted shots, and that in turn means less wasted coffee. The quality materials in the Moonraker and the precision in its construction ensure a lifetime of use.

Included in the package with each purchase

  • One Moonraker device.
  • One machined & anodized aluminum holding stand.
  • One solid wood handle cleaning brush.
  • One pack of 20 replacement needles (mix of long and short for 18-22g baskets)
moonraker
The Moonraker (image provided)

Other product details

  • Price: $275 Standard edition, $475 Ultra edition
  • Size: 75mm diameter x 65mm height
  • Weight: 300g (Standard), 405g (Ultra)
  • Compatibility: Fits Unifilter and Unibasket. Also fits most standard 58mm portafilters baskets sized for 18-24g baskets (This includes LaMarzocco, Synesso, Slayer, Kees VanDer Westen, Rocket, Lelit, Decent, Flair )
  • Availability: Standard edition available immediately in limited Ultra edition available for pre-order, shipping in JULY.

The product may be viewed in more detail here

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