A Diffuser is an industrial sized tool, which looks like a giant conveyor belt and is used to extract the sugars from Agave.
In a traditional Tequila making process, producers first cook the agave, and then extract the juice and its sugars, before fermenting and distilling it. Diffusers allow producers options in those early stages, and there are two ways in which they are commonly used.
The first method uses the diffuser to extract the sugars once the agave has been cooked and shredded. In essence, the diffuser acts as a way of extracting the remaining sugars from fibres that would otherwise not be captured and help to increase the producer’s efficiency.
The second use of a diffusor is a lot more controversial, as it is done without cooking the agave at all. In this instance, raw agave is loaded into the diffuser’s hopper. The agave pieces are then shredded and blasted with hot water almost simultaneously. While this results in extracting 99% of the starches of the agave (compare to a more typical 75%), running the shredding and cooking process in such a way has a big impact on flavour, which many connoisseurs deem as inferior.