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January 30, 2017 /
The Holdswhirl EK43 Distribution Method

Many of you have asked about how to distribute coffee grinds when using an EK43 for espresso service. This is the week!

Back in 2013 when we were wracking our brains about how to make espresso with that grinder, we also had to come up with a method for getting grinds in the basket. Luckily, the kitchenware shop next to St Ali stocked a jam funnel with an outer diameter of 58mm. I was pretty happy with myself that day.

They’re almost always sold out now, and I sometimes like to imagine the grandmothers of Melbourne complaining about the jam funnel shortage over a game of bridge. Sorry dears.

We stock the funnels at Sensory Lab—and I’m certain there are other stockists around the world. (if you know of one, please let me know in the comments and I’ll list them here! Amazon)

You can use any funnel, as long as it’s not overly tight, or too loose. As you’ll see in the video, you need a little bit of room to wiggle it out at the end.

Leon Holdsworth, the Head Barista at St Ali, has a wonderful method for using the jam funnels. So obviously we named it the ‘Holdswhirl’.

Here’s a brief video of the Holdswhirl in action. Please note the following:

– in the beginning, there’s static holding coffee grinds to the funnel
– the circular motion picks up grinds from below and sweeps the funnel of any stray grinds
– if you can get it done in fewer movements, keep doing that.
– coffee in the basket is pushed outwards, filling gaps and improving evenness.
– the bed of coffee is beautifully flat and dense
– you can tap the handle on the bench vertically to further compact the grinds, aiding funnel removal (not pictured)
– watch closely when Leon takes the funnel out of the basket. There’s a slight wiggle (this is why the diameter of the funnel is crucial). This wiggle loosens any coffee sticking to the sides of the funnel, and allows for a clean, quick removal.
– he’s married.

Enjoy! And as always, questions below are very welcome.

 

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James Connar Wallace
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James Connar Wallace

I use a 58mm camera lens hood. They are very cheap and readily available online. It only has a short lip so you have to be more careful when pouring the coffee in but it means much less sticks to the side. A quick shake and then lift the hood off and tap over the portafilter to dislodge any extra grounds. Then tap the portafilter to even it out and you’re ready to tamp. Takes 2-3 seconds tops. I call this “The Shoogle” Ends in a perfectly flat distribution and is faster than how I’ve seen anyone use a jam… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

Wow what a swirl, that looks very cool. I think that’s slowed down (braces himself to realise it isn’t) any chance of a “full speed” one for comparison?

Tony Chrampanis
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Tony Chrampanis

Hi Mat, Bought this one on Amazon last week:
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00C2PHN4W?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
Pretty good fit in my VST filter basket and nice looking finish. Also bought a coffee catcha and really like it. Got it from Esoresso Gear in Sweden here: http://www.espressogear.com/coffee-catcha-p-169-c-205.aspx
I really like that you can tamp right through the coffee catcha. Quick and easy.

Jan F-F
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Jan F-F

I’ll pick one of these up in the next few days. I’m currently using one of the Norpros that everyone else uses + standard tapping, though I tried this swirl technique this morning, and it worked fine.

Stephen Hill
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Stephen Hill

> if you know of one, please let me know in the comments and I’ll list them here

Perhaps not quite the same, but Norpro has a “Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Funnel” that you can find on Amazon (US/CA anyway). It’s quoted as having a 55mm inner diameter; I measured mine and it’s 56mm inside and although the metal lip is pretty thin (less than a mm), it also arches in a little, which probably explains why it fits my 58mm portafilter well in practice.

nicfortin
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nicfortin

Wow! And you guys can do all this and what I’ve seen since the craze about EK43 in a busy setup with dozen of morning grumpy people waiting for their morning fix??? That IS the most amazement for me more than the EK43 itself!?

RobAshton
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RobAshton

VIVA LA SHOOGLE.

cosmicfluff
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cosmicfluff

I bought a funnel from Grand Cucina. Base is 57mm.
https://www.grandcucina.com/kitchenware/funnels/jam-funnel-18-10-140mm

Matt Perger
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Matt Perger

It can be done in a couple of seconds. We’ve managed BUSY (100+ drinks/hr) espresso service with sub 5 minute wait times using only this technique.

Kelly Sanchez
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Kelly Sanchez

How fast can this distribution technique be accomplished?

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Philipp
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Philipp

Funny, but this does not seem to work for me all too well. With the swirl I get more uneven extractions visually as well as measured (TDS – 0,5%) compared to when I use a metal cup to catch the ground coffee and from there drop it into the basket. I believe this is mainly because Iafter the swirl the coffee is not distributed well even if it appears to be sitting rather level in the basket. The swirling also prevents me from leveling the grounds with finger or palm as after the swirl the coffee sits quite low in… Read more »

RobAshton
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RobAshton

Slow motion video or it didn’t happen.

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