The Holdswhirl EK43 Distribution Method

November 23, 2015

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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