There is a significant amount of wasted coffee under my grinder, and I've taken to doing the WDT over the wastebasket due to a little inevitable spillage while stirring with a straightened paperclip. I gave the cut-the-paper-cup-to-make-cheap-funnel thing a try, but although it kept most of the grounds pretty much in place, it required removal prior to tamping and always left a dent in the outer margin of grounds and worse, required removal prior to tamp because my tamp won't fit with it in place. So I did a quick search online and found a remarkable lack of funnels for portafilters... searching the *bay listings, I found something close to what I'd like but not quite, and it was $35!! Astonishing, for a simple metal ring. I don't wanna accuse someone of scalping, but then... ok, I sorta do want to say it
. that's scalping.
Still, there are a couple things I'd like to see addressed and no one's done it, so I've resigned myself to have to get off my lazy butt and add this to the list of things I have to do.
1st off: the lip inside these funnels has to be a very close fit to the basket, so it will almost certainly have to be a custom sized thing for each basket. I want the tamp to fit very closely inside the funnel, so I can tamp without removing the funnel. I only have representative samples for HQ14g and HQ21g (ridgeless), I don't have any VST or LM baskets so I'm not sure if they are very similar in diameter just below the lip.
2nd: Looking at the baskets, I suppose I could make a funnel with a simple straight top edge that sort of drops down to a small lip that goes inside the inner diameter of the basket a short ways... but what would really float my boat, I think, is a very good concave fit of the basket outer circumference to the bottom of the funnel by duplicating the curvature of the top edge of the portafilter so the funnel becomes self centering and hugs the basket tightly and will refuse to move when bumping into it during WDT. This means grinding a custom form tool to form the lip... easy to do, but I'm not sure if all baskets have the same shape. I suspect they are close enough that it won't make a difference, but I thought I'd throw this out there in case anyone knew the quick answer. I suspect I'll have to sacrifice one basket to cut it in half to get an accurate profile in order to grind the form tool.
3rd: Want to try singles at night after discovering that 'decaf' still has enough caffeine to keep me up at night
and the singles baskets (thanks for the suggestions JohnB!) are very difficult to dose and tamp without a purpose built funnel and specially sized tamper, which no one seems to sell, so these are both at the top of my list. Tamper is easy. Funnel for singles, not so much.
4th: (yeah I know this is more than a couple) I'm not sure I want to use aluminum or stainless for these funnels. Heat is important in the portafilter and I don't want an aluminum funnel stealing the heat out of the basket while in place. It will be more than just a funnel, I think it'll be pretty substantial and solid so plenty of opportunity to steal heat capacity. So maybe delrin (a near cousin to nylon... if you've seen the 'bean funnel' that comes with a pharos, that's similar)? rather than aluminum or stainless... much more insulative and easy to machine.
5th: anybody else out there with the same problems? Could we make a small amount and just defray the materials cost between us? If in delrin this would be easy. But this would only be possible if other baskets share the same diameters and dimensions (which means universality in tooling, although I suppose I could adjust the dimensions for each item if participants send me their dimensions beforehand), which is why I'm posting this. I am also not sure what height the funnel should be, because some will want it under the grinder/doser, others will want to place it only before a WDT? so probably somewhere between an inch or 2 in height, I'd guess. Also the width of a funnel is open to discussion, should it be a wide flower or a very steep, tight cone or a compound/combination of both? This is only in the planning stages. Dan, sorry, should I have cleared such a discussion with you first? Apologies... there is no profit motive, I volunteer my time in this. But not with regard to materials cost, you'll either have to provide your own materials and cover shipping, or else we go in together and split costs evenly. Hell, I'm not even sure I'm in the right forum, but couldn't figure out if it should be somewhere else... but its close to the grinding process, so I stuck it here. But I need a gauge of how many would be interested, and also input into the design (width, height, portafilter lip sizes).