Group Glass

Portafilter Basket Viewing Mirror

The Group Glass is a fully adjustable viewing mirror used to watch the extraction when pulling espresso shots with a naked portafilter.

The Group Glass was born out of complete necessity. Every time I pulled a shot, I had to squat down to peer up at the bottom of a naked portafilter which was unergonomic, uncomfortable and unflattering. Crouching over while using a pump machine is almost manageable, on a manual lever machine it’s next to impossible. I knew there had to be a better way.

I wanted to be able to remain comfortably standing with my head above counter height, and still be able to see what was going on underneath the basket of the portafilter. A mirror was the obvious solution. But the mirror would have to be quickly adjustable to virtually any viewing angle, easy to take apart to clean, and look good on top of the drip tray.

Drawing inspiration from one of my all-time favorite architects motivated the design process. Frank Lloyd Wright’s SC Johnson Administration Building is one of my favorite pieces of modern architecture. Tall graceful columns reminiscent of lily pads support a towering vaulted roof. Wright’s columns are beautiful to behold and are engineering masterpieces, able to support weights far beyond their intended limits.

Influenced by Wright’s work, the profile of the Group Glass mirror gently curves outward to reduce as much weight as possible and then flares inward to create a scallop with a neodymium magnet hidden beneath.

The 65mm diameter mirror frame is held securely to a steel ball bearing through magnetic attraction. Utilizing this ingenious system, the mirror can be quickly and easily re-oriented in any direction to suit the viewing angle.

And while not completely splatter proof, the oleophobic coating on the hardened glass mirror is much easier to wipe clean than just standard glass. All of this in a complete little package that sits no higher than 60mm on your drip tray.

After using one, you’ll realize that the Group Glass is an indispensable tool. Without one would be like driving a car without a rear view mirror. Try it for yourself and see.