Free delivery in SA on orders over R500

1Zpresso's Manual Coffee Grinders Compared

1Zpresso K-Ultra manual hand grinder side-by-side handle up and down

1Zpresso is still a relatively lesser-known name compared to more established brands like Comandante and Timemore, but the Taiwanese manufacturer has been steadily garnering an impressive reputation in the manual coffee grinder space. From the pint-sized Q-Air to the titanic K-Ultra, 1Zpresso has something for every kind of coffee lover in its impressive and recently expanded suite of top-quality hand grinders.

However, because 1Zpresso has such an expansive and diverse catalogue, it can be difficult to distinguish between each grinder, and to keep in mind what each grinder is designed to do best. Remembering whether the J-Max or JX-Pro is better suited to espresso can be harder than it seems.

For that reason, we’ve decided to write up a handy guide to hopefully help you more easily understand the difference between all of 1Zpresso’s grinders. Read on and find out which 1Zpresso coffee grinder is right for you!

1Zpresso coffee grinders for manual brewing

1Zpresso grinders in this category are specifically suited to pour-over and similar manual brews, and aren’t quite as capable of grinding fine enough for espresso — or at least fine-tuning in that range. Coincidentally, as far as our own shelves are concerned, these are 1Zpresso’s most portable grinders, being the Q-Air and the Q2 S, though we should mention that the JX series fits into this category too. The Q-Air and Q2 S are super compact grinders, which each weigh less than 500g and fit comfortably inside the plunger of a classic AeroPress™. The smaller chassis means that these grinders have smaller burr sets (38mm, which is still pretty big, to be clear) compared to their more substantial cousins, which is the reason that they’re geared for manual brewing.

A 38mm burr set is perfectly suited to grind for most manual brews, and 1Zpresso’s unique heptagonal burrs makes them even more efficient and consistent. Moreover, these grinders offer several dozen 25-micron ‘clicks’ worth of grind adjustment, allowing you to easily and precisely fine-tune your grind and thereby find your coffee’s exact sweet spot, depending on your chosen brewing method. Add to all this a very approachable price-point (relative to other hand grinders of this quality), and there’s really not much more you could ask for in a manual brew hand grinder.

1Zpresso coffee grinders for espresso

A good espresso grinder hinges on burr size and micro-adjustability. To grind fine enough for espresso requires a large and reliable set of burrs to chew through beans with ease and consistency. Moreover, when you’re grinding that fine, even tiny changes can produce significant differences in taste, so being able to adjust your grind setting with microscopic precision is an invaluable asset in a coffee grinder. It’s for this reason that many modern automatic espresso grinders are generally stepless (i.e. the grind adjustment knob turns freely, without ‘clicks’, otherwise known as ‘steps’).

The espresso-oriented 1Zpresso grinders on our shelves, being the J-Max and J-Ultra, may not be stepless, but they arguably may as well be, offering unparalleled precision in the hand-grinder space. They are adjustable in 8.8 and 8 micron increments respectively, and boast a little under 200 clicks of adjustment (grind settings), allowing for meticulous fine-tuning so that you can dial-in your espresso with pinpoint accuracy.

Moreover, both of these grinders sport an impressive set of 48mm burrs. A burr set like this is already easily capable of grinding espresso-fine, but 1Zpresso has gone the extra mile by adding a special titanium burr coating designed specifically for espresso grinding, which enhances burr efficiency, durability and consistency. If you’re looking for espresso-capable hand grinders, 1Zpresso’s are easily some of the very best available to you.

Versatile 1Zpresso coffee grinders

This is the category where 1Zpresso’s brand really shines brightest. It’s one thing for a grinder to be specialised for a particular brew method. It’s quite another for a grinder to do it all.

1Zpresso has a wide range of versatile grinders. Some are more premium than others but the key point is that they can all grind competently for both manual brews and espresso. The main difference between these grinders tends to be in burr size and grind adjustment precision, with those on the more premium end of the spectrum typically offering better adjustments specifically for espresso than more budget-friendly options.

This category begins with 1Zpresso’s X-series grinders, of which we currently stock the X-Pro S and the X-Ultra. These grinders are a bit slimmer and more portable than some of 1Zpresso’s other grinders, though not to the same extent as the Q-series grinders. They also both sport 40mm heptagonal burrs designed to maximise flavour clarity in your cup. While these might grind a little slower than the 48mm burrs found on some of 1Zpresso’s other grinders, the X-Pro S and X-Ultra do offer a few hundred 12.5 micron clicks of grind adjustment, which gives you greater control over grind consistency across a range of settings suitable for everything from a coarse French press to a super-fine Turkish coffee.

On the more premium end of this category are the JX-Pro, the K-Pro and the K-Ultra. All three boast 48mm burrs, though only the K-Ultra’s burr set is heptagonal. These grinders also each offer an impressive range of grind settings. They respectively provide 40, 90 and 100 clicks of adjustment per rotation of the grind adjustment dial, and several rotations of the dial, substantially more than in the case of the J-Max and J-Ultra. This is already a remarkable level of versatility, but what makes it all the more impressive is the grind adjustment resolution. Adjustments on the JX-Pro are in 12.5 micron increments, 22 micron increments on the K-Pro, and 20 micron increments on the K-Ultra. While this is not as precise as the J-series grinders, it’s still ultra-fine adjustment that, paired with the whopping number of settings these grinders are capable of, make the JX-Pro, K-Pro and K-Ultra worthy of being called 1Zpresso’s all-singing, all-dancing flagship grinders.

1Zpresso's hand grinders summarised

By now you should hopefully have a better understanding of 1Zpresso’s fantastic suite of grinders so that, if you’re interested in buying one, you can pick the one that best fits your needs. Ideally, you now also have a better understanding of manual coffee grinders as a whole, and should know what to look for if you ever find yourself comparing and contrasting different models.

Category Grinder Burrs Grind settings Adjustment resolution
Manual Q2 S 38mm, heptagonal ~210 25 microns
Q-Air 38mm, heptagonal ~210 25 microns
Espresso J-Max 48mm, titanium coated ~150 8.8 microns
J-Ultra 48mm, titanium coated ~170 8 microns
Versatile X-Pro S 40mm, heptagonal ~300 12.5 microns
X-Ultra 40mm, heptagonal ~270 12.5 microns
JX-Pro 48mm ~280 12.5 microns
K-Pro 48mm ~450 22 microns
K-Ultra 48mm ~500 20 microns

If you’re still a little unsure, and looking at the sheer number of 1Zpresso grinders mentioned in this post we understand if you are, here’s a quick summary:

  • 1Zpresso’s manual brew grinders are characterised by a smaller burr set that, while unable to grind for espresso, is perfectly suited for manual brewing methods. These grinders allow for an impressive amount of variation in that grinding category too. At the time of writing, these are the Q2 S and Q-Air, the most compact and portable of 1Zpresso’s grinders.
  • 1Zpresso’s espresso-oriented grinders sport large, powerful burrs enhanced by a titanium coating, and offer incredibly fine and precise adjustments. They can grind through beans with impressive ease and consistency, even at the finest of settings. In this category, we offer the J-Max and the J-Ultra, at the time of writing.
  • 1Zpresso’s versatile grinders are veritable Swiss army grinders, and offer grind quality and adjustability suitable for everything from coarse manual brews to espresso. Regarding espresso, they don’t offer the same level of precise fine-tuning as 1Zpresso’s espresso-specific grinders, but make up for it by being able to grind better for other brewing methods too. These make up the largest section of our 1Zpresso shelf, and, at the time of writing, are the X-Pro S, the X-Ultra, the JX-Pro, the K-Pro and the K-Ultra.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. If you still need a hand picking the right grinder for you, feel free to get in touch with us - we’re always happy to help. Happy brewing!


Post A Comment