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1Zpresso X Ultra Review:
Upgraded Grinding for Drip or AeroPress

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

It feels like all our favorite grinders from 1Zpresso are getting an “Ultra” upgrade at the moment. With a huge dedicated following in the coffee community (including us!), replacing these brewing favorites with new and “improved” models can be risky. Having had the chance to test the new version, we’ve done a full 1Zpresso X Ultra review to see how the changes to the X Pro have impacted the coffee flavor.

In short, the 1Zpresso X Ultra is a great coffee grinder for drip coffee and AeroPress. It looks fantastic, it’s easy to use, and calibrating is super simple. The only downside is that we still prefer the coffee flavor from the X Pro. But once they stop selling the X Pro (it’s being phased out), the X Ultra will become our go-to pour over grinder.

Everyone has different manual grinding needs. So we’ve detailed our experience using the 1Zpresso X Ultra to give you all the info you need before deciding if this beautiful grinder is for you.

This article may contain affiliate/ compensated links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information please see our disclaimer here.

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In Brief: 1Zpresso X Ultra

1Zpresso X Ultra in carry case

The X Ultra has some very nice upgrades from the X Pro:

We love the new magnetic catch cup and the easy calibration. And, whilst I preferred the old design, I can appreciate that the new look is very nice (and sleek) too.

The only drawback is that we prefer the flavor from the X Pro. This is obviously extremely subjective and not a big knock on the X Ultra – how many people will test them side-by-side, after all?

Soon it won’t be possible to get the X Pro. When that happens we’ll have no issues in recommending the X Ultra as it’s a fantastic manual grinder for drip and AeroPress.

Pros

  • Looks fantastic
  • 3 colors to choose from (black, gray, or blue)
  • 12.5 microns per click
  • Easy to calibrate and adjust

Cons

  • Coffee flavor not as good as the X Pro

Average Rating

  • Grind Consistency: 8.5/10
  • Range of Grind Sizes: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Best for: Pour Over
  • Overall Rating: 8/10
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Key Features Review

1. 40mm Stainless Steel Burrs

The heptagonal stainless steel burr found in the X Ultra has subtle changes to the X Pro’s version. These subtle variations help improve the consistency and distribution of the grind and improve flavor in the cup.

Close up of the heptaganol 40mm stainless steel burrs from the 1Zpresso X Ultra
Close-up of the X Ultra’s heptagonal stainless steel burrs

2. 12.5 Micron Adjustments

Having extremely precise 12.5-micron steps between each click allows you to dial in your espresso shots or drip coffee with superb accuracy.

3. 30g Capacity

The X Ultra’s 30g capacity allows you to grind enough coffee for 2 small cups of V60 or Chemex in one go. When you have to crank the handle by hand, anything that saves time and energy is a bonus!

4. Available in 3 colors

The minimalist modern style comes with a choice of 3 colors: Midnight Black, Pacific Blue, and Space Gray.

1Zpresso X Ultra in each color
From left to right: X Ultra in Midnight Black, Space Gray, Pacific Blue
Photo Credit: 1Zpresso

5. Foldaway Handle

To keep the X Ultra streamlined and easy to pack away, the new foldable handle sits flush against the body of the grinder. You simply rotate it into place when you’re ready to start grinding.

6. Easy Calibration Adjustment Ring

The external adjustment dial makes choosing your settings a breeze. Plus, it pops off the top meaning you can calibrate the 1Zpresso X Ultra back to 0 with minimal effort.

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Ease of Use

When designing the X Ultra, 1Zpresso kept all the best bits from previous grinders and upgraded a couple of niggles.

One of the best things about the newer 1Zpresso grinders is how easy they are to use. In addition to all the great features from previous generations, the X Ultra also has some little extras to make grinding life even simpler.

The numbered adjustment ring around the top of the grinder makes selecting the correct grind setting much easier than any other hand grinder with an internal adjuster. There’s no need to count clicks or reset it to “0” when you forget which setting it was on.

The only downside is that there are just over 3 rotations worth of clicks available. So you do need to remember which rotation you are on if you’re swapping between espresso, pour over, and French press. (Though we wouldn’t recommend this grinder for French press or espresso.)

People tend to note their settings in the format 2.3.7. The first number is the number of full rotations, then the number on the dial, and finally the number of clicks past that number. So 2.3.7 is 2 full rotations, number 3, and 7 more clicks. I promise it just sounds complicated but quickly becomes second nature.

If you plan on switching between brewing methods frequently, I recommend keeping a note of your preferred settings on your phone.

Grind adjusment dial for the 1Zpresso X Ultra
Using the X Ultra’s external adjustment dial

The X Ultra has a magnetic catch cup which is a big improvement over the screw-on ones. It attaches very well thanks to the strength of the magnets so it won’t fall off during grinding. When taking it off, I find it best to hold the catch cup and turn the top of the grinder like you’re trying to break a stick in half.

With just a 2.05 inch diameter (52mm), even those with smaller hands should have no difficulty gripping the X Ultra. Our standard test is for Katie who’s 5’2″ to try grinding, and she had no issues whatsoever.

Holding the magnetic catch cup separate from the 1Zpresso X Ultra body
Close-up of the magnets around the edge of the K Ultra’s grounds catch up

Grind Size Guidelines for the 1Zpresso X Ultra

Having 12.5 micron stepped adjustments gives you a decent range for each brewing method. The following grind range chart is based on 1Zpresso’s recommendations with some minor adjustments to reflect our experience of using the grinder:

Brewing MethodRange StartRange End
Turkish0.2.00.4.0
Espresso0.4.01.1.0
AeroPress1.1.01.5.0
Pour Over2.0.02.4.0
French Press2.4.03.1.0

A range of 20 clicks for espresso isn’t great. But then, this grinder isn’t designed for espresso drinkers anyway. (We’d recommend the J Ultra instead – our full review is here.)

But a 40 click range for AeroPress and pour over is fantastic and will mean you can get a great cup no matter what your preferred style of beans are.

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Design and Build Quality

The Looks

So I actually prefer the looks of the X Pro over the minimalist style of the X Ultra. But I am reliably informed by Katie that I am wrong and the X Ultra is a much better-looking grinder.

Having the option for 3 different colors is always nice, even if 2 of them are black and gray.

It certainly looks more modern than most of the competition. It’s sleek and looks cool so I can see why many people would love this design.

I’m surprised by the lack of obvious branding. The standard silicone sleeve with the large “1Zpresso” logo is absent. But this is probably a big plus for many people.

1Zpresso X Ultra standing on wooden table in front of travel case
Space Gray 1Zpresso X Ultra in front of travel case

The Build

1Zpresso grinders have some of the best build quality you’ll find in the world of coffee grinders. However, there was an alleged issue with the first batch of the X Ultra grinders:

People reported finding metal shavings in their coffee grounds. So the grinders were all recalled and since then there have been no issues reported.

We never experienced any issues with this grinder or any of the other 1Zpresso grinders we’ve used so this isn’t something we’re worried about.

Every part of the X Ultra feels high quality. All of the pieces are machined to an extremely high level of precision meaning the whole grinder fits together beautifully.

At 1.3lbs (590g), it’s not the lightest grinder you’ll find. But manual grinders often creep above 2.2lbs (1kg) so it’s still a really good travel option for the weight-conscious (though the 1Zpresso Q2 is even smaller and lighter).

At 6.9 inches tall and only 2.05 inches in diameter, it’s extremely compact. With the handle attached and folded, the X Ultra is only 4.7″ wide so it doesn’t take up much space. If you want to transport it inside the carry case then it’s considerably bigger – 11 x 5.9 x 8.7 inches. So, not the most compact but very safe.

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How Good is the Grind Consistency?

The thing that first made us fall in love with 1Zpresso was the supreme grind consistency.

As the burrs have had an upgrade, one thing we were keen to test in our 1Zpresso X Ultra review was whether they’d continue to deliver the same superb grind consistency that we’ve come to expect from 1Zpresso.

And we’re happy to report that the results were great and consistent across the full range of available grind sizes. So we were able to test and brew delicious espresso, AeroPress, V60, and French press coffee with the X Ultra.

One thing to note is that the flavor of the coffee, especially when using lighter roasts and brewing with V60, felt a little less vibrant than with the X Pro. Now, taste is obviously subjective and it might just be in our heads as we loved the X Pro so much. But, if you’re planning to brew a lot of V60 (or other pour over methods) then the X Pro is the better grinder… until it’s been fully phased out.

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Cleaning and Maintaining 1Zpresso X Ultra

Everyone’s favorite task: cleaning out their coffee grinder.

When it comes to cleaning the 1Zpresso X Ultra, the big advantage over older manual grinders is the reduced number of small parts you need to keep track of. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to be careful when disassembling and remember what order to put them back together in. But it’s a lot easier.

You simply brush out your grinder and use the blower provided to make sure there are no fines left inside. Never use water to clean your grinder as this will damage the burrs.

Our favorite new feature is how easy it is to calibrate the X Ultra after reassembly:

Once reassembled, set your grinder to “0” by turning the adjustment dial counterclockwise until you feel resistance. Check the dial and if the “0” isn’t aligned with the little mark on the grinder’s body, you can simply pop off the ring at the top and put it back on correctly aligned.

This is much simpler than having to twist a nut on the inside to move the dial until it’s in the correct position. So it’s a great improvement that we hope to see more of.

1Zpresso X Ultra disassembled and parts laid out on wooden table
All the X Ultra’s parts laid out
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1Zpresso X Ultra vs X Pro

How much of an upgrade is the new X series grinder?

Most of the X Ultra’s changes from the X Pro are aesthetic.

They have the same burr size, adjustment, and capacity. They both have a foldable handle, an easy-to-calibrate dial, and weigh almost the same.

Visually, they’re very different though with the X Ultra’s strikingly modern style. Plus, it comes with a carry case as standard whilst you have to pay extra for a case for the X Pro. It also has the magnetic catch cup whereas the X Pro has the threaded version.

1Zpresso say the burr design is the same but there are some very small differences in the geometry of the burrs which appear to have changed the flavor in the cup. Maybe you’d never notice the difference, maybe there is no difference and we’re imagining it. But we prefer the X Pro flavor.

For now, you can still get the X Pro for ever so slightly cheaper than the X Ultra (but without the case). So it will come down to personal preference as to which will suit you better. But, once it’s no longer available, the 1Zpresso X Ultra offers an incremental upgrade that we’re pretty confident you’ll love.

Pick Your Winner

1Zpresso X Pro lying flat on a white surface
1Zpresso X Pro – Check Price
1Zpresso X Ultra manual grinder in its travel carry case
1Zpresso X Ultra – Check Price
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1Zpresso X Ultra vs Comandante C40

When it comes to comparing manual grinders, 1Zpresso will always be looked at next to the OG for coffee lovers: the Comandante C40.

The Comandante C40 is a titan of the manual grinding crowd. Released in 2013, it’s been updated several times to keep it as one of the best options out there. So how does the X Ultra compare to what is considered by many as the gold standard in manual grinding?

We think it does very well. It has a larger grind range, better precision, and is a faster grinder than the Comandante.

However, the cup quality is where the biggest debate arises:

  • For pour over, we think the X Ultra compares really well making it a choice of personal preference.
  • For espresso, the Comandante C40 MK4 makes a better-tasting shot in our opinion. Although it’s tough to dial in without the Red Clix upgrade.

The big thing to remember is that the X Ultra is under half the price of the Comandante C40. So yes, you might be getting a better-tasting espresso from the C40 (maybe). But by the time you’ve bought the extra kit needed to really dial in espresso, you could afford the X Ultra for pour over and the J Ultra for espresso.

Comandante C40 manual grinder sitting on table, facing camera
Comandante C40 MK4 in American Cherry
Check Price or Read our C40 Review
Final thoughts icon

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is another triumph from 1Zpresso, if maybe not as convincing as we’d like it to be.

The small improvements on the X Ultra over its predecessor are very nice and we’re generally fans of the upgraded looks and catch cup. We’re not 100% convinced that the new burrs are an improvement but we’re really splitting hairs at this point.

If you’re looking for a grinder primarily for pour over or for AeroPress then the X Ultra is a superb mid-range option that performs well beyond its price point. The carry case is a little bulky for traveling, but not enough to be a deal breaker.

We loved putting this grinder through its paces for this 1Zpresso X Ultra review – it’s another superb option in the 1Zpresso range.

Don’t forget to Buy your X Ultra today

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Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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