We’ve made no secret of our love for 1Zpresso (us, and everyone else in the coffee world!) Since they burst onto the scene in 2018, they’ve consistently raised the bar for manual coffee grinding with their stunning range of grinders. But, with such an elite lineup, how do you know which is the best 1Zpresso grinder for you?
In their current lineup, the J Ultra is, without a doubt, the best 1Zpresso. It can grind for any brewing method with insane accuracy meaning it is versatile enough to adapt to your current and future coffee drinking needs.
That said, 1Zpresso has options for all coffee brewers so, depending on your exact requirements, you may prefer a different option. We’ve put all their current manual grinders to the test to share our unbiased, unfiltered reviews. We’ll compare all the current models available in the US as international markets get access to slightly different ranges. Let’s jump right in:
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1Zpresso J Ultra
The J Ultra has replaced the J Max (now discontinued) as our favorite 1Zpresso grinder. The rounded edges and slimmer body make it prettier and easier to use.
With only 8 microns between clicks, it is precise enough for espresso while having the grind range for any brewing method from Turkish to French press.
Top Pick: J Ultra
Grind Consistency: 5/5
Grind Range: 5/5
Ease of Use: 4/5
Best for: Espresso
Or read our full review
Best for Pour Over: X Pro
Grind Consistency: 5/5
Grind Range: 4/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Best for: Pour Over
1Zpresso J Ultra – Our Top Pick
- Stepped adjustment – 8 microns per click
- Grinds for any brewing method
- Best 1Zpresso grinder for espresso
- Slim, easy-to-grip body
- External adjustment ring
- 40g capacity
- Cumbersome to switch brewing methods
The J Max used to hold our hearts so when it was discontinued, we were gutted. But only until we got our hands on the even better J Ultra. The upgrades are small but they make a huge difference.
For starters, the slimmer body makes grinding considerably easier. My wife has small hands and she struggled with the J Max but has zero issues with the J Ultra.
All the latest 1Zpresso grinders feature a fold-away handle which is a nice space-saver. However, I preferred the old cylindrical travel case over the new rectangular boxy one which is more awkward to pack.
Precision, consistency, and versatility for a wide range of brewing methods is the name of the game here. With just 8 microns per click, the espresso perfectionists in the crowd will appreciate being able to make precise adjustments.
The small steps between each click mean you have around 400 clicks worth of usable grind range. This is both a blessing and a curse. Great for flexibility to suit your mood over how you want your coffee today. Bad for how cumbersome it is to switch between brewing methods.
If you don’t often switch between brewing methods or you’re organized and keep a record of your preferred settings, then this is no issue at all and you’ll absolutely adore the J Ultra.
And we have it as our grinder of choice for almost all coffee brewing at home and when we travel.
1Zpresso X Pro – Best for Pour Over
- Great value for money
- 12.5 micron adjustment
- Easy to calibrate
- Superb grind consistency
- Great looking
- No carry case included
- Screw on catch cup
The X Pro isn’t the top model in the 1Zpresso X-series – that’s the X Ultra (read our full review, here). But we think the X Pro provides a better pour over experience.
In all of our tests (including blind testing), we felt it produced a brighter and cleaner-tasting cup of coffee. And we value that much more than the aesthetic improvements and magnetic catch cup of the X Ultra.
Although we do prefer the magnetic version to the screw-on catch cup – it’s fine just not wow-worthy.
The X Pro doesn’t come with a carry case included. This may or may not be a factor for you depending on how often you plan to take it traveling with you.
Compared to the minimalist X Ultra, I actually prefer the slightly more old-fashioned silver and brown design. Though that’s probably cos I’m also old-fashioned and don’t like change…
The X Pro excels at pour over. But it’s also possible to get the occasional delicious espresso or French press. It’s just not as good as the J Ultra for these brewing methods.
It’s the burrs that really set the X Pro above the X Ultra as the best 1Zpresso grinder for pour over.
They were ‘upgraded’ for the X Ultra and, despite the extra cost, they haven’t improved the resulting coffee flavor. Maybe even made it a little worse, though only marginally.
So, if you love to drink coffee from the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, or Chemex, then the 1Zpresso X Pro offers great value and spectacular quality.
1Zpresso K Ultra – Best if you Don’t Brew Espresso
- Works for all brewing methods
- Easy to switch between settings
- Excellent grind consistency
- Easy to clean and calibrate
- Slim body is easy to hold
- Not the best for espresso
There is so much to like about the K Ultra:
The sleek design. The incredible grind range. The amazing consistency. The ease with which you can switch between your favorite brewing methods.
Really, the only downside is that you’re sacrificing a lot of precision for the ease of switching between grind sizes compared to the J Ultra.
If you don’t plan to brew espresso then this trade-off could be absolutely perfect. The 22-micron adjustments are more than good enough for everything else. And the adjustment dial makes switching a breeze.
However, if want to brew high-quality espresso, the loss of precision just isn’t worth it. Especially when the K Ultra costs more than the more precise J Ultra.
For us, we’d take the slightly awkward adjustments of the J Ultra with extra accuracy over the K Ultra’s simplicity every single time.
That said, the K Ultra is an excellent manual grinder. It’s just that 1Zpresso has others that are better.
1Zpresso Q2 – Best for Traveling
- Small and lightweight
- Great value
- Fits inside AeroPress
- Good grind consistency
- Fast grinding
- Needs “seasoning”
- Not suitable for espresso
- Adjustment dial under the burr
For some reason I can’t quite work out, dedicated travel grinders seem to be getting bigger, heavier, and less travel-friendly. Thankfully, 1Zpresso bucked this trend with the Q2. It sticks to what people who travel a lot actually need: small, lightweight, and simple to use.
So 16.5oz (465g) isn’t super light. But considering many “travel” coffee grinders are over double that, it’s pretty good.
It also fits inside an AeroPress, which is great news for many traveling coffee lovers. We love to throw this duo in our rucksack when we head out camping.
In terms of capacity, 1Zpresso claims it can only grind up to 20g of coffee beans. But we found you can fit almost 25g, depending on your chosen bean variety. So, it’s a perfect solution for 1 person’s worth of coffee brewing.
That’s not to say it’s perfect; there are a few compromises here:
- It’s not great for espresso. In fact, 1Zpresso doesn’t recommend using it with your espresso machine at all, and we agree.
- It also needs “seasoning”. This means you need to use it quite a lot to blunt the burrs a little to reduce fines. Grinding a couple of pounds of rice in your Q2 will achieve this.
If size and weight are important to you when choosing a travel grinder, and you’re planning to brew AeroPress, pour over, drip, or French press, the 1Zpresso Q2 could be your perfect travel companion.
1Zpresso ZP6 Special – Best for Light Roast Pour Over Lovers
- Gets the best from light roast beans
- Incredible grind consistency
- 48mm burrs
- Amazing precision for pour over enthusiasts
- Really only excels at pour over with light roasts
This is maybe the ultimate specialist coffee grinder:
The 1Zpresso ZP6 Special has been designed and manufactured for those who take their drip coffee incredibly seriously.
Having been upgraded from the previous ZP6 model, the ZP6 Special features a new 6-sided burr set that’s the same as the JS uses. Given that the JS is supposed to be the most consistent 1Zpresso grinder (but only available in Taiwan and China), we had high hopes for this grinder. And it didn’t disappoint.
When it comes to brewing drip coffee/ pour over, this is an exceptional grinder. Yes, it can grind fine enough for AeroPress or Moka pot, and it can even go coarse enough for French press if you need it to. But the magic happens in the pour over range.
There’s one big caveat to this though: it only outperforms the X Pro and K Ultra when using light roast, fruity coffee beans.
We found that medium roasts tasted a little flat and uninteresting when brewed identically and blind tasted against the other 1Zpresso grinders.
So are you a light roast drip coffee enthusiast?
If yes, this is comfortably the best 1Zpresso grinder for you. It will easily outperform the other options here and may even outperform some very expensive flat burr grinders.
For everyone else, there are better options.
1Zpresso X Ultra
- Great design
- Available in 3 colors
- Easy to calibrate
- 12.5 microns per click
- New burrs aren’t as good as X Pro
The 1Zpresso X Ultra is the new version of the superb X Pro. It has a fun new minimalist design, new burrs, and is easier to calibrate. It also has the magnetic catch cup of the other “Ultra” models which we do prefer to the screw-on ones.
The X Ultra is a superb grinder for the pour over lover and can handle AeroPress if that is your preferred method. It is also precise enough for espresso but the burrs are designed for the AeroPress and pour over grind ranges so it isn’t the best option for an espresso drinker.
Really the only issue with the X Ultra is that we prefer the flavor of the coffee from the X Pro. Maybe its the slight change in the burrs but the flavor of the pour over from the X Pro just seems brighter and more complex.
You’ll still get a great pour over using the X Ultra and if you prefer the design then go for it. On a purely coffee flavor basis though, we’re sticking with the X Pro for now.
1Zpresso J Manual
- 25 micron adjustment
- Reduced static
- 35g capacity
- Fast grinding
- Not precise enough for espresso
- Internal grind adjustment
The baby of 1Zpresso J-range (the JX) has had an upgrade with the J Manual.
It’s small in size, has a classic design, a large capacity, grinds quickly, and still features the excellent grind consistency that 1Zpresso is renowned for. They’ve even upgraded the design of the adjustment dial to reduce static.
My biggest issue with the J Manual is that it just isn’t as good as many of the other 1Zpresso grinders. And it isn’t much cheaper either.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with it. If you enjoy drinking pour over then it’ll serve you well. But you’d be better served spending a little bit more to get one of the vastly superior offerings.
What Brewing Method
Maybe the most important thing to consider, what is your preferred brewing method?
1Zpresso focuses on two methods: espresso and pour over.
- For espresso drinkers: You definitely need an espresso-focused grinder to give you the precision to dial in your espresso shots. This really just leaves you with the J Ultra – a great pick that will help you achieve rich, full-bodied, and well-balanced espresso.
- For pour over lovers: Grinders that specialize in pour over have subtly different burrs to espresso grinders for improved flavor. Our top pick would be the X Pro, but you can’t go wrong with the X Ultra, K Ultra, or even the ZP6 Special if you prefer light roasts.
- For those who like variety: If you want to switch up your brewing methods (or have the option to) then the J Ultra or K Ultra will be the best 1Zpresso grinders for you. It’s slightly more frustrating on the J Ultra due to the 8-micron adjustments compared to 22 microns per click on the K Ultra, but the latter is less accurate for espresso.
You don’t want to be weighing out multiple portions of beans and grinding them individually if you don’t have to. So if you regularly grind 35g per serving, you’ll want to make sure your grinder has the capacity to do it in one go.
On the flip side, you may only need 20-25g for a 2oz double espresso for one person. There’s no need to have 35-40g of bean capacity you won’t use. Though this is far less annoying than not having enough.
Next, consider the grinder’s dimensions.
Are you planning to chuck it in your bag for hiking, camping, or business travel? If so, the size and maybe more importantly, the weight, of your grinder can make a big difference.
Thankfully none of the 1Zpresso grinders are particularly big, but some are bigger than others and weigh considerably more. Every ounce counts when you’re on your 12th mile of the day carrying that backpack.
Multiple world-champion coffee brewers use 1Zpresso grinders for a reason: they’re extremely good. The build quality is exceptional and the grind consistency is amazing.
Yes, they’re expensive by manual grinder standards. But they’re also far cheaper than an electric grinder of similar quality.
We think the 1Zpresso J Ultra is the best 1Zpresso grinder currently available in the US. But there’s stiff competition in the range. As a travel grinder, the Q2 could be better, and if you stick to pour over or drip coffee, you may prefer the X Pro.
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