1Zpresso J-Max S Manual Coffee Bean Grinder 2024 Review
If you search for 1Zpresso coffee bean grinders, you won’t be short of options. They have a wide selection of different manual bean grinders to choose from, for different coffee types, situations, and price points – something that’s helped them to rapidly become one of the most popular manufacturers for burr coffee grinders.
The J-Max grinder (and J-Max S version) is one of their mid-range manual coffee grinders, with the performance and features to satisfy most wannabe baristas – but is it the right manual grinder for you? We review the J-Max to help you make up your mind.
1Zpresso J Max S Manual Coffee BEAN Grinder
Excellent build quality
Consistent grind size
Premium coated burr
Easy to assemble/disassemble
Carrying case included
8.8 micron adjustment for exact grind sizes
Large range to suit all coffee types
Coated burrs makes grinding easier
Solid, quality construction
Foldable handle makes it great for traveling
Cleaning kit & case included
Magnetic catch-cup could be more secure
Best results require a stable surface
Mid-high price range compared to others
1Zpresso J Max Coffee Grinder – Full Review
It can be easy to get confused between all the different 1Zpresso grinders, and if you’re spending a decent amount of money on a good hand grinder, you want to make sure it’s capable, but also that it’s pretty flexible in terms of the range of drinks and methods it’s suitable for.
The J-Max certainly seems to tick most of these boxes, with a solid, good-looking design, quality 48mm burr, and a wide range of grind settings, so here’s a more detailed look at key factors you’ll want to consider.
In terms of physical size, the J Max is pretty compact, helped by the foldable handle. It stands just 7.5 inches high and about the same with the handle extended, but much less when the handle is folded, so it should fit nicely on your countertop or in your cupboard. The compact size also helps to make it a good choice for use when you’re traveling away from home, camping or backpacking.
The compact size does have a bit of an impact on how much coffee you will be able to grind, but the catch-cup should still hold a decent 35-40g (about 1.4oz), but if this is your main home grinder and there’s more than just you looking for a fresh cup of coffee each morning, you might need a couple of goes, or a bigger grinder may be more suitable.
1Zpresso has built a bit of a reputation for solidly built coffee grinders using high-quality materials, and the J-Max is no different. With a body combining stainless steel and aluminum alloy, a silicon insert for a sure-handed grip, ergonomic (and stylish) wooden grinder knob, all combined with the coated 48mm burr, means that the J-Max is robust and reliable, not to mention good-looking. The only slight criticism of the build quality might be the magnetic catch-cup, which could benefit from being a bit more secure. Still, all but the most vigorous grinders will probably find this a nice, sophisticated improvement.
You put the beans in the chamber, screw the handle onto the top and start turning – like pretty much all manual bean grinders the J-Max is pretty straightforward to use. The handle should provide a good grip for most people and, unless you’re looking for a bit of an upper-body workout, you might find it easier to place the grinder on a flat surface while you’re grinding. The only potential complication is if you are frequently changing the type of coffee you’re brewing and need to constantly change the size of your grounds – the settings may take a bit of trial and error if you’re switching between them often, but if you typically use the same brewing method/grind size, you should have no issues.
The 1Zpresso J-series does offer a variety of different grinders, and the J-Max itself actually has a couple of variations. The standard J-Max comes with a fixed handle, while the J-Max S (as with the other S-versions in the 1Zpresso ranges) comes with a foldable handle, which can make this version better for use while traveling/away from home. Apart from this, the only other choice you probably have is the color/look, with iron gray and silver versions.
The useful tools and accessories you get with your manual grinder can often be a bit hit and miss, but 1Zpresso always seems to deliver on the accessories front. Manual grinders need a bit of cleaning and looking after, and if you are using it while traveling or away from home, a carry case is always useful. The J-max comes with a cleaning brush and ‘blower’, all packaged in a nice carry case.
The J-Max S is probably at the upper end of the mid-range when it comes to manual grinders – it’s not cheap, but it’s also not the most expensive 1Zpresso (or other brand) grinder you can buy. So does the J-Max warrant the higher price tag? In terms of value, it seems you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. With the confidence you get from its solid look and feel (something that many slightly cheaper, more flimsy grinders don’t give you), and great grinding performance, its unlikely to let you down any time soon. Couple this with the ease of use, versatility in grind size, the foldable handle on the S model that makes it great for traveling, and the carry case and cleaning equipment, it probably represents a good investment if you’re looking for a decent quality grinder that doesn’t cost a fortune.
As with pretty much all of 1Zpresso’s other manual hand grinders, the J-Max and J-Max S come with the usual 1 year warranty against product defects you would expect. This doesn’t cover any damage caused by improper use or storage (e.g. rust etc.), so as long as you look after it, you can be confident your investment will at least last a year, and more than likely longer. It’s worth noting that the warranty applies to the grinder only, so the case and spare tools wouldn’t be covered.
As with all manual grinders, day-to-day use of the grinder is pretty environmentally friendly as it doesn’t require any electricity. The mostly metal materials used should also be fairly recyclable once the grinder comes to the end of its natural life, but with the option to replace the main components (the burrs), then you should be able to extend the life of the grinder as long as these parts are available and the other moving components hold out, so this is another pretty green grinder you opt for.
The customer reviews for the J-Max are overall very positive. Over 500 users on Amazon have given it a score of 4.7 out of 5, so you can be pretty confident that you’ll be happy with your purchase. Positives like the build quality, level of adjustment, and consistent, quality grinds were popular, and the only slight negatives that were mentioned were the smallish catch cup size and its magnetic fixing which could be knocked loose with really vigorous grinding.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long will the J-Max grinder burr last?
The coated burr used in the J-Max and J-Max S has been engineered to make grinding both easier and more consistent. As you’d expect, its effective lifetime will depend on how often you use it, but 1Zpresso suggest it should be good for grinding up to 200kg of beans – which could be up to 20,000 average cups of coffee, so you should get your money’s worth.
What kind of coffee is the J-Max best for?
According to 1Zpresso, the J-Max and J-Max S are primarily an espresso grinder, and while not quite at the level of a stepless grinder it has the finest grind adjustment of all the 1Zpresso grinders making it best suited to the espresso grind range. With that being said, you should have some latitude if you want to use it to grind for other brewing methods, like pour over or specialty coffee drinks, but if you’re not drinking espresso coffee fairly regularly, you might want a grinder better suited to easily producing the ground coffee for your chosen brewing method.
How often should you clean the J-Max?
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance, but this will probably depend on how you’re grinding your coffee. Coarse coffee grounds may not clog the grinder up as much and a regular blow or brush may suffice. Finer grounds may tend to stick to the grinder more, so you might need a more regular, deeper clean, but as taking the grinder apart may mean you need to recalibrate it, it can be a good idea to combine the two tasks when either is necessary.
The last drop
So there you have it, an in-depth review of the 1Zpresso J-Max and J-Max S to help you decide if this is the grinder for you. If you’re looking for a premium hand grinder that’s ideal for espresso coffee and have a mid-range budget, the J-Max’s build quality, ease of use, precise settings and consistent results make this one of the better choices. With the carrying case and cleaning kit, plus the option of the S-version with a foldable handle to make it even more compact, this is a great hand grinder for daily use, whether at home or away on your travels.
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