1Zpresso J-Max review

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by ste »

Hello all, I would like to contribute to this awesome forum with my thoughts on the 1ZPRESSO J-MAX which I have been using for almost a month now.

First off, I can say that I absolutely love it!

My first grinder being the very popular JX-Pro, I am a big fan of 1zpresso also thanks to their great customer service.

I did take a 2 months break from my JX-Pro when I got the Specialità, however when I travelled with my beloved Flair Pro 2 and re-discovered how good the JX-Pro is, I sold the Specialità with the aim of replacing it with a single dosing zero retention grinder - turns out the JX-Pro was doing just that!

The J-Max comes to eventually replace the JE / JE-Plus as the company's espresso dedicated grinder, though they specify it is also suitable for pour over.

In terms of user experience this grinder is just amazing.

I think 1zpresso here combined the best features of all their grinders:

- Finest adjustment setting in the 1zpresso range with 8.8 microns per click and 90 clicks per rotation. JX-Pro and JE-Plus feature 12.5 microns and 40 clicks per rotation. I would say every click corresponds to 2 seconds in my shots. If I am not mistaken, this is the finest of all most popular portable hand grinders.

- Convenient adjustment dial from the K models.

- Magnetic catch cup of K-Plus and JE-Plus.

- Very smooth grinding experience coming most likely from the coated burrs, which is a feature of the JE / JE-Plus models.

- Compact body of the JX-Pro, even more so in fact.

- Easy and fast to take apart without tools, like any other 1zpresso model.

The J-Max burrs are a new 48mm titanium coated version developed by 1zpresso, unlike the 47mm Italmill coated burrs of the JE models.

When compared to the JX-Pro, the J-Max is in my opinion better is many ways:
- Finer settings.
- More convenient adjustment dial.
- Smoother grinding.
- Lighter body.
- Equally fast.
- Easier to load with beans as there is more room for them to fall between the burrs
- Better ergonomics.
- Basically no statics, I am not using the brush anymore.
- Better look & feel.
- Convenient travel pouch.

When it comes to taste, I cannot say if the J-Max beats the JX-Pro.

Interested to know if the J-Max produces the same creamy effect of the JE-Plus - as per 1zpresso, both grinders generate the same amount of fines.

Is the J-Max at $ 199 worth the extra 40$ over the JX-Pro? Totally.

I actually think the user experience of the J-Max will be hard to beat for any manufacturer.

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#2: Post by Pressino »

Nice quick review. I have the JX-PRO, which is absolutely fantastic for espresso, but we also have the J-MAX on order from Amazon...not sure when it will get in stock and be shipped to us. Seemed a bit silly to get another hand grinder when the JX-PRO works perfectly and looks like it will continue doing so for a long time...but it actually made a bit of sense to have two. Allows you to keep them set for different coffees and extraction methods...since I usually keep a couple of different coffees that I use regularly. And frankly I prefer using the hand grinder over my electric ones to make just one or two shots at a time. Each takes less than a minute to grind by hand.

As you said, the MAX has some advantages...I like the smaller steps...though they aren't that much smaller than on the PRO...I suppose it could be useful to dial in beans that go from choked to gushing in a single step...but I haven't come across such beans yet with the 12.5 micron steps of the PRO.

What does look nicer is the external adjustment ring, the magnetic grounds canister, and the coated burrs...and if these contribute to reduced static cling that would be a real plus. Otherwise I doubt the grind quality itself will be noticeably better than the PRO.

The J-MAX at least on paper looks like it should give the Kinu M47 a very good run for the money and even come out way ahead. I thought the PRO already did that but the MAX looks to be an even better contender... I'll come back later after it arrives to render my opinion.

ste (original poster)

#3: Post by ste (original poster) »

Thanks! I think upgrading from JX-Pro to J-Max is not necessary because taste-wise it is almost impossible for me to spot differences. But having 2 hand grinders is also good!
If though someone is thinking to buy the JX-Pro, then definitely I recommend spending more and get the J-Max instead! It is a wonderful piece in my opinion and I think will put Kinu under pressure to further innovate as the J-Max has unbeatable user experience.


#4: Post by cap2 »

ste wrote:- Basically no statics, I am not using the brush anymore.
No Static is great news. The thing i most dislike about my JE is the static.
I might take the hit to upgrade my JE just for that.
Do you still have to do RDT (spray the beans with water) to avoid static ?

Any insight into what is different about the grinder that would eliminate static?
I thought it could be anodizing on JMax instead of a coating on JE/JX made it conductive, but just checked and learned that anodizing also makes aluminum non-conductive -- at least till you scratch it. So that's not it.


#5: Post by Corradobrit »

The J-Max has inhouse burrs that are made in China. The JE and JE-Plus use coated Italmill burrs which appear to have better machining and finishing. Coffeechronicler prefers the flavor profile from the JE over the J-Max for espresso, especially for medium and lighter roasted beans. It appears the fines the Italian-made burrs produce maybe contributing to their superior performance at least for that reviewer. I have yet to receive my grinders so cannot comment from an enduser perspective.
I'm a bit torn as like the reviewer stated the J-Max with Italmill burrs would have been the perfect combo for espresso.

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#6: Post by drH »

That's interesting. I had high hopes for the JMax.

Currently I use a Comandante and it makes great espresso and pour-over.
I just received a 1zpresso KPlus. I've only made a few pour-overs and they were tasty. It's too early for me to make any strong statements about whether it's better or not. The KPlus is certainly good and the build quality is very nice.


#7: Post by GregoryJ »

Thanks for the review, it certainly looks like a nice grinder, and they have learned what people like the most from their previous models.

For the grind settings, I think anything below ~15um step is about the same. On the JE-plus I always moved 2 clicks (25um) when adjusting the grind, because 1 click just didn't do very much.

I also like that they include the travel pouch with it, that was an additional $20 for the JX-pro.

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#8: Post by Jeff »

One thing to remember when talking adjustments on a conical-burr grinder is that the angle of the burr at the exit matters greatly. Move a flat burr up 25 microns, you change the spacing by 25 microns. Now imagine the other extreme, cylindrical burrs. Move those up and down all you want, the spacing remains the same. A "20 micron per step" grinder with one set of burrs may have a very different change in spacing than one with a different set of burrs and the same step size. I'm just stating that the thread pitch and steps per turn don't define adjustment step size with conical burrs, not that Grinder X is "better" than Grinder Y.


#9: Post by Pressino »

I just got the J-Max from Amazon and just got it dialed it for some relatively dark roasted decaf espresso beans. Took about 4 tries to find the right spot after starting at the middle of the 1-Zpresso grind range. Took a bit of getting used to the very fine steps (90 per ring rotation), but wasn't that hard.

Two comments so far: 1) It is just a bit slower than the JX-Pro but is much smoother...probably the coated burrs; and 2) static is NOT eliminated in the J-Max. It's at least as much as in the JX-Pro.

In terms of the extraction, it is quite good when dialed in. I'd say even a bit more body and sweetness (for the beans I used) than the JX-Pro. I'll come back to comment later after I've used it for more time.. Right now I most impressed with how easy it grinds, IMHO worth the trade-off in slightly longer grind time. :)

The carry case is very nice. The air blower bulb is very useful. One think I don't like is that you can't really print the on-line user manual. It comes across as a jpg file. It would be nice if 1-Zpresso made their manuals available as a pdf or some other easily printable file. :x


#10: Post by cap2 »

Corradobrit wrote: the J-Max with Italmill burrs would have been the perfect combo for espresso.
How would that be better or different from JE-PLUS ? (other than cosmetic and packaging differences?)