1ZPresso JX Mini Review

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
greggers89

#1: Post by greggers89 » Oct 10, 2019, 2:22 am

I had heard some good things about the JX, so I decided to purchase one on Amazon. It is marketed as an espresso focused grinder, so I used it for about 1 month with the Cafelat Robot, alongside the BPlus Apollo that I already had.

I love trying new hand grinders and have owned many including the Hario Skerton, Lido 2, Knock Feld 2, Kinu M47, BPlus Apollo, and now the 1ZPresso JX. Besides the Hario, the 1ZPresso is the cheapest of the bunch, so I was not expecting too much from this grinder.

User Experience:
Overall, using this grinder is pretty easy and straightforward. I mostly used medium-dark beans (think Redbird Espresso) with this grinder and it did not take too much force to turn. However, it did take about 45-60 seconds to grind an 18g dose of espresso, while the Apollo takes ~25-30 seconds. I was a bit disappointed by the grind time, given that it has 47mm burrs. I could fit ~23g of coffee beans in the top of the grinder, and the catch cup could hold those grounds without a problem. The rubber band provides good grip, and the wooden ball is easy to hold. The ball was pretty stiff at first, so I added some lubricant underneath and it spins quite well now. The grind size is adjusted like many other grinders, by holding the handle in place and turning a wing-nut type of piece on the bottom of the grinder. Clockwise for finer and counter clockwise for coarser.

The grinder disassembles easily without tools.
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Top view
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Bottom view
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There are some quirks that I noticed. The outer burr carrier is reverse threaded into the main body. So if you tighten the catch cup too much, you will actually start loosening the burr carrier. I'm not sure if there is a good reason for this, it just seemed odd. [Edit: The reason is pointed out by myso in comments] The grind size scale they have printed increments as you make the grind finer, which is opposite of every other grinder I have used. And finally, it can take a while for the burrs to grab the last couple beans you are grinding, and that last 5% takes about 15% of the grinding time.

Grind Quality:
After using this grinder with the Robot, I am surprised that it is marketed as an espresso grinder. I was really not satisfied with the step size. Even with the forgiving nature of a manual lever, I found myself going from very easy to press to a grind that required Hulk-like strength with just 1 or 2 clicks. Visually it seemed to give some boulders (relative to the espresso grounds), and the cups often tasted quite muddy compared to the Apollo. I do not use this as my main espresso grinder.

However, I decided to try it with the Bonavita Immersion Dripper (and Clever Dripper), and the results have been excellent! The grind consistency looks about on par with the Baratza Virtuoso at coarser grinds. I get very nice consistent draw down times, which usually means I don't have a ton of fines clogging up the filter. I usually bring a Clever Dripper or Aeropress with me for travel, and now I will bring the JX as well. It's pretty small and can do an excellent filter coffee grind.

Filter grind sample
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Outer burr
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Cone burr
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Build Quality:
The build quality is a bit better than I expected. The knurling is a little rough, and the threads are not as precision machined as the Apollo, but it has a nice weight to it and I didn't notice any play when trying to wiggle the shaft around. It also disassembles quite quickly, which is something that the Lido 2 and Feld 2 cannot do. The crank handle is extremely light, I actually thought it was plastic at first. The threads on the catch cup have a nice pitch to them, so it just takes a couple turns to put on or take off. I feel pretty confident tossing this in a suitcase.

Value:
This is really where this grinder shines. If someone has a strict budget of $130, this is one of the few options, and quite a good one at that. If you need something for espresso 100% of the time, then you should probably be looking towards the Lidos, Kinus, or BPlus.

User Experience : 4/5
Grind Quality : 3/5
Build Quality : 3.5/5
Value : 4.5/5

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jbviau
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#2: Post by jbviau » Oct 10, 2019, 6:50 am

Thanks for the review! I take it you haven't tried the less expensive mini version (not JX) or the more expensive "E-PRO" version, right? Were these versions available when you bought yours?
greggers89 wrote:I love trying new hand grinders...
It's so much work though. I slowed down my own testing a few years ago due to lack of time and interest. Also, I seem to be biased toward hand grinders whose makers interact with consumers and are open to feedback (via forums or otherwise), so not much has caught my eye lately. More power to you...
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

greggers89

#3: Post by greggers89 » Oct 10, 2019, 9:42 am

I have not tried the mini Q or the E-pro (or any of the many other models found on their Chinese website!). I went for the JX because of the 47mm Burr set.

myso

#4: Post by myso » Oct 10, 2019, 10:22 am

greggers89 wrote: {...}The outer burr carrier is reverse threaded into the main body. So if you tighten the catch cup too much, you will actually start loosening the burr carrier. I'm not sure if there is a good reason for this, it just seemed odd.{...}
While grinding, as you crank the handle the friction and shear cutting forces act on the reverse thread as tightening torque. If it was a regular thread those forces would act as a unscrewing torque.
I would suggest that you get a habit of gripping the grinder by the outer burr carrier when you put the catch cup in an out.

greggers89

#5: Post by greggers89 » Oct 10, 2019, 10:39 am

myso wrote:While grinding, as you crank the handle the friction and shear cutting forces act on the reverse thread as tightening torque.
Ah, good point, that makes sense!

Beyondborders

#6: Post by Beyondborders » Nov 12, 2019, 10:29 am

I have just received the Jx Pro version today. I'm pretty impressed with the product so far:
- The build feels more premium than my Kinu47 Phoenix
- It's definitely easier to grind with compared to the kinu
- it's around 10 seconds faster to grind 16g of my favourite beans.
- No popcorning
- Dialing is easier
- Paid 190€ vs 220 for kinu
- Quality in the cup is excellent if not better ( although i'm not sure if it's related to the grinder since i sold my E61 machine and I bought a Robot)

greggers89

#7: Post by greggers89 » Nov 12, 2019, 12:48 pm

Hey Oli,
Thanks for sharing your impressions. The adjustment nut on top with finer divisions seems really nice, and I'd like to see how much more user friendly it is for espresso. I would have waited for this one if I knew it was coming out! Though, I mostly wanted it as a travel grinder, and it the original JX performs really well for Aeropress grinds.