Manual grinders have always been kind of slow compared to their electrical counterparts.
But that’s not the case with the Jx series from 1Zpresso. I’m not exaggerating when I say that these grinders are faster than some electrical grinders (cough, cough Baratza Encore and Wilfa Uniform).
With the very attractive price in mind, these grinders should appeal to many price and quality-conscious coffee people.
I got the Jx and the Jx Pro when they were released back in 2019, and was very impressed.
The big question then is whether they still have what it takes now, a few years later?
Read on, if you want to know all the details, including comparisons to the K-series, as well as the new J-Max.Please, note: I have had the grinders for over a year now. Here’s a video with my update view on both them.
1ZPresso is a relatively new Taiwanese coffee brand that primarily focuses on manual coffee grinders.
I encountered the company for the first time while visiting the Taipei Coffee Expo in 2017 and have since followed their work with curiosity.
While their early models were absolutely capable, the company didn’t really make it to premier league of grinders until more recently with the imposing models in the Jx-series.
For a while I have been hoping to see a grown-up grinder with 48 mm burrs from 1Zpresso. So when the company reached out to me and asked if I wanted to test the Jx and Jx Pro, I had no hesitation
I encountered 1Zpresso for the first at the coffee expo in Taiwan in 2017.
Design: Jx and Pro
The products in the Jx-series look great. These grinders are sleek and well-made; yet there’s attention to detail. The big wooden handle knobs are very nice in the hand, and the black color looks sexy on the basic Jx.
The Jx Pro has a grey-silver finish that you see on many of the company’s grinders.
- Size: The basic model and the ‘Pro’ share many features, but right away you’ll notice that the latter is taller and heavier.
- Adjustment: Another main difference between the two grinders is the adjustment. On the Pro model you have more settings and an easier access to the adjustment.
Both Jx-models have a broad rubber band covering much of the body, which gives an excellent grip. This is important as the diameter of the grinder is rather big.
On the inside there are two bearings ensuring ultra smooth spinning action. As always with grinders from 1Z the bearings are some of the best in the industry.
Overall, however, the build, the tactile sensations, and the ergonomics are amazing. They just feels good in the hand, look sexy, and grind smoothly.
As far as portability is concerned, these grinders are not the travel-sized per se. The basic is weighing in at 650 grams/23 oz. Sizewise it’s comparable to Helor 101 and Comandante C40 so it’s still possible to bring on a trip.
The Pro is about 3.8 oz/110 grams heavier than the already substantial little brother, so it is a big boy, comparable to some of the heavyweights in the manual grinder division.
If you’re looking for a dedicated travel grinder you should probably consider the Mini Q from 1Zpresso instead.
The standard Jx has a very simple system with small clicks for each increment. There’s a total of 30 clicks per rotation.
Overall, the adjusment on the Jx is excellent, and way less headache than for example the Lido 3, or the Helor 101. It’s pretty similar to the well-known Comandante but actually has a bit more resolution, allowing for a more precise adjustment, which is handy especially for espresso.
On the Jx Pro the adjustment is completely different. The dial is located on top of the grinder right where you pour in the beans.
The adjustment on the Pro is very precise and responsive. Instead of 30 increments per rotation, you have 40.
This means that you have more options when it comes to dialing in an espresso shot.
However, the difference was more signifant when you compared to version 1 of the Jx grinder (the black version), which only had 24 clicks per rotation.
With 30 clicks I feel that you can get quite close to your desired espresso extraction time.
On the Jx Pro the range is wider, so you will never feel ‘stuck’ in between settings.
The two Jx’ers are extremely fast hand grinders, which is something I really appreciate.
- The Jx basic version is faster: It’s almost a true 1 second per gram grinder. It takes me about 25-30 seconds to grind my typical pour over dose of 20 grams of coffee. It’s by far the fastest manual grinder I have tried.
- The Jx Pro is not quite as fast as the cheaper version, which was a big surprise to me.
After consistency, speed is the one thing I care most about when reviewing manual coffee grinders, and the Jx standard is the fastest, I have ever tried.
However, because the Jx’s burrs are very aggressive it requires a lot of strength to turn the crank. Personally, I don’t find it difficult at all at a typical setting for pour over but I’m 6.2 and in decent shape.
If you have small hands, arthritis or little grip strength, you might find it difficult.
This is especially the case, when you get to the finer end of the spectrum: When grinding finer, the two burrs will be closer to each other; obviously this requires more force when turning the handle.
The Jx Pro is still a very fast grinder, but it’s not as fast its little brother. The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is that the hopper is designed in a different way. It seems as if the beans are fed more directly into the burrs on the standard version.
I measured how fast both models could grind 15 grams on a pour over setting, and the result is 18 sec vs 24 sec.
I realize that this probably doesn’t sound like a lot, when you’re reading a review, but in daily use it means that I’d reach more often for the basic version.
For me, the standard Jx gets a few bonus points for being faster.
Further Reading: 1Zpresso K-Plus Review
Espresso vs pour over
In the official info from 1Z they mention that both Jx-models are designed specifically for espresso while also being suitable for pour over.
You should take that with a grain of salt. In my opinion, the standard Jx is actually more suitable for manual brewing, while the ‘Pro’ is excellent for both styles of brewing.
The case for pour over is confirmed by the particle distribution; there are only few fines. That’s usually not the case with espresso grinders.
Since, the basic Jx has incremental steps you will not be able to fine tune your espresso shots with 100% accuracy. I have made shots with it, and they were tasty, however, I think the grinder really shines when it comes to manual brewing.
In my opinion, the standard Jx is actually more suitable for manual brewing, while the ‘Pro’ is great for both styles of brewing.
The Jx Pro is more of a pure espresso grinder because of the improved adjustment.
Grinding 20 grams of medium roast for espresso takes about 45 seconds, which is pretty solid.
The standard Jx shaves about 5 seconds off that time, but you get a more narrow range in return.
The consistency of both Jx-grinders is amazing. I have been experiencing some extremely clean pour overs with both grinders.
They only produce a tiny amount of fines. You’ll see the drawdown time decrease a lot because of the uniform particle size, when coming to this grinder from most entry-level models.
Some of my readers have been emailing me to tell me about their experiences versus other grinders they owned.
- One of my readers told me that the Jx was a significant improvement over the popular Baratza Virtuoso.
- Another reader, explained that the Jx was superior to the Comandante in daily use, since it was faster and better built. It was also easier to hold due to a more narrow circumference.
My own experience in terms of consistency, shows that the Jx-grinders are up there with all the famous models such as Helor 101, Lido 3 and Comandante C40.
The flavor separation is clear, the aftertaste is long, and it’s easy to avoid bitterness even when going for high extractions.
Since I put out this review a few in 2019, the market looks slightly different, so let’s go over the value proposition and alternatives with a more up-to-date perspective.
First, both the Jx and Jx Pro are still great grinders that offer some of the best value for money on the market, however, it’s worth looking at the alternatives.
Now that 1Zpresso has released J-Max, the Jx Pro is caught in a tight position.
The new top-model in the J-series is only slightly more expensive while offering some desirable features, for example, a superior adjustment mechanism and a magnetic catch cup.
At the same time, the basic Jx has a redesigned axle and adjustment wheel, giving it just a bit more granularity, which makes it more than decent for espresso.
This means that the Jx Pro’s position as the grinder in the middle of the pack is more precarious.
There is also the new K-series available from 1Zpresso, which focuses on pour over. I think these grinders are beautiful and well-made; however, in terms of flavor profile, I can’t say I prefer them to the Jx. I feel like the Jx comes out on top if you try to push the grinders to the limit with high extraction yield brewing.
The JE and JE Plus are more dedicated espresso grinders. On the surface, they have a lot in common with the Jx-models. However, they use espresso-focused Italmill burrs.
If espresso is your primary brewing method, these are the best burrs from 1Zpresso. They produce sweet and creamy shots with a bigger mouthfeel. However, the company is currently phasing them out of the line-up, so you have to move fast if you want one.
I have spent more time with the Comandante C40 since doing my original review. It’s a grinder that is similar to Jx in many ways, although a lot more expensive. However, the Comandante does have a delightful and crisp aftertaste, which has earned it quite a reputation in the specialty coffee community.
This is a grinder that excels when brewing lighter roasts, especially if extractions are pushed high. However, if you brew at more common ratios around 1:15, you’re not likely to experience a significant difference between this grinder and the Jx. There’s no doubt that the C40 is a good grinder, but it also has downsides compared to the cheaper Jx. Check out my full review here.
In my opinion this grinder is one of the best deals (if not the best) you can make when it comes to specialty coffee at the moment.
The Jx-grinders are faster than most — if not all — of their rivals. (Update, June 2020: The Timemore C2 is similar in terms of speed)
The design is not only attractive but also highly functional.
The grounds are very uniform and it can be used for espresso and pour over.
In my opinion the Jx-series set a new standard for manual grinders — especially when it comes to price-to-quality ratio.
There are only a couple of small downsides I can think of:
- It might not be the most suitable option for people with small hands and/or low grip strength
- The standard Jx has the reverse-order adjustment dial at the moment (though it might change with future upgrades).
The standard Jx, however, is 2-3 times cheaper compared to many rivals such as the Comandante and Helor 101, while running circles around them in some areas. At the current price it’s just a no-brainer. Frankly, I think it’s almost too cheap.
Jx Pro or standard Jx?
While my brain says that you should go for the Pro, my heart is still with the standard Jx for the following reasons:
- It’s cheaper
- It’s lighter
- It’s faster
- It’s easier to disassemble for cleaning
If you’re mainly brewing pour over or Aeropress, you’ll be so happy with this grinder.
However, if you’re specifically looking for an espresso grinder or a more luxorious all-rounder then there’s the J-Max grinder. It’s only a fraction more expensive than the “Pro”, but with that amazing external adjustment ring and a convenient magnetic catch cup.
I’d pick it over the Jx Pro unless you have a really good reason.
However, if you’re on a budget and only able to afford one grinder, then the basic Jx will be able to serve you just fine. Yes, you might have to play a little bit with dose size and tamp pressure, when you dial in the espresso, but honestly it’s not that bad.
I’ll update my current grinder recommendation and tell most people with “normal” coffee needs go for the Jx as long as the market looks like it does today. It’s that good.
➡️ 1Zpresso Official Store (International Orders)
Update: I have gotten quite a few PM’s and emails about the Jx series, so just wanted to share a few here in case you’re still on the fence.