Since we introduced 1Zpresso to our regular line of stock, we have received many questions asking what model should they go for. My answer has always been roughly the same; it depends what you are looking for in a grinder. Are you looking for a daily workhorse that will produce great grinds across the range, or are you looking for that one grinder that focusses on minimising the production of fines in your V60?
Broadly, we would classify the grinders into the following grind ranges:
Now when we say pour-over, we of course mean all of the percolation methods encapsulated by brew methods such as the V60, Chemex, Electric Percolator and indeed the immersion method of the French press.
You may then also want to classify the grinders further into ease of use and grind chamber size / capacity
|Bottom internal adjustment||Q2, JE, JX|
|Top internal adjustment||JX-pro, JE-plus, J-Max|
Top internal adjustment as in the JX-pro.
|JX-pro, JE-pro, J-Max||35-40g|
So far it hopefully should be becoming clearer what grinder you are honing in on. Espresso focussed? JE, JE-plus or JX-pro. Pour-over mad? Any of the others!
Now it is important to clarify at this point that just because the JX is not advertised as being able to produce fine adjustments (explained by the slightly larger burr size 48mm vs 47mm in the JE) required for dialling in espresso shots with high precision, this does not mean the JX cannot produce espresso-level grinds - it most definitely can and with a great deal of consistency. A lot of our customers have expressed a great deal of satisfaction in pulling espresso shots using their JX, but if you are the type of prosumer who loves that extra edge of precision over and above the rest - you'd be pushed into getting either the JE, JE-plus or JX-pro.
What if I want a grinder that can do everything? Simple, I would point you to the JX-pro in a heartbeat. It pulls the best of both worlds and gives you a larger grind chamber and a top internal adjustment - a grinder that will last years and combines extreme utility with fantastic design.
So what about the Q2? The Q2 is a portable grinder which produces great grind consistency in the pour-over range. The Q2 can, and will, produce espresso fine grinds to a high standard. It is the entry level model in the range that tries to fit the bill for everybody, and it fits pour-overs more than espresso.
Nerdy stats for burr adjustment gaps in the range
|Grinder (H/E/P)||Total adjustments or clicks||Burr set||mm per click||Total gap range|
|Q2 (H)||90||38mm||0.025||2.250 mm|
|JX (P/H)||120||48mm||0.025||3.000 mm|
|JE (E/H)||150||47mm||0.025||3.750 mm|
|K-Pro (P/H)||90||48mm (K-burr)||0.022||2.200 mm|
|K-Plus (P/H)||90||48mm (K-burr)||0.022||2.200 mm|
|JX-pro (E/H)||150||48mm||0.0125||1.875 mm|
|JE-plus (E/H)||210||47mm||0.0125||2.625 mm|
|J-Max (E/H)||450||48mm||0.0088||3.960 mm|
While we can look at the statistics above, this says nothing about the actual burr design. Looking at the above figures, we may assume that because the JE has such a large gap range with a broader adjustment, it must be a pour-over focussed grinder. But this is not the case, the burr set in the JE is designed for espresso in that the consistency is maximised in the espresso range and the coating allows for a more robust burr set that can grind fine over and over again with minimal degradation - as opposed to a non-coated burr set.
For those wanting a quick look at what grinder to get I have put a key in the table; E-Espresso, P-Pourover, H-Hybrid. As you can see, it is fairly difficult to differentiate the grinders based on what they are suitable for, you would have to consult the stats and claims on each individual grinder to be able to make a comparison. As with anything, the price will generally reflect the quality of grinder you're getting but for those wanting my personal rank:
Espresso - Q2 -> JE -> JX-Pro = JE-Plus -> J-Max
Pour-over - Q2 -> JX -> JX-Pro -> JE-Plus = K-Pro = K-Plus
Hybrid - Q2 -> K-Plus = K-Pro -> JX-Pro -> JE-Plus
At the end of the day, use the facts above to inform your own decision-making, but know that the grinders and their burr sets have been designed to target a brew method.
Now we can all nerd out about the statistics, but what matters is how your brew or shot tastes, and as always this is subjective. One person may be able to taste the difference between an espresso shot dialled in with a Q2 vs JE, another person may not be able to. One person may find JE easier to dial in than the JX, another may not notice the difference. But hopefully this can inform your decision making a little when looking at the impressive 1Zpresso range!