Grinding coffee can seem like a menial task. It's loud, uncomfortable, and most of us just want to get it over with so we can brew up some joe.
This is where many of us get it wrong.
The grinding process is vital to a good cup of coffee! If one brews with a consistent grind, the coffee will have more flavor, be more balanced, and be easier to brew.
This is why we chose to feature the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Burr Grinder. It's affordable, compact, and has a killer grind.
The key to a good grind is particle size distribution (how different one ground coffee particle is from another). Significantly larger grinds - called boulders - promote under extraction. Adversely, very dust-like smaller grinds - called fines - can make coffee bitter and over extracted.
Particle size distribution is KEY to choosing the right grinder. Other important factors include design and performance, but a good grind should be the biggest factor in your buying decisions.
Here are the facts: a hand grinder will never grind as well as the thousand dollar specialty electric grinder.
However, many cheap hand grinders DO grind more consistently than $100 - 200 electric machines. For the price, some hand grinders offer a decently consistent grind that will suit the average barista.
JavaPresse's grinder is one of those grinders.
It's a valuable asset to have stowed away in your coffee arsenal.
We were pleasantly appeased with our findings.
Despite the low price point, the JavaPresse grinds coffee consistently.
We tested this grinder on multiple settings. Shown above are variations of a fine, medium, medium coarse, and coarse grind. Each setting shown is 2-3 "clicks" coarser (turning left on the grind setting knob) than the last.
As you can see, boulders populate each of the grind mounds. You can also tell that some micro fines are resting in the medium grind mound.
According to JavaPresse, there are around 15 different usable settings with this grinder.
We went through 11 or 14 of them here. It seems that all settings are brewable - which is impressive for a hand grinder!
JavaPresse dimensions are 1.8 x 1.8 x 7.5 inches.
It's basically your own coffee grinding pocket tube. Easily fit the grinder in your backpack for camping or backpacking trips, or stuff it in your suit case for any casual occasion. Also, don't worry about breaking it. The JavaPresse design has you covered.
The stainless steel body makes this grinding mechanism incredibly durable.
One fear of using a grinder with glass or plastic parts is breaking or shattering the device. The durable design of this grinder lets you use it how you want, when you want.
Another unique feature is the detachable hand crank. It easily slips off the top of the hex axle, making it easier to store and stow away. Be careful when grinding though - the crank tends to detach during the grinding process if one is not careful.
The bottom grind reservoir easily slips off allowing the user to dispose of grounds. When taken apart, one will notice a "star" looking knob under the burrs. This is how the user can adjust the grind (think lefty-loosey / righty-tighty).
Unless you’re brewing for more than three people, the grinding capacity shouldn’t be a problem. The grinder can hold up to around 40 grams in the chamber. This leaves you with plenty of room to perform 2-3 cup brews!
Besides the removable top lid that reveals the grind chamber and burr axle, that's all there is to this grinder. It's a simple tool that will serve you well.
After grinding many cups of coffee with the device, we noticed a few things.
Firstly, we noticed how quiet the coffee was ground. Instead of the usual cracking and crunching noises heard when grinding, the JavaPresse grinder produced a soft hum. Javapresse claims that it grinds 90% quieter than most electric grinders. During our tests, we found this to be true, but we also found that this little grinder was 10-25% quieter than most manual grinders on the market.
It’s like a coffee grinding lullaby.
Secondly, we found that JavaPresse's device feels different than most hand grinders.
This is due to the dual plate system that holds one of the burrs stationary while the other spins with the crank. Javapresse states that "this leads to superior consistency, and was researched vigorously across 34 different competitors to ensure the most precise grind possible. We guarantee it."
We found that the dual plate system is efficient and produces decent grind consistency. As seen in the photos above, there are indeed noticeable boulders and fines in the grind mix.
JavaPresse designed an adjustment knob underneath the burrs to accomplish all of your grind setting needs.
To dial in the grind, remove the bottom grind reservoir and make your way to the grind setting knob. Tighten it as much as you can. Now loosen the knob (by unscrewing left), counting the clicks as you go. These clicks represent the grind sizes. Simply start at 0, and set to your desired grind size.
This is where you can experiment! Find the grind sizes that you enjoy for specific brew methods.
Sure, the setting method isn’t glamorous, but hand grinders with a visual setting meter cost twice the price.
You can use these settings as a guideline:
But we recommend that you experiment! Once you have your optimal configuration take a note in your smartphone to remember it! Or you can even write them on a piece of paper and leave it inside the grinder.
Regarding grinding speed, this is not the fastest manual grinder, but it's not too slow either.
According to our test, to grind 20 grams of coffee it takes:
Overall, the Javapresse grinder performed outstandingly in our tests.
If you're looking for a mix of performance and utility, this is the grinder for you.
The JavaPresse Manual Burr Coffee Grinder shall aid you on any adventure or quest with ease. It was designed to be a throw-in-your-bag and go type of mechanism.
This grinder not only delivers decent grind size - it gives you the freedom to grind coffee wherever you go!