Hand coffee grinder is a trend in the home brewing scene, and because of that, there is an array of hand grinders coming onto the market.
Before the surge in popularity, options for high-quality hand grinders were limited, with the choice largely between the Kinu M47, Comandante C40, and Lido 3. However, there are now far more options for home baristas to consider.
One of the standout hand grinder manufacturers is 1Zpresso, which has earned plenty of praise from members of the coffee community in recent years.
The company has released several popular models, including the JX, JX-Pro, and Q2. The JE-Plus, K-Pro, and K-Plus are among their other hand grinders.
This guide will focus on one of those options – the 1Zpresso K-Plus – to determine how it compares with some of its other devices so you can make a more informed purchasing decision.
1Zpresso K-Plus Manual Coffee Grinder Review
1Zpresso K-Plus Manual Coffee Grinder
What we like:
- High-quality build
- Intuitive external grind adjustment
- A useful magnetic catch cup
- It grinds very quickly
- Consistent grind whichever brewing method you’re grinding for
Things can be improved:
- After taking it apart for a deep clean, recalibration is fiddly
- Dialing in for espresso is more tricky than with the JX-Pro
- A lot of coffee grounds get trapped beneath the grinder
1Zpresso is a company based in Taiwan established by a group of coffee-loving engineers. It is a fairly new company focused on manufacturing hand coffee grinders. Over recent years, 1Zpresso’s reputation has soared thanks to a series of high-quality releases. The K-Plus is a typical example of one of 1Zpresso’s products, as it demonstrates a knowledge of the coffee industry and great craftsmanship.
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Design And Build Quality
The first thing you’ll notice about the 1Zpresso K-Plus is its handsome case, making transporting it easy. Inside the case are the grinder, a cleaning blower, a cleaning brush, an instruction manual, and a grind setting reference guide.
The grinder has an aluminum base, giving it a high-end, shiny appeal. Attached is a wooden knob on the end of a curved lever, making it easier to grind and more comfortable to hold. There is also a plastic hatch allowing you to connect the grinder to the handle. The hatch is also transparent, meaning you can see the beans as they are ground.
On top is an external adjustment ring that allows you to easily find your preferred grind setting depending on the brewing method. You will have to take off the grounds bin or handle to reach the grind adjustment dial in many other hand grinders. However, the K-Plus’s outer adjustment ring removes that issue. It’s so innovative, in fact, that it was instrumental in another 1Zpresso product, the Z-Pro, winning a red dot design award in 2018.
The main body of the grinder is slim, with a wood finish available in several colors. The narrowness of the body is great for people with smaller hands. Meanwhile, it is also equipped with an anti-slip rubber band for easy gripping. One thing we don’t like is the prominent logo printed on the grip band, but this is a minor quibble.
The grinder also has a magnetic catch cup, which you won’t find on many other manual grinders. It attaches tightly to the grinder without needing to screw and unscrew it, making it really convenient. There is also a useful accessory that lets you remove the base to use it as an espresso cup. We’ll go into greater detail later. However, it’s innovations such as these that give the K-Plus a wow factor in an increasingly crowded field.
The burr set is the 1Zpresso K-Plus’s centerpiece. The stainless steel burr is 48mm, offering a better consistency and grind precision. They call this heptagonal conical burr the ‘K burr’. Meanwhile, the burr can grind for every brewing style. If you set it to a medium-coarse grind, it will help brew a gorgeous pour over that is bright and clean in the cup, and it can grind for a decent espresso shot too. In fact, the burr design is similar to the nitro blades of the Comandante C40.
The device has internal fixing between the burr and central shaft, so there’s no need to worry about the burr moving around unduly and deteriorating the grind quality. It eliminates the factors that affect grind accuracy.
Grind Quality And Settings
The 1Zpresso K-Plus has over 100 grind settings, meaning whether you want to brew anything from espresso to French press, it can handle it. In addition, the external ring means you can easily switch between different brewing methods. At the top of the ring is a red dot for marking the grind size. You twist the ring clockwise for coarse grind settings and can even keep going all the way around, leaving more scope for even coarser grinds.
There is a clicking sound as you alter the grind size, with each click representing 22 microns. This makes finding the perfect spot for French press, drip coffee, or pour over extremely straightforward. The grind consistency is outstanding. Here is a photo of the grounds at the #7.5 setting, which we use for pour-over.
However, with an unpressurized portafilter, you may not be able to fine-tune the grind size for your espresso machine as each step will likely lead to a difference of 5-8 seconds while pulling a shot. Still, the precision of the fine grind is great for grinding coffee beans for manual-lever espresso machines or pressurized filter baskets.
Below are the grind settings we prefer. Of course, this is no more than a reference guide – the ideal setting will vary according to tastes, roasts, and beans. The best way to find your sweet spot is, as ever, to experiment.
- Turkish Coffee: 1.5-2 or less (15-20 clicks)
- Espresso: 3 or below (30 clicks)
- Moka Pot or AeroPress: 5 – 6.5 ( 50 – 65 clicks)
- Pour over (V60, Chemex): 7.5 – 8 (75 – 80 clicks)
- French press or cold Brew: 9- 10 (90 – 100 clicks)
Ease Of Use
The 1Zpresso K-Plus grinds effortlessly for any bean, thanks to the smooth bearings and extra-long handle.
The device is also one of the quickest grinders around. In our experience, 20g of drip coffee only took about 25-30 seconds at a moderate speed. However, while grinding for espresso, expect it to take between 45 and 60 seconds. The K-Plus grinds medium roast beans more quickly than dark roast beans. Overall, expect it to be quicker than a budget-friendly electric grinder.
The grounds bin is magnetic, so you don’t need to screw and unscrew it. However, you should take more care when grinding because if you hold the grounds bin rather than the center of the grinder, you may accidentally remove it and cause a mess.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the device is the accessories. For example, you can replace the grounds bin’s base with an add-on that transforms the catch cup into a dosing cup. Also, it fits any size of portafilters. So, once you’ve finished grinding, you can place the catch cup on your portafilter then, inside, lift the hammer. The grounds then fall directly into the portafilter. All of this adds ease and convenience.
One issue is static cling. Grinding will leave lots of grounds attached to the burrs. However, releasing them into the catch cup is straightforward enough – use the brush or knock them down.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Unless you usually grind oily beans, the K-Plus will not often need a deep clean. Instead, around once a week, use an air blower or brush to remove the excess grounds. Whenever a deep clean is required, in keeping with other 1Zpresso grinders, the K-Plus can be taken apart without any special tools. For example, the grounds bin alone separates into three parts.
The external adjustment mechanism means taking it apart is a little different from the brand’s other grinders, so pay attention to how the grinder is put together before you tackle this. In particular, note where the washer fits on the shaft and the ring at the top. Also, ensure you place the flat side in correctly.
Also, recalibration is quite tricky, and you’ll need to tweak it a few times to set it to the zero point. You can find some video tutorials on YouTube to learn how to calibrate.
1Zpresso K-Plus vs JX-Pro
The JX-Pro has 200 grind settings, and the burr moves up or down around 12.5 microns per click (rather than 22 for the K-Plus). This can make a positive difference of between five and eight seconds for espresso grinding. However, while the K series works well with espresso grinds, the JX-Pro makes it easier to dial in.
1Zpresso K-Plus grinder is also excellent for AeroPress, Moka pot, and pour over, as well as other brewing styles. However, while the JX-Pro is great for pour over or espresso, it’s not as well designed as the K-Plus. For example, it doesn’t have the magnetic catch cup or the external grind settings. One significant advantage of the JX-Pro? It’s cheaper than the K-Plus, so your choice will likely come down to cost vs. convenience.
K-Plus vs. K-Pro
The burrs of the two devices are identical, while they each have an external adjustment ring. However, the K-Pro doesn’t have either the dosing cup accessory or the magnetic catch cup. They differ slightly in build, too, with the K-Pro a little taller and slimmer than the K-Plus. Meanwhile, the K-Plus’s broader base makes it seem more sturdy and steady.
The 1Zpresso K-Plus is a great choice for people who want high-quality, consistent grinds from a hand grinder. However, it costs as much as some electric grinders.
Still, for that extra outlay, you get a great design that’s been well thought, intuitive grind adjustment, effortless grinding, and consistent results, whatever your brewing method.
In any case, that cost of 1Zpresso K-Plus similar to some other premium grinders while retaining the quality they provide, or even better. Overall, the K-Plus represents an excellent investment for the quality and consistency it offers.