A good grinder is every barista’s secret weapon. I’d go as far as to say it’s as essential as your brewer.
The problem? Commercial grinders are expensive, especially for personal use.
The good news? High-quality crank grinders are affordable, portable, and durable. You’ll obtain the same improved grind consistency at a fraction of the cost.
Below we dive into one of my favorite entry-level grinders out there in our 1ZPresso Q2 review. Check it out and see if it fits your brewing needs.
What’s So Good About the Q2 by 1ZPresso?
- Compact (fits perfectly inside an Aeropress plunger)
- Dual bearing for more stable, consistent particle sizes
- Wide range of settings from fine to coarse
- limited chamber capacity (less than 25g per load)
- Superfine grinds are hard to pull off
Taiwanese company 1zpresso Co. Ltd. burst onto the coffee scene back in 2017. Founded by a group of specialty coffee lovers and engineers, they’ve made a name for themselves when it comes down to uniform grind quality and great manual grinders.
Initially, I had my hesitations with the new brand using a weird name, but the Q2 has been one of my best value-for-money purchases of all time. It certainly delivers good quality at a sensible price.
In an industry where you can feel the difference right away, 1zpresso has consistently delivered quality and good customer service. If you investigate online, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a fair negative comment about their products or their services, and in my opinion, these guys know exactly what a coffee snob (yes, me included) wants in a coffee grinder.
They began with the XJ and XJ Pro models, which at the time weren’t as easily recognizable as its competitor, the Porlex Mini. Other existing options were a lot more expensive, with little to show for added value.
While the market initially had its doubts like I did, their products, including the Q2, have stood out amongst competitors in a span of a few years.
In summary, the Q Series of 1zpresso hand-held grinders is a perfect all-rounder for manual brewers. Encapsulated in an aluminum alloy, the Q2 looks the part too. When it comes down to the grind, it produces nice and even particles, especially towards the medium settings.
If the chamber capacity fits your usual dose, it does everything you need from a manual grinder exceptionally well.
Who’s The Q2 For?
As mentioned above, the Q2 comes from the Q series of 1zpresso hand grinders. They’re best known for being compact.
It should be noted that 1zpresso lines perform well in terms of grind consistency. It will boil down to the preferred price range, capacity, and personal brewing preferences at the end of the day.
Below are other existing 1zpresso grinder series options as of writing. If any other series interests you, you can click through to find out more info.
- J Series – larger capacity, with an internal adjustment dial for 10 sizes, and 30 clicks for each size.
- K Series – bigger burr, faster grinding, with an external adjustment dial for 90 settings.
- Q Series – smaller burr, maximize efficiency in a compact body, internal adjustment dial for 10 sizes, and 30 clicks per size.
With the Q2, brewers will be pleased to know that while the burrs are smaller at 38mm for this series, speed is still maximized via design. The pentagonal burrs come into contact with the beans as you crank through. This is a structural upgrade over the standard heptagonal design. More on this later on.
In terms of overall size, while it isn’t ideal for every type of brewing, it could be the perfect choice for some. People who brew a single cup at a time will be able to appreciate the grind consistency that this hand grinder produces.
For certain types of people, the chamber capacity will be an issue. If you brew 3-4 cups at a time, there are other better options for you out there via the use of electric burrs or something larger like the Handground precision.
I like this hand grinder because it keeps you brewing 1-2 servings at a time. This means that you’ll have to make a fresh cup or two every time you crave a cup of joe. It’s not the worst thing in the world, especially if you want to get used to quality coffees. If you pay a premium price for your coffees, having a grinder like the 1ZPresso Q2 will force you to enjoy freshly brewed cups.
Since it produces the best results for medium-fine to medium-coarse settings, the Q2 works best with different manual brewing methods. So, it’s best for use with your Aeropress, pour-over, and french press.
Lastly, this is the ideal 1ZPresso model for people with limited counter and kitchen space. It takes up a lot less space than an electric grinder.
You will find that the size and the price difference vs an entry-level electric grinder will vary vastly. But not quality.
The Q2 Design
As mentioned earlier, the Q2 mini was built with a specific user in mind. Its main feature is portability without a compromise on quality. It’s for the coffee lover who loves brewing French Press coffee (or any other manual method) in the mountains. Or at the office…Or anywhere really!
For those who use the Aeropress as their main brewer, the Mini Q fits right in the chamber. Your brew kit could take up just as much space as your power bank.
The grinder has an aluminum alloy body. This makes this 1zpresso Q series option light, durable, and easy on the eyes at the same time.
The curved handle lever makes it easier for users to prepare one serving of coffee grounds at a time. It was made to take the pressure off of your joints, improving the overall user experience. This is one feature that you will come to appreciate over time.
Lastly, you get a pretty wide range of grinding possibilities—way more than you’d expect from a tiny 1ZPresso grinder.
In summary, the Mini Q is a well-designed stainless steel grinder that fits perfectly in your pocket. Or Aeropress chamber.
Q2 Burrs & Build Quality
Build quality and the grind itself is the aspect of the Q2 that fascinates me the most.
If it ends up becoming your first foray into hand grinders, you’ll feel that it requires more effort than automatic options. However, as you compare it with competitors, you’ll realize that Q2 mini, like its relatives under the other 1zpresso lines, actually grinds more efficiently.
Earlier I mentioned that the founders of 1zpresso are engineers. So the performance of the Q2 is a direct result of choosing quality over ease. This isn’t to say that it’s markedly harder to crank than your competitor grinders.
The explanation is in the shape itself. If you examine an empty chamber, you’ll find that the burrs are pentagonal shaped. This is a deviation from the more common heptagonal form. This translates to better movement through the chamber and maximum surface area contact between the coffee and the grinder. I find it easier to grip in my hands too.
A side effect of this, however, is the greater force needed to push the beans through. Hence more effort is involved. Fortunately, 1ZPresso covered all bases on this topic with this model.
In fact, they redesigned the handle to compensate for the extra effort. This rewards the choice to stick with quality over speed or ease. So whether conical burr, ceramic burrs, or stainless steel burrs, I’d go for a pick that gets me better results.
The Q2 is designed to produce an efficient, even grind. The adjusted crank is a bonus for me that shows how 1zpresso had the consumers like you and me in mind.
Easy To Use
Once you make the switch, it’s easy to get lost in brewing. Each cup you make with it will be a thing of wonder because you should be able to taste the effect of evenness right away.
Remember to break your grinder in a bit after purchase. Sometimes, the edges of your grinding mechanism can be sharp. This tends to produce more fines in your coffee grinds. Ideal grind consistency comes out after 2-4 weeks of use.
Some say that another way of breaking your grinder in is by grinding a few pounds of uncooked rice. I prefer sticking to old beans just because there’s less potential for breakage.
The 1zpresso Q2 is no different. Expect your coffee grounds from it to gradually get better until such time that the burrs wear out…It’l take 300kg (mine’s still going strong!) according to the brand, so don’t worry.
You basically load your top chamber, cover (or leave it uncovered), grind, and collect your grounds from the bottom chamber.
For cleaning, you just take it apart. The cap, crank, and chamber come off easily. It’s quite intuitive, but if you’re unsure, check out the video below:
As a quick guide, just brush dry grounds from hard to reach areas. And in the parts where you notice oils, just wipe down with a dry paper towel, and you should get your grinder performing good as new.
One notable thing about the Mini Q is the balance that comes with it. The combination of overall size, chamber capacity, and crank design come together in such a way that you won’t get tired of using it daily.
If that sounds ideal to you, perhaps you can re-examine your coffee routine and design it around this 1ZPresso grinder. It comes at such a low impact price that it wouldn’t hurt to give it a serious thought.
The Q2 Isn’t For You If..
You brew in large batches
It takes an average of 20-30 seconds to grind 18 grams of coffee at a medium setting. Since grounds exponentially lose their aromatics 90 seconds after grinding, you can do 2-3 batches (up to 54 grams) without worrying about losing flavor.
You prefer speed over quality
If you prefer your brewing routine to be low-activity, this wouldn’t be the best option for you as well. The Q2 is more-suited for those who enjoy making coffee as much as they love drinking it.
You want something super premium and fast
If you have the budget for it, grinding 18 grams in 5 seconds with a commercial model could save you a lot of time and effort.
The Final Verdict
With how much I enjoy using the pour-over method almost daily, the 1zpresso Mini Q grinder has served as one of the best buys in my personal coffee arsenal. Overall great value for its price bracket.
It’s easy to fit in any of my travel kits, and it’s made of premium materials. I don’t have to worry about breaking it by the time I reopen my bag. When back at home, it sits in the corner of my kitchen drawer, taking up less space than a roll of table napkins.
Considering the consistency of the grounds I can acheive from it, if you’re looking to experience hand grinders, this could be one of the best options around. Overall, if you’re a fan of French Pressed brews or the Aeropress (and everything in-between), then this is the model for you.
Remember to break it in, clean it well, and take note of the immediate effects on your brew. Most of all, enjoy the process and keep experimenting!