1Zpresso K-Ultra Manual Coffee Grinder Review

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Grinding your own coffee beans is an essential step for any coffee enthusiast who wants to enjoy the freshest, most flavorful cup of coffee. However, with so many grinders on the market, finding the perfect one can be a challenge.

That’s why I was excited to try out the 1Zpresso K-Ultra manual coffee grinder, which promises ultra-premium quality and performance.

In this review, I’ll provide an in-depth analysis of the K-Ultra, covering everything from design and build quality to performance, portability, cleaning, and value. By the end, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of this grinder and be able to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

Design and Build Quality

Ultra-Premium Look and Feel

When you pick up the K-Ultra the first thing that jumps out is its premium appearance and feel. Its body is made of premium aluminium alloy and features a stylish iron-grey finish (also available in silver), giving it a sophisticated look.

The grinder has a sleek, rounded design with a curved top, similar to the 1Zpresso K-Max but more refined. This elegant design isn’t just about looks, though; it also contributes to the grinder’s ergonomics, making it more comfortable to use.

It feels very solid in the hand, like a product you’d expect to last a lifetime. However, for people with smaller hands or weaker wrists, the K-Ultra may feel a bit large and heavy. In saying this, at 700g it isn’t heavy when compared to other high-end hand grinders.

The premium wood handle also feels great in the hand and complements the grinder’s overall aesthetic. Having a comfortable handle is essential for a manual grinder, as it impacts the overall grinding experience and can help reduce fatigue during use.

The magnetic catch cup can hold around 35g of coffee beans, which should be sufficient for most brewing needs.

I like the small touches, like the slip-free rubber base, which provides extra grip on the bench top.

What’s Changed from the K-Max?

The K-Ultra has a few design upgrades from the K-Max, which might be important for those considering upgrading from the previous model or choosing between the two.

It features a sleeker, rounded body with curved edges and a foldable handle for improved stability and portability. The K-Ultra is also slightly lighter than the K-Max, contributing to its ease of use.

In terms of grind settings, the K-Ultra offers 100 clicks (20 microns per click) compared to the K-Max’s 90 clicks (22 microns per click). This increased granularity in grind settings means that the K-Ultra offers more precise control over your grind size, which can be crucial for perfecting your brewing technique and achieving the best possible coffee extraction.

Performance

Impressive Grind Quality and Consistency

I tested the K-Ultra as my daily grinder for a week across various brew methods. I love how this grinder feels ergonomic and stable in the hand and throughout the grinding process.

As expected, the K-Ultra’s particle size distribution was small, ensuring that the coffee grounds were uniform, promoting even extraction. This consistency can make all the difference in brewing a well-rounded, flavorful cup of coffee.

And, thanks to its impressive 20 microns per step, the K-Ultra provides a wide window for dialling in grind settings to suit different brewing methods.

Smallest grind size
Largest grind size

I did find that static causes grinds to stick to the bottom of the burrs and the inside of the catch cup. This is a common issue with both electric and manual grinders and can be mostly solved by adding a small drop of water to the beans or waiting a couple of minutes after grinding.

Fast and Quiet Grinding

The K-Ultra’s grinding speed is notably fast, thanks to its heptagonal 48mm stainless steel burrs.

Additionally, the noise level is lower than other grinders I’ve used. This is a nice feature for those who want to enjoy their morning coffee ritual without disturbing others in the household.

Easy Grind Size Selection

The external adjustment ring features a white dot for easy grind size selection and visibility. This user-friendly design is important for those who want a hassle-free experience when changing grind settings, allowing them to experiment with small adjustments.

I have no complaints with the grind adjustment mechanism – it just works well. The K-Ultra offers 100 grind settings, compared to 90 on the K-Max. This increased range of settings makes the K-Ultra more versatile and suitable for various brewing methods, from espresso to French press.

Portability

Due to its size and weight, the K-Ultra doesn’t really jump out as a portable grinder, however, it does come with a high-quality case for protection during transport.

One of the upgrades to the K-Ultra from previous models is the foldable handle. 1Zpresso says it “makes the grinder more compact and portable, allowing the grinder to stand firmly on any surface without the risk of falling over easily when placed on a table.”

Based on my experience with the grinder so far, I can’t see how this feature would add any benefit for me. If I was to take this grinder travelling I’d leave the handle fully extended and use the carry case it came with.

And when not in use I store the handle separately from the grinder so there are no stability issues to worry about.

Nevertheless, for users who store their grinder out on the benchtop where it could easily get knocked over, the foldable handle may come in handy as it reduces the overall size of the grinder.

Despite its lack of usefulness for me, I did play around with the foldable handle and found it to be a clever little mechanism that matches the premium look and feel of the rest of the grinder.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The K-Ultra is easy to disassemble for a thorough cleaning, which is important for maintaining the grinder’s performance and longevity.

The grinder comes with a cleaning brush and cleaning blower, making it easier to maintain and ensuring you have the necessary tools to keep your grinder in top condition.

The calibration process after disassembly is simple and straightforward, ensuring that the grinder continues to perform optimally.

Price and Value

As the most expensive model in the K-Series and among all 1Zpresso grinders, the K-Ultra’s price point might seem steep. However, I don’t think it feels overpriced given its premium build quality, top-notch performance, user-friendly design, and versatile grind settings.

I still think the K-Ultra offers decent value for serious coffee enthusiasts who want a high-performing grinder suitable for a range of brewing methods.

However, some may view it as expensive when compared to the K-Max, given the limited upgrades. Ultimately, the choice between the K-Ultra, the K-Max, and other models will depend on your individual preferences, brewing needs, and budget.

Conclusion

The 1Zpresso K-Ultra manual coffee grinder is a high-quality, versatile grinder that delivers consistent, precise grinding performance across a range of brewing methods. With its ultra-premium look and feel, ergonomic design, and impressive grind quality, it’s an excellent choice for coffee enthusiasts who want to elevate their coffee-making experience.

While the K-Ultra is more expensive than other manual grinders, I think the build quality, performance, and versatility makes it a worthwhile investment for those serious about their coffee.

The grinder’s fast and quiet operation, easy grind size selection, and portability features add to its appeal, making it a convenient and enjoyable tool for daily use.

In conclusion, the 1Zpresso K-Ultra manual coffee grinder is a top-of-the-line choice for those who want the best possible grinding experience and are willing to invest in a premium product.

Its design, performance, and versatility make it an excellent addition to any coffee enthusiast’s arsenal, ensuring consistently great-tasting coffee with every brew.