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Hands-on Gear Review
JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual ReviewPrice: $24 List | $23.99 at Amazon
Pros: Inexpensive, portable, ligthweight
Bottom line: A great, portable hand grinder, but can be frustratingly slow
If you're looking for a portable coffee grinder, the JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual should be at the top of your list. It excels at making fine grinds for pour over coffee and its all stainless steel body feels near indestructible. The only downside is that it is quite slow, taking over 5 minutes to grind enough for a decent cup (unless you go all out and count grinding your coffee as your morning workout). If you just want a hand grinder so you can quietly grind at your desk or before everyone else wakes up in your house, the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill is a bit faster, but its glass body doesn't feel like it would stand up to the rigors of travel as well as the JavaPresse.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual was our favorite manual grinder for travel and camping, due to its durable build and quality burr. If you don't mind a little bit of an arm workout in the morning, this model lets you bring fresh ground beans anywhere.
Simply due to the extra effort required of manual grinders, the JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual earned a fairly low overall score in our testing. In the following sections we describe its performance in all of the different tests we conducted.
Quality of Taste
The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual can make quite a good cup of joe, and it earned a 6 out of 10 in our taste quality testing. If you're using a brew style that necessitates a fine grind, like pour over, the JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual rivals the taste quality of the Editors' Choice Award winning OXO. Yes, it's really that good. However, if you loosen up the burr to get a coarser grind, the grind size becomes very inconsistent. This left our french press brews tasing overly bitter, hence the lower overall score. This performance lined up almost exactly with the other manual grinder we tested, the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill.
Ease of Use
The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual earned a low score of 3 out of 10 in this metric, largely because of the inconvenience of grinding manually. Loading beans, offloading grinds, and selecting a grind size is quite easy, but actually grinding takes a while. It was a good 5+ minutes before we had enough grinds for a strong cup. If we gritted outr teeth and broke a sweat we could get that time down significantly, but the caffeine felt a bit redundant at that point. The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill, the other manual grinder that we tested, is about 20% faster, but still an arm workout. Bottom line, if you want a portable, manual grinder you're going to have to plan in some extra time and effort for grinding.
In terms of noise you can't beat a manual grinder. The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual earned a top score of 9 out of 10 in this metric. The Hario Skerton earned the same score. These manual grinders are the only ones we would feel comfortable using in a crowded office, or in a kitchen with thin walls and a light sleeps bedroom directly adjacent.
Here again the simplicity of manual grinders wins out. The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual earned a top score of 9 out of 10 in this metric, a score again shared by the Hario Skerton. The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual is totally self contained when in use, so no grinds can get free and make a mess. The grind container easily slides off, so no grinds can get out there either.
The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual, with its durable yet lightweight build, is perfect for camping and traveling. It also doubles as a discreet and quite grinder for use in a crowded office or home, but if that's your only use the Hario Skerton is just as quiet and a bit faster, though it's not as portable and durable.
Listing for just $24, the JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual is one of the most inexpensive ways to get freshly ground coffee beans. It is also significantly cheaper than its main competitor, the Hario Skerton.
The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual requires some sweat equity to get your beans ground, but it does its job very well and is rugged and portable, making it the perfect grinder for traveling and camping coffee enthusiasts.
— TechGearLab Review Team
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