The plethora of 1Zpresso models on the market can make the task of choosing the right manual grinder daunting. The array of features and specifications can blur into a confusing mix.
The real questions are: does this grinder align with your specific brewing needs? Can it elevate the complexity and clarity of your pour-over? Is it versatile enough for different coffee-making methods? And, crucially, does the performance justify the price?
In my 1Zpresso ZP6 Special review I’ll answer all these questions and more. Is the specialty coffee community’s love for the ZP6 warranted or is it another overhyped grinder? Let’s find out.
Summary: The 1zpresso ZP6 Special
- External adjustment ring with 60 clicks for tailored grind size
- Six-sided burr set designed for fewer fines and cleaner cups
- Exceptional for light roast, third-wave coffee
- Not suitable for espresso but excels in Aeropress and pour-over
- Game-changer for pour-over enthusiasts seeking complexity and clarity
1Zpresso ZP6 Special Design And Build Quality
The ZP6 Special exudes a premium feel from the moment you pick it up, thanks to its high-quality metal construction. Its sleek, minimalistic design is eye-catching, and the threaded catch cup adds to the overall sense of quality. The grinder is similar in dimensions to the 1Zpresso K-Pro, making it easy to handle and maneuver.
When it comes to specifics, at 700g the grinder has a weight that feels substantial but not cumbersome. The capacity is tailored for individual pour-over sessions, holding 30-35g for lighter roasts and slightly less for denser, dark roasts.
The ZP6 special comes in a choice of 2 colors, the classic 1Zpresso silver, or an iron gray option, both of which align with its premium build. Overall, the ZP6 Special is a well-thought-out piece of equipment that feels as premium as it performs.
ZP6 Burrs, Grind Adjustment System and Grind Performance
The ZP6 Special features a unique 6-sided burr set, a design previously seen in 1Zpresso’s Js, Ks, and Z Pro models. These burrs are engineered for tighter alignment and fewer fines, contributing to the grinder’s exceptional performance in filter coffee. The burrs have a long crushing area followed by a quick cutting phase, a design that results in a more “unimodal” grind distribution, which translates to cleaner and brighter tasting cups of coffee.
The grind adjustment system on the ZP6 Special is both precise and user-friendly. It employs an external ring with around 60 clicks, each adjusting the grind size by 22 microns. The system is further enhanced by two different springs to maintain tight alignment, ensuring consistent grind sizes. I love 1Zpresso’s external adjustment systems and the UX with the ZP6 is superb.
While the grinder isn’t intended for espresso, it excels in pour-over and other manual brewing methods, offering a range of grind sizes that are ideal for lighter roasts. I’ve had good results with both moka pot and Aeropress.
When it comes to grind performance, the ZP6 Special is a game-changer, especially for those who favor light roasts. In my blind tests, it consistently outperformed other top 1Zpresso models like the K-Max and X-Pro.
The grinder produces fewer fines and boulders, resulting in higher TDS and extraction yield. This leads to a cleaner, more complex cup that highlights the bean’s natural flavors. The ZP6 Special is slower than other 1Zpresso models, but this could be an advantage for those with less grip strength, as the torque required is more manageable.
Tasting Coffee Made Using The ZP6 Grinder
The taste of coffee from the ZP6 Special is nothing short of remarkable. The grinder’s design allows for a more “unimodal” grind, meaning a narrower particle peak, which results in a cleaner, crisper cup. Surprisingly, the espresso shots I pulled were some of the best I’ve had in a while—refreshing, crisp, and clean. The grinder’s ability to produce fewer fines makes the flavors more vibrant and the finish longer.
However, it’s important to note the ZP6 grinder is not made for espresso. The micron adjustments are too large to get consistent results dialing in. I guess I got lucky with the few shots I pulled as I have spoken to several other ZP6 owners who have not the same success withespresso.
What really sets the ZP6 Special apart is its ability to make delicious filter coffee. The stand out feature is the clarity of the coffee it makes and the clear delineation of flavors in the cup. It’s not just about acidity, sweetness, or body; it’s about the complexity and nuance that the coffee itself brings.
The grinder essentially gets out of the way, allowing the terroir and the farmer’s work to speak directly to the end user. Whether it’s floral notes, fruity undertones, or deeper tropical flavors, the ZP6 Special delivers a cup that’s as close to the bean’s true character as you can get.
I’ve been blown away time and time again by the results I get with the ZP6 special. I love very lightly roasted, fruity beans. When brewing with a V60, Chemex and Kalita Wave, the ZP6 gets better results than any other grinder I’ve used that costs less than $1000. It also outperforms other 1Zpresso such as the JX-Pro, the K-Max and the Q2.
One important note: I would not recommend the ZP6 for medium or dark roasts. The grinder shines with light roasted coffees and those subjected to long fermentation and experimental processing techniques.
Is The ZP6 Special Worth It?
The worthiness of the ZP6 Special is contingent on your specific coffee preferences and brewing methods. If your go-to brews are light-roasted filter coffees—think Ethiopia, Rwanda, Colombia, or other beans with bright, fruity profiles—then the ZP6 Special is an exceptional choice. It excels in delivering the complexity and clarity that these types of coffees deserve.
However, if you like to drink espresso and need a grinder that is an all-rounder, the ZP6 Special falls short. Its grind range and burr set aren’t designed for the fine adjustments that espresso requires.
But if your brewing methods include Aeropress, pour-over, or French press, then the ZP6 Special offers fantastic value for money. In these contexts, it’s not just a good grinder; it’s a highly recommended game-changer.
Coffee expert and industry insider, I’ve dedicated years to mastering the art and science of coffee making. From scrutinizing particle fineness to evaluating burr shapes, I delve into the minutiae that elevate coffee from good to exceptional. Whether it’s a complex pour-over or a robust espresso, my insights cater to those who don’t just drink coffee, but experience it.