We give the VSSL JAVA Burr Grinder a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
VSSL JAVA Burr Grinder: At a Glance
Here at Coffee Affection, we’re always looking for excellent coffee equipment. Our latest find is the VSSL JAVA burr coffee grinder, an innovative new manual grinder from outdoor tool company VSSL.
This compact little coffee grinder is shaped like an old-fashioned flashlight handle, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. It has a sturdy body, high-quality stainless steel burrs, and a carabiner cap that doubles as an extending handle. The device has an elegant feel but also seems durable enough to handle a few adventures. In a word, we loved it!
Keep reading to see what makes this grinder unique, learn about its grinding abilities, and decide if it’s worth the price. Let’s get started!
A Quick Look
- Nicely designed and well built
- High-quality stainless steel burrs for precise grinding
- Sturdy aluminum body
- Smooth, frictionless grinding
- Lifetime warranty
- Replacement parts available
- Not the easiest to clean
- No parts are dishwasher-safe
- Small grinding capacity
If you’re big on outdoor gear, you may already be familiar with VSSL. Canadian founder Todd Weimer took his inspiration from the handle of a classic Maglight flashlight, designing all kinds of camping-friendly products in that familiar shape. The company also sells flasks, cups, camping supply kits, first aid kits, and more – all in the shape of a flashlight handle.
Right out of the box, you can tell this isn’t your average manual coffee grinder. The VSSL grinder has a sturdy-but-elegant vibe and a definite high-end feel. With a largely aluminum body and stainless-steel burrs, it feels like it will last quite a while. The carabiner connection is a fun, outdoorsy touch. The top opens with a satisfying click, and the smoothly extending handle makes grinding surprisingly effortless.
Ease of Use
Considering that it’s a manual grinder, this product is exceptionally easy to use. The cap comes off with the push of a button and the grind catch quickly screws off. Add fresh beans to the top, spin the grind dial to adjust your settings, flip the handle over, and add the removable handle grip. Then all you have to do is grind! Using a manual burr grinder will always require some elbow grease, but VSSL has done a good job of streamlining the process.
When we tested this grinder, we were impressed with the consistency. We followed the manual’s suggestion of turning the dial 10 clicks clockwise for pour-over brewing. The result was perfectly smooth grinds ideal for a Chemex. You can also turn it an extra 10 clicks to get a fine AeroPress grind or spin the other direction for increasingly coarse grinds.
This mechanism is very similar to other manual grinders we’ve tested, like the JavaPresse. We did find this one a bit easier to understand, with clear markings and an easy-to-turn dial.
The VSSL JAVA isn’t dishwasher-safe at all, so if you want to give it a thorough cleaning, you’ll have to do it by hand. Luckily, unless you’re working with exceptionally oily beans, the grinder doesn’t need frequent cleaning. Occasionally brushing the burrs and dial with a small brush should keep the grinder in decent shape.
For more thorough cleaning, the manual suggests fully disassembling the grinder. This is a pretty lengthy, detailed process that you probably won’t want to have to do often.
Warranty and Replacement Parts
VSSL offers a very generous lifetime warranty (with a few exclusions). The company advertises a lifespan of 6,000 grind cycles, or nearly 16.5 years of daily grinding, which if true is pretty impressive. You can also buy replacement carabiner caps, grind catches, burrs, grind dials, and handle grips, so there’s no need to panic if something breaks or you accidentally leave a piece out in the wilderness.
Our VSSL JAVA came in a fun, outdoorsy box that looked like a topographic map. Included in the box are a handy user manual, complete with grinding, brewing, and cleaning instructions, the grinder, and two small canvas bags to carry the grinder and handle cap.
The VSSL JAVA burr grinder is a stand-out manual coffee grinder that falls right in the sweet spot of elegance and functionality. It’s compact, sturdy, and thoughtfully designed, with excellent stainless steel burrs and a comfortable handle. It’s also pricey for a manual grinder, offers a fairly small capacity, and can be tricky to clean. But if you’re an adventurous coffee lover with a little room in your budget, you may want to add this grinder to your collection!
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