ProView – VSSL Java G45 Grinder Review
As a former gas station coffee drinker turned coffee connoisseur, my journey with coffee has evolved from cowboy-style brewing to embracing the world of craft coffee. The VSSL Java G45 Coffee Grinder became my trusted companion in the last month as I continued the ritual of brewing a delicious morning cup. From my kitchen to the great outdoors, I put this premium handheld grinder to the test, exploring its features and capabilities across various brewing methods.
VSSL Java G45 Grinder
Product Name: VSSL Java G45 Grinder
Product Description: You asked for it, and we built it. The original Java Grinder quickly became the best-selling product in our line, but the requests for greater capacity were overwhelming. The Java G45 utilizes machined aircraft grade aluminum and stainless-steel materials to deliver the world’s finest hand-held coffee grinder. It produces roughly 50g of grounds depending on the roast.
Offer price: MSRP: $220.00
Excellent premium grinder that supports all brew methods.
- Impeccable design and premium materials
- Versatile enough to cater to various brewing methods.
- Efficient and easy grinding process
- Slightly heavy for extensive backpacking trips
- Premium price point
In my coffee journey, I’ve transitioned from using a spice grinder and brewing “kick in the rear” strong cups of coffee to savoring the complexities of the pour-over method. Years ago, I eyeballed every brew and had only worked with a French press, percolator, and machine brew methods. Truth be told, I was very happy back then, but now that I’ve gotten to enjoy a perfectly extracted cup, there’s no going back. It’s opened the doors to a whole world I previously knew nothing about. Guided by my husband’s meticulous research, we’ve delved into the realm of grind sizes, ratios, and brew times. We’ve used two other handheld grinders for camping, and we regularly brew using the Aeropress, Chemex pour over, Hario V60 pour over, and French Press. Over the last couple of months, the VSSL Java G45 became an essential tool in our pursuit of the perfect cup. The grinder delivers on all the features they market.
The telescoping handle and magnetic grinder knob that attaches to the handle ensures a comfortable grind and grip, making the grinding process easy and enjoyable. Grinding is remarkably more difficult if you don’t telescope the handle; make sure to extend the handle so you don’t have to work so hard. Additionally, make sure to hold the grinder upright and use a downward pressure when grinding. If you hold it at an angle when grinding, the magnetized grip knob will separate from the handle.
At 21 oz, the grinder is a bit hefty for long-distance backpacking but proves ideal for short trips, especially when splitting the load with my companion. Packed neatly in a branded felt case, measuring 7.2” tall and 2.4” in diameter, it’s a compact addition to our camping gear. Its cylindrical shape is much more packable than other grinders we’ve used. Additionally, the magnetized hand grip knob neatly stows away in the catch when not in use.
Efficiency shines with the VSSL Java G45, boasting a mere one-minute grind time for 30 grams of coffee (enough for two pour over cups). Note: VSSL Java G45’s capacity is ~50g. It’s much more efficient and easier to grind with the Java than the other two handheld grinders I’ve used. The Java’s versatility extends from outdoor adventures to home brewing. This is because the Java has 50 grind settings and a stainless-steel burr grinder with dual axle bearings for uniform grounds. It delivered the grind size and consistency that was optimal for whichever brewing method I chose. This uniformity ensured a boost in flavor profile of each unique cup. Just adjust the settings by clicking the dial on the underside of the grinder from fine to coarse depending on the brewing method. The fine grind setting even brewed a great shot of espresso in the Aeropress!
Additionally, the grinder comes with the holy grail of instruction manuals which includes recommendations for grind settings and directions for various popular brewing methods. This was a great tool to reference as I’m still learning which settings work best with each method.
Crafted from machined aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, the grinder exudes durability. VSSL also offers a limited lifetime warranty which covers defects in materials and workmanship. It did get a couple of minor cosmetic scratches over the last month with daily use, but if you keep it stored in the felt case, you’ll avoid most scratches. The stainless-steel construction ensures resistance to corrosion, making it a low-maintenance companion for any brewing condition. It includes a small brush for cleaning the exterior parts, and it’s designed for easy maintenance and disassembly. The company offers step by step instructions on how to disassemble and clean the Java.
The VSSL Nest Pour Over Set is a great complementary product I got to test along with the grinder. It delivered a good pour over consistently. My only recommendation would be to use coffee filters rather than brewing directly in the food grade stainless steel mesh coffee filter. Brewing with the filter alone resulted in a slight metal flavor with each cup. For home brewing pour overs, a gooseneck kettle would be a great addition to give you control over your pour speed. For outdoor use, a JetBoil would be a great compliment to the grinder and Nest Pour Over Set. To help control the speed of your pour, you can pour water from the Jet Boil or pot onto a spoon turned upside down and directed downward towards the pour over. This pour method will wash the water over the back of the spoon so it can drip from the tip of the spoon onto the pour over. It’s not necessary, but it’s a fun way to try and get a uniform pour on the grinds.
Friendliness to the Earth
VSSL shows effort toward sustainability, using recycled stainless steel in some of their products. Beyond materials, their partnership with Communitas, a local non-profit supporting young people with special needs, showcases a dedication to making a positive impact on their community and traceability in their manufacturing. My only suggestions are that I’d love to see the company offer carbon offsets with their shipments and take a clear stance on sustainability objectives.
The Final Word
The VSSL Java G45 not only met but exceeded expectations. Its description as a meticulously engineered, durable, and versatile grinder is a spot-on portrayal of this sleek tool. The only area of improvement for the Java is that the magnet that attaches the grinder knob to the handle could be stronger to avoid becoming displaced when grinding. Its impeccable design and performance make it a valuable addition to any coffee lover’s arsenal. Whether you keep it simple and eyeball your perfect grind or weigh out grinds and water for the perfectly extracted cup, it delivers excellence in every cup.
About the Gear Tester
Francisca Lizotte is a lover of nature and wisdom, California Naturalist, Yoga Instructor and Reiki Practitioner. She has guided in person and remote group, private and corporate yoga classes and yoga hikes for 10 years and teaches regular group classes at Session Climbing Gym in Santa Rosa. She’s passionate about being of service to her community and has volunteered in various capacities in the outdoors over the years. Her recent joy has been sharing kids’ yoga with LandPaths Owl Camp the past two summers in the North Bay area. When she’s not teaching yoga, playing outside, or practicing the art of deep rest, she’s proud to be a part of the Community Engagement team at Traditional Medicinals. You can connect with her @commonthreadyoga on Instagram.