- Sports and Recreation
GSI Outdoors Java Mill
Most people that enjoy coffee agree that either a french press or aeropress are two of the better ways to make great coffee no matter where you are. All you need for either system are hot water and ground coffee. The Java Mill tackles the ground coffee part of the equation. I ordered mine online from REI.
The Java Mill is easy to use. Pull off the top, add beans, put the handle in the "grind" position, adjust the grind size, attach the bottom cup and grind away. There are a lot of variables (taste, grind size, method of brewing etc) but for me one load of beans is good for one very large cup of coffee.
The Java mill is quite well made. I've had mine for several months, it's seen lots of use and several trips in plastic bins, suitcases and backpacks with little to no wear. The bearing for the handle is really big and beefy, it probably accounts for at least half of the units 9.3 oz weight. It is also probably responsible for the nice solid, pleasing feel while grinding. The handle is aluminum and has two positions, "grind" and "travel". It's easy to switch and clicks solidly into both positions. The body of the unit is plastic and all the pieces fit together nicely. The burr is the most important part of the unit. GSI says the burr is ceramic. I"m not sure if this means solid ceramic or another material that's ceramic coated. Either way it is very hard and has no problem grinding coffee. To adjust the grind size you rotate a small t nut under the burr. It kind of clicks in every 1/4 turn. Finding your grind size is trial and error and a little messy but once you have it set up it holds its position. Overall the mill is 6.2"x2.5"x2" It;s not tiny but definitely small enough for my camping/travel needs.
I have found myself using the Java Mill a lot. Obviously I've been using it for camping and hiking. I didn't really expect to be using it at home, on hotel trips or road trips but its great for these as well. It has really made it possible to have great coffee wherever you can get or make hot water. It's much quieter and more satisfying than an electric mill and it smells awesome while you're using it. One thing to keep in mind, if you're camping with a large group this product will make you very popular in the mornings. The only complaint I have is that it would be nice if the Java Mill came with a sleeve or bag of some kind to help give a little cushion for when rattleing down gravel roads in a backpack or bin.