OCEANRICH COFFEE AUTOMATIC GRINDER G1 REVIEW
2020 / JUNE
Also known as "Oceanrich Rechargeable Electric Grinder G1," "Oceanrich Automatic Coffee Mill G1," and sometimes preceded by 'UNIQ.'
An excellent portable electric ceramic burr coffee grinder, particularly for the price. Featuring five grind options, with consistent results, easy cleaning and solid battery life.
- Ceramic Burrs
- Dimensions: w 85mm x d 85mm x h 175mm
- Weight: 485g
- Hopper load 20g
- Glass Container capacity 40g
- Five grind settings (coarse to fine)
- Rechargeable via micro USB (800mAh)
Picked this up in Japan for roughly 60 USD, standing out on the shelf with a promising offer in design, function and aesthetic. Offering five grind settings, suitable for French press, syphon, pour over, and drip coffee respectively.
Dialling in the grind with the settings is simple, turning the exterior ring to one of the five marked aforementioned positions, making for a convenient and relatively quick process, thereby ideal for experimentation, brewing multiple cups consecutively, and accommodating different brew methods and tools.
The instructions state that 20g of coffee can be loaded into the hopper at a time, however it is possible to get roughly 25g in, depending on the size of the beans and type of roast. Obviously this isn't recommended. On average, I use 24g for a 2 serving brew, so this is ideal, and far less time consuming than hand cranking out anything in excess of that when brewing multiple cups.
A welcome feature, is that the device will stop grinding when the beans have been depleted. Occasionally there are a few traces still in place, however this is typical of most grinders I've used, a little light jostle and hit the grind button again will take care of this. It is also reassuring to get the same amount of coffee out as loaded in.
Apparently the grinder can also be used with Oceanrich Auto-Drip Coffee Maker, but I haven't access to it, and therefore can't comment. It is however, cool to note. Definitely something I will look into, should I make it back to Japan.
Comprised principally of plastic, a touch of rubber and a glass receptacle, the device overall appears to be well built and sturdy, with the one exception I noted preceding purchase: the support bar for the axle, keeping it centred. This is located where the coffee grinds are dispensed into the receptacle, I would have expected this to be made of a more solid plastic (metal may have been to extreme,) mainly as this is one of the only parts protruding, and is therefore more likely to be accidentally damaged, in addition to being the area subjected to the most wear and tear.
At the point of this review, I've been using the Oceanrich Coffee Grinder for over three months on a frequent and daily basis. Serving as the primary grinder at least 4-6 times daily, it requires the odd charge at the end of the day (or two,) with a convenient micro USB connection. Some may complain that it isn't USB-C, which isn't really an issue, unless you're prone to whinge about such things -- better to shut up, buy yourself some solid single origin light/light-medium roast coffee from an ethical supplier, and make yourself a damn fine cup of coffee and worry less about the little things in life. Treat yourself to that daily gift.
Battery life is solid, with status indicated by four blue LED lights, which will blink when depleted. However, even depleted, a few short grind bursts are still available, should the battery 'run out' at that last critical moment. A full charge doesn't take long, shy a few hours. A quick 15 minute juice should get you up and running if a quick critical coffee grinding is required.
Typical of most USB devices, no power adapter is included, solely the micro USB cable. Included in addition to this is are the instruction manual, a plastic measuring/scoop spoon (with a light-weight bulldog clip attached to it,) and a decent cleaning cleaning brush, which makes fine work of brushing off excess grinds, chaff, and cleaning out the burrs.
As the motor is housed separately in the upper segment of the device, cleaning is easy, either with the aforementioned brush (and/or after tossing in a few disposable coffee beans,) as well as the ability to run water through the central segment which houses the burr. Ideal for cleaning on the go, without faff and inconvenience.
It holds up well to travel, fitting easily into a duffel or backpack without adding too much weight or bulk. Solid and robust, it takes up a bit more space than the AeroPress (but far less fiddly than AeroPress' silly so-called travel bag.)
At first it may appear a bit tricky to decipher and process how to open/remove the different segments of the unit, holding the central burr unit is the key, turning anti-clockwise to remove the top unit, and conversely anti-clockwise to remove the receptacle. The logic is sound once accustomed to the system, making it quick and easy to handle, open up and get started efficiently.
The use of glass for the receptacle/container is a welcome element, easy to clean and stain free, in addition to providing a solid base, aided by the included grippy-sponge which can be applied to prevent it from slipping or moving about. It adds a nice weight and balance overall, not so much that it feels heavy. The lid atop the grinder can also be removed and used as a cover, however this then leaves the base of the burrs exposed.
Considering the motor, it is not the quietest of devices, nor is it the loudest. Taking around 3 minutes, the grind process is significantly faster than a hand grinder, with relatively more consistency, and significantly less 'bite,' than ones in a similar (and obviously lower) price bracket. It is a worthy contender, in getting you to that cup of coffee that much quicker, with more efficiency, so that you can focus on the nitty gritty of getting the brew done right. In my experience using it, I have found that it has provided great and consistent results for both the Hario V60 pour over and AeroPress, with different roasts and brew methods.
I'm by no means a barista, or some coffee professional by any stretch, so all I can say is it is well suited for 'home use'/traveller for the coffee hobbyist/enthusiast. Thus I would highly recommend this should you come across one, as it has been a welcome addition to a practical coffee peripheral collection, whether travelling or simply at home. Less clutter is always a win.
The Oceanrich Coffee Grinder is something I personally appreciate, as I had been looking for something similar, to the point where I was close to constructing one of my own using a 25 USD hand grinder (which I snared for $7.) The idea was essentially to attach some manner of motorized unit to the top of it, something I'm sure customs would have loved me for.
In the process of writing this review (well into the third month of daily use,) wear and tear has taken its toll on the support bar which keeps the axle centred. As mentioned earlier in the review, this wasn't something to unexpected. Only half of it came off, and thankfully not into the coffee grounds. It is something to be aware of, but so far hasn't impaired the function and operation of the grinder, still delivering solid results.
Of note, but virtually a non-factor... Later in the week, the Oceanrich logo fell off, also not unsurprising given the amount of travelling involved. It is purely an aesthetic factor, and easily mended with a touch of glue.
After four months of use, damage to a few of the plastic gears has resulted from two consecutive instances of jammed burrs.
Given the lack of access to making use of the warranty, I took the opportunity to dismantle upper segment housing the motor unit, which was surprisingly easy to take apart, simply by removing the three screws holding the cap in place. This reveals the motor and circuit board. Thankfully there was some forethought, thereby enough wire length, allowing for the motor to easily be removed in order to gain access to the gears.
The gears are plastic, with a total of 9, of which six are thin and similarly sized, whilst the remaining lower gears are slightly thicker... and the ones that suffered the brunt of the damage.
I haven't had a chance to check out a Tamiya shop to see if there are similar parts available. However, I found swapping the gear layering, at least allows the mechanism to function, albeit at an incorrect ratio and lesser efficiency, resulting in slightly less consistent grounds, and significantly more noise. At least it works, (don't get me started on trying to find the parts in the city I currently reside, as of this writing, it's not worth it.)
Even in light of these instances, I would still recommend the device, particularly as the ceramic burrs themselves yield pretty good results, even with manual grinding (yes, I used a spanner in one instance, and in another whipped out the Black & Decker electric screwdriver... which isn't technically as 'manual.')