Posted by: Andre | November 8, 2009

Super Jolly vs. Kyocera

I have decided to sell the Super Jolly, and it will soon be sent to PNG. The SJ was purchased a few years ago brand new, but was highly discounted as it was the 230V euro version being sold in the US. It has been with me since the beginning of my coffee path, and has been a true reference grinder.


Since deciding to sell, I have looked now towards a more portable solution while I am traveling. Since hand mills have been getting a lot of praise on forums, I decided eventually to try out a Kyocera. With ceramic burrs and most everything else plastic, I thought it was a good place to start. The only problem was…how much quality would I be losing as compared to the Super Jolly? Grinding time and effort were of less concern to me, as obviously those would suffer.

Kyocera Grinder

Up next are just my subjective thoughts on the quality of grind as I’ve seen between these two grinders. So first, the differences:

  1. Super Jolly grinds always are more fluffy. A basket dosed and leveled will often be 1-2g lighter from the SJ than the Kyocera.
  2. Although within espresso range, the Kyocera seems to be pretty solid with the grind adjustment nut. When grinding coarser it seems like it wanders a little. Also because of burr design larger bean particles can slip through sideways when trying to grind coarser.
  3. I haven’t done a true blind taste test between the two, but subjectively it seems to me that the SJ produces a bit more rich mouthfeel from coffees. Maybe this is due to the fluffyness of the grinds? I don’t do WDT anymore since having purchased a Caravel lever machine, but it might eliminate these differences that are somewhat slight anyway.

Overall I’m pleased with the Kyocera. Of course it’s no Super Jolly, but within the range of espresso grinding and for relatively small consumption it is adjustable enough and produces quality grinds that makes replacing the SJ with a hand mill somewhat reasonable. For my next grinder, I plan to upgrade to the Cimbali Max Hybrid or possibly a full conical. This should be somewhere around the time of building an espresso test bench machine capable of temperature and pressure profiling. And when I’m back in the US raising funds (and equipment!) to take with me to PNG.

One slight “modification” I have done, is to mark with a permanent marker the zero point on two parts of the burr set. This allows me to make adjustments by eye, and to ensure that the nut is not moving while grinding. So far this simple thing has been invaluable, and really improves repeatability. I have had my own marks for zero and other common places used on the SJ for a while, but it only hit me recently to do the same on the Kyocera. You can see what I mean here:

Kyocera Burr Marks



  1. Love their grinder

    Thanks for the links and the write up!

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