Rambling Review – GSI JavaMill

Rambling Review – GSI JavaMill

GSI JavaMill
GSI Outdoors JavaMill

Why: So, I like to drink coffee. I also happen to like good, fresh coffee. Whether I’m bumming a bag of fresh home roast from a buddy or heading to the coffee shop for something commercial, I like whole bean, because grinding your own beans gets you an extremely fresh cup of coffee. I’ve been using my standard plug-in electric grinder for years and typically will grind beans before I head out for a trip, but the GSI Outdoors JavaMill allows me to bring fresh whole beans along to grind in the field, providing a perfect excuse to drink really fresh coffee in the woods.

Coffee Judger
Sometimes people judge you when you drink too much coffee

First impressions:

The size – The GSI JavaMill is a compact little unit that stands about 6.5 inches tall and has a circumference of 2.5 inches. It fits in nicely with my car camping cook set and doesn’t take up too much room.

Weight – I was surprised by the weight of the JavaMill. The composition of plastic, ceramic, and metal alloy give a little bit of weight to it and make it feel pretty solid. It weighs in at 9.3 oz.

GSI JavaMill
Filling GSI Outdoors JavaMill

Field Use: So typically, most of the gear I review on Arizona Wanderings gets almost all of it’s use in the field, because that’s where I use it. The GSI JavaMill coffee grinder has become an important part of my everyday morning ritual. My old morning routine involved the electric grinder, which as every coffee drinker knows makes a loud whining and growling noise as it grinds up the morning coffee. With a 6 month old in the house that wakes up from the tiniest noises, my coffee grinding has become a huge problem at 5am. So for the past couple of months I’ve been hand grinding my coffee with the new GSI JavaMill. The JavaMill is very quiet and to be honest, I love the mechanics of grinding coffee by hand.

The JavaMill is pretty easy to operate. Coffee in the top. Turn handle. Ground course coffee drops in the bottom portion of the JavaMill and is ready to go.  I primarily French press my coffee but I know that there are a variety of other ways to brew coffee that would need a different courseness of coffee. To change the courseness of the grind, remove the bottom portion of the JavaMill and turn the wing-nut to find your desired coffee ground size.

GSI JavaMill Wingnut
GSI JavaMill Wingnut

I’ve also been bringing the GSI JavaMill coffee grinder on some of my recent fishing and camping trips in order to brew up a pot of coffee as a pick-me-up at lunch and/or for the long drives home. It’s pretty handy to be able to get that taste of  freshly ground coffee way out in the middle of nowhere. I really think that the JavaMill is worth its weight in a car camping situation. For a backpacker who is really trying to cut down on the ounces, I don’t think the JavaMill is practical for lightweight backpacking.

GSI JavaMill in use



Well made and designed

Perfect for car camping

No electricity required

Reasonable price


Might not be ideal for lightweight backpacking


Prognosis:  The die hard coffee drinker who finds themselves in the outdoors (or with a baby who wakes up at the sound of an electronic grinder) should definitely consider adding the GSI Outdoors JavaMill to their camp cook set.



*Disclaimer: The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

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7 Responses to “Rambling Review – GSI JavaMill”

  1. Eli

    I have the previous version of this. Its cone shaped and an absolute pain in the butt to use since when cranking the handle raps your knuckles. Its worth it, just barely, for fresh bean coffee though.

    • azwanderings

      This one is much better Eli and extremely user friendly. Sounds like you’re a coffee lover. Better put this one on the wishlist.



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