LOL! I’ve been working with tech start-ups for over 10 years now and I can tell you: its relatively simple to make something complicated and quite complicated to make something simple! The reason why there’s nothing out there like the niche zero is because its REALLY hard to do AND its a niche market which is addressed, albeith a growing one.
I wouldn’t describe any of them as kitchen ready. And if I wouldn’t, my wife certainly wouldn’t.
They seem designed for commercial use (with a commensurate price tag).
Your kitchen, I’m sure, is very different and they may fit in well.
I find the impact of grinders on taste interesting. I have tended to switch around a bit since I got the Ikawa. Have rather surprisingly ended up using my antique (circa 1860-1910) brass hand grinder, originally bought by my wife as a present some years ago for interest and decoration - and is very attractive. But also works. Flat burrs. No maker details I can find. I assume I’m liking the particle size distribution it has, so I will probably stick with it until the Niche arrives.
Assuming the Niche arrives. If it doesn’t, I may have to revisit your list.
Well … yeah Versalab and Titus dont look like anything you might have in the kitchen unless you are coffee geek of cause. But when someone has some smaller but professional espresso machine like GS3, they fit nicely then. EG One, though they state its not for home users, I think does not look too alien to be in my kitchen. But its maybe because I like the design and how small it is, motor above burrs and so on.
the antique grinder, is it large flat burr? like 100+mm? I have heard of someone from USA who started using some grinder like this, originally I think intended for flour grinding, for espresso with great results.
No not that large. Definitely designed as coffee mill. Definitely European, probably English manufacture.
No easy way to measure burrs without taking it apart, and I would probably break something if I tried to dismantle it. I don’t think it would do for espresso, but that’s not an issue for me.
Than its probably something different. I just remember this and that he compared the results to EK
This would be a step down compared to most of what’s been discussed, but the requirements listed by Dormouse reminded me of the new baratza sette. Anyone considered it? Nerds like us would probably want both sets of burrs, which makes it less user friendly. And it doesn’t have super high quality like lots of others mentioned, but still seemed like a potential fit. I love the zero waste design - great for lots of different coffees. I’ll have to check out this niche zero.
Dave Corbey’s (DavecUK) review of the prototype:
I never considered it.
- Not designed for single dosing
- Aimed at finer/espresso end rather than full range. Need to change burrs to switch between espresso/medium coarse
- Doesn’t look durable
- And don’t really like the looks: more coffee shoppish than domestic kitchen
No idea about cleaning
Baratza sette - i have heard its good, but for me too expensive for the quality of grind i expect from it. But it is a good step they made …
that is an impressive review and very positive on the Niche.
Latest review of the Niche byJames Wise, the 2017 Coffee Masters Champion.
‘On first impressions the Niche Zero lives up-to the hype, it’s compact, quiet and quick which really is all that’s needed of a domestic grinder however the more time I’ve spent with it, the more I’m realising its capabilities and potential for commercial use, it’s that good. It’s top 3 selling points become apparent incredibly fast; first thing you’ll notice is how quiet it is in relation to its competition. Second will be retention which is incredibly low due to the sweeper mechanism (with 0.2g being my average for a Scandinavian roast) and third is the grinders range offering a super fine espresso grind to coarser than would be needed for any immersive brew. For me, it covers all the bases and more, looking forward to seeing this grinder hit the market later this year!’
@Dormouse The Baratza Sette is very good for single dosing - it has a manual mode - just press and hold the start button until it starts - then you can hold to continue or pulse as desired. So if you have the version with the scale you can pulse to get the exact weight “on the fly”.
However the easiest way is simply to weigh your beans, dump them in the hopper and then grind them all. Either manually or on a weight (or time) setting that is for more beans than you are using to ensure all the beans are ground.
Cleaning is very easy popping out the burrs and disassembling is very quick and easy. Reassembling is also very easy. There has obviously been a lot of thought put into how this machine works. For convenience and simplicity this machine is hard to beat.
About “having to change the burr set” for drip/brew grinding. To be honest this is the first I heard of the BG (brew grind) burr. There is a large range of adjustment for the burr/grind settings - so you should be able to grind coarse enough with the standard burrs (though I have only used for espressos). From what I read the BG burr is optimized for brew grinding whereas the standard burr is optimized for espresso (but should still work fine for brew/drip). Just tried it for V60 (definitely NOT an expert on V60) and it seems to work just fine - in fact the grind I chose ran a bit too quickly (I used older beans and it tastes good enough that I actually want to drink it).
And did I mention it grinds really fast - it is the fastest grinder I have ever used…
When I used it for two weeks with a commercial espresso machine it produced better shots than the large Mazzer grinder sitting next to it (probably a Major - so probably large flat burrs - but I did not check OOPs…)
The grind on the Sette seems very consistent, it appears to produce a fairly small amount of fines - and some boulders. My impression/feeling is that the boulders appear to be of a more consistent size than other machines and also they do not appear to adversely affect the shot (or it would not have bettered the Mazzer above).
Quite a few boulders. I have trouble getting a fine enough grind for my Rossa (manual) espresso machine - though it worked great when I used it for two weeks with a commercial two group machine (and I did not need to use the finest setting).
The quality of construction is not as solid as commercial grinders like Mazzer etc (but this is probably not a fair comparison). Hopefully the important parts are well engineered - I guess only time will tell.
It came with two shims to allow finer grind for espresso - I have installed both shims (initially tried only one and it was not enough) and I still have problems with getting it fine enough for espresso with my manual Rossa. NOTE: for more info on this issue you can look in the recent “How to Taste Coffee” thread - there are some pictures…
And speaking of installing shims I was not particularly impressed the inner burr holder/mounting plate. The whole structure does not look totally industrial strength, and it also made me worry about burr alignment… Hopefully it is good enough but it does look a bit light weight compared to commercial grinders (hopefully the Niche zero will better when it arrives).
And if you compare it to the efforts of people sanding and/or shimming the EK47 to ensure that they get perfect (>10 micron tolerance) alignment for their burrs - or the effort that Kafatek put into aligning the SSP burrs in the new 98mm burr Monolith MAX - then it will definitely fall short But to be fair the grinds do look very good - at some point I will/should do a distribution analysis by sifting with the Kruve (as suggested by @pavel)
that might actually not a be a good thing per se. As usually it will depend on a wide variety of factors, but overall fast usually also means hot upto scorching due to the large amount of friction induced. Its possible that Baratza thought of something clever to mitigate that effect, but as I said: when it comes to grinders: slow is generally better than fast.
On the other hand, testing and tasting is the final and IMO only proper way to decide whether something is good or not.
Agreed - but it seems to defy that that logic - as it does not heat the grinds noticeably.
So it appears that they were clever in this respect - the outer burr moves not the inner burr, perhaps it is related to that in some way (it apparently is what makes it fast).
To be clear I cannot give this grinder (Baratza Sette) a resounding recommendation (yet).
It seems I am having problems getting a fine enough grind for espresso. Possibly to do with burr alignment - it appears that the burrs are not close enough at the finest setting. But I am still troubleshooting and so long as this is resolved then I will be very happy with the grinder.
NIce! interesting feature I’m curious how they manage that. A grind with my grinder (fiorenzato f4 nano) takes ~20s
That really sounds familiar my first (newly bought) grinder was a baratza virtuoso which was highly recommended. I also just bought a 2nd hand Cellini rocket, I was a complete n00b and (thus) the coffee tasted (really) terrible. One of the things that bugged me is that a double shot should take ~20-30s for ~60ml and I reached that volume at 12s period. No matter what I did: 12s. (and terrible coffee). Eventually I decided to take a course where I insisted that i brought my own equipment (as I was 90% sure that the 2nd hand cellini was somehow broken). they had the same issue and replied: the grinder is broken, or more specifically: it does not grind fine enough. I’ve delved into tweaking the baratza online and concluded indeed that it was a manufacturing issue so I send it back. Got it ‘repaired’ for one week after which I already started notice a decline in ‘fineness’ so I sold it online for half price and decided to never ever buy a baratza anymore. I’m probably a loner in that as most people online find it a fantastic grinder (at that price)…
I see now that I’m not the only one anyore. It appears that Baratza make great grinders, as long as you don’t brew espresso with it.
It seems that way at present… certainly when working with a manual machine like the Rossa — which seems to need a finer grind than a commercial machine. So it may just be a mismatch with the Rossa (= not good for me - but not a bad grinder)
However this grinder has been recommended by everyone under the sun. Including David Schomer http://espressovivace.com/education/news/ (who I regard as something of a grinder expert). He has apparently used one at home for a year (not without issues - but still very good).
So I am not giving up quite yet - will probably send it back to the factory for calibration.
Ok … Hiku is at home, and after first two espresso shots I have say you all need to buy this grinder and try it … no really … I mean… really!.. it is Way better than I expected it to be. Today after unpacking we tried it at one local cafe on LaMarzocco machine, coparing it against Mythos grinder … and it was very much alike … if anything the barista said it seemed rounder and smoother a little bit. Also … I just set it to a particle size I expected should work on 18g shot (450 microns, after grinding 10g on recommended 400microns 0.4 setting that would work better for 16g shot probably) no dialing and it went exactly the same as their dialed shot from mythos. Sooooo … its too early really to be sure about anything, but so far I can say I Love This Grinder
James Hoffmann is always good for a sober review. I have tried to embed two videos on handgrinders below, but there are more interesting stuff on his Youtube channel.
I have a Compak K3 Touch that I used both for espresso and drip coffee. Now I have a Niche Zero for pure espresso usage and I´m loving it! I dont have to bother with retention and cleaning out the shute anymore and the grind quality seems great. Also it´s so conventient to have dedicated grinders for each brewing method!
I can highly recommend the Niche for espresso!