Actually, for the price that it has Niche Zero is maybe one of the best buys now! I wonder how good the grinder is, because 63mm burr … that sounds like a sooo much of potential quality!! (And when I have it side by side with say mola-e with simillar target group, a little biger burrs - 68mm - but priced at around 1500 Euro … … … )
Niche Zero does look very good if you want electric rather than hand grinder
Interesting topic. Funny thing: the Baratza Virtuoso was my first purhased grinder as well…and alas not a good one. A few years ago I bought a 2nd hand Celline Rocket which I completely revised. Then I bought the Baratza and started making my first Espresso (yeah!)…it was terrible. Now I already read quite a bit about the process and I new:
- ~30ml of coffee
- 20-40 seconds
- ~93 C
EVERY espresso I tried to make however hit the 30ml after 12(!!) seconds. So it was either really acidic or really watery. Hence my though: crap, I screwed something up in the revision of the Cellini…
In the end I decided to do a espresso workshop where I insisted that I could bring my own material. Good thing I did. As it turns out: the (completely NEW) Baratza was broken. It grinded way to coarse. Unfortunately there’s also a sad story concerning the return (which had more to do with the postal office than the company, so ill skip that story). However when I finally got it returned IT WORKED…for two weeks and then it started to degrade to coarser and coarser coffee once more. Hence I sold it and bought a Fiorenzato F4 nano and that thing is awesome!!
Of course as soon as you start using the IKAWA there all of a sudden is the need for a ‘one dose only’ grinder as you want to alternate coffee’s. And a grinder with (quite a huge) hopper on it can be used for that, but its not really user friendly. That and we drink a LOT of coffee, so I have my ‘regular’ Australian coffee roast (which I start to like less and less) for the day to day coffee and use an old grinder for the ‘one dose only’, while waiting for: the Niche Zero !!
Yes …Niche Zero seems to fit perfectly to those needs. I still love grinding by hand, but if I did want to think about motorized one, I would be in line waiting for one too
I’m waiting for the Niche Zero too.
Have been looking for a new grinder for a long time and not found one, despite very simple requirements
Easy to adjust
Behaves well in kitchen (size & looks)
Very simple, very consumer - no precise technological requirement but never found anything that looked as if it would do. Until the Niche.
It was the same with the Ikawa. No empty house days meant the inescapable roasting aromas were no longer acceptable and it was either building a roastery or finding a house friendly roaster (and there were none - ventilation and piping just doesn’t work well enough).
Hmm still considering jumping aboard for the Niche Zero … really looks interesting. Its just I am not too keen on motorization, but their price for it is so low its almost like its not - electric
But … sure enought … there are some other that would fit well I think, just way more expensive. EG One, or Versalab, Titus … EG One is really lovely size and design, if I needed motorized I would go for it the moment I have seen it for the first time.
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).