Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of trying many coffee grinders. From commercial grinders to high-end single-dose grinders. A few weeks ago, we had the chance to try the niche coffee grinder that has been available on the market for a while. While the paper grinder has some impressive features, it does have a few drawbacks.
Today, we will be reviewing the Niche Zero Coffee Grinder. We will test this product from start to finish. At the end of the test, we will tell you the features, advantages, and disadvantages of this product, and finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about niche grinders.
The Niche Zero Coffee Grinder Review
While we were gathering information about the niche coffee grinder to get to know it better, we found that the Niche Zero actually lives up to its lofty promises. It has easily become one of the best coffee grinders for its price. Let’s look into it further to figure out why.
Niche Zero - A Grinder with a reputation
Niche Zero is a unique coffee grinder that has easily gained popularity among coffee enthusiasts. It is specially designed for coffee lovers who demand the best in terms of grind quality, consistency, and efficiency. However, some new grinders have already entered the market, which makes us a bit concerned about the niche zero grinder.
How you feel about the overall look of the Niche Zero coffee grinder is purely a matter of personal taste. It has a different, almost friendly vibe due to its smooth curves, small size, and warm oak design around the base.
Compared to other coffee grinders in its class, most have a more elegant, square, and industrial look.
The Niche coffee grinder’s body is made of aluminum and comes in white or black, making it easy to match the rest of your coffee bar. It looks great next to an espresso maker with a wooden design.
Because the body is made of aluminum, the niche is much lighter than its competitors grinders. It weighs under 10 pounds! If you’re used to the reassuringly solid height of steel, you might find this boring. But we think Niche has found a nice balance. It’s heavy enough to top up without sliding around or feeling unwieldy.
A nice design decision is the use of stainless steel dosing cups with a diameter of just under 58mm. This allows you to quickly invert your grounds into a standard-sized 58-mm portafilter. Some users may complain that this grinder doesn’t have a portafilter holder, but we’d argue that it’s a good system for ground distribution and static reduction.
Durability of Niche Coffee Grinder
The Niche Zero Coffee Grinder may be inventor Martin Nicholson’s first coffee grinder, but it’s far behind his first product. This shows in the build quality of the niche grinder. It feels solid and well-put-together. Everything slots and clicks into place pleasingly.
The burrs are made from hardened food-grade steel, which is up to 70% stronger than standard hardened steel. The manufacturer credits them with roughly 1600 pounds of coffee before requiring a replacement. Unless you are totally addicted to coffee, this will work well for a long time.
Easy to use
The Niche Zero coffee grinder is very easy to use, with no fancy displays or countless settings and functions. It is clearly designed by someone who understands what kind of products consumers want for home use.
Grind size can be easily and intuitively adjusted by rotating the dial marked on the top of the funnel. The grind adjustment is stepless, so the Niche Coffee Grinder offers infinite grind size settings. And compared to other grinders in its class, you can easily switch between grind settings, from filter to espresso grind.
The niche grinder is a single-dose grinder, so no hopper is provided on top. Weigh out exactly the number of beans you want to grind and add them to the top of the grinder. It can hold about 55 grams of coffee beans, enough for about 4 cups of coffee or 3 double shots. The rest is as simple as closing the lid and flicking a switch.
A niche coffee grinder is very easy to clean. It takes about 15 seconds, and no tools are provided to remove the upper burr. Or for a more thorough cleaning, a 10mm socket and a few minutes are needed to get both burrs out.
Grinding Capability of Niche Coffee Grinder
Niche Zero Grinder’s big promise lies in its name (zero retention). Grind retention means you’re not getting the same weight of beans out. Or if you’ve got some of that stale grind from last time. Neither of these are ideal when you want perfect and consistent coffee.
First, a unique grind pathway leads nowhere but your dosing cup. Second, critical parts of the track are made from a patented material that’s slippery and static-resistant while still being as durable as metal.
Mazzer Kony 63mm tapered bars are available at Niche Zero. Most grinders with this burr set and grind quality cost at least twice as much as this one.
These burrs grind at a very slow speed. Slow grinding is beneficial for a single-dose grinder because it prevents popcorning. It also minimizes static and keeps the niche relatively quiet at 72 dB.
Most consumer grinders operate at around 1450 rpm, not because that’s ideal for grinding but because that’s the speed of the AC motor. Niche uses a DC motor with a gearbox that reduces to 330 rpm but has plenty of torque. It grinds slightly slower than others, in the range of 1-2 grams per second, but quickly enough for home use.
Finally, let’s talk about versatility, which is probably why many people should buy a niche coffee grinder. Most grinders that claim to do everything from French press coffee to espresso end up doing nothing very well. Niche grinders are the total exception. It’s an espresso-focused grinder that can produce a perfect pour, and it’s easy to switch between the two.
Is Niche Zero value for money?
First, it has high-quality burrs, which are usually available in other models at twice the price. And then consider its versatility. Some coffee grinders can make both filter coffee and proper espresso, by which I mean the one you make with a pressureless portafilter. And even those can make it difficult to switch between the two. Many home baristas end up with two separate grinders, one for each grind setting.
To make great home espresso, a good rule of thumb is that your grinder should cost between 25% and 50% of your espresso maker. The grind is just that important. So the niche grinder is a great sidekick for most consumer-grade espresso machines.
- Mazzer burrs offer excellent grind quality
- Easy to switch filter and espresso
- Low retention
- Aesthetic design
- Wood accents are unfinished
- Many coffee lovers prefer flat burrs for filter coffee
- No portafilter holder
There is a lot of hype surrounding the Niche Zero Grinder. But much of it is due to our experience. It makes some bold claims and backs them up. This is not the cheapest grinder on the market. But if you want a single-dosing grinder to pair with your Chemex as your prosumer espresso machine, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Niche Zero.
Can I use a niche coffee grinder for different brewing methods?
Absolutely! Niche coffee grinders’ adjustable settings make them suitable for various brewing techniques, from pour-over to French press.
Are niche coffee grinders difficult to clean?
Not at all! Most models are designed for easy disassembly and cleaning, ensuring a hassle-free maintenance process.
Do niche coffee grinders come with warranties?
Yes, many reputable brands offer warranties, providing peace of mind and ensuring your investment is protected.
Can I grind spices and herbs in a niche coffee grinder?
Indeed! The versatility of these grinders extends to grinding spices, herbs, and even nuts, enhancing your culinary ventures.
Are niche coffee grinders suitable for commercial use?
While some models are designed for home use, there are commercial-grade options available that can handle high volumes and maintain consistency.