Niche Coffee Grinder Test
A professional coffee grinder for the home barista, where both espresso enthusiasts and filter fans get their money's worth - Often tried, never matched.
The Niche Zero does not come from one of the big players with decades of coffee tradition, but from Hampshire in Great Britain.
Developed not by a large Italian team with espresso in their blood, but by inventor and coffee fan Martin Nicholson.
After four years of tinkering and 30 prototypes, the engineer started a crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo platform in September 2017 with the aim of collecting 50,000 pounds for the realization and production of his idea.
The interest in Nicholson’s project was so great that in the end, almost € 1.5 million came together and nothing stood in the way of implementation.
Before I get in deep with this review, I should mention that this is NOT an easy grinder to find in your local shop, and if you are looking for something that you can order, I honestly recommend the Sage Smart grinder (Or Breville as the company is known in the USA). It`s a great grinder, that you will not have any issues with, and I personally use it daily! YOu can find tons of reviews on Amazon HERE.
Now, back to the Niche Grinder Review 🙂
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The Mühlen newcomer is branded as “the best coffee grinder” on the company’s own website.
So that the coffee in your own four walls is finally as good as in your favourite café, the Niche team dedicated itself to the three main problems of “waste”, “noise” and “grind quality”.
We put the UK import through an extensive test to see what was true of the following five confident promises: Zero grist residue
The device is designed in such a way that no coffee powder gets stuck between the grinding discs and the ejection and can go rancid until it is used again.
This was achieved through a particularly short and direct transport route for the grist inside the mill. In order to keep the everyday waste of beans to zero, the input should be output.
The consistency is specified by the manufacturer as less than +/- 0.2 g per grinding process. It is not uncommon for mills to spit out several grams less or more powder than was previously filled in in the form of beans.
With the niche, we are surprised by the precision.
Example: 30 g in at the top, 29.9 g out at the bottom. So after numerous test runs, we can confirm the promise.
As far as the noise level is concerned, it’s better to be quiet than fast.
With a speed of 330 revolutions per minute, the Niche Zero is definitely not a high-speed mill.
According to the manufacturer, it manages approx. 1.5 g per second with a fine grind and approx. 2.1 g per second with a coarse setting.
In the test, we need about 13 seconds for a 16 g double shot and about 15 seconds for 20 g espresso grinds.
Among other things, the slowness results in a low volume specified at 72 db.
Without having measured this value, we perceive the niche to be comparatively so quiet that significantly fewer roommates are likely to be woken up prematurely by the noise due to early morning grind.
Another advantage of the slow drive of the 63 mm conical grinding discs is that the grinder does not heat up so much during operation, which has a positive effect on the quality of the grist.
Perfection before hectic – check.
A red LED light signals that the mill is supplied with power and is ready for use, the toggle switch above it starts the grinding process.
To avoid cable clutter, the power cable can be stowed completely in the lower part of the grinder, except for the plug.
The only plastic part, the transparent lid with a magnetic closure, can be opened and closed to fill the beans without fussing around. For safety reasons, the grinding process only starts when the lid is closed, which is ensured by a small pin that presses down the red button next to the adjustment ring when it is closed.
The grinding disks can be removed for cleaning without special tools. The process is explained step by step in the operating instructions.
The recalibration after screwing together is also explained there.
The grinding degree is set by turning the silver-coloured ring.
This slides so smoothly on its circular orbit that adjustment is even possible with one hand. Everything easy peasy.
Full grind control
The grinding degree is infinitely variable, the scale ranging from 0–50 is used for orientation.
If you experiment it turns out that the little niche is a real all-rounder.
Not only espresso and pour over are possible. For extra coarse results, it can still be turned counterclockwise beyond the highest setting.
With a grind beyond 50, you get Chemex and French Press-compatible grist. It can even be used as a powder for Ibrik.
In order to obtain dust-fine grist, all you have to do is turn clockwise past the zero point.
The possibility of producing any desired degree of grinding convinced us completely.
It’s just a shame that the scale doesn’t go any further and you have to remember the superfine and coarse setting elsewhere.
Upon closer inspection of the grist, we notice an apparently very consistent particle size.
Grist comparison also passed.
According to the product description, it was important for the manufacturer not to give the mill a cheap plastic body, but only high quality
To obstruct materials.
When unpacking, the good workmanship and great feel of the device are immediately noticeable.
The powder-coated aluminium body is manufactured in “Midnight Black” or “Pure White”.
Applications such as the feet, the base cover or the holder for the regrind container are made of oak, the grinding disks are made of hardened steel.
Because taste can be argued about, the look is certainly not for everyone.
The idea was to create a household grinder that doesn’t look “industrial”, but blends in harmoniously with the kitchen at home and, especially in terms of size, fit in without any problems.
With a height of almost 31 cm and a weight of around 4 kg, the grinder is small and handy, and also fits easily between the worktop and base cabinet.
The Niche Zero is a single doser and thus, so to speak, the opposite of a pantry grinder.
For each grinding process, the coffee beans must be weighed individually and ground anew for each shot.
This is how it should work anyway, according to the requirement of maximum freshness.
A precision balance must always be at hand for perfect results.
There is no holder to grind directly into the portafilter.
With the help of the supplied stainless steel cup, fill in the desired amount of coffee beans and then place the cup under the ejection.
The toggle switch is thrown and only returned to the off position when all the beans have been ground and the grinder is completely empty.
No button has to be held down during the grinding process.
Here we notice again how well thought out the niche is: that the container fits exactly into the circular recess directly below the ejection, it cannot migrate due to the vibration of the permanent magnet motor and it is ensured that almost nothing goes wrong.
That makes grinding a clean thing.
In order to transport the grist into the portafilter without loss, the same is placed on the beaker that exactly fits the size 58 sieve and both are turned over together.
By lightly tapping the bottom of the beaker, the last crumbs pass into the portafilter and you can tamper and extract.
A few steps are necessary before the espresso lands in the cup.
When preparing filter coffee, the maximum capacity of 50 g coffee beans is interesting. So much fits in the small chamber between the lid and the grinding discs.
This low capacity and the lack of a bean container saves a lot of space at the top and the user is not tempted to leave beans in the hopper until the next day or longer.
If you want to prepare a whole litre of filter coffee, the stainless steel container is filled almost to the brim with grist and has to be carefully tilted to get it out from under the ejection.
With a current price of around € 560, the Niche Zero is not exactly an inexpensive entry-level model, but it is exactly the right one for those who are ready for an upgrade to optimize their taste results.
I think it’s a good price-performance ratio.
If you are in the market for a good grinder, this is a good option.
There are many different great coffee grinders however, and we have an article about these HERE.
On AMAZON you can find a good selection of amazing grinders, and read some reviews from other buyers, so you can see what grinder is best for you. Here is a link to Amazon where you can see the best grinders LINK.