There is a new (well, relatively) grinder in the market: the Niche Coffee Grinder.
In this article, I will go over this fairly new coffee grinder, and see if it lives up to the hype.
So, get ready to read an extensive review that will hopefully clarify any uncertainty you may have about the product.
A professional coffee grinder for the home barista, where both espresso enthusiasts and filter fans get their money’s worth is often tried but never seems to be achieved.
The Niche Zero does not come from one of the big players with decades of coffee tradition, but from Hampshire in Great Britain. It was 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 over thirty prototypes, the engineer started a crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo platform in September 2017 to collect 50,000 pounds to realize and produce his idea.
The interest in Nicholson’s project was so great that in the end, almost €1.5 million came together, and so, 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. I
f you are looking for something that you can order, I honestly recommend the Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro. It’s a great grinder that you will not have any issues with, and I personally use it daily!
The Machine Itself
Now, onto the actual review.
The Mühlen newcomer is branded as “the best coffee grinder” on the company’s own website.
To ensure that the coffee in your own home is finally as good as in your favorite 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 so that no coffee powder gets stuck between the grinding discs and the ejection and can go rancid until it is used again.
This is because of a concise and direct transport route for the grist inside the mill. To keep the everyday waste of beans to zero, the input should be output.
The manufacturer specifies the consistency as less than +/- 0.2 g per grinding process. It is not uncommon for mills to spit out several grams more or less powder than the weight in the form of beans.
With the niche, we are surprised by the precision.
Example: 30 g in at the top, 29.9g came out after the grind. 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.
We needed about 13 seconds for a 16 g double shot in the test and about 15 seconds for 20 g espresso grinds.
Among other things, the slow process results in a low volume specified at 72 dB.
Without having measured this value, we perceive the niche to be comparatively quiet that significantly fewer roommates are likely to be woken up prematurely by the noise due to the early morning grind.
Another advantage of the 63 mm conical grinding discs’ slow drive is that the grinder does not heat up so much during operation, which has a positive effect on the quality of the grist.
The Niche coffee grinder has been made to look aesthetically pleasing as well.
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.
The power cable can be stowed completely in the lower part of the grinder to avoid cable clutter, except for the plug.
The only plastic part, the transparent lid with a magnetic closure, can open and close to fill the beans without fussing around. For safety reasons, the grinding process only starts when the lid is closed. A small pin presses down the red button next to the adjustment ring when you close it.
The grinding disks can be removed for cleaning without special tools. The process is present 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-colored ring.
This slides so smoothly on its circular orbit that adjustment is even possible with one hand—everything is super easy to handle.
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 grinder is a real all-rounder.
Not only espresso and pour-over are possible. For extra coarse results, you can turn it 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.
To obtain dust-fine grist, all you have to do is turn clockwise past the zero points.
The possibility of producing any desired degree of grinding of this Niche coffee grinder convinced us completely.
Upon closer inspection of the grist, we notice an apparently very consistent particle size.
Grist comparison also passed.
Quality of Machine
According to the product description, it was important for the manufacturer not to give the mill a cheap plastic body, but only high quality.
When unpacking, the good quality and great feel of the device are immediately noticeable.
The powder-coated aluminum 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.
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 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. It can easily fit between the worktop and base cabinet.
How to Use the Niche Coffee Grinder
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 Zero grinder is. The container fits exactly into the circular recess directly below the ejection. Then it cannot migrate due to the vibration of the permanent magnet motor. This pretty much ensures that almost nothing goes wrong.
That makes grinding a clean process.
In order to transport the grist into the portafilter without loss, the same is put on the beaker that exactly fits the size 58 sieve.
By lightly tapping the bottom of the beaker, the last crumbs pass into the portafilter. Then you can tamper and extract.
Steps before Making the Espresso
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 save a lot of space at the top. Moreover, the user is less likely to leave beans in the hopper until the next day or longer.
If you want to prepare a whole liter 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 $200, the Niche Zero is not exactly an inexpensive entry-level model. However, it can be exactly the right one for those who are ready for an upgrade to optimize their taste results.
In my opinion, it is a good price to performance ratio.
You can order this machine directly from their website here.
This was a completely unbiased, unsponsored review. We genuinely tested it out and showed you the results.
If you are in the market for a grinder, then the Niche coffee grinder is a great option.
However, it can be difficult to find so you can read our article about other wonderful quiet coffee grinders.