Advice for espresso grinder, $500-$1000 budget

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by seinfeld11 »

Getting back into the game. Previously used a manual OE Pharos grinder which did the trick but took forever and had tough adjustment settings. Not opposed to buying secondhand, saw a few good options on the forums for sale. Located in Seattle so can visit brick and mortar spots there, too. Any advice would be appreciated. Excited to start my home setup again (couple shots of espresso a day).

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#2: Post by Jeff »

What roast level or espresso style do you enjoy?

Do you prefer a single-dosing grinder, a hopper grinder, or you haven't decided?

Does it need to grind for brew as well? If so, how picky are you in your brew?

seinfeld11 (original poster)

#3: Post by seinfeld11 (original poster) »

I typically just stick to the espresso blend from any roasters. Single dosing would be better for my needs since I'm only brewing a few shots max for myself. Won't be messing with the grind setting for drip or any other style, just into espresso shots for myself :)

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#4: Post by Jasper_8137 »

I think a niche zero would fit the bill.

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#5: Post by Jeff »

The Pharos is a great grinder and I understand they've improved the usability since the c. 2010 model I used.

The Niche Zero is going to be generally similar on the cup for classic espresso. It is well thought out and well executed, enough so that it displaced my trusty Compak K10 WBC in the prize spot on the counter. Niche made some great design decisions to hit their price, in my opinion. I have no concerns about the longevity of my Niche Zero. There might be grinders that are marginally better in the cup for certain coffees in the under-$1,000 range, but the ones I know of are a pain to use. I've got a DF64 that I'm just getting broken in and it is annoyingly loud and very messy, at least with the 64 MP burrs. The 64 "sweet" burrs are still pretty new, so there aren't many reports from long-term owners out there on them yet.

If it is just you and you're sticking with espresso-intended blends and roasts, there are some good hand grinders out as well. I have a 1Zpresso JX-Pro ($160) that I use at work with my Robot. The JX-Pro can be a bit jolting when grinding very light roasts for espresso, such as Tim Wendelboe. It's easy for something like Saka (dark) or George Howell Alchemy blend (medium), well under a minute for 17 g. I just got a K-Plus ($260, $240 for the K-Max) as well, but it will be a few weeks until I can comment on how well it does for espresso. If you're interested, Lance Hendrick recently did a hand-grinder test across the K-Plus, as well as several of the other leading hand grinders that is one set of opinions on the options. It's a hotly debated topic, between being a lot of personal preference and new models coming out seemingly every few months.

seinfeld11 (original poster)

#6: Post by seinfeld11 (original poster) »

The niche zero does look very nice quality for the price, definitely leaning towards it. Hadn't realized hand grinders have improved so much in recent years. Leaning towards electric just to keep it easier this time around.

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#7: Post by baristainzmking »

You will not regret getting the Niche zero. For hand grinder, I would look at Kinu M47 Phoenix. It works fantastic for espresso. It is really easy and fast to grind, super easy to dial in. It is stepless with burr touch at zero. It's light weight and makes a good travel grinder and wonderful back up grinder.


#8: Post by gobucks »

The Niche is quiet, consistent, and has a great workflow. Works great for espresso, it's serviceable but not amazing if you want to get into pourover or coarser.

As others have mentioned, DF64 is a great value option, but the design is less than ideal and it requires some tweaking to get the most of it. One option I've been eyeing is the Kopi Deva - it's very reasonably priced, build quality looks great, and it has variable speed options. It's getting some buzz on the forums, but there haven't really been any independent reviews yet, and they're still working to fulflll the kickstarter/indiegogo campaigns so it might be awhile before it's generally available.


#9: Post by Ypuh »

Depending on how much coffee you consume, single dosing gets boring real quickly. I'd pick a Mignon XL over the Niche Zero any day of the week. I just received my hand grinder this week, but don't see myself using that on a daily basis for espresso. It can work but gets old really quickly. 1 cup a day is fine.

Both are excellent grinders and top performers sub $1.000. Taste-wise they're very similar and one is not better than the other.
I don't want a Decent

seinfeld11 (original poster)

#10: Post by seinfeld11 (original poster) »

Found a Mignon Specialita for sale with a single doser. Worth looking into or is it no? Seller wants sub $500 for it but idk if I should keep looking