Eureka Specialita vs Niche Zero vs upcoming Eureka single dose models

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Nwin23

#1: Post by Nwin23 »

I've got analysis paralysis and need some help.

I currently use a Kinu Phoenix with my Cafelat robot for 1-3 espresso drinks per day, sometimes making a cappuccino but 2-3 times a week. Life is good, but I'd like an electric grinder now. I do medium to dark roast coffee. Happy mug Bigfoot espresso blend is surprisingly my jam.

The price of the niche scares me off a bit...it's $750 usd and I can get a specialita from espressocoffeeshop for about $420 shipped.

I prefer body over clarity in my shots given that I like the medium to darker roasts and have little to no interest in light roasts. I like dialing in a bag and using that bag up.


I love the workflow of the Niche...I've heard it's a bit louder than the specialita but it's a more pleasant noise...I grind my coffee with an infant and toddler upstairs so if I can keep it quiet so they don't wake up...all the better. I also like I can grind straight into the robot basket with the Niche.

I like the eureka specialita because of the price. The noise level also speaks to me...I don't care about flat vs conical burrs...I am scared of the digital panel as I'd like to buy once and have it last a long time. I don't like that I can't fit the robot basket into the PF holder so I'll have to hold it manually for 10 seconds...thought it's nice I can in theory program a repeatable time instead of weighing out every dose.

The unknown is the eureka mignon zero. It's the specialita but allows me to possibly grind into a basket which will work for my robot. But I dunno how much it will cost or when it will be available.

This will be an espresso only grinder. I have a virtuoso for making drip coffee and my wife's cold brew.

What say you? I can afford the niche but for $750, that's a hard pill to swallow.

I'd like to buy once cry once, have a product that will live alongside the robot for a long time, and those are really my main two things. I've thought about upgrading to a semi auto at times, but the robot works great for me minus the milk...a bellman is coming today so I'll see if that's better than the nanofoamer.

henri

#2: Post by henri »

I have both a Mignon Silenzio and a Niche Zero (currently trying to decide which one to get rid of), so I'll share my 2c:

I haven't used the portafilter fork on the Mignon for ages, as the funnel I use with my LM1 single basket won't fit. I simply grind into a demitasse and transfer the grounds to the portafilter basket. It's very easy, and holding the cup under the chute for a few seconds isn't inconvenient in any way, in my opinion.

You're right that the Niche is the louder of the two. Contrary to what others have said, I also find the Niche noise to be less pleasant. It's somewhat lower in pitch. Overall, the Niche has more mass to throw around with those enormous conical burrs. I can feel the vibrations in my toes (transmitted via the floor) when using it.

I've come to realize that I really prefer the grind-on-demand workflow over single dosing. The timer on the Mignon is pretty good, so once I've dialled in, I find I don't need to weigh shots, even singles (at least as long as the beans are not ultra-finicky). With the kinds of coffees I'm using, and given that I only buy 250 g bags now, I haven't really discerned much of a difference in freshness between the two methods - yes, the beans will age once in the hopper, but they will also do that in a single dosing workflow unless you somehow prep all single doses at once and hermetically seal each individual dose for later use... but that's too obsessive for me.

Taste-wise, I like both. I did one week of parallel tests, using the same coffee, same espresso machine, same brew parameters, only varying the grinder every other shot. I could discern some differences, but because shot-to-shot variability is so high even when sticking to the same grinder (possibly a consequence of my use of blends rather than single origins, or just inconsistent technique), I don't think I can claim to detect which grinder made which shot with any statistically significant accuracy.

Other things to consider: the Niche is really easy to clean, the Eureka a bit less so. The Niche is also by far the superior single doser of the two, in my opinion, in the sense that retention really is very low, but also in the sense that dialling in different coffees at the same time is very feasible (not so much with Eureka's small dial). But also, with the Niche you're stuck with single dosing, so if you want to buy once cry once, you need to be very sure that you'll enjoy the workflow.

As for the Mignon Zero, well, I'm not terribly excited to be honest. Unless it comes very cheap, I think personally I'd rather consider a Mignon Silenzio or one of the other lower-end grinders of the Mignon series. (I really don't think the 5 mm difference in burr diameter is significant.)

Edit: One more thing, on the Mignon I find I need to purge about one single shot's worth every morning; otherwise the first shot will be off. So that's another plus for the NZ.

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

For me, it would come down to how much you want what of the benefits of a grinder designed for single dosing, the cost of your coffee, and how much you value workflow against other considerations.

Some of the coffees I buy come in 100 g bags. Even before considering the price, I don't want to waste any. I own a Compak K10 WBC which I think is a tad better in the cup than my Niche Zero. I use the Niche as there's no brushing of the chute and doser and the grind adjustment is easier. I'm just getting used to a Bentwood and am finding the frustrations with workflow dominating my thoughts past the flavors in the cup. I'm not saying you need to spend thousands for a grinder, but that, among roughly comparable choices in the cup, the other factors may be more important.

I haven't seen "objective", hands-on reviews of the forthcoming Eureka offerings. Photos of them haven't suggested to me that they are significantly different in construction from the existing models. They may be different inside, which could be a significant improvement for single-dosing use.

Nwin23 (original poster)

#4: Post by Nwin23 (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:For me, it would come down to how much you want what of the benefits of a grinder designed for single dosing, the cost of your coffee, and how much you value workflow against other considerations.

Thanks-that's a really solid take.

Right now with the Happymug costing $1 per ounce, it's not a huge deal to have some retention and waste some beans going through the chute.

I love the niche, but not for $350 more.

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Lizzoob

#5: Post by Lizzoob »

Is there some reason you've ruled out the Turin DF64, for only $412 these days athttps://www.espressooutlet.net/turin-64 ... o-grinder/? I have one and find it to be really good (I don't care for light beans either). I am also intrigued by the difference between it and a Niche--in fact I bought one to compare both of their flavor profiles and workflows, and will sell either one or the other. But really I have gotten completely used to the DF64's workflow now, and was even tempted to cancel my Niche order, when I got an "it's on the way" email. And the Eureka Zero intrigues me too, in a way that the Eureka Oro Single Dose absolutely does not.

Old Time Coffee

#6: Post by Old Time Coffee »

Nwin23, I'd love to know which grinder you chose. I also have a Robot, hand grinder, and make roughly the same drinks as you every morning.

Nwin23 (original poster)

#7: Post by Nwin23 (original poster) »

Lizzoob wrote:Is there some reason you've ruled out the Turin DF64, for only $412 these days athttps://www.espressooutlet.net/turin-64 ... o-grinder/? I have one and find it to be really good (I don't care for light beans either). I am also intrigued by the difference between it and a Niche--in fact I bought one to compare both of their flavor profiles and workflows, and will sell either one or the other. But really I have gotten completely used to the DF64's workflow now, and was even tempted to cancel my Niche order, when I got an "it's on the way" email. And the Eureka Zero intrigues me too, in a way that the Eureka Oro Single Does absolutely does not.
So James Hoffmann review of the the Turin turned me off to it. I don't like the idea of needing to print out 3d printed mods of a dial or other things to help with retention. It seems like a good grinder, but some reviews mentioned, and showed, horrible retention so it never went high on the list. Curious to see your findings though!

Edit: I just read that they made some mods to the Turin after Hoffmann video...maybe I'll also do my own preorder on the Turin and sell whichever one I don't like!
Old Time Coffee wrote:Nwin23, I'd love to know which grinder you chose. I also have a Robot, hand grinder, and make roughly the same drinks as you every morning.

Haha, so I tried the specialita. Fairly easy to dial in, super quiet and with barely any retention. I liked it a lot! However I didn't like the idea of possibly printing 3d items like a bellows out (though I don't think it's necessary). The four things that made me sell it were:

1) the hopper. Felt like cheap plastic that I'd break soon enough by staring at it wrong.

2) the dial. It's so small and if I ever wanted to adjust it coarser, it'd be a pain for me to remember the setting.

3) the display. I don't know if it's valid or not, but having the display made me worry about it breaking over time.

4) the portafilter holder. It's not made for
The robot at all, so I turned it upside down and put a rubber band around it so the robot basket could stay on it. Yes, it's only grinding for 10 seconds so you can hold the basket as well.

I ended up with a niche and love it. Super easy to adjust, super easy to dial in, very quiet (not as much as the specialita, but quiet enough for me), easy workflow for the robot's basket.

The specialita is quieter and grinds faster than the niche for sure. But the niche is easy to use and I like how the basket fits under the chute.

LindoPhotography

#8: Post by LindoPhotography »

If you're doing just espresso and like medium -> Darker roasts, and you like the workflow of the Niche (which is really good) then I think you'd be happiest with that. Eureka Specialita is good too, but you do get a little retention, even without using a bellows it wasn't a problem for me though. I think the Niche Is a little more quiet than the Specialita, or it seems that way, lower pitched grinding sound due to the lower RPM, it's more pleasant I think. Both are very quiet.
The new Oro Single Doser I had, didn't seem finished, I liked the design and build of the Eureka Specialita better and grind quality seemed similar to me, although it was super fast, it was also LOUDER. I think next batch is supposed to have some tweaks but not sure I trust Eureka anymore.

gobucks

#9: Post by gobucks »

These would probably all fit the bill, but if you prefer body over clarity, that suggests maybe you'd like the Niche best. I have one and really like it, I haven't tried it next to the Specialita but I can confirm it's significantly quieter than my old Baratza Encore, and I personally find the noise to be much more pleasant. I also really like the huge dial, it's easy to track larger dial adjustments. Consistency is great for espresso, just ok for pourover, but doesn't sound like that'll be an issue for you. Price on paper is similar to the Specialita, but as you said, importing a Specialita can be quite a bit cheaper, so the Niche does have a real world price premium. Personally I think it's pretty reasonably priced for what it is, although I really wish they'd stop charging non-UK customers VAT. On the bright side, as it's a pretty high demand product, it seems quite likely that the resale value on the Niche would be pretty high - I've seen a few of them in the buy/sell section and they sell pretty quickly.

Specialita for $420 does seem like quite a steal if you don't mind timed dosing. I've always gravitated towards single dosing, even on my old Encore (not that that worked super well), I notice a huge difference in my shots from even 1g difference, so I just don't trust the variabilty of timed dosing. If you don't mind the workflow, it's a lot of grinder for the price.

The one option I don't love is the Oro. It's more expensive than the Niche, and the design just seems like a modded Specialita. Retention is ok, not spectacular, and requires a bellows to clear it out. I don't like the small knob for single dosing either, seems like it'd be really easy to lose track of how many times you've turned it (again, this is primarily an issue when switching between brew methods). Seems like very much a version 1.0 single dosing product.

Christobol
Supporter ♡

#10: Post by Christobol »

**I didn't realize how old this thread was**
My experiences with the two are somewhat limited, and I ended up choosing the Niche Zero. I only drink specialty light roasts/medium light
  • Speed - Specialita (grind time was 12 seconds even with jumping beans, Zero is over 20)
  • Best Hopper - Niche (Niche has a wildly better single dose hopper, no jumping beans, so far no beans have been stuck in the hopper at the end of grinding, where as on the Specialita, I often found beans stuck somewhere in the hopper
  • Grind Size Selection - Niche (I like that the Niche says what range you should use for grinding, even if it's not exactly correct, the Specialita is a bit of a pain with having different brew methods multiple 360 degree rotations apart, so it's possible to get lost with rotations, start with junk beans to dial in the initial grinds... I hate to admit I went through a lot of beans)
  • Grind forgiveness - Niche (This is subjective, but I felt that the grind range while still pulling a good shot is wider on the Niche than the Specialita, my less experienced guess is the higher variation of ground size on the Niche makes it more forgiving)
  • Retention - Niche (Very little retention, while the Specialita often keeps pumping it out with some shaking of the grinder)
  • Cleaning - Niche (On the Specialita, cleaning around the screws takes some extra work, and then the chute takes some special care and extra work to reach, the Niche is a lot simpler to clean out)
  • Looks - You Decide (my wife prefers the Niche be the slightest of margins, and I do like that you can buy a Niche in a dozen colors)
I also prefer to dose to a cup rather than my portafilter as I think it's a much cleaner operation, and in this area the Niche wins again in my book. This could be resolved with making a platform for the Specialita, or getting a portafilter holder for the Niche.

If you're not changing beans as often, the Niche is better again (that falls into the grind size selection).

Really, you can't go wrong with either. Both are great products. You can find used Specialitas for a good bit less than the Niche. More used Niche's are coming onto the market now too since they are in stock in the UK, and arrive in 7-10 days (unless they say otherwise).