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.

User avatar
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.