Step up grinder from Niche Zero > Weber Key?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
jfjj
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#1: Post by jfjj »

Hey guys, looking for some advice on what I should step from the Niche. I have the opportunity to get a Key for a decent discount and the reports seem to be a bit all over. I like the idea of having a weber grinder on my bar even if there is incremental quality gain. I do have a Ode with SSP MP and i've been using it exclusively for pour overs (well sometimes with my 1zepresso k-max) so this would be only for espresso.

The alternate is to upgrade my ODE to something like the DF83 and get the brew burrs (151G/F) but I haven't anyone do this (or know if it's possible). The stock burrs don't really appeal to me for what I would want to do with it. I would keep the Niche then.
- Jean

nsgymd
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#2: Post by nsgymd »

I would take a serious look at the MC5

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#3: Post by baldheadracing »

jfjj wrote:Hey guys, looking for some advice on what I should step from the Niche. I have the opportunity to get a Key for a decent discount and the reports seem to be a bit all over. I like the idea of having a weber grinder on my bar even if there is incremental quality gain. I do have a Ode with SSP MP and i've been using it exclusively for pour overs (well sometimes with my 1zepresso k-max) so this would be only for espresso.

The alternate is to upgrade my ODE to something like the DF83 and get the brew burrs (151G/F) but I haven't anyone do this (or know if it's possible). The stock burrs don't really appeal to me for what I would want to do with it. I would keep the Niche then.
As you're in Canada, you might want to ensure that you are actually getting a "decent discount." There were thousands of Keys that sold via Indiegogo for $1499USD, and those grinders are showing up everywhere these days. My Indiegogo Key was $1900CAD, plus $310CAD for DHL courrier delivery to Canada and all taxes and brokerage fees. Only you can decide what a "decent discount" from $1900 would be.

As for reports being a bit all over, I agree 100% with James Hoffmann's review of the Key.

FWIW, Cafune.ca has brand new P64's with SSP burrs for $2300CAD plus tax. You just sign up to be notified and Justin e-mails you when the next drop happens and you have 24 hours to order one. Drops seem to happen every 8-10 weeks. There was just a drop, and the next drop should have the new "Mizen" burrs available.

The MC5 with the new Shurikone burrs is also an interesting choice, as is the P100. More $$$, though.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

jfjj (original poster)
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#4: Post by jfjj (original poster) »

Hi, good points. I do like my Niche and was looking to get a more all rounder flat burr grinder so that makes the most sense.
- Jean

martuney
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#5: Post by martuney »

jfjj wrote:Hey guys, looking for some advice on what I should step from the Niche. I have the opportunity to get a Key for a decent discount and the reports seem to be a bit all over. I like the idea of having a weber grinder on my bar even if there is incremental quality gain. I do have a Ode with SSP MP and i've been using it exclusively for pour overs (well sometimes with my 1zepresso k-max) so this would be only for espresso.

The alternate is to upgrade my ODE to something like the DF83 and get the brew burrs (151G/F) but I haven't anyone do this (or know if it's possible). The stock burrs don't really appeal to me for what I would want to do with it. I would keep the Niche then.
Hi, Jean, I think you pose a very good question here, and I am of two minds. I also found someone local to me offering a practically brand new Key at a good price, and decided to go for it. I can tell you that it is unlike any conical grinder I've ever used, and different from flat grinders as well. And, I have to say that I absolutely love having a Weber Workshop grinder on my counter - I know it should be irrelevant, but, frankly it is just plain beautiful! So, I really can't imagine you not being delighted with it; plus, my instinct is, in the years to come, as so many of these grinders end up in the hands of those that truly appreciate it, there will likely be a real community of Weber Key users unlocking it's real potential!

Now, on the other hand, at this price point, or perhaps a few hundred dollars more, you could get your hands on really, really good large flat burr grinder; and you will notice a very dramatic difference between the espresso from this platform, and I think anyone that can afford to do so, will add a big dimension to their ability to enjoy a vaster variety of coffee origins and roast profiles with both a flat burr and conical burr grinder in their arsenal! If I were in your shoes, I'd likely try to find a 98mm flat grinder as there seem to be so many burr set options for them. I absolutely love my 83mm Ceado E37s, but am a little frustrated that there really aren't a lot of burr upgrades available. I can say though I still prefer my Ceado with stock burrs to a 64mm with SSP burrs, so, at least in coffee, I am confident that size matters! I can imagine that 98mm would be a considerable upgrade to 83mm in general, and so many different burr geometry options is exciting. Sorry for the super long response, but, as you can perhaps tell, I've given considerable thought to this!!

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JB90068
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#6: Post by JB90068 »

I'll add some of my own perspective here since I own a Key and an EG-1. What I've found is that there are some roasts that I prefer using the flat burrs of the EG-1, but there are others that the Key is better for. More complex beans are better with with the flat burrs as they separate the flavors better. There are some roasts that lack the different flavors and when run through the EG, they miss the richness that the Key can offer.

Today I was in one Vivace's shops in Seattle and I tried three different roasts all ground using Niche's. I bought a couple of pounds of two roasts and tomorrow I'll pull shots using both grinders to see which grinder I like best and hopefully I can remember some of what I experienced from Vivace's Niche shots.

So to sum up my view of the Key: I view it as a hybrid between a typical conical and really good flat. It's cleaner than the conicals and flats (like a Mignon) I've used but also offers the richness of a conical.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

p4lxrich

#7: Post by p4lxrich »

Good info on the key regarding hybrid. Been contemplating on getting one as the next step.

sluflyer06

#8: Post by sluflyer06 »

I just have a conversation starter around the key...why are all the forums flooded with people selling them?

I've also read their alignment is not good but I haven't paid much attention to the key since my grinder path is elsewhere.

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retireddude

#9: Post by retireddude »

I'm also looking to upgrade from the Niche. It's a great little grinder, and I'm impressed with the espresso it produces, but I'm looking for something that can retain what I love about it (simple workflow and syrupy shots), and improve upon weaknesses (clarity and flavor separation). In addition I'd like the grinder to have a very robust design to, hopefully, provide reliable long-term use.

I had also considered the Weber Key grinder, watching its launch and reviews with great interest, but became concerned with many reports suggesting issues with alignment or general dissatisfaction, like this YouTube video by Sprometheus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm-nVwtD_00.

I decided to look elsewhere, and narrowed by search down to the Versalab, the Hedone Honne, and the Kafatek MC5. The Versalab and the Honne share a visually similar design to the Key, with an exposed long drive shaft and open grind chamber, which makes them rather loud, and, I worry, potentially vulnerable to alignment issues.

That left me leaning toward the Kafatek, but, of course there's the notorious issue with availability. I recently decided to try for one during the next ordering window, but ended up lucking out and happening upon the Kafatek site during a brief period of time that an MC5 became available for pre-order. I'll just have to wait until May 2023.

Good luck with your search.

sluflyer06

#10: Post by sluflyer06 »

retireddude wrote:I'm also looking to upgrade from the Niche. It's a great little grinder, and I'm impressed with the espresso it produces, but I'm looking for something that can retain what I love about it (simple workflow and syrupy shots), and improve upon weaknesses (clarity and flavor separation). In addition I'd like the grinder to have a very robust design to, hopefully, provide reliable long-term use.

I had also considered the Weber Key grinder, watching its launch and reviews with great interest, but became concerned with many reports suggesting issues with alignment or general dissatisfaction, like this YouTube video by Sprometheus: video.

I decided to look elsewhere, and narrowed by search down to the Versalab, the Hedone Honne, and the Kafatek MC5. The Versalab and the Honne share a visually similar design to the Key, with an exposed long drive shaft and open grind chamber, which makes them rather loud, and, I worry, potentially vulnerable to alignment issues.

That left me leaning toward the Kafatek, but, of course there's the notorious issue with availability. I recently decided to try for one during the next ordering window, but ended up lucking out and happening upon the Kafatek site during a brief period of time that an MC5 became available for pre-order. I'll just have to wait until May 2023.

L
Good luck with your search.
Whole they're not available to ship right away. The kafateks are ady to get now, they don't sell out in 7 seconds anymore and denis also adds random inventory.to the site now for preorder, I've seen preorder deposit in stock numerous times now recently on random days. It's still a wait tho, I ordered my MAX in June for delivery this month, I consider it worth it, I've had a monolith conical for 4 years now I am keeping