Why should I not buy a Niche Zero in 2024?

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

With my taste preference for traditional espresso. Would a conical not be the best option for a thick-body chocolatey shot of the pre-modern espresso days? I like straight shots and lattes in the morning. I will probably not upgrade from my PID Gaggia classic any time soon (I still need to see about that OPV).

I hope to prevent buyer remorse and get something that will work out of the box with proven reliability for 5-10 years with minimal maintenance/ part replacement (remembering my Baratza days).

I hear flat burrs can give a thinner body. I assume some burrs are better than others in this regard. I feel that my needs for a traditional profile are pretty basic. I have concluded that light roasts will be regulated to Chemex and my Fellow Ode gen 2 with SSP MP. Medium to medium dark will be regulated to mostly espresso duty. I am getting exhausted with hand grinding on my J-MAX for espresso. It is doable but a slow and tedious workflow.

With shipping and current exchange rate the cost looks to be $656.50. This is alot IMHO but not a deal breaker. I thought about a DF64v and finding a burr that fits my needs. However, this seems less optimal of a choice for espresso only. Aside from say being able to swap burrs between the Ode and the DF if I so chose.

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#2: Post by Pressino »

The Niche Zero is well built and will allow you to grind medium to dark roasted beans to give you that "classic" Italian espresso you like, with great single-dosing workflow and very low retention. What's not to like about that? You already have a flat burr grinder you seem to like for pour-over. $650 is not cheap, but other espresso capable "entry level" grinders are going for about the same amount.

The only other route by which you might find a sub-$650 grinder that might give you a bit more versatility than the Niche wiould be to get a 64mm flat burr grinder that would offer the option of burr switching, as there are more than a dozen different 64mm flat burrs (cut to fit the Mazzer platform) you could use to taylor your grinder to the coffee you want to brew.

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#3: Post by SeraphicalBean »

The style (cone vs flat) of burr isn't the full story when it comes to the quality and characteristics of the grind. The geometry of the burr and the grinder itself (prebreaks, burr alignment, steps, etc.) can impact the quality of the grind as well.
If you're unsure that the grinder will fit your need then do some forum / Reddit user review research or watch reviews by trusted third parties. Youtubers like Lance Hedrick, Kyle Rowsell or Jeff Hoffman have all put out extensive reviews with their opinion on what you can expect to get out of most of the popular grinders on the market. I know Lance specifically (and possibly Kyle as well) has gone into great detail about many of the different burr options on the market.

The forum is also full of people who have given their opinion (which should be taken with a grain of salt due to buyer's bias) on just about any grinder on the market.

Just keep in mind that the $650~ DF64 grinder can quickly become a $800 to $1000+ grinder depending on the additional burrs you feel you need to purchase in order to get the grinder to fit the cup profile(s) you're looking for. Also, don't be surprised if you end up giving up on the concept of burr swaps, as others before you have found it to be a tedious process to get them swapped and dialed back in between grind sessions.

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#4: Post by Jeff »

With a Niche Zero, you know what you're getting. Kony burrs have been around for a long time and how they perform for traditional espresso is generally thought to be very good. The workflow is one of the best I've worked with.

I don't know what the Option-O Lagom Casa price will be, nor how it will taste for traditional espresso.

One thing to keep in mind is that the differences in the cup among the better grinders at a given price point are probably a lot smaller than some people would have you believe.

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#5: Post by another_jim »

If you want single dose grinding for both brew and espresso, there are better choicees than the Niche or other Italian conicals. But for espresso itself, I have now tested almost all the 64mm and 75mm flat offerings against it, using both very light and medium roasts, and have found no consistent difference (except the SSP MP, which I personally hated for absolutely every coffee from everything from brew to espresso).

There are some workability and tuning differences in medium to lighter roasts when using large flat burrs; but IMO, not so much with the smaller flats. I suspect these are due to not only to the burrs themselves, but also to the grinders that use them having much better construction standards, so that there is more of a payback to fine tuning the settings. There was certainly a huge difference for me using the same 64mm burrs in a poorly constructed and a well cinstructed grinder, much larger than between swapping out burrs in those grinders.
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#6: Post by LittleCoffee »

Well to directly answer the question in the title and give a non majority view:

"Because the time you'll save avoiding single dosing with a sette 270wi will give you so much more free time you can use on wonderful other activities you won't even notice the difference in the cup because you're not tasting comparison shots back to back". Unless that time goes on browsing HB of course :D

jaybelknap (original poster)
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#7: Post by jaybelknap (original poster) »

I pulled the trigger on the NZ. I figured if I'm not upgrading my espresso machine anytime soon. I haven't liked any light roast brewed as espresso except for a few as a latte. It all sounds like this will satisfy everything I want. It has a proven track record for reliability from what I can see over the years. The burrs are well known Mazzers not some proprietary and only work for one grinder type of burr. Lastly easy stepless adjustment and minimal retention. Late to the niche party but I'm sure I'll like it.

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#8: Post by DaveC »

It's a solid reliable grinder with known good burrs....for your requirements I think you will be very happy with it. Workflow is hard to beat as well.

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#9: Post by Ben Z. »

It also seems to perform well from day 1. I don't think it benefits much from seasoning. It's like the grinder version of the best point and shoot camera.

jaybelknap (original poster)
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#10: Post by jaybelknap (original poster) »

@ben z good because I just cleaned and packed up the hand grinder for backup use. Making space on the counter for Mondays shipment. I'm already looking forward to the improvement in workflow.