Any reason not to grind darker roast coffee in my Niche Zero?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by dsc106 »

I usually grind light/medium light beans, but I got some kona peaberry as a gift and despite being listed as medium they seem medium-dark at best, veering dark.

My concern is leaving oil residue and flavor in the grinder that will negatively impact my grinding of much lighter and more delicate beans. Is this a concern - should I grind these darker roast beans on my spare baratza - or will a quick cleaning of the niche and 20g of light beans ground through the niche make it good as new?


#2: Post by Plinyyounger »

Don't worry about it, get to grinding, lol. The dark beans won't hurt anything. When I grind beans like that in my grinder, I just purge a little bit when I use another beans, no big deal. Some will tell you to clean everything out etc etc, but you most certainly won't need to.

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#3: Post by another_jim »

Almost any solution, even an imaginary one, works for an imaginary problem. So perhaps a hifi expert will be able to give you a fitting solution. ... Just to be clear, I have never tasted a "dark oil residue" in all my time grinding coffee.
Jim Schulman


#4: Post by Pressino »

Perhaps a more significant concern would be the tendency of darker roasts to produce more static cling, which could certainly have an effect on retention, even in low retention machines like your Niche.

dsc106 (original poster)

#5: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Would static cling be resolved with a cleaning and purge grind?

The reason I had this concern is once, years ago, I ran a bag of seattles best dark roast coffee through my baratza virtuoso and it contaminated the grind for at least an entire bag of coffee after, even after cleaning out and using grindz tablets. Everything had this off taste. Maybe it was just something with that specific bag?


#6: Post by Pressino »

I'm pretty sure the Niche was designed to minimize the effects of static charge on retention of grinds, but the key qualifier to this is "minimize"...not "eliminate." Darker roasts pick up static charge more easily than lighter roasts. Your experience with a dark roasted coffee that contaminated subsequent grinds for a week seems very unusual, but can occur with those "flavored" coffees. Could you have inadvertently run some "flavored" beans through your grinder...maybe even ones that were somehow mislabeled by the producer? :(

BTW, I just got a wonderful tip on how to really minimize static cling on this forum...using a tiny spritz of water on the whole beans before grinding. A very tiny spritz seems to do the trick. :)

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#7: Post by cafeIKE »

Not sure if Jim was referring to me... :?

I used Columbia River Highwater earlier this year which is about as dark as one sees on this side of the big ditch. Went from there to a medium-light custom blend. As it usually takes a shot or two to dial in when changing to a new coffee and the very low retention in the Niche Zero, it's not something to worry about.

If you are still concerned and switching back and forth, a puffer will clear about 90+% of the residue in the Niche.
See Huffin' & Puffin' a [Niche Zero] grinder

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#8: Post by mgwolf »

I ground medium to dark coffees all the time on my Niche with no need for water spritzes and minimal static.