Niche Zero vs HG-1

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

#1: Post by rwang »

I currently have a niche zero but was curious how it compared to HG-1. Wondering if anyone has had experience with both can weigh in

In particular, I was curious about:
1. Taste profile for espresso and also brew.
2. Ease with switching back and forth between espresso and brew setting without having to re-dial each time.
3. Owner preference!

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#2: Post by mkane »

I'm biased.

1. We use the HG-1 for pour over for the time being until we get a few pounds through it.
2. Niche is easier to adjust. Both grinders the settings are repeatable
3. I prefer to hand grind.

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#3: Post by mgwolf »

I've owned both, though it was a few years in between. A few comments:

The HG-1 was the most forgiving grinder I've ever had. Rarely had to readjust for grind, even for older coffee, different coffees, etc. My Mazzer needed tweaking almost daily.

The HG-1 was very difficult to grind with and eventually damaged my hand (tore something) requiring months of healing. I sold it after that. I would note that I don't have a beefy, strong upper extremity. I use medium/dark grinds. Lighter grinds are tougher.

The Niche is easier to change settings on, although the HG-1 wasn't all that difficult. I had to mark both of them with tape for drip settings.


#4: Post by pcrussell50 »

Never had a Niche Zero. But I have had and still have Monoliths (both FlatSSP and Max), and still have another hyper-aligned flat burr grinder. I also have an HG1. I have since done a plug and play, two-bolt-installation, very well integrated motor kit with a user-adjustable variable speed brushless DC motor... like Monoliths. The HG1 is extremely capable. Very high end capability. And with the motor kit, extremely high end look and feel. The motor kit is magnificent, and I'm healthy and strong and have no problem cranking. It's just that the level of refinement from the motor kit is sublime.

As for being able to go back and forth between espresso and drip... this is subjective. The HG1 is probably about as capable in this regard as any high end grinder out there. But for me, it's still not worth going back and forth. I don't drink a lot of drip and when I do, I have a couple of dedicated grinders that I only use for drip.


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#5: Post by Suvartet »

I have both. I really enjoyed using the HG-1, and would probably still be using it, but young children and easily accessible burrs made me order the Niche from IGG. I don't really have much experience with brew/pour over; mainly use for espresso.

Taste - I used them side by side for a bit and found them pretty close in taste profile for espresso. HG-1 had slightly better clarity, but it wasn't that clear cut.

Adjustment - Niche is easier. My HG-1 doesn't have markings though. Repeatability was the same between different beans. I presume it's the same with brew grind to espresso grind.

Usability - Niche is a more straightforward to use. I only WDT in the basket. The HG-1 required RDT and WDT. Transferring grounds is cleaner with Niche cup. Wife prefers the Niche because the HG-1 worked best with a consistent crank speed; which she struggled with.

Enjoyment - HG-1 all day long. Can't wait til the kids are older. Will def pull it off the shelf and use that (in addition to Niche) when it's safer.

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#6: Post by mkane »

Get the kids there own 'safe' coffee grinder and they will leave yours alone.


#7: Post by Suvartet » replying to mkane »

Haha that's a great idea. I'll look for a matching grinder to go with their toy coffee machine...

My brother suggested making a wooden box that I can place over the grinder when it's not in use. Something bulky and heavy they can't lift.

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#8: Post by zix »

Have the HG-1 Mk II with coated aftermarket burrs at work and the Niche Zero at home. Family can't be bothered to grind by hand. I found since I do mostly medium to dark, I could use the shorter crank arm. With the longer arm, I have no problem grinding lighter roasts.
To me there is very little difference tastewise between the two. Build quality was great on both.The Niche is so very easy to use though.

The Mk II HG-1 has improved grind adjustment, with very small "steps" and markings on the adjustment rings giving you repeatability without needing to use tape.
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#9: Post by bas »

I used a HG1 for a short period. It was a v1. I found it very hard to turn with those massive Robut burrs. My shots were al over the place. Could not get consistent pulls. Did not like the taste too. Perhaps mine had alignememt issues.

With the Niche my shots are very consistent from day 1. As with my Kinu M47.

I think the v2 with motor kit makes life a lot easier. If there is any difference in taste between Robur and Kony burrs it will be small and subjective.

By the way the HG1 looks nicer and has better build quality.


#10: Post by oralia80 »

I have both. I use both daily.

I use the HG-1 for espresso exclusively. Niche exclusively for pour over. Both are easily adjustable. I've never liked the HG-1 for pour over... too many turns to get it "loose" enough for pour over. Niche for pour over is great.

Both are SUPER consistent. Small tweaks here and there, depending on the beans being used. Both very predictable results.

In terms of espresso... I have found HG-1 to be more consistent than the Niche. Always even extractions with my HG-1... times are steady... taste is GREAT. I've run probably 200 lbs through mine. With the Niche I felt I was always chasing... adjusting... dumping. But I am also actively comparing it to the HG-1.