Jim/Sam, thank you so much for the thorough review!
I have been enjoying my Niche since last October. Pulling espressos with my LPE every day.
Unfortunately, I was unable to compare the Niche to higher end grinders, since my previous best grinder was the OE Lido E. My hoped with the purchace that the Niche was at least as good an the Lido. But after many shots now, all more fluffy and tasty, I believed it to be better than the Lido. The Lido is no slouch and I enjoyed it for several years. But now it is getting used at work for my afternoon brews.
Occasionally, I made aeropress brews and cupping brews with the Niche. The grinder has not shifted settings since October.
I've had it open a number of times where I cleaned it all up like new. But there wasn't much to clean out. Only what gets stuck in screw holes.
The popcorning does get annoying every now and then when a single bean bounces around for what seems like 20 seconds. And the dial gets covered with bean pieces over time. Although, the trick of using the La Pavoni single basket works wonders and keeps the grinder dial much cleaner. I think the beans grind quicker too.
As for static. Yeah, I am with jchung. I have been doing RDT all winter. Perhaps the dry winters here in New England are some of the cause. And it definitely isn't chaff. I had one coffee a while back where half of it stuck in the cup when fully inverted. Interestingly, none of these high static beans stuck in the Niche. Only in the cup. But it is nearly spring now, I should try again with no RDT. While the Niche doesn't clump too badly without RDT, there is absolutely no clumping with RDT.
I'm eager to hear how the Niche performs with standard brews. Jim, I hear what you are predicting. But it is my only grinder right now and wondering if I should persue something specific for the occasional brewing.