Niche Zero Grinder Review
Not sure if the gorgeous-looking Niche Zero Grinder is worth the high-end price tag? Coffee connoisseur Rob Garner knows his beans and grinders, and this is his verdict. Find it below in our Niche Zero Grinder review…
The Niche Zero Grinder is a luxury item – there’s no getting away from that. It’s priced at a point that you would only really consider buying it if incredible coffee meant a lot to you. Which is why I just had to jump at the chance as soon as I got the opportunity to review it. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
So in this Niche Zero review I will be taking a look at every aspect of this grinder – from how it looks to how it performs. I’ll go over the features and specifications before taking a look at how it performed when I put it through its paces. Then I will take all of this into account when I pass judgement over it in my final verdict. Let’s go!
Niche Zero Grinder Key Features
Okay, so with a price tag as high as this one – we are talking hundred of pounds – you may well find yourself asking what the Niche Zero could possibly offer that’s so much better than a standard coffee grinder. Well, let’s find out.
First of all, let’s take a quick look at its appearance. Quite frankly, it’s stunning. I absolutely love the design of this machine – with the smooth and stylish angle to the main unit, and the clean, crisp colour.
It’s available in Pure White or Midnight Black, so you can select the one that best fits the decor of your kitchen. It’s the wooden oak base that really stands out and just ramps it up a notch when it comes to elegance and class.
You can see yourself from the images, but this is a truly attractive kitchen appliance that I’m sure most people would be proud to have out on display on their worktop. Compared to much of the competition, which often have a more boxy, functional look to them. The Niche Zero looks like the premium product that it is.
It’s even quite compact, measuring just 12.2 cm x 21.1 cm x 31.1 cm (WLH), and weighing 4.1 kg. So as well as looking great, it will also fit snugly onto any kitchen counter without taking up too much space.
But that would count for nothing without some heavy hitting features, right? So let’s go to the headline – the grinder itself. As you would expect, this is a conical burr grinder. For the uninitiated, burr grinders are much more effective and consistent than blade grinders as they crush the beans to your required size, as opposed to a blade whirring and ‘chopping’ the blades. So for a product like this, it is no surprise that it is a burr grinder.
The Niche Zero uses 63 mm Mazzer conical burrs, which are made from hardened, catering-grade steel, which is claimed to be around 70% stronger than regular hardened steel. The manufacturers claim that you would have to grind 725 kg (nearly two-thirds of a tonne) before you would need to replace these burrs. I’m not sure how much coffee you get through, but I would guess that it would be a very long time before you reach that amount of coffee!
One of the interesting things about how the Niche Zero grinds is that it actually is slower than a lot of the other grinders in this kind of price range. And this is an intentional design, which actually requires much more effort from the manufacturer.
Without wanting to get too technical, basically a standard AC motor would produce around 1,450 rpm, which is why most grinders work at that speed. Niche have added in a gearbox which reduces the rate to 330 rpm, which reduces the amount of static produced and also keeps it relatively quiet.
So why the name ‘Zero’? Well, this refers to the amount of coffee you lose to grind retention. When you use a standard grinder, there is always a bit of coffee that you lose when you grind your beans – that can impact the taste of your coffee. If, for example, you put in 19 grams of coffee beans, and you only get 18 grams of coffee grounds out, your coffee isn’t going to be as strong and flavoursome as you want.
So the Niche Zero aims to offer ‘Zero grind retention’ – whatever weight of beans you put in, you get exactly the same amount of coffee grounds out. They do this by simplifying the ‘journey’ that the coffee goes on. There is nowhere to go other than into the dosing cup – just a straight line between the grinder and the cup. It’s why the unit is slightly taller than some of the others.
So how big do you want your coffee grounds? Well, here you have infinite possibilities. The dial on the top of the machine can be turned so that you can get the exact size of grounds that you require. It even helps you out by displaying which sort of drink you are making – espresso, filter, etc.
This is a single-dosing grinder, which means that you only need to grind the exact amount of coffee that you are going to be using – you don’t leave coffee beans in there, you measure them out each time so you don’t have a load of coffee that is either going to waste or just losing its freshness. It has the capacity to grind around 4 cups’ worth of coffee at a time.
So that’s what it can do – let’s see how that works in practical terms.
Using The Niche Zero Grinder
So what’s it like to use the Niche Zero Grinder? Let me walk you through the process and you can see for yourself.
First of all, you’ll need to measure out the amount of coffee beans that you want to grind up. Some people use a measuring scoop or spoon for this, but I’m fastidious when it comes to my coffee, so I use my coffee scales to get the precise amount that I need. Remember, you don’t need to add that little bit extra with the Niche Zero, as everything that you put in will get ground up and put into the dosing cup.
Place your carefully measured coffee beans into the top of the grinder and pop on the lid. Now you’ll need to adjust the dial around the lid to the appropriate size of the grind. As I mentioned above, this is an ‘infinite dial’ so you can get the exact size that you want. It’s not just a series of settings with, say 16 different options – every slight turn of the dial will alter the size of the grind so you can be as precise as you want to be.
There is, of course, a guide on the dial to point you in the right direction, but my guess is that if you have spent this amount of money on a coffee grinder that has infinite grind options, you know that an espresso has a finer grind than a filter coffee!
Once you are happy with the size, all you need to do is flick the switch on the side of the machine. This was a surprisingly satisfying action – it’s a sort of old-fashioned switch that you flick up or down. It’s the little things on this machine that make it so satisfying to use.
One thing you’ll definitely notice when you are using the Niche Zero is just how much quieter it is compared to many other grinders. I have got in so much trouble over the years for waking up the entire house when I sneak downstairs for an early morning coffee – there are no such worries here.
All in all, the Niche Zero grinder is very pleasant to use.
The Good & The Bad
I’ve found it quite difficult to write this section. On the one hand, the Niche Zero Grinder is an incredibly attractive appliance, that couldn’t be easier to use and produces incredible ground coffee to the exact size that you want it.
On the other hand… Well, I can’t really come up with anything to say. I guess the big thing is the price – this is not for the casual coffee drinker. This is for the person who takes their coffee very seriously and only wants the best quality in their kitchen. But, if you have got this far down the review, I would imagine that you’re probably in that latter boat anyway, so the price probably won’t put you off.
So, assuming you are comfortable with the price of the Niche Zero, I think it’s fair to say that the positives far outweigh the negatives here.
Niche Zero Grinder Verdict
I said at the start of this Niche Zero Grinder review that it is a luxury item – one that not everyone will be able to afford and not everyone would get the best use out of it. I stand by that, but at the same time, this is a luxury item that delivers in every conceivable aspect. Looks, performance, functionality, ease of use – it’s all there.
If you are searching the market for a high-end coffee grinder, the Niche Zero could be the one for you. It’s fantastic.