Have you heard of the Niche Zero grinder? I’m pretty sure you have. It’s a very famous grinder which some might say started the trend on single dose grinding. Following in its success, quite a few products with a similar concept have become available, but there still aren’t a lot of options.
You could use a more conventional grinder with a large hopper as a single dose, but its usually not ideal because of things like large retentions and popcorning (beans jumping back from the burr chamber around when grinding). This is because they tend to assume some amount of beans in the hopper to force the beans through the burrs. There are a few options in the above $1000 range, like the Lagom P-64 or the Weber Workshop EG-1, but these are just simply out of reach.
Today, I would like to share my impressions on the new MIGNON SINGLE DOSE grinder from EUREKA ORO. It seems like it’s planned to be released around the end of November 2021. (As far as I can see there does not seem to be an official statement, the information I gathered is from the retailers. Lets hope it does come out)
This grinder promises close to zero retention, and is obviously designed for single dose use. It uses 65mm flat burrs, and it seems to have had quite an influence from the Niche Zero (at least to me). The key point of this grinder is that with all its features, its price is expected to be around € 500 – 600 (from some of the retailers’ pre-order prices), which is in the same price range as the Niche Zero.
The grinder is not on sale yet, so I will be sharing my impression based on the manufacturer’s website, some early reviews of test units. (There may be changes when it actually gets released)
About EUREKA ORO
EUREKA is an Italian coffee grinder manufacturer, established in 1920 it has over a century’s worth of expertise. It manufactures all its grinders in their Florence factory. Having a long history based in Italy, the home of espresso, its a very well known and trustworthy manufacturer of high quality grinders.
EUREKA started its premium brand, the EUREKA ORO on its 100year anniversary. ORO means gold in Italian. This MIGNON SINGLE DOSE is the second grinder under their ORO line.
A key complaint with the Niche that you hear everywhere is about its very limited availability. No one seems to have complaints about the machine itself, but since it produced by a relatively small startup manufacturer in the UK, it supply continues to be limited even now 4years after its initial launch. In this aspect, this MIGNON SINGLE DOSE from EUREKA probably will not have the same issue, since EUREKA are a much larger with far more experience with large scale production.
The MIGNON Series
EUREKA have produced the MIGNON series for home use. They have made, a LOT of models in this MIGNON lineup. To list out some names from their website, the MIGNON original, SILENZIO、SPECIALITA、PERFETTO、DESIGN、MANUALE、CLASSICO、FILTRO、CRONO、BREW PRO (it seems like a few more exist). These were sold from the normal EUREKA brand. and they are very popular choices among home baristas. The first product under the ORO line was this MIGNON XL.
The MIGNON series have all come with large hoppers, and they were not designed for single dosing. Many uses have modded their MIGNONs with smaller hoppers and bellows to use them as single dose machines.
So many users are waiting for the MIGNON SINGLE DOSE. It will most certainly work even better as a single dose use since it was designed to be used this way.
The MIGNON series except the SINGLE DOSE look very similar.
The boxy design language remains, but it is inclined to get lower retention. They switched to a dosing cup based workflow, instead of a portafilter fork (although by the looks of it, you probably will be able to attach a fork if you prefer that workflow). IT also adds real wooden accents to the design, which I personally like very much. The wooden piece below the dosing cup is attached via a magnet, so it is easy to detach it and clean.
MIGNON SINGLE DOSE Features and Performance
As is obvious from the name, this grinder is intended to be used as a single dose grinder. This is where you weight out your beans for each extraction, load this into the machine and grind through all the beans. This has many benefits over the conventional hopper based grind to order method. (I explain this a bit more in this post if you are interested). The hopper capacity is 45g, which is more than enough for single dosing.
It also is supposed to have very low retention. In EUREKA’s website they quote that the “total retention < 0.6 ÷ 0.8g – Exchange ≈ 0.3g”. (This equation really does not make much sense to me. Is the Exchange 0.3g or is the total retention 0.3g? Why does this 0.6 not have a gram unit? Why are you dividing? Please let be know if you understand it)
To ensure a low retention, the grinder comes with a bellows attachment. Since it is a single dose grinder, this model does not come with any timer mechanism to grind by time. Maybe this is one part that EUREKA was able to cut costs on.
The burrs used are 65mm “diamond inside” flat burrs made by EUREKA themselves. As far as I understand, this does not mean there are actual diamonds inside, rather its a special treatment they perform on the burrs at -193℃ to increase the longevity of the burrs.
Usually the bigger the burrs, the better. So a 65mm burr set is a pretty nice size. (Even the Lagom P-64 uses 64mm flat burrs at double the price point)
EUREKA is known for having quiet grinders. The specs list a noise level of about 60dBs. This is information about other MIGNON models but they use noise dampening materials and gaskets to reduce the noise. It’s likely that this MIGNON SINGLE DOSE will be designed at a similar if not better standard. (By the way, the Niche Zero is specced at 72dBs, and its considered a quiet grinder)
The motor speed is at 1650RPM, which is on faster side of things. In general flat burrs have to be rotated at higher speeds. (The Niche Zero uses conical burrs and rotate at 330RPM) The faster the motor, the faster the grind speed. This grinder can grind about 2.3 ~ 3.3g of coffee per second. This should be about 5~7sec for a double shot of espresso, pretty fast.
The grind size can be adjusted with the knob on the top right hand corner of the machine. Many grinders adjust the grind setting by turning the entire assembly that holds down the burrs, so it tends to be a two hand job. But the MIGNON series always have this easy to turn knob for the adjustment system. By having this system, it can remember the settings even after you open the grinder up for maintenance.
The adjustment knob us a precise step-less adjustment, this allows for very fine tuning of your grind size. This is a crucial feature for espresso use. It it advertised that filter coffee brews are also possible. One thing I wonder is how many turns of the knob you will need to go from espresso range to filter range.
The grinder size is 321(H) x 128(W) x 260(D)mm. It’s slightly deeper than the Niche Zero, but otherwise it is a similar size. It weighs 7.2kg which is significantly more than the 4.2kg of the Niche Zero. For grinders, usually the heavier the better.
As an overall package, I think that the EUREKA ORO MIGNON SINGLE DOSE is a very appealing new grinder.
For me the key selling points are; it’s reachable price point (although, I have no idea how I can get one in Japan, and what extra costs will be needed…), the reputable manufacturer, large flat burrs, and clean design. I cannot wait for it to be released.
Before I saw the preorder prices, I was sure that it will cost more than $1000, so I wasn’t following it very closely. But a lower price point changes everything. After all, you can get very nice stuff for a lot of money. The real difficulty for the manufacturers is to get the best balance of quality and price. And I think this is going to nail it!.
We will have to wait for it to be released to get a better understanding of how well it works, but I have very high hopes. It really could take over the market share the Niche Zero had.