This is the new DF64-P - an upgrade to the quote unquote, Niche killer. I just got this grinder about a day ago at the time of recording so consider this more so an overview and first impressions video and not a full review.
Full disclosure this was sent to me by my friends at Cliff & Pebble where you can also use discount code XRIS for a free Acaia Lunar with any espresso machine purchase. Check them out using the link in the description down below.
So after spending the evening playing around with it and taking some B-Roll comparing it to the original version, here’s what I’ve concluded are some of the biggest changes with this grinder versus the original.
Firstly, I do believe this version of the DF64 is more espresso focused and not as much an all-arounder like the original, and has some design elements that speak to that.
Comparing the builds, this one obviously has a more perpendicular enclosure versus the slanted shape of the original.
It also comes in this new powder coated matte black finish and has some walnut wood accents which you already know I'm a huge fan of and looks awesome on my bar.
The build overall feels like everything was more thought-out, more intricately designed, and has a better use of space.
The original DF64 has a design similar to the Niche with a spring loaded screw mechanism that needs to be unscrewed to remove the upper burr.
In the new DF64-P, there are 2 hex screws that can be loosened to more quickly and easily remove the top burr.
Another key difference in these 2 grinders is that the original, again, much like the Niche, uses that spring loaded screw mechanism to lower the top burr against the lower burr.
In the new version, the grind size is adjusted using this little lever that moves laterally. Moving this back and forth moves the lower burr up and down, so the top burr actually no longer moves.
I’m not sure how this change will have, if any, significance on the shots pulled but it does seem to limit the range of grind sizes which again speaks to that espresso focus.
One potential issue that has come to mind that I’ll be testing out over the next few weeks, is if how tightly screwed in that upper piece needs to be will influence the grind consistency. I think that’ll be worth investigating.
Inside the grinders you can see that the original DF64 has much more empty space, which in turn led to a lot more grounds being retained and when I went to clean the grinder.
In the DF64-P, empty space is a lot more limited and everything just feels like its been designed with tighter tolerances which in turn has led to better, aka less retention, and easier to clean.
Other feature changes include the relocation of the power button and power cable to the right side which I have mixed feelings on.
I have no issue with the button being on the right, but the power cable being there kinda sucks - I do wish it stayed on the back.
This grinder does have one other quirk to it and that’s when you push the button to turn it on. It shifts. Every button press kinda makes it jump to the right just a little bit which can be a mild annoyance.
Now unfortunately I can’t do a proper A/B test in terms of grinding for espresso because on the DF64 here I only have SSP Unimodal burrs and on the DF64-P I have the stock manufacturer burrs so it wouldn’t quite be an apples to apples comparison.
That being said I did run some doses through each grinder to test retention and, boy, did they fix that!
On the original DF64 I was getting an average 1g of retention per dose before bellows and got an average 0.3-0.4g after bellowing.
With the DF64P I was getting 0.3-0.4g retention before bellows and just 0.1g after bellows - which is a really nice upgrade to see.
Unfortunately, chaffing still seems to be an issue with the new model, so RDT may be beneficial here.
Overall, the DF64-P feels more heavy duty than the original. With more metal being used, and generally feeling a bit more premium, I’m a fan of this change. Especially with those wood accents.
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