Solis Scala Zero Review
You may have noticed that one of our new additions for the start of 2022 has been an update to the Solis Scala. This new grinder isn't a replacement, even though it has a very similar look. Instead, the Solis Scala Zero is an option that offers just a bit more for those who might need it. The base Scala is still one of our favorite entry level slow brew grinders, but the Zero takes things just a bit further, let's talk about how!
Casing and Design
We'll get what could be seen as a negative out of the way first. The casing and exterior design of the Scala Zero maintains a lot of the less glamorous parts of the base Scala. While we like the colors on the Zero a bit more around here, it is still a very plastic-y case. The hopper and catch bin are also plastic, and the general look of the Scala Zero isn't necessarily dazzling.
Other design elements like the buttons and timer are serviceable, even if they lack that premium feel. The hopper twist for grind adjust feels solid, which is great, because this is arguably the most important control. The timer in particular can feel odd to work with, as notches are actually 5 second increments. Once you get the hang of it though it's easy to work with. The burrs are easily accessible for cleaning by removing the hopper, so we're happy with it there. The power cord also is plenty long, and the general compact frame of the Scala is maintained here, making it easy to stow in a cupboard or cabinet.
This is where the Scala Zero really starts to shine. The "Zero" in the name refers to zero static. If we're being honest, it's sometimes impossible to truly eliminate all static, but the Scala Zero gets as close as we've seen, especially considering the price point. The Zero has an anti-ion generator in the grind path that essentially zaps the static away, allowing the grounds to slide easily out of the catch bin with less static. It works great, though it's important to note that it's going to be based on the conditions in the room you use it in. We've had times where there is still notable static when the humidity levels were particularly extreme.
It's still far better static reduction than any other grinder we've seen at this price point. The other major improvement in the Scala Zero is in the grind settings. This grinder offers more settings at the fine end that actually make it possible to use for unpressurized espresso baskets. We have to stress that this doesn't mean you'll be pulling café quality shots with your high end semi-automatic using the Scala Zero. It will, however, give you the ability to use the unpressurized portafilter baskets in something like your Solis Perfetta. This is something we're thrilled about, because the Perfetta made for an uneven pairing with the original Scala. That grinder is great for slow brewing, and can work with pressurized baskets, but it's just not the best fit for the Perfetta since it has unpressurized baskets as well. The Scala Zero, however, can give you the full range of brewing options with its sibling machine.
The Solis Scala Zero is really one of the better values that we've seen in a grinder. Solis has made the right concessions: casing, look, and finish, in order to bring you fantastic performance for the price. This grinder is definitely one to consider if you're jumping into specialty coffee or are looking to replace your existing grinder.