Alternative to Niche Zero with DE1+

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
juklik

#1: Post by juklik »

Hi,

What grinder would you recommend instead of NZ to pair with Decent DE1+?

I planned to get Baratza Sette 270wi at first, even though I was aware of its' mostly plastic design (and insides) but the convenience of grinding directly to the portafilter and good enough precision dosing for me outweighed the downsides. I was basically at peace with replacing it after 1-2 years of use.
After seeing the latest video posted on the Decent Espresso YouTube channel, I doubt if Sette 270wi can grind fine enough for DE1+. But that's how it is without having too many options for testing of equipment before purchase.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HhCsVWg-74

So I started to look at NZ, but there are some red flags:
Niche keeps selling via IGG even though (I would at least hope) they are not a Kickstarter project any longer,
Brexit does not help, and there are some delays expected given the new (and maybe unclear) regulations.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nich ... #/comments

And that brings me here. I would like to hear your opinion on:
- is Baratza good enough in the out of the box state,
- is Baratza good enough if additional shims are mounted,
- if Sette 270wi is really not the way going forward, is there any feasible alternative with a preference for grinding directly into the portafilter (preferably weighted or timed dosage)?

I like the cost of NZ, but I am not overly price sensitive.

Thank you for your insights.

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LObin

#2: Post by LObin »

Niche coffee simply decided to keep Indigogo as their platform that's all. If you buy a unit, you'll get a unit.

In my opinion, it's miles better than a Sette. Better burrs. Better built. No cheap components. No common failures (barely any if you look). Better grind. Single doser. Quieter. And on and on...

That being said, Baratza's warranty and customer support have a great reputation. They also kept improving the Sette design so the latest version is much better than the 1st iteration.

If you wanna consider Baratza, I'd recommend getting the Forte BG to go with your DE1. Scott Rao posted about it in his blog about 2 years ago, comparing it to an EK43. You can do the Alicorn alignement (search HB) and even flip the flap in the chute for easy single dosing.

If you don't mind a hopper, Eureka specialita and Atom are low retention and worth considering.

There are other options like HG1, Ceado or even a Lagom P64 if you're willing to stretch your budget a bit.
LMWDP #592

Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

The Niche Zero is, for me, an entry-level, high-end grinder. With a 3000€ machine, I wouldn't go below that level. It is a common grinder among DE1 owners, so there is good understanding of how it behaves across many profiles and roast levels.

Once you order a DE1, there is a lot of discussion around high-and grinders including perceived quality of both grinders and resulting grind, as well as availability and support in Europe. High-end grinders are evolving quickly. My own expectations are that I will "have to" replace any burrs I buy this year in a few years as significantly better ones will become available. I chose a grinder that has excellent alignment and can be adjusted in the future, as well as is able to take burrs in a format that are likely to see these advances. As I don't have it in hand yet, I can't comment on if I can taste the difference from my Niche Zero and, if so, if it was "worth" the cost.

I would strongly recommend against a hopper grinder or one with significant retention (including exchange) as many of the "novel" profiles DE1 owners are exploring for lighter roasts can be very sensitive to grind. Though you can blow out retention between changes, when you've only got 250 g of an expensive coffee, losing 5-10 g on each change is significant. Even with the Niche Zero and its 0.1-0.3 g retention, I use a "puffer" with each shot ground.

HH

#4: Post by HH »

Get the Niche.

If you want a very clear cut reason for doing so. Ask yourself what does John use? The Niche.

What does John specifically not recommend in one of his zoom videos for espresso? The Baratza.

I'm kicking myself as I know someone is (quite rightly) going to ask me for a link to this but for the life me I can't find it... I'll keep hunting and will let you know if I manage to track it down, but I definitely watched it today!

millmountain
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by millmountain »

As stated above, them selling through IGG is a non-issue. You can trust your grinder will arrive as if ordered.

In my opinion, the Niche is well worth the wait and some Brexit complications. I cannot imagine wanting to switch to a hopper, I am thoroughly enjoying switching between two to five coffee beans (I order several and freeze ~125 g portions) plus decaf on a regular basis. Weight precision is a non-issue, it really is within 0.2 g, usually 0.1 g. You can simply preweigh portions or just weigh in the cup before grinding then chuck in a bean or two extra after the grind if it's off and/or remove any excess to get down to 0.01 g precision if your scales are that precise. I've worked out for myself how to use the cup with a PF and still don't see any huge advantage in grinding directly into the PF. My PF stays warm in the group during grinding, then it's wipe dry + transfer from cup, level and tamp.

I may not be current, but I still don't think you can beat it at the price level.

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#6: Post by RapidCoffee »

juklik wrote:I doubt if Sette 270wi can grind fine enough for DE1+.
You're wrong: the Sette will easily grind fine enough for the DE1. Due to pandemic complications, I've been pairing a Sette 270 with a DE1+ for the past few months. Grind quality may not equal a large conical or flat costing several times as much, but it's a remarkably good grinder for the price.

I'm not arguing for a Sette. The Niche is a better choice. Just trying to keep misinformation to a minimum. :wink:
John

cachaulo

#7: Post by cachaulo »

I am a long time user of the Sette 270s (both the wi and the standard timer version). Here is my review and conclusion on what grinders I am considering for using with my DE1+ which is on order:
-270wi weight worked sometimes but I ran into some inconsistent dosing due to wobbly table or feet not super solid. Seemed any amount of rocking could trigger early stop, Baratza sent me some new feet to try and that helped a bit but the grinder creates a lot of toque which moves it around a bit. This may have been worked out in later models but I ended up returning and buying the timed version of the Sette 270 (that is another gripe, with 270wi there was no way to revert to timer...allowing a firmware reflash would be a nice feature)
-270 timed version was great and worked very well for dose control though I did end up almost exclusively single dosing, great feature of this grinder is very low retention and fast grind times
-Sound is a huge negative in my experience, it is really loud especially if you have it on a table or cabinet that has any resonance.
-Grind quality is actually ok when you get it dialed in; I am able to pull nice shots with my Silvia but I do see channeling on occasion but could be more related to my puck prep
-Grind adjustment is ok; the coarse steps mostly stay in place but occasionally it will jump one notch. The fine adjustment is nice but only if you need a tiny tweak....if it overlaps with a coarse adjustment needed then you have to start over on fine.
-Bought a Pourover Burr but never ended up using it as it is a little bit of a pain to swap burrs and re-adjust settings
Conclusion: Sette 270 is a great grinder for the $, and will probably work fine with the DE1 (I may end up using it for a while if I dont get a new grinder in time). I think there are better options if you can handle a larger budget Niche is bottom end of what I am considering (love the small size) but if I could get my hands on one quickly I would pick it up; others in consideration Eureka Atom (a few options at different price points), Ceado (more $$), used monolith (in my dreams, even more $$)

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mdreuben

#8: Post by mdreuben »

HH wrote:Get the Niche.

If you want a very clear cut reason for doing so. Ask yourself what does John use? The Niche.
What does John specifically not recommend in one of his zoom videos for espresso? The Baratza.

I totally agree; after all, WWJD? (What Would John Do?)

Seriously though, the Niche seems like it was made for the Decent. I've had my Niche for two years (same as my Decent) and the easy of control with the Niche totally matches the ease and control of the Decent. The next price point is at $1,900 for the Lagom, and I'm not sure it would be 2-1/2 times "better". So many Decent users have the Niche that it really does seem as if they are sold as a kit.

The grinder is repeatable, solid, and has less static than any other grinder that Ive used. It gets used 5 or 6 times a day and I only clean it every month or so. Only a little coffee remains in the grinder after dissasembly and its easily blown or sucked out. The amount of retentioin on a daily basis really is effectively zero.

Dont let the selling platform scare you, the company is absolutely rock solid and support is first rate. I do think that it's time for them to start selling on their own site though, as this question comes up fairly often.

Appalachian Coffee

#9: Post by Appalachian Coffee »

RapidCoffee wrote:You're wrong: the Sette will easily grind fine enough for the DE1. Due to pandemic complications, I've been pairing a Sette 270 with a DE1+ for the past few months. Grind quality may not equal a large conical or flat costing several times as much, but it's a remarkably good grinder for the price.

I'm not arguing for a Sette. The Niche is a better choice. Just trying to keep misinformation to a minimum. :wink:
First of all I agree that the Sette should grind more than fine enough for any espresso machine. And from what I have read, it is highly adjustable and has good grind consistency. I did buy one but went with the Specialita. Why? The Specialita is very quiet, it's only 14" tall, has low retention, flat burrs, and I love the "Gourmet Green" color option.

I considered the NZ, but was impatient and did not want to wait for one to become available. My loss, but I like my green grinder with the flat burrs.

How many drinks do you make in a day? Are you into experimenting a lot, just a little, or just want good coffee? I make 2 coffees a day. And pretty much stick with a bean until it's gone. Even with my own roast I stick with it until it's gone...usually. I think there's many factors to consider In this hobby.

I assume most online vendors would offer a return program? Here in the States 1st in coffee has a satisfaction guarantee

BTW, I have a Baratza Encore, from when it was called Maestro, it grinds fine enough to choke most espresso machines and has lasted all these many years as a pour-over sometimes espresso grinder. Point being that Baratza products can last a long time.

Enjoy that new Decent!

Bluenoser

#10: Post by Bluenoser »

Appalachian Coffee wrote:
BTW, I have a Baratza Encore, from when it was called Maestro, it grinds fine enough to choke most espresso machines and has lasted all these many years as a pour-over sometimes espresso grinder. Point being that Baratza products can last a long time.

Enjoy that new Decent!
I don't think the Sette is in the same league as the Encore for reliability. It uses a plastic gear train and mine has failed after 2 years. You will read several other owners also have a short life-span with the Sette..

If you invest in a DE1, you want at least a Niche caliber grinder, or better.. so you'd be looking over $1k unless you find something used.