Considering Upgrading Grinder From Baratza Sette 270

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

#1: Post by Kafana Nick »

Hello All,

My Sette 270 is my first grinder, which I acquired along with my Profitec Pro 600 four years ago. It is starting to show its age, and I am curious about unlocking more potential from my Profitec. What are your suggestions for a worthy successor? Monoliths seem to be outside of my budget, which I was arbitrarily thinking should be no more than $2,000. But I could be persuaded if the thinking is that one would be truly ideal.

I am not a big upgrader, so something that is really solid and built to last would be appreciated. Basically, I single dose, measuring out my beans into single shot portions. We only drink espresso, so it will continue to be a dedicated grinder for this purpose.

I have not tuned into this market in quite a while, and the options seem overwhelming. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by Nunas »

I'd just refurbish the 270, as it is easy to do, and the Sette grinders punch way above their weight. They are suitable for hopper or single dosing, as you no doubt know, since it has low retention, mostly due to the vertical coffee path. On the other hand, if you've had it with the noise of the 270 and somewhat flimsy construction of the Sette, and since you're only single dosing, the Niche should fit the bill. It's quieter and more solidly built. I would not expect significant change in the quality of your shots, though, despite the higher price. You can find a tonne of information on these pages about the Niche.

Kafana Nick (original poster)

#3: Post by Kafana Nick (original poster) »

Thank you for your response, Nunas.

I may end up refurbishing my Sette, but I still want to explore the option of replacing it. From what I have read in our forums, the Niche is a close competitor of the Sette. More solidly built, but very similar in many ways. I am curious about a step up, both in terms of build quality as well as flavor.

It seems as though things take a quantum leap from Sette 270/Niche Zero to the Monolith level, with not much in between.

I am just wondering if that is really so.

Pressino

#4: Post by Pressino »

If you plan to invest around $2K for an "upgrade" grinder, I'll repeat the question I posed in a post above: do you want a conical or flat burr grinder?

Kafana Nick (original poster)

#5: Post by Kafana Nick (original poster) replying to Pressino »

That is the logical first question, isn't it? To avoid re-creating the wheel, if there was a good prior discussion of this issue, perhaps someone might be able to post a link. I will do some research myself. Going into it, and based on the little I have read so far, I suspect the answer will be something along the lines of, "They are both good, with the difference depending on personal flavor preferences and the type of roast you anticipate using most often."

I would greatly appreciate whatever guidance on this point you or others may offer.

Thank you.

Pressino

#6: Post by Pressino »

Well, if you really like the taste of the coffee you make using your Baratza Sette but are just looking to get a newer more robust grinder that may give you more of what you like about the Sette...and you want single dosing... the Niche is probably the machine most likely to make you happy, IMHO.

User avatar
JB90068
Supporter ❤

#7: Post by JB90068 »

I've made a few recent posts on this topic but I'll offer you my opinion. When it comes to answering the question on if you would prefer a flat vs. conical, there is one conical that I would call a hybrid and perhaps worth considering.

I have a flat (EG-1) and a conical (Key). They grind differently and offer different flavor profiles. I view my Key as being more like the EG-1 than a typical conical grinder because it does pull out some of the nuances of the beans. The EG is known for how it separates flavors and IMO an excellent grinder for that. Depending on the roast it can lack mouthfeel and richness. This more typical on light medium roasts which I like. The same roast, ground with the Key, doesn't separate the flavors as well as the EG, but it does offer more mouthfeel or richness. Other Key owners who have NZ's generally say that the Key offers a cleaner shot. In my limited experience trying out an NZ, I would agree with that perspective. If I were looking for a very good all around grinder, I would seriously consider the Key. Also FWIW, I've had my Key since last March and other than three magnets that hold the magic tumbler in place coming unglued, I haven't had a single problem with it.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

Kafana Nick (original poster)

#8: Post by Kafana Nick (original poster) »

Pressino wrote:Well, if you really like the taste of the coffee you make using your Baratza Sette but are just looking to get a newer more robust grinder that may give you more of what you like about the Sette...and you want single dosing... the Niche is probably the machine most likely to make you happy, IMHO.
Thank you Pressino. But how do you know when you have never tried something different? How do you compare? The Sette has been fine for 4 years. It may be time to explore and try new things.

JB90068 wrote:I've made a few recent posts on this topic but I'll offer you my opinion. When it comes to answering the question on if you would prefer a flat vs. conical, there is one conical that I would call a hybrid and perhaps worth considering.

I have a flat (EG-1) and a conical (Key). They grind differently and offer different flavor profiles. I view my Key as being more like the EG-1 than a typical conical grinder because it does pull out some of the nuances of the beans. The EG is known for how it separates flavors and IMO an excellent grinder for that. Depending on the roast it can lack mouthfeel and richness. This more typical on light medium roasts which I like. The same roast, ground with the Key, doesn't separate the flavors as well as the EG, but it does offer more mouthfeel or richness. Other Key owners who have NZ's generally say that the Key offers a cleaner shot. In my limited experience trying out an NZ, I would agree with that perspective. If I were looking for a very good all around grinder, I would seriously consider the Key. Also FWIW, I've had my Key since last March and other than three magnets that hold the magic tumbler in place coming unglued, I haven't had a single problem with it.
This is very helpful. The Key sounds like it is not a complete break with the general flavor/feel of the Sette, but rather a refinement. A move in a different direction, but not radically so. Evolution, not revolution, as going with a flat burr grinder sounds like it would be. It makes sense and seems to fit the bill for my situation. Thank you.

Vindibona1

#9: Post by Vindibona1 »

Kafana Nick wrote:Thank you Pressino. But how do you know when you have never tried something different? How do you compare? The Sette has been fine for 4 years. It may be time to explore and try new things.

This is very helpful. The Key sounds like it is not a complete break with the general flavor/feel of the Sette, but rather a refinement. A move in a different direction, but not radically so. Evolution, not revolution, as going with a flat burr grinder sounds like it would be. It makes sense and seems to fit the bill for my situation. Thank you.
I've had a Sette for 5 years and pretty much ended up rebuilding it. But I've contemplated the same question as you. When is it time to try something different? I had one of the very early Sette units and Baratza was very kind in sending me the parts I needed that failed even after 4 years at no charge. I've replaced the circuit board, the motor housing with new burr and an adjustment ring because the new motor housing and the old ring weren't entirely compatible. But it works like new. It's so hard to think about a differnent grinder. I don't know about yours, but mine provides consistent grinds with few if any clumps and as close to zero retention as you can get and still say there is retention (0.02g at the worst).

But here's the problem as I see it in terms of getting a different grinder: How do you know what something different will taste like from any other grinder you might purchase
? What if you don't like the results coming from what you purchased. Anything above a Sette becomes a ton of money for an experiment. There are several grinders that look interesting. But it's not like I can run down to the local espresso machine retailer and test grinders. It reminds me of two lyrics or sayings... "If you can be with the one you love, love the one your with".... and "Dance with the one that brung ya".

I dunno. Not being experienced in such things leaves me a bit paralyzed to do anything. If I'd had the experience with different/better/more expensive grinders perhaps I might have half an idea what to do besides stickng with the Sette .. Let us know what you decide and do.

User avatar
JB90068
Supporter ❤

#10: Post by JB90068 »

Vindibona1 wrote: But here's the problem as I see it in terms of getting a different grinder: How do you know what something different will taste like from any other grinder you might purchase[/b]? What if you don't like the results coming from what you purchased.
I remember when I was in this very same position and it is difficult. Upgradeitis can also be terribly addictive but you don't have to succumb just because you want something shinier or cooler. What motivated me to go through a few grinders before going the endgame route was that I just wasn't able to get the same flavor profiles that I experienced when I had a shot at my local roaster. My last grinder before I chose to buy the EG-1 was a mid priced ($1,000.) grinder that I converted to single dosing. Not a bad grinder but still, no matter what I did, I couldn't get close to the roaster's shots. So I did a lot of reading and I watched every YouTube video done by James Hoffman. When I narrowed it down to just a couple of models, I found a few different people here on HB and asked them questions about their grinders. It was a huge financial leap of faith to jump from a month old, $1k grinder to a $4k grinder. What I also figured was that if the grinder didn't live up to the hype, I could probably get most of my money back by selling it. The results were night and day different. It didn't take that long before I was pulling shots that were as good as anything I could find at the best cafes where I lived. In my estimation, once you decide to spend $2000. on up for a grinder, if you are using great beans and if you have a discerning palette, you will taste a significant improvement in your shots. In the $2k - $4k range the choices narrow rather quickly. Most of the grinders will perform really well. In the end, it may boil down to how long you have to wait to get the grinder as well as the aesthetics. These were the two main factors for me. I was able to get an EG-1 faster than a Monolith and to be honest, I don't like the looks of the Monolith as much as I do the EG. If I had bought the Monolith, I have no doubt I would be very pleased with the quality of the shots it produces.

In my opinion, the field is full of poorly designed, gimmicky grinders in the sub $1,500 category and filled with a lot of almosts. On the other hand, as long as you are happy with the grinder you own, then the "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it." adage can be applied.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.