Don't Travel : Comandante C40/Kinu M47 -> Niche Zero?

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

#1: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

Title says it all. I don't travel. I really don't mind the hand grind except when I have to grind a 30g pour over using a light roast, it's not awful but it borders on obnoxious.

I have read performance tests on the Comandante that claim its distribution is extremely good, top of the line really.

With that said, would you ever trade the duo for a Niche Zero if you never have to travel? Any reason to keep them though I don't travel, related to in the cup performance?


#2: Post by erik82 »

I've got extensive experience with all 3 and the Commandante really is by far the best grinder for pourover. Niche is nice for medium to dark roast espresso but those big conicals don't perform really well for pourover. The Kinu M47 is by far the worst option of the three.

If you'd want better pourover results and an electrical grinder look into singledose flat burr grinder with 64mm of greater unimodal burrsets. Or do a Bunnzilla project.

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YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#3: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

Do you have any data on why the Kinu is worse at espresso than the Niche? I use them exclusively, Comandante for coffee, Kinu for espresso.


#4: Post by drH »

I can add one more point of view for what it's worth.
I have a Comandante and also had a Niche for almost a year. Side by side, with the medium and medium-dark beans I prefer, I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between them for espresso. But I agree with Erik about the pour-overs: for reasons I can't explain (and I know others may strongly disagree), I just didn't like the taste of my pour-overs with the Niche. That was actually the main reason I bought the Comandante.
The Comandante has been awesome for pour-over, so problem solved.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Niche does have a few killer advantages. The grind adjustment is infinite which gives you much greater ability to fine-tune unless you buy the 'RedClix add-on kit for the Comandante, which partly levels the playing field. I didn't add a RedClix to mine, but I can see that it could be useful when you are struggling to dial in a challenging bean.
The other huge advantage for the Niche is workflow. Single dose, almost everything drops into the dosing cup, and the cup fits neatly on your portafilter. Easy and fast. That doesn't imply that there is anything inconvenient about the Comandante, it's just that the process is especially smooth with the Niche.
I've never used a Kinu, but they seem to have recognized that their stock burrs are optimized for espresso at the expense of pour-over. They sell a specialized burr you can swap in for pour-over.

If you are looking at hand grinders also take a look at the 1zpresso JMax for espresso and the K-plus for pour-over.

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#5: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

That's why I use them as I do, I did a lot of research before I got a Comandante, as stated it has grind distribution comparable to some of the best. Can't find the exact source but it was referencing a chart. I really don't think I'd sell the Comandante if I got a Niche, I would sell the Kinu only.

And is the $400+ extra worth it to me for in the cup results? Grinding a 15-18g espresso once a day takes really no time while my kettle is heating.

Being in Florida and during hurricane season, I dunno. I think I'm going to save my cash, yet again, for a new machine, the Londinium Compact or the OE-1.


#6: Post by TigerStripes »

I've used the niche zero and Kinu m47 extensively for espresso. They are very similar in the cup. With side by side shots - I could not tell the difference between them. In contrast my super jolly with ssp high uniformity burrs is different - not better - just a different extraction profile.

I ended up building a motorized station for my m47 and sold the niche because I didn't feel it was any better and I can take the kinu camping.

If you don't mind hand grinding, I'd stick with the commandante and kinu combo. The niche will improve your workflow but not your coffee and espresso.


#7: Post by erik82 »

YeetSkeeterson wrote:Do you have any data on why the Kinu is worse at espresso than the Niche? I use them exclusively, Comandante for coffee, Kinu for espresso.
Kinu is standard small burrs and Niche is titan class. Bigger burrs give much more consistency in grind quality. Those standard small italmill are nice but aren't known for superb quality.

With great quality light roast filter beans and the Commandante I get around 4 out of 7 flavour notes whereas with my EG-1 and 80mm SSP HU burrs I get 7 out of 7. The 64mm burrs are kind of in between those two. That's the difference you'll get but for some beans like natural processed ones where you want some more body and less clarity there are some cases that I prefere the Commandante over my EG-1.

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#8: Post by Mikeyc »

Another point for the commandante. In my experience, it gives just the right amount of size distribution to afford a nice, clear pourover. Fines are negligible, so no choking (depending on the method and paper, if course).

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#9: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

Kinu machines their burrs even if they're Italmill standard.

If the Niche won't improve my coffee, I don't care much because I'd only be using it for espresso. Hand grinding while my kettle boils on the stove for the Robot is pretty much dialed by now after years of daily shots. The Niche can't speed up water boiling. If it can I've been severely misinformed.


#10: Post by themusgrat »

In this range, these are all good options. Ill have a JX-Pro soon, and will be able to compare the Kinu M47 against it.

I wanted to address the Kinu pourover burrs. There has been some discussion on this board, and it seems more didn't like them than did. It was enough to make me want to stick with the normal burrs for pourover. So I would not be considering acquiring a Kinu to use 2 sets of burrs, based on the discussion.

Quite a few people say the Kinu is slightly muddier than the Comandante for pourover, but only slightly. The Kinu seems to be very good at all grind settings, and it has a very wide range. I myself am more than happy with it for pourover.