Upgrade from Baratza Sette 270wi. Niche Zero? Lagom DF64P?

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

#1: Post by Reyj »

First post, long time lurker. Would appreciate all the help I can get.

Current set up: Ascaso Steel Duo PID v2, Baratza Sette 270wi

100% use of the grinder is for espresso, and 90% of the time we drink light to medium roasts. Our favorite flavors are ones with fruity notes, instead of chocolate notes. If doing pour over, I hand grind.

I would love to upgrade from the sette due to the noise level, but haven't had any other complaints so far. I also believe that I want to switch to single dosing. From what I've read about conical burrs, that are used in the sette and niche, produce a good cup of espresso, but flat burrs(ssp HU) can bring out more from lighter roasts. Which is what we prefer. Is it much of an upgrade to move to a DF64P with HU burrs? Or the eureka oro single dose? I'm also aware of the niche following, but would that be much of an upgrade from the sette (only the noise and single dosing being the huge difference)?

Whatever I upgrade to, the 270wi will be going to work with me to use with my GCP.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

I'd try single dosing with the Sette 270 to see how you like it before making any "buy" decisions.

If you're looking for a single-dosing grinder that works well in that role, I'd avoid any that are based on hopper-based designs, no matter the marketing. Putting a puffer in instead of a hopper and tilting it at a rakish angle looks cool, but doesn't address internal design limitations around retention.

There's a lot of parroting of hype around flat burrs vs. conical burrs. I'd wager that most of it is from people that haven't extensively tested them, or even tested "the other" at all. There are plenty of flat burrs out there that taste pretty much like any other classic espresso burr, flat or conical. Even the SSP 64 HU burrs are probably not in the category of those that are exploring modern espresso with light roasts.

The Sette's burrs are generally considered good burrs. I don't think it is as though you are missing 1/2 of what the coffee can offer. You're already up there in terms of the grand scheme of things.

Let me try to explain "light" in a reasonable way. If you're buying something from a North American roaster that is "for espresso", you're not dealing with the kinds of light roasts that the light-roast enthusiasts are talking about. I recently tried a premium filter-roast from a US-based roaster that was a "medium" by RoastVision testing. Putting "light" into perspective is useful in evaluating other's experiences and tastes. I chuckled when a member recently described a roaster known for producing excellent, well-developed, ultra-lights that seem to have shifted significantly darker as "dark, like Tim Wendelboe dark". Some here consider Wendelboe's roasts overly light and underdeveloped.

The coffees I'm drinking this month have been from Coffee Collective and Manhattan. The Manhattan is light, probably dropped in or not long after first crack.

I would not recommend any of the crop of cheap, imported 64 mm grinders at this point if you can afford a P64 or if the Acaia Orbit turns out to be a reasonable alternative. The cheap ones are, well, cheap. If you're lucky, most of the shortcomings can be handled with a bunch of mods and a vacuum cleaner. I own a DF64 because it is the cheapest way that I could test out some of the various 64 mm SSP burrs.

In 64 mm burrs, for my tastes ("Coke or Pepsi?", "Limonata, please") I prefer the 64 MPs and 64 CV2s. I have no desire for the 64 HUs. (Note that the 64 HUs are not the same cut as the 98 HUs).

Still something of a sleeper is the Option-O Lagom Mini, especially with Moonshine burrs. For around $428, direct from Option-O to the US, it has earned its place on my counter. As long as you're only pulling a couple of shots in a session, you should be within its duty cycle (it is not a shop grinder). There have been reports of early models stalling on light roasts. Option-O has upgraded the power supply and gear train and seems to be handing the situation professionally. I wish I could recommend it unhesitatingly.

adamzero

#3: Post by adamzero »

If the noise is your chief complaint, I just posted earlier today about replacing the gearbox in my Sette with a new one that is quieter, and several additional mods for quieting it. It is genuinely quiet now. If you're willing to put in an afternoon of fussy work, it can be done.

hercdeisel

#4: Post by hercdeisel »

I upgraded from a 270wi to the niche when the niche was pretty new to market, well before the NFC disc was released and installed the disc myself. Mostly upgraded because of the noise and the fact that I never ended up using the grind by weight of the 270 because I was already single dosing.

The shrill sound of the 270 just killed me and everyone else in the house.

I really like the niche and everyone in the house since then noted how much more pleasant it was when coffee was being made. Have since upgraded again to a Monolith Flat and love it but the quality and user experience jump was far, far smaller than the jump satisfaction i got from going from the 270 to the Niche. I still have the niche and break out it once a month or so just for fun to test out differences with the flat.

Can't speak to the df64.

Reyj (original poster)

#5: Post by Reyj (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:I'd try single dosing with the Sette 270 to see how you like it before making any "buy" decisions.

If you're looking for a single-dosing grinder that works well in that role, I'd avoid any that are based on hopper-based designs, no matter the marketing. Putting a puffer in instead of a hopper and tilting it at a rakish angle looks cool, but doesn't address internal design limitations around retention.

There's a lot of parroting of hype around flat burrs vs. conical burrs. I'd wager that most of it is from people that haven't extensively tested them, or even tested "the other" at all. There are plenty of flat burrs out there that taste pretty much like any other classic espresso burr, flat or conical. Even the SSP 64 HU burrs are probably not in the category of those that are exploring modern espresso with light roasts.

The Sette's burrs are generally considered good burrs. I don't think it is as though you are missing 1/2 of what the coffee can offer. You're already up there in terms of the grand scheme of things.

Let me try to explain "light" in a reasonable way. If you're buying something from a North American roaster that is "for espresso", you're not dealing with the kinds of light roasts that the light-roast enthusiasts are talking about. I recently tried a premium filter-roast from a US-based roaster that was a "medium" by RoastVision testing. Putting "light" into perspective is useful in evaluating other's experiences and tastes. I chuckled when a member recently described a roaster known for producing excellent, well-developed, ultra-lights that seem to have shifted significantly darker as "dark, like Tim Wendelboe dark". Some here consider Wendelboe's roasts overly light and underdeveloped.

The coffees I'm drinking this month have been from Coffee Collective and Manhattan. The Manhattan is light, probably dropped in or not long after first crack.

I would not recommend any of the crop of cheap, imported 64 mm grinders at this point if you can afford a P64 or if the Acaia Orbit turns out to be a reasonable alternative. The cheap ones are, well, cheap. If you're lucky, most of the shortcomings can be handled with a bunch of mods and a vacuum cleaner. I own a DF64 because it is the cheapest way that I could test out some of the various 64 mm SSP burrs.

In 64 mm burrs, for my tastes ("Coke or Pepsi?", "Limonata, please") I prefer the 64 MPs and 64 CV2s. I have no desire for the 64 HUs. (Note that the 64 HUs are not the same cut as the 98 HUs).

Still something of a sleeper is the Option-O Lagom Mini, especially with Moonshine burrs. For around $428, direct from Option-O to the US, it has earned its place on my counter. As long as you're only pulling a couple of shots in a session, you should be within its duty cycle (it is not a shop grinder). There have been reports of early models stalling on light roasts. Option-O has upgraded the power supply and gear train and seems to be handing the situation professionally. I wish I could recommend it unhesitatingly.

Thank you for the great response. I almost wrote a sentence that stated, "Should I just go for a P64 price range?" But, I deleted it. I'm always nervous of buying the firsts of anything but I love the look of the Orbit. I've been on the email updates list through acaia. Appreciate all the info on burrs and light roasts!

Reyj (original poster)

#6: Post by Reyj (original poster) »

adamzero wrote:If the noise is your chief complaint, I just posted earlier today about replacing the gearbox in my Sette with a new one that is quieter, and several additional mods for quieting it. It is genuinely quiet now. If you're willing to put in an afternoon of fussy work, it can be done.

I'll take a look at this, thanks!!

Reyj (original poster)

#7: Post by Reyj (original poster) »

hercdeisel wrote:I upgraded from a 270wi to the niche when the niche was pretty new to market, well before the NFC disc was released and installed the disc myself. Mostly upgraded because of the noise and the fact that I never ended up using the grind by weight of the 270 because I was already single dosing.

The shrill sound of the 270 just killed me and everyone else in the house.

I really like the niche and everyone in the house since then noted how much more pleasant it was when coffee was being made. Have since upgraded again to a Monolith Flat and love it but the quality and user experience jump was far, far smaller than the jump satisfaction i got from going from the 270 to the Niche. I still have the niche and break out it once a month or so just for fun to test out differences with the flat.

Can't speak to the df64.
Appreciate you sharing your experience with the niche. The sette has been great the past two years, but I think it's time to move on like you did!

SutterMill

#8: Post by SutterMill »

2 cents worth of experience.

If your going from a sette to a niche for flavor, your going to be underwhelmed. The are close in flavor. If your going for a more enjoyable experience while single dosing then you'll be delighted. Workflow on Niche is a joy. Mainly due to noise and dosing cup.

Given your preference for lighter, fruit forward roasts something like the df64 with ssp Multi Purpose burrs would likely work quite well. Next to the Sette the Df64 SSP MP bring out more clarity and makes fruit flavors "pop". The Sette by comparison kept the same coffee more muddled, and the fruit flavors lacked the brightness of the df64.

Oddly those same attributes that made me enjoy the df64 with lighter roasts had me reaching for the Sette or Niche with medium to darker roasts. The brightness and acidty was not nearly as appealing with those darker roasts. YMMV.

Vindibona1

#9: Post by Vindibona1 »

Reyj wrote:First post, long time lurker. Would appreciate all the help I can get.
Current set up: Ascaso Steel Duo PID v2, Baratza Sette 270wi

100% use of the grinder is for espresso, and 90% of the time we drink light to medium roasts. Our favorite flavors are ones with fruity notes, instead of chocolate notes. If doing pour over, I hand grind.

I would love to upgrade from the sette due to the noise level, but haven't had any other complaints so far. I also believe that I want to switch to single dosing. From what I've read about conical burrs, that are used in the sette and niche, produce a good cup of espresso, but flat burrs(ssp HU) can bring out more from lighter roasts. Which is what we prefer. Is it much of an upgrade to move to a DF64P with HU burrs? Or the eureka oro single dose? I'm also aware of the niche following, but would that be much of an upgrade from the sette (only the noise and single dosing being the huge difference)?

Whatever I upgrade to, the 270wi will be going to work with me to use with my GCP.

Thanks in advance for any responses.
The Sette is not the quietest grinder in the world, but it is one of the fastest. I'm grinding 18g in under 8 seconds. As someone else pointed out, try single doses, which is what I do with my 270. I know you have the WI model. But just use a scale instead of the weight mechanism in the WI. In terms of residual grinds, I get less than 0.02g down to 0.00g residuals on my 270 with single doses- and I don't have a bellows. You can purchase a smaller single dose hopper with bellows if that's what you think you need. I've contemplated that, but haven't truly found the need. I just use the standard hopper and tap on it after pouring in the measured beans so they all get down to the burrs.

Will a different grinder produce better results? Perhaps different, as other "experts" claim. I've thought about the Niche Zero, or Eureka or a DF64 or something like them. But would an "upgrade" to a flat burr on another conical burr grinder provide any improvement for you or me? I've thought about it, but as a casual home barista I think it would be quite an expensive experiment, with no guarantees of any improvement in grind or in taste in the cup because there are so many other variables. I find the 270 very consistent and have recently started using a WDT tool to break up any clumping that I can or cannot see. The biggest issue I have with the 270 is that the macro setting is a stepped setting and the micro is stepless for fine adjustments. But I'm not sure that the stepped setting is consistent and when I have to change the macro setting it's a little hunt and peck with the micro until dialed in. I think I would prefer a continuous stepless grinder that dials in/locks in, but that's my only real complaint and would probably be the only reason for me to change grinders.
adamzero wrote:If the noise is your chief complaint, I just posted earlier today about replacing the gearbox in my Sette with a new one that is quieter, and several additional mods for quieting it. It is genuinely quiet now. If you're willing to put in an afternoon of fussy work, it can be done.
This is interesting. I just replaced the gearbox on my Sette 270 as well, but found the noise level the same. What mods can quiet it down? Until this moment I've not been aware of any.

adamzero

#10: Post by adamzero »

Vindibona1 wrote: This is interesting. I just replaced the gearbox on my Sette 270 as well, but found the noise level the same. What mods can quiet it down? Until this moment I've not been aware of any.
I followed the instructions here: Quieting the Baratza Sette - 4 reversible mods tried & tested
1. I installed anti-vibration washers under the screws that hold the motor assembly to the case.
2. I coated the inside of the case with constrained layer dampener material designed for car audio (I coated it much more thoroughly than the person in that post did).
3. I wrapped the motor in mass-loaded vinyl.

The Sette is subjectively less than half as loud as it was, and much lower pitched. It would never be called loud now. It's a huge difference.

Because I could not order the materials in such small quantities that I would not have excess, I have enough leftovers for 2-3 more mods. If you would like to buy some of my extra materials, DM me, I'd be happy to send you a little kit of them.