Would you upgrade from Rancilio Rocky to Niche Zero - Page 2

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

#11: Post by LObin »

Tetra wrote: WHOA! Look at all the options! Squirrel!"
LMWDP #592


#12: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

The call came from the credit card co., 'We've detected large activity on your card in Great Britain can you confirm this purchase?' DW: 'How much!?' She looks over at me, 'Huh?' Me: head nod. :D Back to the phone, 'Okay.' Fast forward, even she had to admit it was a worthwhile upgrade from the 50mm MDF.

But the question is, is it worth it for you? If you were pulling three shots a day, definitely. If only two, nah I wouldn't bother. :D

As far as the lightly roasted stuff--never feel like you have to submit to flowery 'tea-like vibrance.' If it is not you, it isn't you.


#13: Post by NISMO_Juke »

Tetra wrote:Thanks for the response. This is really good information ... and new to me. I have been pulling thousands of shots over the years and love what I make, but I have not been paying attention to the community like a should. So the flat vs conical for different roasts is new to me. Shows how little I know. I am not much into light roasts. For nearly every bean/blend, I almost always prefer roasts that stop just at the very start of second crack. I suspect a lack of sophistication on my part. Right now I have a couple of different Yemen coffees from Sweet Marias that I am really enjoying each morning. It is probably a travesty to roast them up to second crack, but the chocolatey flavors keep calling my name.

I will investigate those other grinders you mention. Thank you.
Thing is the community won't be in your home sipping what you extract. While feedback from others can be helpful to some, I find my results are quite opposite from what I read often in that conicals give more clarity, thinner, cleaner extractions and flats give me the bold, heavy bodied, 'muddy' extractions I shoot for when roasting/extracting. I will agree with the statement that I read often when people ask for grinder advice... the answer is that buying _____ grinder will indeed give a different experience, but might not necessarily be better for the user's preferences/expectations.

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Randy G.

#14: Post by Randy G. »

Your Rocky likely needed new burrs 10 years ago. Most any grinder discussed here would be an upgrade over the Rocky.
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
LMWDP #644


#15: Post by rockethead26 »

Yes, definitely! I went from a Rocky to a Fiorenzato F4 about 3-4 years ago and the F4 was a huge upgrade over the rocky in terms of single dosing and grind consistency. Then I went for the NZ during the campaign and couldn't be happier. Consistency is very, very good, it's even a better single doser with a lot less retention and it kicked up the consistency factor another couple of notches. Easy as heck to clean, too!

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#16: Post by mdmvrockford »

Tetra wrote: For the last 15+ years I have been grinding with a Rocky Rancilio grinder, and pulling shots with a La Pavoni Europiccola. I've been super satisfied with everything; I make two (okay fine, let's not prevaricate, three) straight shots every morning. Recently, I added a Strietman CT2 to the lineup.....Would you upgrade to the Niche Zero grinder from a very solid 50mm flat burr grinder for 2 (well fine, 3) espressos each morning?
I'm not one to upgrade equipment every little bit. My Europiccola is 20 years old, I will use the Strietman CT2 until I am dead (many years in the future), the Rocky grinder is just shy of its 15th bday with me......
I guess the question is: Has anyone done a similar upgrade and found it worthwhile?
Since I tend to type long answers I will given suggestions in short and long form.

Suggestions (in short):
(a) Yes, do upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky grinder. You home roast and have very high quality machine.

(b) Niche Zero produces a wonderful espresso. It is a great single dose grinder.

(c) Consider hand grinder and if going that route then consider Lyn WeberHG-1, Helor Flux, Kinu M47, Orphan Espresso Pharos 2.0

Please give update after your final decision.

Suggestions (in detail)
(a) My first espresso grinder was Rocky. I did not do the stepless mod. I still own it as Boss uses it for regular brew (she refuses to hand grind). My subsequent espresso grinders were Mazzer Super Jolly then Orphan Espresso Pharos then Helor Flux. The flavor separation, consistency, adjustability of all these were far better than the Rocky. Also for the Pharos and Flux, retention is <0.1gram and both single dose very easily.

Also I always dose 15 grams to 17 grams for Cremina (and for Alexia I dose 15 grams to 22 grams). From anotherjim's experience, the Rocky is not good at these higher doses. /grinders/t ... tml#p50878

(b) I have tasted output from anotherjim's Niche Zero and then from Monolith Conical version 1.0. To me both were equally wonderful and indistinguishable to my novice palate. Here are two posts (if you have not already seen them ) that praise Niche Zero output.
/advice/nic ... ml#p640798
/advice/hol ... ml#p651048

From my skimming of the Niche Zero (NZ) user experience mega thread, it appears one of the negative of the NZ is what will be reliability decades later. Anotherjim brought this up in this post /advice/nic ... ml#p640798. But in my thinking, the price of two brand new Niche Zero is still <$1600; $1600 is the cost for great condition, used Monolith Conical in my search for one earlier this year.

(c) Given I wanted something that would last multiple decades and given my level of espresso consumption, I chose to get used Helor Flux (has Mazzer 71mm conical burrs vs. NZ's Mazzer 63mm conical burrs). Along with my Cremina, I have very quiet espresso preparation and brewing. Your LaPavoni and now Streitman CT2 are similar w.r.t. manual level espressso. Problem with Helor Flux is availability /grinders/h ... ml#p673516
I did not choose Lyn Weber HG-1 as larger footprint vs. Flux (both with same burrset). I have used HG-1 in past and loved it's output. I have not personally used Kinu M47 but it is highly regarded by many on HB including those who also own Monolith Conical.

KinuM47 seem to be more available than Helor Flux. There are also different versions.

If you do not mind the hand grinder effort (there is no gear reduction) and it needs to be secured, then current Orphan Espresso Pharos 2.0 would be a great cost-effective choice. In my hands on use it has the same in-the-cup output as Monolith Conical v1.0, Helor Flux and Compak K10.
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#17: Post by mgwolf »

A few comments:
I have owned an HG-1 which gave excellent quality grinds, but I had to sell it because it wrecked my wrist (tendonitis) which took months to heal.
There are many grinders available now which would be an upgrade to the Rocky. I've had one of those too (my first grinder) and was happy with it at the time, but all my subsequent grinders have been much better.
I currently have a Niche and the workflow is the best of any grinder I've owned (probably 6 or 7). It's simple, quiet, and has a small footprint. I've compared it back to back with a Monolith Flat and for my favored coffees (medium/dark) there were only subtle differences between the two (Niche better on some, Monolith better on some) but all were very good.
If I were in your shoes, I would get a Niche, but that's only an opinion. Good luck with your beautiful Streitman!

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#18: Post by Tetra »

mdmvrockford wrote: ...
(c) Consider hand grinder and if going that route then consider Lyn WeberHG-1, Helor Flux, Kinu M47, Orphan Espresso Pharos 2.0

Please give update after your final decision.
Thanks everyone for the very thoughtful responses. This has helped in my search. I can't say it has narrowed my search since there are more realistic options than I originally thought. But that is a good thing. The basic answer of "Should I upgrade to something" is clearly answered with a resounding yes. I am very convinced of that. The hand grinder option is extremely appealing to me; I had not even considered it prior to starting this thread. So that seems worth some investigation.

The Monolith grinders sound wonderful, but the fact that one cannot actually simply purchase one puts a damper on my enthusiasm. I am going to spend the evening reading up more. I will certainly follow up with final decisions and results after all this is done (which could be a number of days and possibly weeks depending on availability). Thanks again!

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#19: Post by Tetra »

mgwolf wrote:... owned an HG-1 which gave excellent quality grinds, but I had to sell it because it wrecked my wrist (tendonitis) ...
If I were in your shoes, I would get a Niche, but that's only an opinion. Good luck with your beautiful Streitman!
Very good and pertinent information here. Interesting point about the tendinitis; it is worth considering. I don't currently have any issues related to that, but I am a programmer by profession and play the piano for fun. So I would be rather sad if I had to deal with that kind of thing. I will keep that in mind as I research. How long did a grind take for one espresso on the HG-1? The interwebs seem to indicate that perhaps 60 rotations of the flywheel are needed ... but I haven't yet seen a video.


#20: Post by MntnMan62 » replying to Tetra »

I agree that this is very good information. In addition, since you are now thinking about a manual grinder, consider how using one would fit into your workflow. Obviously some have no problem with it. Only you know whether that time is going to enhance or impede your workflow for making shots. Looking forward to hearing your ultimate decision.

I'm in a similar boat but I'm not upgrading. I'm considering my first espresso "machine". With this thread as well as the others on this site, I'm now settled on the Niche Zero as my grinder. I do think the only issue is it's reliability given how new it is. Time will tell. And I think I'm going to start out with a manual espresso "maker". The Cafelat Robot. And if I decide to upgrade to a semi-automatic machine later on, the Niche will still be my trusty grinder.