Would you upgrade from Rancilio Rocky to Niche Zero - Page 3

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
thefisch6

#21: Post by thefisch6 » Dec 03, 2019, 10:48 pm

Interestingly, back in early 2019, I made the exact upgrade you are referring to. I had been using a Rancilio Rocky quite happily for about 4 years and was only mildly irritated with the retention and lack of grind adjustability offered by the stepped mechanism. Still, I thought it was about time for an upgrade and (once the wife gave me the approval, of course) I bit the bullet on the Niche. Having used it for the better part of a year now, I can confidently say it is a significant step up in terms of consistency and definitely in workflow for me, as I tend toward single dosing. The grind is rock solid and barely moves at all from day to day. It is also simple to dial in multiple beans and go between them regularly. I've also heard some complaints about the Niche's performance at coarser grinds for pourover and french press in the case that you dabble with non-espresso methods as well, but here again I've had no problems and think the Niche shines for those modalities as well. I admit this may all come off a bit fanboyish, and maybe there is an element of cognitive dissonance at play in my love for the Niche, but I think there's a reason people have jumped on board with the Niche even in its infancy.

Now having said that, the Rocky is still a capable grinder that can pull nice shots, no doubt. But the Niche is in a different league entirely in my opinion.

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Tetra

#22: Post by Tetra » Dec 03, 2019, 11:29 pm

Thanks for the reply. More good information. If I were to place a bet right now, I would put the money on me getting the NZ. The hand grinder option is starting to be less appealing after more research. The Lyn Weber HG-1 seemed like a good idea, but if I can believe some of the posts and videos (including some on this forum), it seems maybe there is a quality control problem. Another hand grinder (Helor Flux I think) seems really good but is totally sold out. In terms of powered grinders that are actually available, the NZ is looking like best bet. Your post nudges me a bit closer. My search/ponder cycle for these types of things is usually at least 2 months. Heh. I am such a slow decision maker. But I'm not really in a hurry either. I am getting espresso that I think is fantastic currently, so it seems okay to keep the search going. The Rocky, as old as it is, is doing a pretty good job.

1canuck2

#23: Post by 1canuck2 » Dec 04, 2019, 12:05 am

I own both a Rocky, and a Baratza Vario (which was my first upgrade fro the Rocky) and have relegated the Rocky to the basement, the Vario to drip only, and now own a Niche Zero for use with my ECM Synchronika. It's a notable upgrade to either grinder. I like the precision adjustment of the NZ over Rocky/Vario, I prefer single dosing, cannot be bothered hand grinding. Given those factors, the NZ cannot be beat on price. You will not regret. Cannot speak for the long term as I have only had the NZ for 2.5 months, but it continues to impress.

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Randy G.

#24: Post by Randy G. » Dec 04, 2019, 12:42 am

When I started out in late 2000, Rocky was the "go-to" as a started espresso grinder for a lot of reasons. There were far fewer choices at the time and it was the least expensive "real" grinder built for long term reliability. I used it for about 6½ years. In that time I changed the burrs twice and it needed them changed again when I sold it to a friend. From the Rocky I stepped up to a Mazzer Kony. While the Kony is still an awesome grinder, it is not designed for home use and so it needs some mods to be more home-friendly. It is also a massive beast, and it is not well suited for for single dosing. Lost the Kony in a fire and now have a Monolith Conical 3, but no espresso machine so can't comment on its use for that. Without going into the details, the step up to the Kony made a world of difference such that even my wife could taste various nuances (and before that her only descriptive terms for espresso are "bitter," and "good").

So in conclusion, get a better grinder and don't look back.

PS - While I have not used the Niche, from the comments of users here on HB, I think it is the "high-end, entry level" grinder with the best cost:performance ratio. But I wouldn't trade my MC3 for one. :wink:
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

thefisch6

#25: Post by thefisch6 » replying to Randy G. » Dec 04, 2019, 1:52 pm

It's worth noting that the Niche uses Kony burrs, so it is basically a Kony for home use in a manner of speaking. Still envious of your MonCon though :wink:

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Randy G.

#26: Post by Randy G. » replying to thefisch6 » Dec 04, 2019, 4:22 pm

I do miss the Kony. The Kony made the Rocky look like it came from Tonka. The MC3 has a fine range that grinds for Turkish really well. I anxiously await getting into a house to setup my new coffee bar.
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

buddalouie

#27: Post by buddalouie » Dec 04, 2019, 8:11 pm

I have had quite a few grinders and think the Niche is a the sweet spot for performance and price ratio. I had a Monolith Flat but sold it when I couldn't tell that big of a difference between the two to justify the nearly $2k more. I have never used a Rocky but it seems it would be a significant upgrade, and single dosing is a big benefit you'll get.

javipi
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#28: Post by javipi » Dec 05, 2019, 5:48 pm

YES

mdmvrockford
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#29: Post by mdmvrockford » Dec 06, 2019, 12:05 pm

Tetra wrote:Another hand grinder (Helor Flux I think) seems really good but is totally sold out. In terms of powered grinders that are actually available, the NZ is looking like best bet.........My search/ponder cycle for these types of things is usually at least 2 months. Heh. I am such a slow decision maker. But I'm not really in a hurry either. I am getting espresso that I think is fantastic currently, so it seems okay to keep the search going. The Rocky, as old as it is, is doing a pretty good job.
With my last grinder purchase I was also in no hurry. My prior daily use grinder was also doing great job.

Not to assume anything, I will add you should check home-barista's Buy/Sell forum daily and time permitting maybe more so. I do not know if there is way to auto-alert user if a wanting-to-buy desired item comes up. And when item you want comes up then buy quickly if item is in condition and price you want. The limited supply items (e.g. Monolith grinders, Helor Flux) often will be sold within 1-2 days of listing. That is how I found my Helor Flux.

FYI, a used Helor Flux was listed H-B Buy/Sell on 12/1/2019 and it is now sold. There is used Monolith Conical (MC) version 3 that listed on 12/4/2019 afternoon. The MC will blow your budget as your know. But in my research for single dose and home use (and for your level consumption (which is nearly same as mine)) the MC likely will be the last conical espresso grinder you will buy and will last decades (like your LP and (until proven otherwise) your new Steitman CT2). I am just hoping my Flux will be the last conical I buy and last decades (and until proven otherwise I suspect it will). To date, ergonomically I have no problems with manual grinding with the Flux.
LMWDP #568

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Tetra

#30: Post by Tetra » Dec 06, 2019, 10:13 pm

mdmvrockford wrote:... I will add you should check home-barista's Buy/Sell forum daily and time permitting maybe more so.
I did indeed see that MC listed on the buy/sell forum and it sure made me think a bit; I could be convinced to get one of those without a lot of coercion.

I read the "read this before posting" info for that forum, but I didn't see any hints as how to the transactions are usually completed. Does one usually just work out the payment method with the seller? I'm certainly asking newbie questions here. In any case, though, your advice to check that forum regularly is very good. Thanks.