Baratza Vario vs Niche Zero for Brewed Coffee

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by rcrutcher »

I have a new Niche Zero grinder, which I bought to use with my Decent Espresso machine. I also have a Baratza Vario which I've used for many years for pourovers, Aeropress, and brewed coffee. Given that I'm selling the Decent and no longer going to be making espresso, I was thinking I'd sell the Niche. I've been told by several people that the Vario is as good if not better for pourovers and brewed coffee (flat burrs) than the Niche. Any thoughts? Is the Vario good enough for pourovers and other filtered coffee methods that I can sell the Niche?

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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

Given the realistic load limit on the Niche is about 20g, it's a PITA to grind enough for a pot.

Vario is excellent for your intended use.


#3: Post by Jonk »

Yes, I much prefer the Vario as long as it has the steel burrs installed.. but these things are up to individual taste - is the Niche still not unboxed or why don't you try it out with your preferred beans and see what you think?

FWIW when you flip the flapper in the Vario it has less retention and overall mess as well.

rcrutcher (original poster)

#4: Post by rcrutcher (original poster) »

Yes, I tried the Niche with the Decent Espresso machine and it worked much better than the Vario. However, I'm selling the Decent and going back to just making filter coffee (pourovers, Aeropress, brewed) so I thought maybe I don't need the Niche anymore.


#5: Post by Stavey »

I have a Forte and a Niche . I prefer light bright coffees. That being said the Forte gives me a much brighter cup than the Niche. I've done numerous back to back taste tests and the Forte is superior for lighter roasts in my opinion .

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#6: Post by cafeIKE »

Stavey wrote:the Forte is superior for lighter roasts in my opinion
... with all the rest of your gear, water and technique - right down to cleaning regimen.

N O T H I N G operates in isolation.


#7: Post by Stavey replying to cafeIKE »

My gear is
Plastic v60
Glass v60 pitcher
Barista Hustle water recipe
Water rite off boil
I also have a hand duster that I use to blow out any left over grounds
Bottom line I used the same techniques and even tested different papers
Cafec light roast papers
Cafec medium roast papers
Tabbed Hario papers
and untabbed hario filters.
In every test the Forte produced a brighter sharper better cup of coffee. I still use the niche for spro but that is all.

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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

I'm not trying to bust your chops. I'm a retired engineer and just when you think you've hit a dinger, it's only a GR double.
Hal Moore wrote:There is always one more thing you can do to increase your odds of success.
Did you grind for espresso in both grinders, then adjust for drip? Or compare after discarding a purging grind?
I'll assume the same measured hot water volume
Did you time extraction / measure volume for each grinder drip?

FWIW, I have 3 metal mesh filters for drip and an MC4 only used for drip. I measure coffee 60±0.1g and water ±0.5cc. As little as 0.005mm change [about ½ tooth on the geared adjuster] in burr spacing can dramatically change the brew.


#9: Post by Jonk »

rcrutcher wrote:I thought maybe I don't need the Niche anymore.
Yeah, sell it to someone who'll appreciate it for the espresso or even cezve capabilities.