Can one taste a difference for two grinders having the same burrs?

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

#1: Post by mdumi »

Hello lovely community,

I have a kind of a silly question.

I am on the look for a second grinder in my home setup (Bianca + Eurek Magnifico) and I am struggling right now to make a decision.

An idea I got suggested was to add some conical burrs to my setup to have an alternative to my flat Eureka burrs.

I found some used Mazzer Kony for a decent price that come into my budget. But! The Niche Zero uses the exactly same burrs.

Thus, my question: if the grinders have the same burrs, will the taste in the cup be identical?
Both grinders have pros and cons: the Mazzer is a tank almost impossible to destroy but with some retention while Niche has less retention, sleek design and single doser.

However, the MOST important to me is the final taste in the cup!

Similarly, the Mazzer Major and the DF 83 have same burrs. These could also make it to my list (I know, I said conical. But it's so damn hard to decide without a taste test).
Should then the shots coming from a Major be the same with those coming from the DF 83?

Thank you dearly for your thoughts.

Mihai from Berlin ;)

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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

The Niche spins at much lower RPM than the Kony so the taste will be different. It won't be a huge difference in taste and you may not be able to discern a difference.

In addition, what happens to the coffee before and after the burrs can impact taste. Again, it won't be a huge difference in taste and you may not be able to discern a difference.

I'd take a Niche over a Kony for home use every time.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada
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#3: Post by another_jim »

I've used both the Niche and Kony, but not at the same time. Based on memory, the taste differences are minor to null. This doesn't mean you won't taste a difference on a particular coffee; but the differences are unlikely to be so systematic that they identify the grinder.

I have noticed large differences using the same burr (swapped from grnder to grinder); but this was due to bad engineering on one grinder.
Jim Schulman


#4: Post by DaveC »

baldheadracing wrote:I'd take a Niche over a Kony for home use every time.
If the Kony is the 63mm version, the Niche Zero will have a much nicer workflow, less retention and be more kitchen friendly. Grind quality wise, the Niche will be at least as good...possibly slightly better due to much lower burr speeds.

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#5: Post by buckersss »

For all the hullabaloo about how alignment is so important, i would have to imagine the answer is "yes". Otherwise the general consensus has some conflicting narratives.

Rpm is mentioned above. But not unrelated, if the two grinders had drastically different motor torque, then I think one also may be able to tell a difference.

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#6: Post by Jeff »


Hard to tell the difference when the design and execution are good. Much easier to tell when they are not good.

Edit: To address the original question, I consider the Niche Zero design and execution good.


#7: Post by malling »

Yes you can taste a difference if certain criteria are met.

1: if the burrs have different orientation
2: if there is a prebreaker
3: if alignments are not the same
4: if there more or less regrinding
5: if there more or less retention
6: for certain burrs if these run at different RPM, mainly Conicals or other bimodal burrs

This is why people detect improvements on the Zerno Z1 over other grinders using same burrs, because it is vertical mounted, has a prebreaker and allegedly is incredibly well aligned according to some best in class (can't verify if this is true) Kyle even said to such a degree it beat similar type SSP in 83mm burrs variants when mounted in Duo and DF83, but really could also be those burrs design simply didn't translate well to larger burrs, so take it with a caveat.

Alignment make a noticeable effect and so dos prebreaker, not surprisingly as it effects the PSD. This improvement is something I noticed on my old EK43, alignment made notably improvements in the cup, getting the Titus carrier improved it evsb further because it did two things the old one didn't prebreak the coffee and improved alignment even further. I tried other well regarded 98mm grinders and and other prebreakers and again the results was not the same.

Some of those things I mentioned are definitely minor, others can be more pronounced, the biggest difference is without a doubt if there is a combination of several of the points.