Conical burr electric grinder with LESS clarity than Niche Zero?

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cactus_farmer

#1: Post by cactus_farmer »

I keep seeing reviews of mid-range grinders with conical burrs that all seem to produce coffee with higher clarity (and less body) than the Niche Zero. Included in these are the Goat Story Arco, Option-O Lagom Mini, Turin SD40, Baratza Encore and even most premium hand-grinders such as Kinu M47 and Comandante C40.

The only exception seems to be the Baratza Sette - and that, for me is out of the question because of known issues with the gearbox and inability to do pour-over...

Is there any electric conical burr grinder on the market that has similar clarity and body (even less clarity and more body) than the Niche Zero? But can still do serviceable pour-over?

I find it surprising that it's this difficult to find such an option because a more unimodal and high clarity grind distribution is meant to be generally seen as a 'premium' feature, yet this sort of cup profile is seemingly increasingly more common - even on lower priced grinders...

N714

#2: Post by N714 »

To have a high body and less clarity the ground need to have high fines (less uniformity), this will be reflected in both espresso and pour over

Do you find Niche pour over cup good?

LObin

#3: Post by LObin »

cactus_farmer wrote:I keep seeing reviews of mid-range grinders with conical burrs that all seem to produce coffee with higher clarity (and less body) than the Niche Zero. Included in these are the Goat Story Arco, Option-O Lagom Mini, Turin SD40, Baratza Encore and even most premium hand-grinders such as Kinu M47 and Comandante C40.

The only exception seems to be the Baratza Sette - and that, for me is out of the question because of known issues with the gearbox and inability to do pour-over...

Is there any electric conical burr grinder on the market that has similar clarity and body (even less clarity and more body) than the Niche Zero? But can still do serviceable pour-over?

I find it surprising that it's this difficult to find such an option because a more unimodal and high clarity grind distribution is meant to be generally seen as a 'premium' feature, yet this sort of cup profile is seemingly increasingly more common - even on lower priced grinders...

The Arco, SD40, 1zpresso J and K all have a pretty classic, espresso oriented, conical burr set. The results in the cup should be somewhat close to the Niche, with more texture over clarity.

The Lagom Mini, SPTK 38G, 1zpresso Q and Comandante C40 all have a burr set with very similar geometry (base off the C40 burr set) that is less traditional and designed with "modern" roasts and brew methods in mind. Often described as more clarity oriented.

The Kinu M47 has a both a brew and an espresso burr option.

Another conical option would be Etzinger.

And of course, many 64mm and smaller, flat burr grinders have quite a traditional geometry and produce an espresso much closer to the Niche.
LMWDP #592

cactus_farmer (original poster)

#4: Post by cactus_farmer (original poster) »

LObin wrote: The Arco, SD40, 1zpresso J and K all have a pretty classic, espresso oriented, conical burr set. The results in the cup should be somewhat close to the Niche, with more texture over clarity.

The Lagom Mini, SPTK 38G, 1zpresso Q and Comandante C40 all have a burr set with very similar geometry (base off the C40 burr set) that is less traditional and designed with "modern" roasts and brew methods in mind. Often described as more clarity oriented.

The Kinu M47 has a both a brew and an espresso burr option.

Another conical option would be Etzinger.

And of course, many 64mm and smaller, flat burr grinders have quite a traditional geometry and produce an espresso much closer to the Niche.
Great, thanks for the detailed reply.

I was wondering if you have any experience personally with the SD40? And if so, how does it compare to the Niche Zero?

At the moment my only base of reference is the Wilfa Uniform. I have been told that these have a 'traditional' espresso-orientated flat burr geometry, yet the grinder as a whole is orientated towards pour-over brewing - so that mis-match is a little confusing... James Hoffmann has directly compared the Wilfa Uniform to the Niche Zero and the Fellow Ode (stock burrs) and has said that the Uniform is significantly more clarity-focussed than the Zero and similar in cup profile to the Ode with stock burrs...

So is it the case that 'traditional/espresso' orientated flat burrs are similar in cup profile to 'clarity/modern' orientated conical burrs?

And the spectrum from most clarity-focussed to most texture focussed would be;

Traditional conical burr --> modern conical burr --> traditional flat burr --> modern/unimodal flat burr

Given that Hoffmann has indicated that the Wilfa Uniform is more clarity focussed than a Niche Zero and similar in cup profile to a Fellow Ode with stock burrs, would something like an Arco or SD40 be likely to be a good compliment to the Wilfa Uniform - or produce too similar a cup profile to warrant owning both?

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Jeff
Team HB

#5: Post by Jeff »

Good to remember that the differences among better grinders in a given class tend to be small. Buying better beans and roasts may improve your experience far more than a change from one well-respected "thousand-dollar" grinder to another.
cactus_farmer wrote:Traditional conical burr --> modern conical burr --> traditional flat burr --> modern/unimodal flat burr
Far from that simple, in my opinion. I also think that the assumption that more fines is the mechanism at work here may be convenient for discussion. I doubt that most people on most grinders have run particle distribution testing with equipment that can measure it in the espresso range when making "more fines" or "more unimodal" declarations about any specific grinder or burr.

Titan Grinder Project is an interesting read.

Conicals were on the top.

I don't know of any "modern conical" in larger sizes yet. I also don't know of much work done around choice of RPM with larger conicals when the burr doesn't change.

There are also recent flats that seem to have a very similar flavor profile in the cup to conicals. Hey, but you've got a flat, so it has to taste better, because everybody else says so.

Edit: I don't think that it is that the Niche Zero is notably poor for clarity. I continue to believe that it is a very good, entry-level, high-end grinder. I think what you're seeing it that people haven't considered spending $500-1,000 for a grinder that is "intentionally muddy" in the cup. There are probably options out there, but they've been ignored by many people, or at least not evaluated with muddiness being a positive attribute.

There may be one of the titan conicals in there that has the attributes you're looking for in comparison to Kony burrs.

cactus_farmer (original poster)

#6: Post by cactus_farmer (original poster) »

All I'm really looking for is something with a more 'typically conical' profile than my flat-burr Wilfa Uniform. Now, I appreciate not many outside Europe have any experience with the Wilfa Uniform, so for all intents and purposes let's say that the coffee it produces tastes more or less equivalent to the stock Fellow Ode (i.e. without the SSP burrs). (James Hoffmann directly compared them and couldn't notice an appreciable difference when extraction was equivalent).

So, I guess the question is: are the stock burrs in the Fellow Ode so muddy, complex, textured and generally different to the typical flat burr profile that most typical conical burrs found in mid-range grinders will offer equivalent, or even higher clarity than them?

I've seen people say that the Baratza Encore with M2 burrs, the Option-O Lagom Mini with Obsydian burrs (i.e. the ones meant to have less clarity) and the Goat Story Arco would all have equivalent clarity to the stock Fellow Ode...?