Niche Zero vs HG-1 - Page 4

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

#31: Post by chipman »

For pure grinding quality and construction quality, I would go with the HG1. The only thing you have to consider is if you are ready to commit to hand grinding. My HG1 will grind 18gm in about 18 revolutions fairly easily (med roast beans). lightly roasted is definitely more of a physical chore.

pcrussell50

#32: Post by pcrussell50 »

one_good_coffee wrote:Talking about what? What is the link with what I said? This is not the HG-1, it's some tuning of some sort to get a motor on it. This wasn't the original question of the author of this thread.
It is nothing of the sort, of course. It is a pre-made, pre-fitted thing. You simply remove the crank and base, and screw the grinder down to the motor assembly using the existing bolts. That's it. Nothing more than that.

By the way, I assumed you were responding to George, from a few days ago, vs. the OP from six months ago.
chipman wrote:For pure grinding quality and construction quality, I would go with the HG1. The only thing you have to consider is if you are ready to commit to hand grinding. My HG1 will grind 18gm in about 18 revolutions fairly easily (med roast beans). lightly roasted is definitely more of a physical chore.
Agree with all of this ^^^ It aligns perfectly with my experience with my HG1 before I motorized it. The physical chore never bothered me either. I went with the two-bolt motor option for quiet refinement, compactness and elegance. I have it in a back corner in the the kitchen and I don't ever have to move it up to the front of the counter to crank it any more.

Getting back to the OP's question, motorizing the HG1 should always be a consideration when comparing it to another motorized grinder. The large commercial burrs and powerful, the no kit-building, two bolt installation, brushless DC, speed controllable motor kit, and the solid refinement of the HG1 combine beautifully.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Renegade

#33: Post by Renegade »

Hi ! :)

I have the HG-1 and i've bought another grinder, dedicated for lighter roasts, especially espresso. First of all, I don't know if it is related to the gearbox or something, but it is impossible to grind lighter roasts without stopping the cranking process, get back to it and repeat... At first, I was able to get the job done without any fuss, but then the resistance became harder and harder with time. In the process, i've messed with the gearbox a bit to get the best alignment as possible, so maybe it is the culprit.

Nothing against the grind quality, it is on par, really. My cat could probably pull a good shot with this grinder, as it is very forgiving, and if someone is tweaking to the max the results are stunning. Later, my personal preferences got me in the flat burrs for lighter roasts used for espresso, but I still prefer the HG-1 for pour over (V60), no matter what the roast level might be.

The flavor profile is... Conical +++ lol ! I am still using it for dark/medium-dark/medium beans, since the EY is some kinda low, but definitely not a good grinder for lighter roasts for espresso, and I would try it for pour over before buying.

Sometimes, I can skip the RDT, but, usually, like 80%, you will have to RDT. Like any conical, particles size spectrum range is wider and WDT is mandatory, and for me WDT in the tumbler, dump in the basket, level, tamp is what's working for me. I've tried the shaker: more clumps with finer grind and I had to WDT anyway, so...

Never had any problem with the grinder. I was stupid enough to buy the grinder the only year it was ''factory aligned'', so I had a bit of modifications to do to be able to move the burr holder a bit and I shimmed the shafts in the gearbox (probably why my backlash is now adjusted too tight and the difficulty to grind lighter roasts: dude I am thinking about it while I am writing this and...), but I must say that conicals are a $%?% PITA to align and I am an alignment freak, so... But honestly the initial alignment was more than ok.

The anodized aluminium is freaking hot: you won't scratch it. I can scratch my Lagom just by looking at it, but the HG-1, you will have to drop something on it and you will mark the grinder too. I realized how this aspect was good quality when I had my lagom and also played with anodized aluminium in other hobbies.

foam2

#34: Post by foam2 »

I would say weber should have come out with a motorized version of the HG1 which makes it way more impressive that it already is. What you get with the HG1 is a large 83mm robust burr set that will last a lifetime. You also get a really clean design and as far as manual grinders go it's probably the nicest one out there. Georgette, In that regard your main view point is the difference in motor or not motor which is not what the OP asked about, they asked about taste profile for espresso or brew, and the ease of going back and forth. I'm working on the taste part which is what I brought up on the previous page, but as it relates to going back and forth from espresso to brew that is crazy easy with the niche and a definite pain with the hg1.

wug2grinder

#35: Post by wug2grinder »

pcrussell50 wrote:It is nothing of the sort, of course. It is a pre-made, pre-fitted thing. You simply remove the crank and base, and screw the grinder down to the motor assembly using the existing bolts. That's it. Nothing more than that.
Thank you Peter for those nice comments and recommendations about Wug2. Without you guys I can't really make this happened and keep improving the motor mod.

i have been playing with many hg-1s in the past 2 years, alignment can't be assured and it varies batch to batch. I have made a simple kit to align hg-1 for both horizontal and vertical offset of the burr collar. Shall share it with you all in early december.

for comparing with niche zero i would suggest you fix the speed of hg-1 around 80rpm as grinding too fast or too slow means you will introduce another parameter to your test, which is the grinding size. i do observed that with higher speed in motorised hg-1, i need to grind much finer to keep the same flow rate.

looking forward to your result too.

one_good_coffee

#36: Post by one_good_coffee »

Oh of course, if we're now talking about a motorized HG-1 then it removes most of my complains about this grinder (I still have a lot of complains around alignment but they mostly refer to the early version that I have I think).

I don't know how much cost the motor kit tho, I guess we're not in the Niche ballpark anymore.

Since the Niche is apparently competing with much refined and way more costly grinders, I would carefully weight the pros and cons of having a cheaper « ready to operate » grinder compared to a more expensive and « ready to assemble » one, or even a completely different one since now the cost is different. The HG-1 looks way way better on the other hand (I have a very bad opinion on the look of the Niche).

foam2

#37: Post by foam2 »

So I have been tasting between the two for the last week and as predicted the tasting differences are very subtle. I would like to think in I blind taste test I could tell the difference but I'm not confident - they're that close. The coffee from both is enjoyable and the best way to describe the difference is the HG1 seems to be rounder/fuller than the Niche. In terms of static the HG1 has more but I installed the plastic wiper and that seemed to help keep any grounds from clinging to the inside of the chute. The HG1 seems to grind slower than the Niche but not by much and noise is about the same. Overall they are both great and I don't think you would go wrong but if you told me I could only keep one I would pick the HG1.

chipman

#38: Post by chipman »

Renegade wrote:Hi ! :)

I have the HG-1 and i've bought another grinder, dedicated for lighter roasts, especially espresso. First of all, I don't know if it is related to the gearbox or something, but it is impossible to grind lighter roasts without stopping the cranking process, get back to it and repeat... At first, I was able to get the job done without any fuss, but then the resistance became harder and harder with time. In the process, i've messed with the gearbox a bit to get the best alignment as possible, so maybe it is the culprit.
Your experience is not that much different than mine. I don't think it's the grinder, I think it is us just getting older and weaker. I know it is in my case.

TallDan

#39: Post by TallDan »

Personally, I don't think that it takes a ton of arm strength to use the HG-1 well, but I think it takes some core strength and a ton of coordination, which comes with practice. It sounds a little ridiculous, but after a lot of practice, I have a position with my right foot ahead of the left on the ground; my weight mostly on my left foot. I hold my back (core muscles) straight, push down with my left hand on the stationary handle and crank with my right. When I'm in the right position and use the right cadence for cranking, I have a smooth consistent motion to grind 18g for a shot, even with light (hard to grind) beans. Without the right positioning, I struggle to grind coffee at all.

I'm 6'7", 210lb, and in 2018/2019 i did strength training 3x/week with free weights at a gym (stopped when the gyms closed in March). I mention this because my increases in strength didn't seem to make using the HG-1 easier, but I think the technique that I learned for safe strong body movements did.

pcrussell50

#40: Post by pcrussell50 »

Before I motorized the HG1, there was a very noticeable difference in required turning torque with hard light roasts. It didn't bother me but it is what it is. And it's no joke.

At the risk of being a broken record, I didn't motorize my HG1 for that reason. I did it for coolness and refinement. And because it was literally two-bolts easy, and not a fiddly kit. Those were my reasons.

-Peter
LMWDP #553