Will a flat burr grinder help me like light roasts?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
ajb1
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#1: Post by ajb1 »

I'm about 7 months into my espresso journey. I've tried enough beans now to know that I have a strong preference for darker roasts. I have a niche zero and I'm curious if changing to a flat burr grinder will make me like light roast more or will it bring out more of the flavors that I don't like and make me like light beans less? Thank you!

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pizzaman383
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#2: Post by pizzaman383 »

Nothing I have done in 10+ years has made me like anything but coffee that tastes like coffee.
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“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

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MNate
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#3: Post by MNate »

Explore medium roasts with your niche first. It does a fine job with them. Keep learning to distinguish the bitter vs acidic tastes. If you don't like mediums, I wouldn't think you'd like light roasts. (And what we here call medium most places would label light, by the way).

Where do you get your coffee? What is the lightest you have tried?
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ajb1 (original poster)
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#4: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

Hi. I've tried a lot of the best roasters people speak about (verve, onyx, b&w, counter, huck, etc). My favorites are actually from two local roasters (original Batista coffee company and lion and lamb in Costa mesa, ca). When ordering online I always get two bags for free shipping. Always one dark and one medium or medium/dark. Dark is always my preference. I'm trying the supposedly award winning 1950 aster from verve and I don't care for it. Usually anything with words representing light means I won't like it as much (fruity, berries, etc). I want to like lights and even bought a yet to be delivered flat burr zerno Z1 to replace my niche zero. Maybe not the best decision after all?

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#5: Post by ShotClock »

I'd say that it's a bit more about the flavor profile that you like than the roast level. If you want to experiment with fruitier coffees, then I'd recommend naturals since they tend to extract a bit easier than washed, and berry forward natural Ethiopians seem to be very popular. Even in medium light roasts, these can be fruity and orange. Once the roast levels get very light, getting a good extraction becomes much more of a hassle, and in my experience, the juice is rarely worth the squeeze for my personal tastes.

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another_jim
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#6: Post by another_jim »

ajb1 wrote:I'm about 7 months into my espresso journey. I've tried enough beans now to know that I have a strong preference for darker roasts. I have a niche zero and I'm curious if changing to a flat burr grinder will make me like light roast more ...
The Niche will work OK with lighter roasts if you use low doses and grind fine. If you do it right, you will get pleasant tasting shots that will remind you more of soft drinks or white wine than coffee. If you do not get pleasant tasting shots, you are doing it wrong, or extremely averse to acidity (i.e. you hate lemonade and white wine, and will hate light roasts regardless of how well made they are). If you do get pleasant tasting shots, and decide you do like them as much or more than darker roasts, then a flat burr grinder may be more attuned to your needs.
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ajb1 (original poster)
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#7: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

This is good information as I have not heard of natural versus washed, so I'll look into that and I'll give it a try. Is there a favorite natural Ethiopian of yours that I should try?

ajb1 (original poster)
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#8: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

Thanks for your help. I love lemonade and like white wine but don't like acidic coffee so maybe that means I'm doing something wrong. I'll definitely try grinding finer, good suggestion

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Jeff
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#9: Post by Jeff »

Either finer grind or longer ratio is a good idea for medium- or medium-light roast coffees you listed ("verve, onyx, b&w, counter, huck") with a Niche Zero for espresso. I'm assuming you're talking about their "filter" roasts. Lower pressures, even as low as 5-6 bars can help as well. If you find you don't enjoy those as espresso, a flat-burr grinder is unlikely to turn those or lighter into something you enjoy right now.

ajb1 (original poster)
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#10: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

I'm using whole beans in my espresso machine. I'll see if finer or longer works. Great suggestion. I haven't been messing with the bars or the temperature. It seems there's so many other variables but maybe it's time to focus on this as well. Appreciate it.