Comments on Niche Zero Review - Page 11

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Magoo

Postby Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 1:13 am

Ooh. Would be very, very interested to hear the results of this. Not sure if it's too much trouble to ask if you can do a blind taste comparison? There's been a lot of hype about both of these grinders, especially the NZ, and I can only imagine it would be hard for anybody to be immune to some expectation bias.

martianpc

Postby martianpc » replying to Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 6:32 am

'm not sure I know how to do it properly, but after getting a it broken in a little hit, I can look into that.

Magoo

Postby Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 6:57 am

Blind tasting protocol pls: another_jim or davec?

DaveC

Postby DaveC » replying to Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 8:31 am

I'm too lazy and no one would believe it anyway except for people who already own one....so not much point. I have a £2500 grinder I no longer use (Ceado E92), that should be convincing enough, because even expectation bias isn't going to make me drop a grinder like that in favour of the Niche. The tipping point for me was actually a workflow thing.

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Spitz.me

Postby Spitz.me » Apr 17, 2019, 10:09 am

For me it'll be largely a workflow thing too. I got a Sette to solve that, but I've grown tired of it's noise and limitations if I veer off my comfort path. I have a K10 and began to only use it for more difficult coffees. Lately, however I've gone back to the K10 as the daily grinder. I do find, however, that when I'm lazy, I use the Sette and I realize even more how crappy it is to fish the grinds out of the K10. I'm really looking forward to my Niche and Sam's review has made me even more encouraged that it will replace the K10. Something I couldn't say with the Sette.

I know how we are on this site. Constantly looking to compare, compare compare until there is no questioning the right decision (or is there?). A random data point by a random forum member who owns your gear tips the scales? :mrgreen: If your grinder can go toe-to-toe with a K10 or MonoCon then probably keep it.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Apr 17, 2019, 12:44 pm

Magoo wrote:Blind tasting protocol pls: another_jim or davec?


For cupping, just google "coffee cupping."

For espresso, you need to do some gearing up. First you need two identical baskets. Second, you need to get used to using the basket separately from the PF (think of the basket like a nespresso pod, and the machine plus PF as a unit). Two ways to do this. First, remove the spring clip from the PF, which is easy, but inconvenient for knocking out the puck. The second is weakening the spring clip by bending out the angles, sot hat the basket pops in and out easily. This is more work, but also more convenient. Having the basket on its own makes shot prep much easier, especially with the Niche, where you can use the catch cup as a cocktail shaker. Once you're set, you'll be able to grind and prep multiple baskets, have them lined up by the machine, and churn out shots.

To do grinder comparisons, set the girnders so the same dose produces the same shot weight on the same time. Do this for a fine/low dose and a coarser/high does grind setting. Mark one basket discretely under the lip with a marker pen. Prep both baskets and shuffle until you no longer know which is which. Do the comparisons.

Don't worry about which one tastes "better;" better is a four letter word when tasting analytically. Your job is to do enough comparing until you can tell the grinders apart consistently. There are two possibilities. One is that you don't succeed. Then the grinders' quality is identical. The other is that you do succeed. Then there are also two possibilities: you like one better because ..., or its a wash, because ...

For instance, after doing enough testing I could tell the Niche consistently from the K10, since the Niche is softer tasting. This is a wash because I can get softer tasting shots from the K10 by grinding finer, or edgier shots from the Niche by grinding coarser. For the Niche and the Vario with brew burr at French Press grind, the brew burr Vario is cleaner when the cup cools off, but I can't tell them apart very consistently, so for the time being it's a wash/win (?) for the Vario. As you can see, grinder testing is tedious, hard work.
Jim Schulman
★ Helpful

Magoo

Postby Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 1:13 pm

DaveC wrote:I'm too lazy and no one would believe it anyway except for people who already own one....so not much point. I have a £2500 grinder I no longer use (Ceado E92), that should be convincing enough, because even expectation bias isn't going to make me drop a grinder like that in favour of the Niche. The tipping point for me was actually a workflow thing.


I do understand and respect the workflow point. And I think that's something people can easily judge for themselves. I agree no need or point to try to design an RCT to determine this.

I also think there is ample evidence that the niche zero is an outstanding grinder. Especially for the price. Many have now compared it very favourably with various titan class grinders. If this were yet another one of these reviews I'd be inclined to agree.

But this proposed comparison is a bit different. Unlike nearly every other comparison that people have reported, I think the a priori assumption is that the NZ would easily outshine the comparator (in this case, the specialita) in terms of taste in the cup. I agree that unless one already owns the specialita, or is considering buying one, then it's a case of who cares. But I think there may be at least a few people who do care - especially since the two grinders sit at around the same price point. In my case, if a blind taste test showed that the niche zero tasted noticeably different/better in the cup then (after weighing up my workflow preferences) I'd consider selling my specialita and purchasing the NZ, confident that I was upgrading.

If the comparison was unblinded, however, then a preference for the NZ would be harder to interpret. Expectation bias would be a very plausible alternative explanation for the results and I'd be less confident of any differences.

Magoo

Postby Magoo » Apr 17, 2019, 1:23 pm

another_jim wrote:.... As you can see, grinder testing is tedious, hard work.


Thanks another_jim. Good post. Makes me aware this is quite an onerous undertaking to be asking martianpc to do!

ds

Postby ds » Apr 17, 2019, 1:24 pm

Magoo wrote:Many have now compared it very favourably with various titan class grinders.


I believe I have read that almost every single grinder reviewed here compared favorably to titan class grinders, Vario, Sette, Rocky, Niche...

TheN5OfOntario

Postby TheN5OfOntario » Apr 17, 2019, 1:28 pm

FWIW, on my personal setup and month-old Niche, I'm haven't yet achieved the same sweetness out of my extractions as I did with my Baratza Vario.
Everything else is there flavour-wise, just not as sweet. I'm hoping as the burrs wear in that will change, or maybe I need to tweak a little more on my end coming from a flat burr to a conical.... just my experience though.