Comments on Niche Zero Review - Page 13

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caffeineme

Postby caffeineme » Apr 27, 2019, 2:52 pm

martianpc wrote:I will compare them, but I don't have the time or expertise to do what Jim is proposing. So I will not be doing a blind comparison. I will be fair though and I really have no bias at all.

Initial observation is that the NZ is much easier to adjust for small changes consistently.

The Specialita is definitely quieter.

I find the NZ does have some retention and needs a small pat on the clear lid when it is done grinding to knock loose what's left. You litteraly see a few clumps come falling out afterward. The specialita has slightly more retention, but with my 3d printed hopper it is very easy to remove the cap and using the palm of my hand gently smack the hopper opening which creates a seal and uses air to push the beans through. Makes it very close in retention levels.

So far taste wise I haven't had enough to compare them fairly at all. I do prefer the grind adjustment substantially on the NZ though while I try different things.

More thoughts to follow.


Hi Mike (and all HBers),

I also have a Mignon Specialita..... got it around March 2019. Actually, started this journey at that time too with a Lelit Mara.

Been wanting to do single-dosing and find that the Specialita lacks this specific capability. It retains too much grind in the shoot/anti-clump mechanism for me. When you single dose with the Specialita, are the grinds consistent? I read somewhere that the Specialita needs a semi-full hopper to ensure consistency. Wondering if you see this with your experience?

Since the Specialita is a flat burr grinder, and the Niche is conical, is there any value in having one of each?

martianpc

Postby martianpc » replying to caffeineme » Apr 28, 2019, 8:53 pm

I found the specialita just fine for single dosing. Honestly some of best shots have come from that grinder. I am going to keep using the Niche at home because it switches from different grind settings easily and I'm going to bring the Eureka to work for making pour overs if it works well for them. I still need to try it. At this point I have not found the niche to be a significant improvement over the specialita.

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luca
Team HB

Postby luca » May 20, 2019, 6:35 am

Hi Gary,

RE:

I've been trying to dial it in for Clever Dripper and French press. My best results have been going way coarse, keeping in mind recent discussions that grind size may look different and get similar extractions. I've had some very good results, some overextracted when grinding within the recommended scale. I take Jim's word from blind tasting that his Mazzer Mini with brew burrs outperforms the Niche, but the Niche holds its own. If I get a chance I'll compare it to my Baratza Virtuoso and early version LIDO 2. I'm surprised that Sam and his crew's blind tasting found the Niche holding its own compared to an aligned EK43 and Kafatek Monolith Conical. I may have a chance to compare my Niche to LDT's Monolith. Sam had several months to wear his in, so for now, I'm feeding coffee through my Niche, since the company recommends not using anything else to wear in the burrs.


Just in case we confused anyone into thinking that our tests can give broader insight than they do ... I think that our results stand for the proposition that with lightish and darkish standard espresso roasts, for espresso extraction, the difference was small, when compared with an EK43 that I had aligned with the marker method and the stock 2015ish "coffee" burrs. I don't think that we really generated any useful information about Niche vs EK43 in the filter or cupping realm, since we used the light espresso roast for that and it wasn't really light enough to make especially pleasant cups (this was my bad - I suggested it - sorry) and our palates were a bit shot, so, whilst there weren't really clear winners there, everything kind of sucked. I don't think that that's a data set that's worth drawing any inferences from. If all of the cups were great, then that might be informative.

I'm sure that we would all have liked to have been even more thorough, but I think we were kind of struck by the enormity of the task. There are only so many hours in a day and so much coffee that can be tasted before palate fatigue sets in! The espresso results basically took us a morning of testing out different coffees and getting things dialled in and set up (we had to eliminate some commercial espresso blends that weren't good enough to be worth testing) and then an afternoon of actually pulling the shots and tasting.

Cheers,
Luca
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1
★ Helpful

gchapman

Postby gchapman » May 26, 2019, 2:36 pm

Have two recent concerns with my two month old NZ - which I love!

1) the grind settings for my coffees have drifted from the 13-19 range for normal espresso when I got it. Now I am grinding the same beans in the 3-8 setting area on the NZ. Is this a normal part of the break in for this grinder? Do I need to recalibrate after the break in period?

2) this am I was dialing in a new light roast Divino Nino from Passenger. When dialing it in, I got down to the 3 or 4 dot setting on the NZ, and it stalled the grinder after about 10 grams of coffee, the burrs were locked! Pretty sure they were not touching. Loosening the grind enabled them to complete the job at a coarser setting. Tried it again and it did it again. Any thoughts? Maybe the beans are smaller and harder...

Geoff
Geoff Chapman

TheN5OfOntario

Postby TheN5OfOntario » May 26, 2019, 2:40 pm

Have you cleaned out the burrs and grind chamber (and of course recalibrated at the end)? I've had my Niche for about 3 months and my range has consistently been 15-20...

chsreason37

Postby chsreason37 » May 26, 2019, 2:46 pm

I have also stalled my burrs on a very light roast. I attributed it to it being very fine grind size with really dense tiny beans. Would probably be mitigated if I rigged the grinder to stay on THEN dump in the beans. I think they just filled the burr gaps and it didn't have the starting torque. Disappointed but now I know some limits

gchapman

Postby gchapman » May 26, 2019, 2:51 pm

TheN5OfOntario wrote:Have you cleaned out the burrs and grind chamber (and of course recalibrated at the end)? I've had my Niche for about 3 months and my range has consistently been 15-20...


I have not. Follow Dave C's video? Do this how often?
Geoff Chapman

gchapman

Postby gchapman » May 26, 2019, 2:54 pm

chsreason37 wrote:I have also stalled my burrs on a very light roast. I attributed it to it being very fine grind size with really dense tiny beans. Would probably be mitigated if I rigged the grinder to stay on THEN dump in the beans. I think they just filled the burr gaps and it didn't have the starting torque. Disappointed but now I know some limits


I could try that. Or maybe grind abo 7 grams at a time? Or maybe grind the whole 20g's coarser and then regrows at a final fine setting?
Geoff Chapman

TheN5OfOntario

Postby TheN5OfOntario » May 26, 2019, 3:10 pm

gchapman wrote:I have not. Follow Dave C's video? Do this how often?


I'm not sure what the 'recommended' frequency is, but I do it about once a month because it takes less than 5 minutes to do, and it allows me to keep calibration in check. It should be noted that you can only calibrate reliably with a completely empty grind chamber and burrs.

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Moka 1 Cup

Postby Moka 1 Cup » May 26, 2019, 4:23 pm

I received the Niche perfectly calibrated on April 16.
I have cleaned the grinder completely twice and I was impressed with how little coffe I found.
I checked the calibration both times and it was still as when I received it.
From time to time I check the calibration even without cleaning the grinder by turning the dial to the calibration position. It stops not far from the calibration point. Then I open it up just to to make sure the burrs don't touch each other, run the grinder for a couple of second and then turn the dial again. At that point it goes back exactly to the calibration point.
So far I have not had the need to recalibrate by moving the lower ring.
I use the grinder five or more times per day.
four minutes to make an espresso? really?