Comments on Niche Zero Review - Page 6

Behind the scenes of the site's upcoming equipment reviews.
Javier

Postby Javier » Mar 19, 2019, 7:53 pm

Have you noticed any significant difference (i) when pulling a shot (e.g., frequent spritzers; "dead" spots; etc.) and (ii) in shot quality (e.g., shot is properly extracted) if using Niche cup as a "cocktail shaker" (followed by transfer into filter basket, but without doing WDT) versus performing WDT in Niche cup BEFORE transferring to filter basket? Just curious. I believe I read a few user comments about noticing differences.

I would imagine I can grind straight into Cafelat Robot filter basket (if placed over a tall base), followed by WDT (or "cocktail shaking") and leveling coffee mound before tamping ......

Years ago I used to do the "cocktail shaking" when placing Arrarex Caravel filter basket over Kyocera grind cup. No need to do WDT after that shaking.
LMWDP #115

TheN5OfOntario

Postby TheN5OfOntario » replying to Javier » Mar 19, 2019, 8:09 pm

I have the tall Orphan Espresso funnel, and I used to WDT in the basket with a straightened paperclip. Now with the Niche Zero, I dump the grinds from the grinds cup into the portafilter with the funnel on top, shake it side to side to level out the grinds, tamp, then pull. I'm getting nice even pours from the bottom.

Nick Name

Postby Nick Name » Mar 20, 2019, 6:57 pm

Huge thanks for the cupping video Jim!

Not as boring as you might think. I found it all really extremely interesting, thanks.

What I would like to see more in the reviews are blind comparisons against other grinders. Big flats and conicals as well. Maybe three or four of both and then a round up if that could somehow be possible.

Let's face it, what people ask most in these forums is "should I buy this or should I buy that". If there is an answer to that it would be great. For me it is a bit late, since I already am a happy owner of a Niche. Just food for thought. Great job so far!

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 20, 2019, 7:58 pm

Nick Name wrote:What I would like to see more in the reviews are blind comparisons against other grinders. Big flats and conicals as well. Maybe three or four of both and then a round up if that could somehow be possible.


You have the comparison against the Compak 68mm conical for espresso (tie) and the Vario brew burr for cupping (slight loss) from me. I'm in the middle be doing a comparison with the Bunn with Turkish burrs for heavily profiled espressso. Come April, the grinder is going on tour, and you'll see comparisons against other grinders.
Jim Schulman

Nick Name

Postby Nick Name » replying to another_jim » Mar 20, 2019, 8:57 pm

Now I can hardly hold my breath! It sounds great. Thanks for everyone involved.

mikemaddux

Postby mikemaddux » Mar 22, 2019, 1:26 pm

I have read through the reviews and comments and don't see the question of brewed coffee mentioned at all. I guess that means that the primary customer of the Niche Zero is making espresso. Correct?

I just want to go on record as saying that there is at least one person out there who is considering the Niche but who never makes espresso. Will there be a review for this lonely person (me)?

Thanks, all!

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 22, 2019, 1:40 pm

The cupping report compared the Niche to Vario with brew burr (an excellent set up for brewing) at a French Press grind for three diffeerent coffee cupped blind. The Vario did slightly better, but I was rather surprised that the Niche kept up.

I was expecting that I'd get three dullish indistinct cups (the Niche not doing French press well) and three distinct cups (the Vario distinguishing the three coffees). Instead I was able to pair the three different coffees, so that the Niche's grind was very close in performance to the Vario's. After the reveal, I slightly preferred the Vario's grind for two of the the three coffees.

I'm not very competent at pour over; since I do either espresso or steeped brews (the Clever) at coarse grinds. Perhaps one of the later reviewers will be able to do this. What I can do is blind compare pour over grinds doing low pressure brewing on the Bianca. I'll put this on my list.
Jim Schulman

mikemaddux

Postby mikemaddux » Mar 22, 2019, 1:56 pm

another_jim wrote:I'm not very competent at pour over; since I do either espresso or steeped brews (the Clever) at coarse grinds. Perhaps one of the later reviewers will be able to do this. What I can do is blind compare pour over grinds doing low pressure brewing on the Bianca. I'll put this on my list.


Jim, if you ever do get around to comparing brews made with the Clever, I'd be very interested, since my way is the Clever way!

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 22, 2019, 4:57 pm

Um, I compared the grind I use with the clever in a cupping, which is more accurate when it comes to comparisons, since I can do them side by side and there are fewer items that need to be held constant.

However, thanks for the question. I absolutely didn't anticipate the interest in "I would just love to have one efffing grinder" grinders. I'm getting my act together on how to do a review segment for this.

Clearly the Niche hits a few of the required bases -- it is very easy to change grind settings and it single doses (if you are moving between brew methods, you are probably moving between coffees too.) In this respect, it joins much more expensive grinders, like the Monoliths, as well as the Vario and Forte with the ceramic burr, and perhaps the HG-1 and similar Titan hand grinders.

I'd love to hear people's ideas on how to pull off such a multi-brewing comparison; since I'm new to thinking about this.
Jim Schulman

EddyQ

Postby EddyQ » Mar 22, 2019, 9:48 pm

Jim/Sam, thank you so much for the thorough review!

I have been enjoying my Niche since last October. Pulling espressos with my LPE every day.

Unfortunately, I was unable to compare the Niche to higher end grinders, since my previous best grinder was the OE Lido E. My hoped with the purchace that the Niche was at least as good an the Lido. But after many shots now, all more fluffy and tasty, I believed it to be better than the Lido. The Lido is no slouch and I enjoyed it for several years. But now it is getting used at work for my afternoon brews.

Occasionally, I made aeropress brews and cupping brews with the Niche. The grinder has not shifted settings since October.

I've had it open a number of times where I cleaned it all up like new. But there wasn't much to clean out. Only what gets stuck in screw holes.

The popcorning does get annoying every now and then when a single bean bounces around for what seems like 20 seconds. And the dial gets covered with bean pieces over time. Although, the trick of using the La Pavoni single basket works wonders and keeps the grinder dial much cleaner. I think the beans grind quicker too.

As for static. Yeah, I am with jchung. I have been doing RDT all winter. Perhaps the dry winters here in New England are some of the cause. And it definitely isn't chaff. I had one coffee a while back where half of it stuck in the cup when fully inverted. Interestingly, none of these high static beans stuck in the Niche. Only in the cup. But it is nearly spring now, I should try again with no RDT. While the Niche doesn't clump too badly without RDT, there is absolutely no clumping with RDT.

I'm eager to hear how the Niche performs with standard brews. Jim, I hear what you are predicting. But it is my only grinder right now and wondering if I should persue something specific for the occasional brewing.