Comments on Niche Zero Review

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 10, 2019, 3:52 pm

Please post comments, requests, and your own reviews of the Niche Bench Review here. We hope these comments will help improve our review.
Jim Schulman

TheN5OfOntario

Postby TheN5OfOntario » Mar 11, 2019, 9:08 am

I'm glad to read your report on the grinder, as I have one en route as I write this!

For clarity, when you mention 'It's tweaked Kony burrs are an extraction monster', does that mean they're different burrs than what are found in the actual Kony, or is it because of something else (like the slower RPM of the grinder, etc)

Cheers,

(edit: spelling)

ds

Postby ds » Mar 11, 2019, 9:18 am

When was the last time you changed the burrs in your K10? That might be the reason for inferior shots from K10, or its perhaps misaligned.

Also, Niche uses stock Kony burrs, no tweaks.

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 11, 2019, 10:27 am

TheN5OfOntario wrote:For clarity, when you mention 'It's tweaked Kony burrs are an extraction monster', does that mean they're different burrs than what are found in the actual Kony, or is it because of something else (like the slower RPM of the grinder, etc)


DaveC's review mentioned testing two sets of burrs, and the first one having a tough time grinding fine. By tweaked, I mean they were using a higher quality set; I have no idea whether these are Mazzer stock or OEMs.
Jim Schulman

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 11, 2019, 10:57 am

ds wrote:When was the last time you changed the burrs in your K10? That might be the reason for inferior shots from K10, or its perhaps misaligned


Never. They are roughly 550 pounds into their 1700 pound rating. That's one of the points of getting conical burrs. (The Kony burrs on the Niche are rated at 1640 lbs).

Also the shots weren't "worse." That not a descriptor, it's a judgment. In terms of my (post description) judgement, most the Compak shots were better, since the Kony's were mostly too soft (I was doing 13 to 14 grams shots, so the grind settings were fine).

Finally, there may be a further puzzle. Sam, who will be joining the review, has done extraction measures, and found no difference between the Niche and his Monocon (I was judging extraction purely by taste). However, he also noted a slightly softer taste with the Niche when using the his Brugnetti lever. Apparently, the distinction between rounder, more buffered shots versus more angular ones does not perfectly correlate with extraction.

Moreover, the difference is also more apparent with less profiled shots; it was very obvious on the conventional Semi, more subtle on the Brugnetti lever, and undetectable on the profiling Bianca. This is why I took the Semi out of storage for this round of tests. On it, grind and dose are the only variables I can control. I'm hoping this will act like a magnifying glass for checking out the grinder.
Jim Schulman

Tim.R

Postby Tim.R » Mar 11, 2019, 11:20 am

another_jim wrote:Finally, there may be a further puzzle. Sam, who will be joining the review, has done extraction measures, and found no difference between the Niche and his Monocon (I was judging extraction purely by taste). However, he also noted a slightly softer taste with the Niche when using the his Brugnetti lever. Apparently, the distinction between rounder, more buffered shots versus more angular ones does not perfectly correlate with extraction.

Moreover, the difference is also more apparent with less profiled shots; it was very obvious on the conventional Semi, more subtle on the Brugnetti lever, and undetectable on the profiling Bianca. This is why I took the Semi out of storage for this round of tests. On it, grind and dose are the only variables I can control. I'm hoping this will act like a magnifying glass for checking out the grinder.


Thanks for the effort of putting the Niche through its paces Jim, looking forward to reading Sam's take on it later on. I'm actually really curious about the extraction numbers. Can you guys give us an overview of these numbers later on?

I'm expecting my Niche to come later this month so I'm well into the anticipation phase. I'm looking for it to replace my Mythos so reading that it matches up well to the big boys is reassuring to say the least. Cheers! :D

ds

Postby ds » Mar 11, 2019, 11:34 am

another_jim wrote:Never. They are roughly 550 pounds into their 1700 pound rating. That's one of the points of getting conical burrs. (The Kony burrs on the Niche are rated at 1640 lbs).

Also the shots weren't "worse." That not a descriptor, it's a judgment. In terms of my (post description) judgement, most the Compak shots were better, since the Kony's were mostly too soft (I was doing 13 to 14 grams shots, so the grind settings were fine).


From my notes when I compared my Monolith Conical 2ndgen and Niche, I noted muted flavors from Niche and fewer flavor notes. I wrote down flavor profile as "simpler" than my Monolith. I could not measure extraction since I don't have instruments. This seems like its inline with what you are tasting.

Preparation wise, I find grind in cup preparation a total mess. Maybe I'm clumsy. I have coffee spilling on the counter and out of basket, static also causing coffee to fly out and stick to the walls of the cup. Mess. The only way I found to improve process is to use RDT to calm down the static and then instead of putting basket on top of the cup and flipping it over, pouring the content of the cup carefully into the basket. Got tedious quickly though.

mdmvrockford

Postby mdmvrockford » Mar 11, 2019, 11:35 am

another_jim wrote:Never. They are roughly 550 pounds into their 1700 pound rating. That's one of the points of getting conical burrs. (The Kony burrs on the Niche are rated at 1640 lbs).

Also the shots weren't "worse." That not a descriptor, it's a judgment. In terms of my (post description) judgement, most the Compak shots were better, since the Kony's were mostly too soft (I was doing 13 to 14 grams shots, so the grind settings were fine).

Finally, there may be a further puzzle. Sam, who will be joining the review, has done extraction measures, and found no difference between the Niche and his Monocon (I was judging extraction purely by taste). However, he also noted a slightly softer taste with the Niche when using the his Brugnetti lever. Apparently, the distinction between rounder, more buffered shots versus more angular ones does not perfectly correlate with extraction.

Moreover, the difference is also more apparent with less profiled shots; it was very obvious on the conventiional Semi, more subtle on the Brugnetti lever, and undetectable on the profiling Bianca. This is why I took the Semi out of storage for this round of tests. On it, grind and dose are the only variables I can control. I'm hoping this will act like a magnifying glass for checking out the grinder.

I think I can speak on behalf of the mere mortals (w.r.t palate refinement) (i.e. persons who are not HB moderators nor senior forum members) that NONE of us would be able to differentiate in the cup blinded between the Niche Zero and your Compak K10. So I am really curious to see hear Dominico (Team HB) and other senior experience HB member's in-the-cup opinion will be on the NZ vs. Prairiedawg's Monolith Conical v1.0 (and if time permits to my Helor 106/Flux) during upcoming 4/6/2019 Chicago-Milwaukee HB Get Together. And then I want to hear same members opinion w.r.t. ergonomics and workflow for us home-baristas (i.e. is the Mon Con still worth the premium w.r.t. workflow for home-barista single dosing). We are not talking about build quality and longevity of course.

If many really like the workflow of your NZ then I can sell my SJ and have the NZ as my sole electric grinder. Certainly I want to see workflow of the NZ for back to back grind uses. We know how Prairiedawg's Monolith Conical does this from the last (at least five) consecutive get togethers (great IMO).

So far my Helor 106 (bought used and burrs used for at least 10kg IIRC) just smacked Ms. OE Pharos v1.1 to the back of the kitchen (literally) w.r.t. single dosing ergonomics and workflow (my usual POU is one ristretto in AM and one in PM and I love the process of making the espresso; I.e. I take my sweet time making the espresso). I will post initial review/users thread (in separate thread, of course) when I need another break from my rock pile (work/day) job. Also I will be posting my Pharos v1.1 on FS thread soon. Hopefully she will find a new loving home.
LMWDP #568

achosid

Postby achosid » Mar 11, 2019, 12:20 pm

Great review! I'm currently using a 270Wi and keep thinking about going to a NZ, but I worry that I'll be disappointed by the single dosing workflow. I really dig the ease of pulling from a hopper in the Wi. I'm really hoping to see a Sette vs. NZ comparison at some point, as I think that's closer to the decision more folks are making at the lower end than the big classic titan grinders.

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 11, 2019, 1:36 pm

ds wrote:Preparation wise, I find grind in cup preparation a total mess. Maybe I'm clumsy. I have coffee spilling on the counter and out of basket, static also causing coffee to fly out and stick to the walls of the cup. Mess. The only way I found to improve process is to use RDT to calm down the static and then instead of putting basket on top of the cup and flipping it over, pouring the content of the cup carefully into the basket. Got tedious quickly though.


mdmvrockford wrote:f many really like the workflow of your NZ then I can sell my SJ and have the NZ as my sole electric grinder. Certainly I want to see workflow of the NZ for back to back grind uses. We know how Prairiedawg's Monolith Conical does this from the last (at least five) consecutive get togethers (great IMO).


I like grinding into the Niche cup somewhat better than grinding directly into a funnel/basket set up on the Monoliths. However, compared to the awful timed grind funnels or elephant trunks on many commercial grinders, they are both great. I'm guessing this may be a matter of individual taste.

ds's, your report on static seems highly unusual, judging by the reports from early adopters. I'll keep an eye out.

As I said, I load my baskets detached from the PF, and for this the Niche set up works particularly well -- using the cup and basket as a cocktail shaker is a faster way to declump the grind than either a doser thwacking or WDT. The other reviewers will have different work flows, and will have different ergonomic preferences.
Jim Schulman