Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 70 total)
  • Grinder dilemma. Niche Zero or DF64?
  • blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I’m currently using a Wilfa Svart grinder for Aeropress, French press and mocha pot. It’s a fantastic grinder for the money and I’ve been really pleased with it. However, I’m about to disappear down the espresso rabbit hole and the Wilfa doesn’t go fine enough for that.

    I am currently looking mainly at the DF64 gen 2 which gets fantastic reviews with the only real downside being it’s a bit noisy. But I could also possibly stretch to a used Niche Zero. Seems the Niche has been king of the home espresso grinder hill for a while. I love the looks, build quality and ease of use. But a few recent reviews have suggested grind size distribution isn’t great and that this can affect the taste of non espresso brewing methods. Obv DF is flat burr and the Niche is conical – I’m not sure how that will affect taste and versatility for different brew methods.

    Whichever one I choose has to be an all rounder, not just a dedicated espresso grinder.  Cost is a factor and even a used Niche is going to be more than a new DF64. So new DF64 or used Niche? I’m currently leaning towards the DF.

    finbar
    Free Member

    My tremendous coffee snob sister (who is at weighing water and timing pour over levels of dedication) replaced her Wilfa Swart – which is now mine 🙂 – with a Niche Zero FWIW.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Misunderstood the title.

    As you were….

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    My tremendous coffee snob sister (who is at weighing water and timing pour over levels of dedication)

    <sheepish look>Who would do that?</sheepish look>

    Kramer
    Free Member

    My tremendous coffee snob sister (who is at weighing water and timing pour over levels of dedication)

    Please see my comments on the hardtail bikepacking thread about reviewers.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Please see my comments on the hardtail bikepacking thread about reviewers.

    I did and I sort of agree.  But if you are making a major purchase how else do you decide?  Some reviewers are better than others. It’s possible I think to read/watch a review and filter out some of the BS.  Even a bad review will describe the features of a product and you can make your own judgement of the utility of those features without being unduly influenced by the reviewer’s opinion of them. Also a review is more likely to pick up on any bad points than a manufacturer’s spec sheet.  If it’s too nit picky, I think you can pick up on that and disregard.

    It would be great if you had a circle of friends whose opinion you trusted who happened to own competing brands of gizmo x that you were interested in.  I don’t, but IME STW can come close to fulfilling that role!

    stanley
    Full Member

    Took the financial plunge and bought a Niche Zero about 18 months ago… probably the most expensive thing in the kitchen. Very happy with it: easy to use, looks great, and really consistent grind size… I occasionally check with a gauge.

    Used at least 3 times every day; espresso, pour-over and Aeropress usually. Never noticed a problem with distribution (or anything else) I should probably clean the burrs one day 🙂

    moff
    Full Member

    Is James Hoffman not your font of knowledge?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VohJapkObs&t=1878s

    Tom83
    Full Member

    MoreCashThanDash

    Full Member

    Misunderstood the title.

    As you were

    Glad it wasn’t just me!

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Is James Hoffman not your font of knowledge?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VohJapkObs&t=1878s

    Yep seen that.  He rates both but suggests in the summary that the Niche is a great espresso grinder but maybe not the best for filter coffee. However I’m pretty sure my palate is nowhere near as attuned as the Hoff’s so was after some real world experience on here.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Can’t speak to the DF64 but I went from a Wilfa Svart to a Niche Zero a couple of years ago when I got into espresso. It’s still used more for filter/aeropress than anything else and it still does a really good job with those. The main thing I’ve noticed is just how nice the niche is to use. There’s no faffy controls/components and the dosing cup fits a portafilter/aeropress perfectly.


    @stanley
    – it’s definitely worth cleaning the burrs. It’s a 5 min job* with the socket tool / brush they provided and makes a big difference to the quality of espresso in my experience.

    *will take a bit longer the first time, particularly if you’ve not cleaned it in a while.

    dc1988
    Full Member

    I was in a similar position but the extra cost of the Zero and the fact most people suggest flat burrs are better for lighter roast beans meant I went for the DF64 gen2. I’ve been very impressed and the noise is the only complaint I have.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I was in a similar position but the extra cost of the Zero and the fact most people suggest flat burrs are better for lighter roast beans meant I went for the DF64 gen2. I’ve been very impressed and the noise is the only complaint I have.

    I tend to prefer lighter roasts and hadn’t considered that.  Thanks.

    milko9000
    Free Member

    I got a Timemore Sculptor 64S at the early bird Kickstarter price so my interest in this is purely academic, I’m very happy with what I have, no regrets at all after about 6 months ownership. If you’re doing filter as well and can’t/won’t stretch to a Niche Duo, I think the newest DF64v2 would probably be most suitable. I don’t know about light roast specifically being a flat burr thing but filter usually is. Then again, the real heads choose different flat burrs for espresso vs filter, hence Niche Duo!
    Factors in favour of still choosing the Niche Zero – long-established success/reliability, UK-based company and support. Youtube/influencer types are perhaps a bit bored of it now, and often basing it on US$ prices where it’s a lot more expensive, so watch out for those reviews.

    The linked-upthread James Hoffman vid is well worth watching (to anyone newly stumbling on this thread with an interest, I mean). I doubt either one of them would be an unhappy choice.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    I’m tempted by this little chap …

    https://www.option-o.com/lagom-mini

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I’m tempted by this little chap …

    https://www.option-o.com/lagom-mini

    Yeah looks really interesting. Dinky little size, it would be a great grinder to travel with. It’s not much bigger than a hand grinder.  It’s pretty new I think and I haven’t seen a UK price for it?  It’s actually in the lineup for the James Hoffman comparison video linked above. He really rates it, but describes it as a great filter coffee grinder and OK for occasional espresso use.

    dc1988
    Full Member

    It has issues with stalling which probably isn’t surprising given its size. The Varia VS3 also gets some good reviews but some earlier versions also had stalling issues and it’s pretty slow to grind by all accounts.

    r8jimbob88
    Free Member

    I went for the DF64v over the Niche. I can’t compare it to a Niche but I do have a decent 1Zpresso conical hand grinder. The flat burr wins hands down all day long.

    The Niche is very popular and was definitely a ‘trend setter’. I just think it’s falling behind some of the more recent competition offerings.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    I’m struggling to understand how it’s £500…

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    This is my problem with coffee – as an engineer/analytical person I love the technical aspects of making the ultimate coffee.

    It’s just that I cannot stand the bitter acrid-ness of coffee. The way I would describe coffee is – imagine a bus bay/bus terminus where buses idle for hours on end dripping old engine oil and diesel into tarmac? Now imagine scrapping that soft soaked tarmac up and steeping it for hours on end? Now make a brew from that sludge? – that’s how I describe what coffee tastes/feels to me.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Misunderstood the title.

    As you were….

    Niche Zero looks really really good but DF64 is only 200 metres away…

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    The thread title piqued my interest, I was going to recommend my 9” Makita and also the 3 1/2” version they have been excellent in performance and durability.. However, I’ve looked at the price of these coffee grinders and crikey, how much? Each to their own but it’s something @kramer needs to consider in his thread, if you retire and plan on continuing your coffee hobby you’ll need considerable savings!

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    It’s just that I cannot stand the bitter acrid-ness of coffee. The way I would describe coffee is – imagine a bus bay/bus terminus where buses idle for hours on end dripping old engine oil and diesel into tarmac? Now imagine scrapping that soft soaked tarmac up and steeping it for hours on end? Now make a brew from that sludge? – that’s how I describe what coffee tastes/feels to me.


    @RustyNissanPrairie
     You are drinking the wrong coffee.  Until relatively recently most coffee was dark roasted, in some cases to within an inch of it’s life.  Most chain cafe and supermarket coffee still is – Starbucks ‘blonde’ or lighter roast would be considered a dark roast in a ‘proper’ coffee shop.  It’s that over roasting that produces the bitterness and masks the more subtle origin characteristics of the bean. Anyone over 40 who isn’t into coffee probably thinks that’s just what coffee tastes like.  Some people like that intense bitterness which is fine but it absolutely doesn’t have to be like that.  In the last 15 years or so ”speciality coffee’ has become a thing using lighter roasted high quality beans.

    Coffee can be sweet, with no bitterness and with all sorts of distinct fruit flavours and other flavours.  Buy some fresh beans from a local roaster.  Choose a light to medium roast, grind them just before brewing and discover a new world.  And unless you are going to make espresso (which you don’t need to for great coffee), you don’t need an expensive grinder.  My Wilfa was about £100 and is great for every brewing method except espresso. You can get them used on ebay for about £50 – hey, I might even be selling mine soon!

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @wheelsonfire1

    Each to their own but it’s something  @kramerneeds to consider in his thread, if you retire and plan on continuing your coffee hobby you’ll need considerable savings!

    Thanks for your concern. I’m an Asda Gold Roast Instant many myself, so hope to be able to continue that habit.

    Yak
    Full Member

    I have a Sage SGP that is far cheaper than the Niche and DF64, but it does the job for everything from espresso to filter coffee.  I am happy with it, so wouldn’t need to change for years hopefully. But how much better are things like the Niche and DF64?

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    @blokeuptheroad

    Thanks…..but I remain unconvinced – MrsRNP is a coffee snob of all types and uses a cafetiere with various bags/roasts purchased from all over. The smell is beautiful but every time I try a sip it’s that same wanting to turn my head inside out to get the battery acid flavour out of my mouth.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @blokeuptheroad

    He really rates it, but describes it as a great filter coffee grinder and OK for occasional espresso use.

    Ha ha. I’m willing to bet that he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in a randomised controlled double blind trial.

    This is the problem that reviewers face. Basically the most that they can say with any certainty is that they’ve used the product as advertised and that it works with varying degrees of reliability.

    Over a longer term test they can start to comment on durability, but more if something fails in six months rather than whether something is truly long term durable, after all very few people are reviewing things for 5-10 years.

    But that makes for rather boring content. So they start inventing bullshit to describe various differences that they imagine. This leads to people believing things like the static build up when stirring coffee can cause a detectable change in flavour. An awful lot of it is the emperor’s new clothes IMO.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Is weighing water the same as measuring an amount of water? Or does water weight vary significantly from location to location? Or are scales less subject to error than your volumetric flask?

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    I have a Sage SGP

    So have I. Works easily, reliably and consistently with my Gaggia Classic using Monsoon Estates beans. I’m utterly bemused by the hate for the SGP on so many coffee forums/FB groups.

    thebibbles
    Full Member

    @yak I had a Sage SGP until it died then upgraded to a Mignon Turbo and using the same beans and espresso machine it turned a good coffee with the occasional bad shot into an amazing coffee every time.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I’m struggling to understand how it’s £500…

    .

    if you retire and plan on continuing your coffee hobby you’ll need considerable savings!

    This makes me laugh on a mountain bike forum where some people think nothing of spaffing a grand on a set of forks or a fancy groupset.  Isn’t there a thread running where people are recommending £500 toasters?

    I only own 2 bikes and the newest is 6 years old. I haven’t owned a brand new car for thirty years.  I’m not pleading poverty, but I don’t make big purchases without careful consideration.  So yep, objectively it’s a lot of money, but I really like nice coffee.  Not just drinking it, but also the ritual and geekiness of it – it’s another hobby really.  The grinder is probably the piece of kit which has the greatest impact of all on how your coffee tastes. It will be used every single day and will hopefully last me for years, so having one that nice to use and produces great tasting coffee is worth a few hundred quid to me. ymmv.


    @RustyNissanPrairie
    fair enough!


    @Kramer
    – whilst there is some ’emperor’s new clothes’ about it all, Hoffman in particular does do a lot of blind tasting. Ex world barista champion, author and industry consultant he does know his stuff.  Whilst I probably won’t taste everything he does, I absolutely can taste the difference between coffee made with a very cheap grinder and a mid range one.  Spending a bit more might be a case of diminishing returns, but it’s also necessary if I want to make espresso.

    dc1988
    Full Member

    @Yak I upgraded from a Sage SGP to the DF64, the Sage was reasonable for the price but it has some shortcomings.

    It has massive retention so it’s not good for single dosing or switching between beans, it couldn’t grind fine enough with some lighter roasted beans. I also had some stalling issues with lighter beans. If you’re after a hopper fed grinder and using medium beans then it’s pretty decent.

    toby1
    Full Member

    Based on online commentary and reviews (I am also a Niche owner). The Niche will give a small variance across the grind in particle size, thus producing a thicker less clear flavour. Suited to medium, medium dark roasts and people who prefer a thicker consistently flavoured coffee.

    The flat burrs produce a more unimodal grind particle, which works well for getting the best out of lighter fruitier coffees both for pourover and espresso. It will be a thinner coffee overall but very flavourful.

    At the points we are talking here there are diminishing returns above an ok burr grinder. This is the point at which you are buying good beans, preparing using a set recipe and even (as alluded to above) putting a constant amount of water into things, or weighing our shot output.

    It’s not for everyone, it’s not essential to enjoy a decent coffee, it’s a hobby and a passion and it can cost a small to medium fortune. I bought the Niche after being made redundant with a 3 month notice period and a reasonable pay off, I spent far more with the vets keeping my dog alive and this was the treat I gave myself during it all.

    Buy either grinder, they’ll both do an excellent job, get a mat/towel for under the DF to damp the noise if that’s what you decide on. But most of all, don’t spend all day everyday on reddit questioning your choices (I do sometimes), it’s dull, just enjoy a bloody lovely coffee.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @blokeuptheroad if that’s what you want to spend your money on, fair play to you. Your points are valid.

    Yak
    Full Member

    @dc1988 , ah makes sense.  My standard go to bean is Sussex Barn from the Edge. Medium roast bean and works well within the grind range of the Sage for everything. Occasionally some other beans are not so good, but most of the time it gives good results.

    stanley
    Full Member

    Regarding the question above about weight vs volume…

    If I’m in a rush, I just use the Aeropress, a scoop of coffee beans on a reasonable fine grind and an amount of water judged by eye (just off the boil). That always makes a nice coffee.

    If I have more time and I’m making an espresso or pour-over, then I do everything by weight (Timemore scales). And temperature obvs. I find weight to be more consistent than volume… cheaper beans, or supermarket beans, are much more voluminous than better quality ones (IME). Probably because they are roasted for longer. It’s also easier to make a great coffee from a dark roasted bean than a lighter one… but the lighter one “can” taste so much better.

    It’s all very subjective though 🙂

    Daffy
    Full Member

    I meant from a component cost to sale price.  The motor will be off the shelf, the 63mm conical burrs are fairly common design and cost around £120 at trade, far less to actually make and the materials, I don’t know, but I struggle to see how it’s …. £550?

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I meant from a component cost to sale price.  The motor will be off the shelf, the 63mm conical burrs are fairly common design and cost around £120 at trade, far less to actually make and the materials, I don’t know, but I struggle to see how it’s …. £550?

    Which one? The Niche?  Dunno, perhaps because it’s a British* company, well thought out design, a bit of a novelty initially as it was one of the first 63mm single dose grinders at a <cough> ‘reasonable’ price point?

    There are loads now and a fair few are quite a bit cheaper.  I’ve just ordered the DF64 gen 2 for £320 including shipping (with a 10% discount code from a kind forum member).  Still a lot of money for sure, but I can’t imagine ever needing another (I’m inoculated against upgradeitis), so it should last me for the rest of my days.

    *The first batch of 1000 were UK made but they are now (like everything else) made in China.

    toby1
    Full Member

    Motor, burrs, custom parts including wood, assembly, QA, shipping, import duty. Then there’s paying the people on the UK side who designed it and coordinate the build and shipping, then there’s also profit.

    I’m sure they could sell it for less, the DF/Turin models were/are largely lower in price, but they started out as a machine that needed loads of mods to be useful. They’ve developed and improved lots whereas the niche started out with a design that worked really well.

    It’s also about what people will pay for things, check out some of the Weber workshops accessories and you’ll see there’s a market for crazy expensive simple accessories, their bean cellars for example.

    kingofhtefr
    Free Member

    For similar money you could buy two of these and have dedicated espresso and brew grinders – https://clumsygoat.co.uk/products/eureka-mignon-crono-home-coffee-grinder-50mm

    Made in Italy…

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