Viewing 30 posts - 41 through 70 (of 70 total)
  • Grinder dilemma. Niche Zero or DF64?
  • stevious
    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?

    Water density does vary a bit by composition and temperature but not so much as you’d notice on the scale of a cup of coffee*. Personally, I use scales for water whenever I need to measure it (coffee, baking, etc) because it’s easier than any volumetric methods – no need to get the fluid at eye level and all that stuff.

    I don’t think weighing the beans & water is necessary to make decent coffee but I do enjoy the process of it all. As with any complex-ish process, once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second nature and stops being a faff.

    * any lab that uses volumetric methods for chemistry will validate their flasks by weighing room temp deionised water in them

    ransos
    Free Member

    So have I. Works easily, reliably and consistently with my Gaggia Classic using Monsoon Estates beans.

    I’ve just bought one. Gaggia at home and aeropress at work. I’m really happy with it.

    batfink
    Free Member

    When I bought my Niche it was really the only game-in-town for single dosing beyond a fudged Mazzer conversion (which I had at the time).

    For my use-case: Espresso only, mostly milk drinks, I go for medium roasts from specialty local roasters, and am after the nutty, chocolatey, rich flavours and prioritise what coffee-wonks call “mouthfeel”…… Conical burrs were a really good call over flats.  The difference was immediately noticeable.  I knew what I would be getting though:  my local coffee shop used a mazzer Kony (which uses the same burs as the Niche) so there was an element of trying-before-buying.

    I don’t think conicals work as well with filter – they produce more fines which are great for thick syrupy espresso shots, but can muddy the flavors if what you are looking for is clarity.

    At the time, the DF line of grinders looked like they had been made out of some kind of parts-bin in Guangzhou, vs the Niche.  I’ve looked at the DF grinders since, and they are looking a lot more polished, so the gap may have narrowed/disappeared, which is good.  Option-O are bringing out a new grinder today (the Casa?) so maybe have a look at that too – it will certainly be more expensive though.

    As an aside, my Niche has a set of wood parts made from recycled skateboards (not my photo, but mine is the same).  Made by somebody who is an MTBer based in Scotland (https://www.instagram.com/skatereclaimcreate/) – I’d be amazed if he wasn’t at one time “of this parish”

    rone
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Miicoffee DF64P (these things are sold under different brand names.)

    It’s basically been the biggest upgrade over my useless built-in Sage Oracle Grinder – where I could never make consistently good coffee.

    I had to swallow hard but once you learn about grinders then you realise that’s where your budget should go actually.

    Even at 400-500 I understand this is still a ‘budget’ grinder. But works well for my needs and is fairly tidy and not much retention. I looked at the niche but couldn’t get one at the time.

    The P version is espresso only – with lots of fine grind adjustment.

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Another happy Niche Zero owner here.  I used to have a Wilfa Uniform, which was great for filter etc, just wouldn’t go fine enough for espresso.

    Ours goes through 100g of beans a day and has been faultless for 2.5 years with no more maintenance then a bit of a clean every now and then.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    At the time, the DF line of grinders looked like they had been made out of some kind of parts-bin in Guangzhou, vs the Niche. I’ve looked at the DF grinders since, and they are looking a lot more polished, so the gap may have narrowed/disappeared, which is good.

    Very true.  The difference between the original and gen 2 versions of the DF64 is night and day.  They seem to use the internet for free product development! Release a rough diamond, let all the YouTube reviewers rip it apart then incorporate everything they’ve picked up in the gen 2 version. Whereas companies like Niche spend the development budget on getting it right first time which I guess does partly explain the price difference.

    DF have recently released an entry level espresso machine which looks like a bit of a market disruptor. Its a hundred quid cheaper than the Gaggia classic but incorporates features it doesn’t have such as PID, pressure gauge, pre-infusion, thermoblock steam etc.  I’m very interested in it but!! It’s the first version and there are issues with it that needs fixing. I’m sure the gen 2 in a year or two will be a belter.

    Anyhow, I’ve decided and ordered a DF64 gen 2 for a very reasonable price. Thanks for your input everyone, this place never fails on the useful knowledge front 👍

    batfink
    Free Member

    Cool!  Let us know how you get on with it.

    Another product that I am really enjoying is “the accountant” single dose bean counter/automated weigher.

    3d printed by some bloke in a shed – but it’s excellent.

    https://www.beanvibes.com/products/the-accountant

    rone
    Full Member

    These gaggia classics – I like to use scales , is there much room between the drip tray and portafilter for scales and small mug?

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    You can buy a shallower drip tray for just this purpose.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Or switch to a bottomless portafilter

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    @batfink that’s crazy! I admire the bloke and all and good luck to him, but I hope I never go that far down the rabbit hole that I think that’s good value!

    Clever name mind, I like that👍

    At that price, I’ll stick with pouring from the bag into a cup and weighing.

    You’ve got it bad! I hope it’s not infectious 😲😉

    dc1988
    Full Member

    Shades of Coffee do a shallow drip tray for the Gaggia Classic along with various other mods.

    I like the idea of the bean weigher, but that’s very expensive to save 30 seconds

    milko9000
    Free Member

    If you’re weighing beans into the grinder plus weighing your coffee out of the espresso machine/filter, having an extra set of fancy scales just for the beans bit seems rather OTT to me. But this is a very OTT hobby as has been discussed (and as pretty much all hobbies can be) so I won’t cast any shame on it!

    Shall we talk about espresso machines as well? I have a Lelit Elizabeth that I winced at the (scond hand great deal) price for, but I’m sure someone here must have a DecentXL or La Marzocco or some aesthetically wonderful lever setup.

    Olly
    Free Member

    my first thought was chaps who like chaps
    silly mistake, obviously its abrasive wheels spinnermajigs.

    oh. dissapointed.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Shall we talk about espresso machines as well? I have a Lelit Elizabeth that I winced at the (scond hand great deal) price for, but I’m sure someone here must have a DecentXL or La Marzocco or some aesthetically wonderful lever setup.

    I’m coming at this new, long time coffee botherer but new to espresso. I’ve tried a couple belonging to friends, watched dozens of reviews and have been agonising for ages about which one to get. I am mainly looking at entry level machines. I have a shortlist of three, in ascending price. Miicoffee Apex, AKA Turin Legato – made by the DF grinder people, Gaggia Classic Prov Evo, Profitec Go. It’s a 60th birthday present and friends and family are chipping in, so which one I get is mostly down to them!

    Yak
    Full Member

    Fwiw, a machine you can easily strip down and replace/ fix parts on is worth it. I have a rancilio silvia and it’s been fairly easy so far to swap bits in and out. It was a boiler swap last year, but not too difficult or time consuming to do.

    Not as pretty as some others though, more a functional metal box.

    ElShalimo
    Full Member

    You could get a bloody good toaster for the price of these grinders…..it makes my blood boil
    😜

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    ^^😂

    toby1
    Full Member

    Coffee creators: Flair Pro2 (upgraded from a classic), April dripper, Aeropress, Bodum dripper (similar to the chemex).

    Grndrs: Niche Zero and Commandante C40MK2.

    I don’t care for milk drinks and my wife prefers a flat white rather than foamy, so no need for milk steaming stuff, we just have a warming jug thing from Lavazza.

    batfink
    Free Member

    I hope I never go that far down the rabbit hole that I think that’s good value!

    lol, revisit this thread in 6 months 🙂

    I bought an old Faema e98 “compact” for 60 quid that was going in a skip and rebuilt it over lockdown, same thing with a mazzer Super Jolly bought for about the same.

    The thing is a beast – and weighs about as much as the garage it’s currently stored in! It was a useful proof-off-concept though: it’s possible to make coffee as good as you get from a high-end coffee shop, at home. However, this was not a good home machine! Usually I embrace overkill – but this was overkill to the point that it wasn’t really fit for purpose – so I switched to a Niche zero with a Lelit Mara X. This is fantastic home setup and any further upgrades are going to be chasing rapidly diminishing returns (is it going to stop me though?!).

    Both a La Marzocco Linea Micra and a Decent are currently in the shopping cart 🙂

    I have a shortlist of three, in ascending price. Miicoffee Apex, AKA Turin Legato – made by the DF grinder people, Gaggia Classic Prov Evo, Profitec Go

    Of those, the profitec is like a “deluxe” version of the Gaggia – it’s built a bit more like a higher-end machine, albeit in the market segment traditionally occupied by the Gaggia. I’m not a big fan of the classic, but I know people on here love it.
    The Miicoffee Apex is a different kettle of fish. Sprometheus on Youtube has a really good review of it (sorry, can’t post a link at work). The programable preinfusion is a feature really worth having, as is the steam thermoblock (although this depends on whether you are going to be making milk drinks). My concern would be build quality and reliability, being a new/untested machine.

    Will be interested to hear which one you get and how you get on with it!

    rone
    Full Member

    Anyone doing the water spray on their beans that science was excited about a few months ago?

    Can’t say I detect much different – but it’s possibly tidier – though another stage to deal with!

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Yes, I spritz mine. The Niche is pretty good for static anyway but it kills any dust, also I think I notice more consistent espresso pulls. It certainly doesn’t hurt.

    rone
    Full Member

    Yes that’s roughly my experience.

    I do wonder if it’s creating a sticking mess in the grinder?

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I use the ‘spoon handle technique’ on my Wilfa which is bad for static if you don’t. I run the end of a teaspoon handle quickly through a stream of running water, so it’s barely wet. Then stir the beans in the hopper with it. Sounds ridiculous, but it works really well – totally eliminates coffee fines sticking to the collection bin and everywhere else due to static.

    One of the upgrades in the Gen 2 version of the DF64 I’ve ordered is a deioniser to prevent static. The first version was a really messy grinder to use but apparently the deioniser works really well so there’s no need for any water based anti-static bodges with the new one. I think quite a few new grinders are using deionisers now.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    The Miicoffee Apex is a different kettle of fish. Sprometheus on Youtube has a really good review of it (sorry, can’t post a link at work). The programable preinfusion is a feature really worth having

    Sadly, that feature is one of the things that’s a bit flakey on it. Seems it doesn’t do a great job of pre-infusion and might make things worse. As is their way, they are already working on a fix and the Miicoffee website says it might be sorted in the next batch.

    Yak
    Full Member

    Batfink’s bargain £60 super jolly has got to be the winner here. Yeah, it’s big, but most of that is height. Just need to make sure you have some worktop space without top units.

    stevious
    Full Member

    I’ve been doing the spray for a few months now – as above less mess but I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in the drink. I clean the burrs once a month (it’s really easy on the niche) and haven’t noticed any issues with the moisture inside. I can imagine if you go overboard on the spritzer it could get claggy, but one or two sprays is similar to other moisture sources.

    batfink
    Free Member

    I haven’t found that I need to RDT (spray) – even here in Sydney, with the niche. I think static is more of a problem on flat-burr grinders that conicals.
    I do WDT though – stirring with a paper clip or a wine cork full of needles. I found this made a big difference to my puck-prep – I very rarely get any channeling these days.

    I tried one of those things you spin around on top of the puck to level it – and found it to be pointless.

    The WDT (needle thing) though….. noticeable difference in consistency. I can pull 10 shots at the same grind setting, and have all of them run within a second of each other.

    Honestly, the super-jolly wasn’t great for home. I converted it to timed dosing first – but found the variance in dose to be too great. I then converted it to single dosing, which was ok…. But I couldn’t get the conversion kit I wanted from Taiwan because of covid restrictions – so it was a bit fudged. Having to spend so much effort to turn it into something useful, and then it still being pretty heavily compromised anyway. Meh. The coffee is far better from the niche, it’s easier to use and looks better on the counter. Money well spent imo.

    milko9000
    Free Member

    I’ve not tried the RDT thing as yet, I don’t find much static clumping out of my grinder, and the WDT (seriously these acronyms are silly) gets rid of what little there is. I’d give it a go anyway but am a little paranoid about introducing the moisture to my grinder. Lance Hedrick on Youtube is something of a marmite presenter but some of his recent videos on all these gimmicks/really genuinely useful techniques/gadgets are good. With that said, my dad’s using a standard Gaggia machine and is satisfied enough running Aldi coffee through it without faff that I’ve resisted trying to pass on any tips because it’s such a lot of **** for these diminishing returns. Ignorance is bliss and all that.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Lance Hedrick on Youtube is something of a marmite presenter

    Yep! I’ve tried, as he covers stuff I’m interested in but I find him intensely irritating and can’t watch for more than a minute or two!

    I get the point about endless new gadgets and gimmicks for very marginal gains though.  A lot of hobbies are like this, people just like collecting ephemera linked to their pastime.

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