Siliconslave's how to make espresso thread

Soldato
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money diverted into grinder is nonetheless away from an espresso machine - modded rancilio rocky for stepless/single-dose/tighter tolerance on burr carrier ,
and meanwhile updated to a more stable Bezerra HX machine than rancilo silivia, which also does endless steam so milk or hot-chocolate is à la volonté
 
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If cost is the issue but you can still afford to, get the Niche. The difference will be insignificant over the life time of the grinder. I am coming up to 4 years of ownership now for mine, the difference in cost spread over the ownership gets smaller and smaller by the day.
I can afford it, but it's more that I'm struggling to see where the £200 of extra value is over the other grinders. All 3 are stepless and will produce great tasting espresso.

I started to look at mods to resolve some of the issues with the Specialita - single dose hopper, larger wheel for adjusting grind size and a catch tray, but then another £50-60 on top detracts from it being the best bang for buck grinder. I'm also not sure how I feel about buying a grinder for close to £400 and then having to mod it to fix issues present after taking it out of the box.

Now, the Mignon Oro. I came across this when looking at mods for the Specialita. This looks to be an obvious attempt at competing with the DF64 Gen 2 and Niche Zero? It comes with a single dose hopper, a nice dosing cup, a slightly bigger/improved grind wheel, a catch try of sorts, wood similar to the Niche Zero and it even sits at an angle. Aesthetically I think it looks fantastic and at £435 it's definitely a viable choice.


I'll have a look at the Fellow Opus as I know very little about it.
 
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Caporegime
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I can afford it, but it's more that I'm struggling to see where the £200 of extra value is over the other grinders. All 3 are stepless and will produce great tasting espresso.

I started to look at mods to resolve some of the issues with the Specialita - single dose hopper, larger wheel for adjusting grind size and a catch tray, but then another £50-60 on top detracts from it being the best bang for buck grinder. I'm also not sure how I feel about buying a grinder for close to £400 and then having to mod it to fix issues present from taking it out of the box.

Now, the Mignon Oro. I came across this when looking at mods for the Specialita. This looks to be an obvious attempt at competing with the DF64 Gen 2 and Niche Zero? It comes with a single dose hopper, a nice dosing cup, a slightly bigger/improved grind wheel, a catch try of sorts, wood similar to the Niche Zero and it even sits at an angle. Aesthetically I think it looks fantastic and at £435 it's definitely a viable choice.

I'll have a look at the Fellow Opus as I know very little about it.

If you can afford it then get something nice, something you like the look of may be important.

The other factor which is hard to quantify on paper is the work flow. The steps you weigh the beans, the way the lid opens, pouring it in, putting the cup below the chute. Flicking the on switch, the noise it makes, and then flicking it off. How messy, or not, from the static, how easy it is to clean the insides, how easy it is to replace the parts. The tactile feel of using it.

They have value, and personally, I wouldn't be bother buying something only to spend more time and money to mod it. Get the best you can afford, something you (think) you would enjoy using, and don't regret not getting that something.

My biased subjective opinion, being a Niche owner, is that the DF64 is ugly. It works from an industrial design POV, it will blend into some work top and coffee set up, but I am not a fan of it's looks. The way the dosing up "hangs" on the front. The red LED switch on the side, and then add the wooden lid/bellow feels like an afterthought.
 
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Soldato
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Interesting tear down/analysis on niche - nice internal engineering which counts - floating lower burr carrier is interesting.
(like I did - he's put ptfe tape on burr carrier)



he has a derisory review on the specialista plastics, but , otherwise, for coffee itself

 
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If you can afford it then get something nice, something you like the look of may be important.

The other factor which is hard to quantify on paper is the work flow. The steps you weigh the beans, the way the lid opens, pouring it in, putting the cup below the chute. Flicking the on switch, the noise it makes, and then flicking it off. How messy, or not, from the static, how easy it is to clean the insides, how easy it is to replace the parts. The tactile feel of using it.

They have value, and personally, I wouldn't be bother buying something only to spend more time and money to mod it. Get the best you can afford, something you (think) you would enjoy using, and don't regret not getting that something.

My biased subjective opinion, being a Niche owner, is that the DF64 is ugly. It works from an industrial design POV, it will blend into some work top and coffee set up, but I am not a fan of it's looks. The way the dosing up "hangs" on the front. The red LED switch on the side, and then add the wooden lid/bellow feels like an afterthought.
Completely discounted the DF64 now. Not a fan of how it looks and don't want the risk of buying something from overseas which arrives with issues (alignment being the big one).

Niche Zero is now my fallback option if I can't settle on something else.

Torn between the Mignon Oro and Zero. Built in Florence (which I have a soft spot for). Look good. Built like tanks. Stepless. Single dosing. Ticks majority of boxes.

Zero - £100 less than Oro. 55mm flat burrs. Slightly more retention than Oro (uses a bellow rather than an angled unit). 310W motor. 1350 RPM.

Oro - 65mm flat burrs. Less retention than Zero due to angled unit. 320W motor. 1650 RPM. Aesthetically looks better than Oro (clearly designed to look like the Niche).

An extra hundred quid would basically get me larger burrs, slightly less retention, higher RPM and a unit which aesthetically looks better. Will the the espresso taste different? No. Are both grinders a huge step up from the Barista Express? Yes.

I'm swaying towards the Zero as it's close to half the price of the Niche Zero, yet still a fantastic grinder. With the Oro I may as well just stump up the extra cash and go for the Niche.
 
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Caporegime
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Completely discounted the DF64 now. Not a fan of how it looks and don't want the risk of buying something from overseas which arrives with issues (alignment being the big one).

Niche Zero is now my fallback option if I can't settle on something else.

Torn between the Mignon Oro and Zero. Built in Florence (which I have a soft spot for). Look good. Built like tanks. Stepless. Single dosing. Ticks majority of boxes.

Zero - £100 less than Oro. 55mm flat burrs ?. Slightly more retention than Oro (uses a bellow rather than an angled unit). 310W motor. 1350 RPM.

Oro - 65mm flat burrs. Less retention than Zero due to angled unit. 320W motor. 1650 RPM. Aesthetically looks better than Oro (clearly designed to look like the Niche).

An extra hundred quid would basically get me larger burrs, slightly less retention, higher RPM and a unit which aesthetically looks better. Will the the espresso taste different? No. Are both grinders a huge step up from the Barista Express? Yes.

I'm swaying towards the Zero as it's close to half the price of the Niche Zero (?), yet still a fantastic grinder. With the Oro I may as well just stump up the extra cash and go for the Niche.

Are you looking at the Flat Burr Niche? I thought you were looking at the conical burr Niche, but either way, same design, just larger and the design has been time tested now.
 
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OG

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Bonus time at the end of the month and so Profitec pro 600 and a Niche Zero will be ordered to move us away from our current Sage Barista express/grinder.. quite excited for the upgrade and the inevitably for having to reconfigure the kitchen to fit it all in!

Only question I had was currently in our sage machine the water holder has a filter that we change out every couple of months. Obviously the Profitec machine has not facility for a filter so would be filtering the water externally, any recommendations? We live in a fairly soft water area (West Yorkshire) and the filtered water would only be used for the coffee machine, not looking for anything inline with our current kitchen taps. Is just a boggo brita filter the way to go or is there more appropriate/less aggressive 'filters' that are better suited to espresso machines?
 
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Bonus time at the end of the month and so Profitec pro 600 and a Niche Zero will be ordered to move us away from our current Sage Barista express/grinder.. quite excited for the upgrade and the inevitably for having to reconfigure the kitchen to fit it all in!
What made you decide on the 600 as opposed to the 700 or Lelit Bianca?
 

maj

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What descaler does everyone use for their coffee machines? I've been using soda crystals diluted in water but not sure how effective it is as I'm having to descale quite regularly.
 
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I just use citric acid powder ~40g/1.5Litres bought from Amazon often wholefoods .. which it then next life used for kettle/saucepans/shower.
and don't ever use water from the Brita filter even though we are some 300mg/L hardness.
 
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Soldato
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Haven't posted in years, but stole some roaster recommendations from this thread and thought I might as well add some advice.

Brita is fine, unless you are making dozens of cups a day then you might want to install a mains filter.

Brita is not fine for a coffee machine, unless you want to mess the insides up over time. What comes out the tap in the first place will dictate how relevant that is, but a Brita should not be relied upon to provide quality water for a coffee machine.

Bottled water (Waitrose Lockhills or Tesco Ashbeck) are the best, easily-available options and the chemistry of the water should be ideal. I have run mine on that for years and during its yearly tear-down and service, the insides are pristine.

Outside of that, Osmio Zero and some additives are excellent, but a lot of faff. Barista Hustle has some good calculators, or there's the RPavlis recipe on various forums and other sources.

What descaler does everyone use for their coffee machines? I've been using soda crystals diluted in water but not sure how effective it is as I'm having to descale quite regularly.

Cafiza, if you have to use it. But put better water in your machine and try to avoid the need to descale in the first place.
 
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Soldato
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money diverted into grinder is nonetheless away from an espresso machine - modded rancilio rocky for stepless/single-dose/tighter tolerance on burr carrier ,
and meanwhile updated to a more stable Bezerra HX machine than rancilo silivia, which also does endless steam so milk or hot-chocolate is à la volonté

Money on a grinder is far more important than on a machine. Grinder dictates the quality of the coffee, the machine just helps you get there.

For example, you can get some incredible results from a Niche Zero and a Sage Duo Temp Pro. Something like that leaves you plenty of room for changing machines while you grow with what is, quite frankly, an incredibly designed grinder that will last for years and hold its value longer than almost anything else in its price range.
 
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We held a cup session and had a range of exotic beans to try. Having travelled most corners of the world, this Yemeni variant was the peak of coffee tasting for me. It was so wild for anything I could compare it to. I now understand why the Qima auctioned for far more than originally anticipated. Has anyone tried it?

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40 quid for 175g of beans is too dear for my tastes..... and frankly I'd want to know exactly how much of that money ends up with the farmers, versus how much ends up in the pockets of the people writing all the blurb about how ethical they are.
 
Soldato
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Money on a grinder is far more important than on a machine. Grinder dictates the quality of the coffee, the machine just helps you get there.

For example, you can get some incredible results from a Niche Zero and a Sage Duo Temp Pro.

the old duo temp perhaps but if you have read about the temperature stability of the newer (low thermal mass) thermojet heater,
bezerra HX I now use is much more consistent than the non-pid silvia I had before.

at the time duo-temp came out you could however get eureka specialita predecessor at same price £250'ish price, but grinders now seem to have bigger profit margins.
 
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@Raymond Lin

I'm ashamed to say that I caved and ended up ordering a DF64 Gen 2 from Home Baristas (due any day now). I was close to ordering the Niche Zero but a random call with the owner of Home Baristas convinced me otherwise. I spoke with Anthony for close to half an hour, went through my shortlist, pros and cons of each etc. He has direct experience with a whole ranger of grinders up to and beyond £1k, including the Niche Zero and DF64 Gen 1/2. His recommendation was the DF64 for a whole variety of reasons which I won't bore you with. Excited for it to arrive now!

My £15 Amazon scales are on the verge of breaking so I need to order a replacement. Any recommendations beyond the list below?

Timemore Black Mirror (£41 Amazon)
MHW-3BOMBER Mini (£45 Amazon)
Timemore Black Mirror Basic 2 (£49 Dog & Hat)

Quite like the look of the MHW-3BOMBER Mini as it'll comfortably fit on the drip tray of my SBE. Charging port is also covered unlike the Black Mirror.
 
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