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Thread: 'Minimum' espresso machine for Niche Zero?

  1. #1
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    Question 'Minimum' espresso machine for Niche Zero?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all - looking for encouragement to spend more money / discouragement to save my money ...I'm really in 2 minds at the moment.

    Currently

    • Breville Infuser BES840
    • Breville Smart Grinder Pro
    • 1 shot a day (maybe 2 on weekends)
    • 80% long blacks, 20% lattes for family
    • 250g bags every 2 weeks or so
    • Single dosing
    • Currently experimenting with a variety of beans but will likely move towards lighter/fruitier roasts
    • Thinking of upgrading, I'm no pro, but like fancy things! (but also wonder if I will notice a difference)


    Rough plan of attack

    • Upgrading from the SGP to a better grinder
    • Initially was looking at around <$500 market so was looking at the Sette 270 ($420)
    • But then the more I researched, the more I found the Niche Zero was very popular although at $1300 (better for single dosing, zero retention, but I don't like not having a PF holder
    • Then I was thinking my Breville Infuser 'too crap' or a bottleneck for the Niche Zero
    • Don't think I'd want to spend that much, and don't mind 2nd hand - was thinking of picking up a Rancilio Silvia V3+ with PID & accessories - for maybe $500ish


    Questions
    1. Would the Breville Infuser bottleneck/limit my results when paired with the Niche Zero?
    2. Would there be a minimum 'standard' to use for Niche Zero?
    3. Based on my personal needs (above), should there other machines I should consider other than the Rancilio Silvia? I'd like to spend $500 or so but I am always open to spending more if it's more VFM (value for money). Any other decent models (new or 2nd hand) that I should consider?
    4. e.g. I just noticed a VBM Domobar Piccolo for $750 in the 'For Sale' forum - should I consider something like this too? (over the Silvia?)
    5. I notice that a lot of people talk about PID - is this quite essential? Should I only look for machines with this?
    6. Also I've heard look for Gaggia? Should this be a prerequisite?


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I would hang fire and do some more exploring. Equipment you have is fine but is consumer level. The machine will be poor at frothing but should be OK I think for espresso.

    Maybe do a barista course and visit a few specialist coffee shops.

    The problem with equipment is it can be never ending and especially so to start with.

    If you have your heart set on single dosing then only a very few machines are designed for that in mind including the Niche.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Not much to add but if you are looking at a Sette 270, I know it will be considerably more at over $600, but the Sette 270Wi would be a much better option with its inbuilt scales so you can very accurately grind by weight.

    Three preset user-set weight sizes, and bluetooth software upgrade (for apple only).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I would hang fire and do some more exploring. Equipment you have is fine but is consumer level. The machine will be poor at frothing but should be OK I think for espresso.

    Maybe do a barista course and visit a few specialist coffee shops.

    The problem with equipment is it can be never ending and especially so to start with.

    If you have your heart set on single dosing then only a very few machines are designed for that in mind including the Niche.
    So you think I won't get much better espresso/long blacks from upgrading from Breville Infuser to Rancilio Silvia? (take your point on the frothing, and yeah probs not something I'd spend more on since it makes a small margin of my coffees currently)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Not much to add but if you are looking at a Sette 270, I know it will be considerably more at over $600, but the Sette 270Wi would be a much better option with its inbuilt scales so you can very accurately grind by weight.

    Three preset user-set weight sizes, and bluetooth software upgrade (for apple only).
    The normal version Sette 270 goes for about $430 - e.g. https://alternativebrewing.com.au/pr...tza-sette-270/
    Wasn't planning to get the WI version because if I'm single dosing, wouldn't I already be weighing? So I would just weigh and use what comes out? (I believe Sette 270 has decently low retention?)

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Not quite sure what you mean, but if you want X grams of coffee in your basket, with a 270 you have to weigh them before, or after grinding.

    With the 270wi you don't do any weighing. The machine weighs as it grinds and will stop automatically when the pre-determined amount of grinds is in the basket.
    You have a choice of 3 different programmed weights, which you program yourself and can change anytime.
    snoffee likes this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I think he means he only wants to do single dosing and won't be grinding with more beans in the hopper than he needs, so the Wi would be a waste of money
    snoffee likes this.

  8. #8
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    First off I should state that I am not a fan of electronic trickery - I favour machines with as little of it as possible which might put me at odds with others here but I had a couple of points I think worth considering.
    In my experience the biggest difference between the Breville and the Silvia is quality of build. A brass boiler and other well built components that are well supported by technicians and spare parts suppliers will outlast anything put out by a domestic appliance manufacturer - try buying a new set of O rings for the steam arm of your breville in ten years time when they have moved on to new things and other lines of equipment.
    You seem to only be making one shot a day so you basically heat up - pull the shot then turn off? I am no expert but perhaps ultimate boiler stability (from a PID) is not going to be that helpful in this situation - if the machine isn't idling for that long. Similarly the HX machine (VBM) in the for sale section would be a big advantage over other machines if you need to make multiple coffees and steam milk all at once. but with no steaming and only the one coffee it might not be that advantageous.
    Im not trying to put you off, just putting the few things I know from my experience out there for you to consider.
    snoffee likes this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoffee View Post
    e.g. I just noticed a VBM Domobar Piccolo for $750 in the 'For Sale' forum - should I consider something like this too? (over the Silvia?)
    The VBM Domobar Piccolo in the For Sale section has the potential to produce better quality brews with more consistency than the Silvia. The onus is on the user to develop a consistent routine that gets the best out of the machine. I'd strongly suggest an E61 Grouphead thermometer such as the CoffeeSensor to help with this.

    The one being sold is an older machine but appears to have been looked after. I'd go for one of these over a Silvia any day but with the knowledge that if you don't learn to use it correctly you won't get the best out of it (in my opinion). Same goes for any machine really.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoffee View Post
    I notice that a lot of people talk about PID - is this quite essential? Should I only look for machines with this?
    Correct Brew Water temp is one of the key elements to producing a good brew. A PID on a Single Boiler (like an ECM Classika) or a Dual boiler E61 machine helps to maintain a more precise Brew Temperature. On a Heat Exchanger machine, PID is considered to be less effective in terms of precise Brew Temp control but makes it easier to change the Service boiler temp which in turn changes Steam pressure and by default Brew temperature. A well set-up pressurestat controlled Heat Exchanger machine will also deliver a good average Brew Temp. Some brands/models are better than others at this.

    Bear in mind that any machine can produce bad coffee if the user doesn't take the time to learn how to use it correctly to get the best out of it.
    Dimal and snoffee like this.



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