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strebor's Achievements

Lightly Roasted

Lightly Roasted (3/8)



  1. Yeah, this is the route I went in the end – lifted the entire thing out, once I realised I could do that from the bottom. Then it was much easier to pull the black ring out.
  2. I'm trying to clean my Niche Zero, however, when I get to 1m09s in the cleaning video below, I simply can't remove the black ring. It won't budge, yet in the video it comes out seemingly effortlessly. I don't really want to have to get the pliers out... Anyone experienced this? Am I missing something daft? Suggestions?
  3. I agree with the sentiment behind this post. I've had my Niche for a few months now, coming from the hopper grinder on my Sage Barista. I was disappointed that I didn't suddenly have a huge leap in taste. But I think that was more to do with unrealistic expectations. Through my online research, I'd come to the conclusion that it would vastly improve the taste. That said, now I'm used to it, it's definitely better than my previous setup. The biggest thing for me is that I'm even more consistent at producing various types of coffee than I was before. I thought I was pretty consistent already, but now for example, a small adjustment on the Niche to give a finer grind size can give me a slightly longer extraction time compared to a considerably longer extraction time before. I guess this is where a jump in taste comes in - if your previous setup had big differences between various adjustments, then you lack the control to tweak your taste. This is a great post and I wish I knew it before getting the Niche. I might well still have bought it, but at least I'd have known more what I was letting myself in for. TL;DR: if having a very well crafted bit of kit is important to you, then get it. But, if you're reasonably happy with what you have and aren't expecting a transformative leap from drab coffee to an explosion of fruits and nuts and chocolates then possibly steer clear.
  4. One thought... assuming the group head is clean, what about putting the purge mineral water back into the tank? It sounds a pretty horrifying prospect, but if it's just been heated up and nothing else what's wrong with the water...
  5. I live in London – I mainly use tap, but I'm aware it's far from ideal. I'm on my second refurb BE. My first lasted 4+ years, but I didn't really know what I was doing tbh so wasn't particularly good at taking care of it. Had my second for 18 months. I've use mineral on occasion, but the prospect of shifting entirely to mineral is slightly horrifying from a cost point of view. It's something I'm considering, but I probably use one third to half a BE tank to make one Americano with the amount of group head flushing that's required.
  6. Some I like: Caravan - Great Portland Street (amazing pastries too) Tap - Tottenham Court Road Black Sheep - Goodge Street Loft - Finchley Road/Swiss Cottage Coleman - Lower Marsh, Waterloo Sure there are many, many others.
  7. Normally 18g in basket for me. Tweaked by say +/- 0.5g if I just can't get a decent shot time with the BE grind settings. It's always worked pretty well for me. But others on here have suggested to me I try much different parameters and see how I go. Ie: 16g or 20g with much longer/shorter extraction times. I've just bought some big bags of coffee from Coffee Compass, so I have enough beans that I'm really going to play around with these ranges using my Niche. Shift out of that 18g in/36g out/25-30s comfort zone I'm so used to!
  8. @CocoLoco Yeah, I already run water through the group head to warm it up, although admittedly only one or two times. And I've dialled up the temperature of the water on the BE through the program mode. My query was more related to using loads of mineral water. I tend to drink Americano or Flat White, using tap water. But I've been reading up on using mineral water to improve the taste and reduce scale build-up. Just occurred to me that you're going to push through several 100ml of water before you even get to pulling the shot, which is far from ideal. Thanks for info.
  9. Was reading various threads last night about pre-warming the group head and portafilter on the Sage Barista Express and also mineral water. There was thread where I think @CocoLoco said they push four shots worth of water through the PF before pulling a shot. It occurred to me that if using bottled water, this seems like an awfully expensive way to operate the machine. Am I missing something or is this widespread practice for BE usage?
  10. Do let us know how you get on! Similar BE experience to me – I had a similar grind size range but generally found I would settle on a number and then furhter control the extraction time by tamping harder/softer or going to +/- 0.5-1.0g coffee. Realise this affects flavour, but it did work for me. The Niche will definitely help eliminate the need for such micro-management, but I'm intrigued to know how you get on with the overall taste in the cup!
  11. Hi Jony. Can you confirm a few things for me? How many filters does it come with? Are they new? Do you have the water testing strips? Have you still got the box and the lip of the jug? Thanks.
  12. So I single-dose with the BE. Weigh 18g beans and then get 18g grounds out (send through another bean or two if there is say only 17.8g out due to variation). Transfer to portafilter – I weigh beans/collect grounds using an espresso mug which neatly fits the rim of the PF, so I can flip the two together to transfer the grounds to the basket Use rotation distribution tool Tamp (I use calibrated tamper which helps with my consistency) Run hot water through group head Stick in portafilter Extract coffee (normally 2:1 – separate thread has suggested I really play around with the ratio to get different tastes, ie: 3:1, 40s shot times etc) With the Niche, I effectively do the same thing. One slight difference is in transferring the grounds to the portafilter – I use the supplied Niche metal cup to weigh/collect the grounds, because the espresso mug is too short meaning the grounds from the Niche funnel spray out of the sides. There is also less static with the metal cup. I still flip the Niche cup and portafilter together, but it requires paying attention so as not to slip and drop grounds everywhere!
  13. I can appreciate the Niche is a well made piece of kit. No doubt. I just find – so far at least – I'm not overly fussed by the improvements you mention. I could already get pretty good dose consistency with single-dosing on the BE once I'd dialled in new bag of beans. Yeah, the most limiting factor for me on the BE grinder was that it doesn't grind coarse. I partly got the Niche for filter, which I am enjoying playing with. But, I could've spent 100 quid or so on a Wilfa and probably had that end covered I guess. I'm really not trying to shit on the Niche – just want to understand it better in the context of my current gear and experience.
  14. Ohhh, just stumbled upon this which is handy as I was about to order an Espresso selection from CC. @CocoLoco – can I grab a code please? I was going to get the Cherry Cherry, Sweet Bourbon and one other... any recommendations here?
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