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Latest Hoffman review on the Solo, call it what you want


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Is it a Niche killer?

 

Who needs a steering wheel......?

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Best bit:

Static when you don't use RDT:

image.thumb.png.968fbfbe6c801fe3870c10ff4a23a3bd.png

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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

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Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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Difficult to really interpret. Despite the obvious similarities, seems daft comparing it to the Niche, which always is and was the finished article. Think to sum up, if you can live with its idiosyncrasies then do so.....

Who needs a steering wheel......?

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34 minutes ago, dfk41 said:

idiosyncrasies

They are rather more than that - hence him mentioning modifications.

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Just now, ajohn said:

They are rather more than that - hence him mentioning modifications.

I was being kind! It is what it is, not what it could be.

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"If you don't like chaff in your coffee that's great, because it's all stuck to the grinder". Grinder and chaff collector in one.

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He should have been harder on it really. I know exactly what I should have done with mine within a couple of days of using it. Sent it back. How ever some people  have a tendency to tinker if things aren't working as they should. ;) I'm one. Currently I have a so so grinder. Sort of ok but need to be careful about what beans I grind with it. Pop corning still to do. He mentions regrinding - yes and that can get considerable - starts producing grinds that are more like it would produce with the hopper on at the same setting. Did he show an espresso dose being ground???? Odd omission but maybe I missed it.

SSP burrs. If I hadn't shimmed mine I'm pretty sure the burrs would have rubbed before i reached an espresso setting with the HU burrs. Seems the multipurpose burrs can be used somewhat wider apart.

At a setting way over espresso it works pretty well as it comes but 100g of beans nearly fills a 900ml ice cream container and the grinds have an odd texture.

In and odd sort of way it reminds me of earlier Chinese metal lathes for home use. Buy one, mod it and do hand work on various bits. Better but then realising some of the proportions are all wrong. It took them ages to sort that out. It might work well with a hopper on it. ;) I have my doubts but it might. All a weighing in grinder needs is bellows. If only but no doubt we will see more of them. Spend enough of flat weighing in and no bellows. ;) Maybe the people who make those are wondering about adding one when there is no need - apparently.

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James' disgust over the font was entertaining.

In reality, this grinder offers nothing new over the Mazzer Mini (64mm version) with a camera lens hood but that being said, the Mazzer mini is much more expensive new, so being able to being able to get a new product much cheaper, that will have a warranty presumably, might be worth it.

It does seem like the heart of the solo's designer was in the right place but pretty much all the features need to be re-designed. The compact body and the burr compatibility seem to be the only successful part of it - it's a good start. It seems like they'd have to make such minor changes to make it a massive success, not an opportunity to be missed!

Edited by newdent
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13 hours ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Best bit:

Static when you don't use RDT:

image.thumb.png.968fbfbe6c801fe3870c10ff4a23a3bd.png

I get this effect with my Niche when grinding for a big 02 V60 (95-odd).

A3A64918-077C-47EF-98F9-BDB08628F4E6.jpeg

Edited by Kjk
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PMA all day!

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Grind chaffy coffee coarse, all grinders will do this. I do my very best to eliminate all chaff from my coffee...but you can't really do anything about what's in the seams. That said, Hoffmans review seemed a pretty fair appraisal of the grinder. One of his better reviews.

Edited by DavecUK

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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5 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

Grind chaffy coffee coarse, all grinders will do this. I do my very best to eliminate all chaff from my coffee...but you can't really do anything about what's in the seams. That said, Hoffmans review seemed a pretty fair appraisal of the grinder. One of his better reviews.

Yeah - the only way to really get around this one is a grinder that has no gap between the exit of the chamber and cup/shaker. It's a small thing, but still a thing.

Weber Key seems to be the next reasonably priced electric grinder with an integrated shaker? Though an additional outlay of £800ish (with crowdfunding discount) to get round this seems excessive.

Edited by Kjk

PMA all day!

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It seemed a pretty fair appraisal of the grinder to me. I particularly agreed with the font issue which really bugged me when I first received it, but not that bothered about it now. 

I have had the grinds cup fall out of the holder before although there were additional rubber sleeves in the box that if put on the higher forks would presumably resolve this.

Definitely agree that the button is in an awkward place.

I only use for espresso, so haven't experienced the chaff issue.

I am quite happy using the bellows - it was a part of the workflow I was perfectly happy with and knew about before I ordered the grinder, but can see that this is a disadvantage when compared to the Niche.

Having said that, the coffee I am producing from the grinder is excellent - which after all is the main purpose of the grinder. No regrets here.

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46 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

Grind chaffy coffee coarse, all grinders will do this. I do my very best to eliminate all chaff from my coffee...but you can't really do anything about what's in the seams. That said, Hoffmans review seemed a pretty fair appraisal of the grinder. One of his better reviews.

Do you have a preferred method of removing chaff? 

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Just now, PortafilterProcrastinator said:

Do you have a preferred method of removing chaff? 

A good cooling tray agitator and decent high power destoner would be my preferred method...

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I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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I said at the start, that the Niche is the finished item. Knowing a little of the history of the Niche it was circa 5 years in the making, designed by an eminent industry specialist with many years representing Kenwood. You just need to visit Martin Nicholsons page to see his pedigree.

https://www.ndcltd.co.uk

The Solo is probably a very good grinder for the price, especially being a flat burr. Hopefully it will be developed further to iron out some of the issues as competition is always a good thing

Who needs a steering wheel......?

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