Mattybar7 …. obviously I’ve seen the Niche but I don’t really want to spend that much, seen the Sage grinder pro is in the budget I want to spend but will it be up to the job?
It might seem a bit like an announcement from the Ministry of the Bleeping Obvious, but there’s a reason the Niche is more than twice the price. The question really is …. what job do you want doing?
I recently bought a Sage Oracle. In most respects, I’m more than pleased with it. The exception is the grinder. I’ve been told it’s the SGP, but built-in, and with an automatic tamper too, and if that is right, then it’s nowhere near the Niche. However, my experience with the built-in grinder is yes, you can get an okay cup with it. BUT …. it is very inconsistent. Very inconsistent indeed. This makes it tricky to dial in, because even once dialled in, you can do half a dozen grinds on the trot, and get very different results.
In my case, I knew I wanted to do something the Niche was definitely going to be far superior to the Sage grinder at, which was grinding for V60, Clever, Aeropress, etc, as well, and not just espresso. In that regard, the SGP would be better than the Oracle’s built-in grinder because if I’m doing those, I don’t want the grinds auto-tamped.
The (built-in) Sage grinder cannot grind consistently when the settings haven’t been altered, so trying to adjust from espresso to the V60/Clever Dripper and back is just a non-starter.
Which is why I ordered the ordered the Niche, actually a bit before the Sage Oracle, but it arrived afterwards.
As a result, I’ve used the Sage (built-in) and the Niche, quite a bit, over the last couple of months and for the job I wanted, which was accurate, repeatable grinds, minimal retention and the ability to grind for very different purposes, no the Sage will not do it. Not satisfactorily, anyway. But you may not want the same “job” doing.
Can the SGP produce a decent coffee? Yes. Can it produce as good as the Niche? No. It simply doesn’t have anywhere near (IMHO) the same level of fine control, and nor is it as consistent.
I find the gap between two adjacent settings on the Sage to be just simply too big to get my coffee (and I may just have an awkward choice of bean), dialled in correctly where it needs to be. Setting 11 is too fine, but 12 is too course. There’s nothing in-between.
That said, if you’re not wanting to switch between espresso and Dripper-type brews, then you can get the SGP close enough to make a nice cup. Can you get it exactly right? In my opinion, no.
So …. provided you just want espresso,and provided you understand the limitations, yes, he SGP will do a job, that being, okay espresso. But at the expense, for me at least, of a hell of a lot of frustration with dialling in.
But it’s £200 not £500, so it’s no surprise the Niche is better. It sure ought to be.
Different people have different levels of ability to fund a purchase like a Niche. It ranges from “do it on a whim” to “no way I can spend that”. So, if you buy the SGP, do so in the knowledge that you’re buying a Ford, not an Aston Martin.
My advice is, if you can easily afford a Niche, don’t faff about with the SGP. If there’s no way you can buy the Niche, just get the SGP (or whatever) and worry about the Niche in the future. Where it gets tricky is if you can afford the Niche, but not easily. Maybe you can get it, but only by giving up something else you wanted as well. The ‘opportunity cost’, as an economist would say, of the Niche is that you have to give up that something else. So, which do you really, really want …. the SGP plus something else, or a Niche? I opted for the Niche. Your mileage may vary.