The process involving espresso making is probably the harshest of any methods. The espresso making process puts the coffee through extreme pressures and heat in order to still get a great taste. This is why having a proper grind (along with great coffee beans) is so important. The grind will depend on what machine you are using but regardless the grind should be extremely consistent; this is why a blender is so important. When buying an espresso machine you should consider the grinder as a required part of the purchase. Do not look at it as an extra, look at it as part of the entire system and this will help you in your thinking when buying an espresso machine and grinder.
The grinder should in general be around the same price as you espresso machine up to the $200 mark. After this you can begin to percentage the price down the higher up you go on the price scale for an espresso machine. Some features that you should look for and or consider when shopping around for a grinder are the following:
Stepless or Stepped?
Most grinders have different grind settings that are clicked into. This means that there are specific different settings for your grind options. This is normally just fine for the average espresso maker; however if you want to go that extra mile and really try to get the perfect grind, you should go for a steeples grinder. Stepless grinders are meant for experts who enjoy getting their espresso grinds exactly the way they want it.
Doser or Doserless?
A doser is the basket at the bottom of a grinder that holds the ground coffee. In modern days it has been proven that leaving the grinds in a doser is not good for the overall taste of the espresso. It is better to have a doserless grinder that puts the grinds directly into the portafilter; however once again there are drawbacks. The doserless grinders are typically much more messy, meaning that there will be much more inconvenience involved in your espresso routine. You must make the choice: convenience or supreme taste?