The grinder: essential coffee equipment

Dany Marquis

Coffee lovers, hello. Today I declare myself the “Ron-Fournier” of coffee, and with this title, I give myself the authority to whistle the end of the pre-mill period. For what?

Because my last two weeks have been punctuated by discussions around the grind. So much so that we are considering removing the ability to select espresso grinds on our website, as well as for bulk orders. Nothing is more subjective than selecting “espresso grind” from the choices offered on the website of your favorite coffee supplier.

And even if, in my opinion, the problems experienced around grinding mainly come from certain residential espresso machines, this situation is unmanageable for any barista.

Ok, I say it, Brevilles are finicky! It has become a routine in the team. When a customer complains about a bad espresso grind, they are asked for the make and model of their coffee maker, and guess? 100%, the customer answers “Breville”. Note that I have nothing against the brand (even if we decided not to sell any for various reasons) but the sensitivity of these machines is a headache for the owners, who put the responsibility on the shoulders of the coffee supplier to offer a perfect grind for their capricious machine.

But this problem is not one in itself since at a professional level, no one would dare to make espresso without having a suitable grinder. Because the grinder is an essential tool for preparing espresso! With a commercial machine, you have to readjust the grind regularly and it's not a problem of equipment design, that's how it works. It’s the perfect balance of the 4Ms of Espresso (Machine-Method-Coffee Blend-Grind)

The difficulty of the Breville owners highlights the need to have a good mill on hand.

With the democratization of espresso at home, with models under $200 , there is now no longer any reason, if you like coffee, not to have a machine at home. (Unless you have a good coffeeshop near you!) And now that it's the norm, I think we need to gradually convince coffee drinkers to own their own grinder.

Your ground coffee will keep longer and the quality of your extractions will be increased if you use your grinder before each preparation. And you can regularly adjust your grinder to get the perfect grind and get the most out of the coffee.

IMPORTANT: Blade grinders should only be used to grind spices!

Blade grinders make an uneven, dusty grind. Plus, it's almost impossible to get the same grind every time. Bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz, we spin the blade in the coffee, bzzz, bzzz, oops, a little too much...

So, save your blade grinder for spices. You can find mixtures of whole tajine spices in delicatessens, for example. That's what it's for, not coffee.

All you have to do is get a burr grinder. And there are several options on the market. Different price ranges.

First of all, there are 2 types of grinding wheel: flat or conical.

Burrs consist of two cones or two flat surfaces, facing each other, and the distance between the two determines the size of the grind.

Which type of grinder does a better job is another debate but both make an even and stable grind.

Once this question is resolved, the mill comes in three variations:

  • On demand automatic dedicated to espresso
  • With mechanical doser dedicated to espresso
  • Multi-use with container

On demand automatic dedicated to espresso

Espresso grinder

This type of grinder is ideal for accompanying an espresso coffee maker. Ground on demand and it all depends on the model, grinds the desired quantity.

You press the button using the filter holder and the grinder sends the ground coffee directly and will stop depending on the desired quantity. We highly recommend this type of grinder for espresso.

Once adjusted, this grinder is dedicated solely to your espresso machine, so if you occasionally use a manual method, plunger, or drip coffee maker, you will need to purchase ground coffee or use a multi-use grinder.

Approximate price: between $300 and $1000

With mechanical doser dedicated to espresso

Approximate price: between $300 and $1000

This type of mill is similar to the one above. The only difference is that the coffee is ground in a container equipped with a mechanical dosing mechanism. By activating the lever, the fins rotate and drop a dose of coffee into your filter holder. It is possible to adjust the amount that falls by adjusting the height of the fins.

Again here, this grinder is dedicated exclusively to espresso.

Multi-use with container

Approximate price: between $75 and $750
For an installation with a residential coffee maker, this type of grinder is very interesting. Generally, a ring makes it easy to adjust the grind. You can therefore grind for your espresso machine and grind for your filter coffee maker. The coffee falls into the container, you just have to remove it and using a spoon, pod or other, use the coffee according to your needs.
There is a lot to say about the different technologies, options, brands, for and against dosing or automatic, flat or conical grinding wheel but here I wanted to emphasize the importance of working with a grinder.
I remain available if you have any questions about the mills. Do not hesitate to contact me


  • Jean-François Lacoste

    J’aimerais me procurer un moulin à café. Je veux payer environ 125$.
    Lequel serait un bon choix ?

    Merci et bonne journée.

  • hoarau floran


    Ma demande est un peu spéciale,
    Je travail avec des épices en poudre que je souhaite moudre le plus finement possible.

    Avez-vous des moulins capablent de faire cela ?


    Hoarau Floran

  • Monique Sleigher

    Bonjour Dany et Marie Hélène,

    Je viens de visiter votre page et je suis très surprise de la conception, des détails, c’est vraiment bien fait.

    Comme je pars le 26, je me suis arrêtée à savoir combien me coûterait un sac de café rendu à Margarita. Mais c,est sur que c,est pas abordable, alors j,irai faire mes provisions avant de partir. Félicitations pour votre audace, votre ténacité et votre détermination. C,est avec une grande confiance en soi que l’on réussi dans la vie, sans s’occuper de tout ce qui se véhicule autour de soi, il faut croire en ses capacités. Félicitations, vous roulez vraiment à l’EXPRESSO…. wow c,est beau et si j,étais plus jeune, je prendrais une franchise…..

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