The Globe and Mail had a particularly good article last week about making espresso at home. Food writer John Sufrin recommends focusing on buying a good grinder for your espresso setup, an important point many folks seem to ignore.
After using pre-ground coffee for his espresso — a major no-no — Sufrin describes the massive improvement in his espresso after switching to a Mazzer burr grinder:
Immediately my espresso was exponentially better, and after a bit of tweaking, it became great. It was complex and slightly viscous, with crema as rich as the head on a pint of Guinness.
My own experience is not unlike Sufrin’s. The first high end grinder I had was a hand-me-down from a local grocery store. Immediately the quality of the espresso on my cheap Krups machine went from a nasty brown sludge to an almost cafe quality drink.
If you want to improve your espresso it’s absolutely true; a good burr grinder is a worthwhile investment.