Rancilio Rocky: $200-220US
Why did I put classify the doser as both a positive and negative feature? First off, let me state that I use the Rocky soley for espresso, and find the doser more of a postive feature. Not only is it convienent, but it provides the ability to consistently dose out the same amount shot after shot. The drawback, though, is that in order for it to dose out the right amount with each dose you need to grind a lot of coffee. That‘s where the negative comes in. I grind my espresso on a shot-by-shot basis. What this means is instead of just pulling the doser twice, I have to pull it several times to even out the amount of coffee in each dose slot. Now, this isn‘t just a feature on the Rocky, this is how all dose grinders perform. Some people would prefer it to not have a doser at all, while others, like me, don‘t really mind it. That is why I classify it as both a positive and negative feature.
I only have a few other minor complaints. Sometimes, I prefer an espresso roast that has some oil on the outside of the beans. These type of beans tend to get stuck in the hopper, and you have to rock the grinder side-to-side to get them to unstick. While this doesn‘t happen all the time, it happens enough to merit a mentioning.
A lot of people have had problems with the plastic fork that holds a portafilter in place under the doser. Considering the excellent workmanship of the rest of the grinder, this flimsy plastic piece sticks out like a sore thumb. While you‘d be hard pressed to break this off just by using it, if anything on this machine were to break first, the dosing fork would be it. They had to cut costs somewhere and I admit I‘m glad it was the fork instead of some other, more important part.
Besides those few minor complaints, this is an excellent grinder. Not only is it extremely quiet, but the amount of grind settings is amazing. This is close to a commercial quality grinder, which generally run at 4-5 times the price of the Rocky. Almost a steal at its price, I can recommend this grinder wholeheartedly, especially if you need a quality grinder for espresso making.