I did a video with the Gaggia Classic and a budget grinder to prove you could get a really nice shot with a setup that you could get out the door with at about $500.
So, now, here’s the reason you always hear people talk about the grinder, grinder grinder, when giving advice on making better espresso at home. Here’s a shot with the Gaggia Classic and a good grinder, the Macap M2M. This setup is closer to $1000 out the door new (machine and grinder).
Note that I did use a slightly different technique here and different beans, but that really made little difference to the overall outcome. In the budget shot, I used a single origin, natural process Sumatra bean…which produces great crema. In this shot I used a blend, but plain and simple, the better grinder yields a better shot.