Does the grinder really matter? Really?

Just how much does the grinder affect your final product?  And, does it really matter if you have a decent one or not?  I have been fortunate to be able to actually test this. I have both a Macap M2M and a Baratza Preciso. The Macap has flat ceramic burs and the Baratza uses conical steel. Both are really excellent grinders with the Macap about $100 more than the Baratza. I ran the same beans through both and dialed in an 18gr dose for my preferred 45sec run time to 40ml on a Gaggia Classic. By all accounts, the Macap shots are excellent…really good, But, the Baratza produced a significantly sweeter shot…like a WTF…did I use the right beans type of significance.
But, it doesn’t end there. I was able to pair these same two grinders with my other espresso machine, a Bezzera BZ10.  I dialed in the exact same shot.  18gr, 45sec, 40ml.  The Macap pairs with that machine way better than the Baratza did. The Baratza shots were always a little bit flat…really good, but lacking a little “pop”. With the Macap, the shots all of the sudden popped like I wanted them too.  I had a hunch that changing the OPV setting on the Bezzera would make it even better, and I was right (adjusted the OPV down to 9.5 bar).
So, there you go.  Yes, the grinder matters, and simply changing your grinder can improve your cup even if you use the exact same machine and beans.

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