Give us some numbers to work with. My wife's an interior designer and clients say that all the time to her but everyone has a budget. Are you talking $1K? $2K? $5K? $10K?I don't have a hard budget
It's not simply a matter of burr size. Check around any espresso site and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone recommending a Mini these days. It simply does not provide acceptable performance -- i.e. taste in the cup. It was highly recommended 10 or more years ago (like the Silvia and Rocky) but the market has changed a lot since then and there are many more options out there. It won't take much bucks but you won't get much bang either.Turtle, could you expand on why you think the Mini's burr are too small (and several other similar grinders like the Vario, Compak, Macap etc by extension)?
Most would probably recommend a Vario or Super Jolly (considered by some to be equivalent in the cup) at the lower end. The Vario is an example of a grinder that performs above its price point and burr size.
Again, a budget or range would help a lot. We can then work on sorting out what you should be spending for the grinder versus the machine and figure out some room for accessories. Otherwise grinder and machines comes in a massive range of pricing. It does no good for us to recommend equipment that is well out of your budget/range, whatever it may be.
Subjective just as worth is on any topic. Some like dosers. Some don't. You have to sort this out for yourself. I don't see much of an advantage to them in the home environment but for grinders that tend to clump they can help with breaking up the clumps. Not all dosers are identical either. Some sweep cleaner than others. Most can be modded to sweep cleaner.Are dosers actually useful or more of pain then they're worth?
I currently have a Super Jolly because I got a great deal on it. It has a doser and while it has never bothered me I don't intend my next grinder to have one.
You get out what you put in. Which is more important: quality or convenience? You can pick one. If you want quality you'll have to put in the time and effort. If you want convenience you can certainly get it with a single serve, superauto or similar but you're going to get mediocre results at best. Convenient and consistent but mediocre. That said, many are happy with the more convenient solutions.Ideally a machine that didn't require to time it to get good result
Don't overlook espresso specific sites like Coffee Geek and Home Barista as well.
Just about anyone that has upgraded from the Silvia to an HX or DB has found a much less finicky espresso machine. I certainly did when I got my Duetto 3. That said, a skilled operator can certainly tame the Silvia.You would be hard pressed to find something simpler or less finicky than the Silvia (push the button and shazzam.... coffee)