Coffee Grinders – On Demand vs Doser

Within the espresso coffee grinder market there are two main variations, the on demand and the doser, below we will break down the pros and cons of both!



Overdosing – If excess coffee grounds are dispensed when filling the basket you are in most cases able to open the chamber and put them back in ready for the next dispense.

Busy Period – You know your business, whether that means the 8.30am commuter rush or the 1pm lunch rush, you know your busy periods. The ability to grind off the right amount of coffee to be ready for the rush can be incredibly helpful to help cope with that period.

Cost – Generally a doser grinder with regards to burr size and motor wattage will cost less than the equivalent on demand grinder.


Excess Coffee Grinds – The biggest issue with doser grinders is the potential for over grinding coffee in to the chamber which then sits. Once ground, coffee is not recommended to sit for longer than 4 hours before using it and with a doser it is very easy to have coffee leftover at the end of the day that will lose freshness overnight.

Accuracy – Dosers work by dispensing a “portion” of coffee on each pull of the handle but this does leave the potential for partially filled segments and therefore not the full amount of coffee going in to the basket.

Adjustment – If a problem with the grind size is picked up it may be that you have a chamber full of coffee at the wrong size and therefore you will be dispensing imperfect coffee until you get the chance to adjust on an empty doser.


On Demand:


Freshness – The biggest advantage to grinding shots on demand every time is the freshness. The coffee goes from bean to portafilter and in to the machine in seconds meaning the ultimate in fresh coffee.

Portion Control – You only grind the coffee you need and therefore there is no wastage as the coffee you grind goes straight in to the basket and in to your customers’ cup!

Theatre – Many customers go out for coffee as much for the drink they receive as the experience. They are used to the sound and smells from the espresso machine and the addition of an on demand grinder adds the sound associated with freshly ground coffee time after time.


Speed – Grinding fresh every time can take longer than having pre ground coffee in their chamber ready to dispense. On demand grinders vary between 4-18 seconds for a double shot.

Noise – Grinding on demand every time does mean the grinder will be running more often than when doing mass grinding to fill the chamber and in quiet environments this can sometimes be disruptive. This can be counteracted by going high end on the grinder which have bigger burrs and motors which work less hard and generate less noise but can add considerable cost.

Cost – Top of the range on demand grinders can cost up to £3,000 and whilst these grinders grind perfectly every time in a matter of seconds but you have to pay for the premium!