@StanSimmons Fantastic, thank you! I look forward to trying it out.
It partly depends on your brew method. For espresso, the grind is finer and the tolerances have to be much tighter to get grounds that are of a consistent size. If the grounds are too varied in size, the pressurized water will form channels through the puck, over-extracting in the areas around the channels and under-extracting in others. The resulting shot will leave much to be desired.
For making drip coffee in normal home quantities, as far as I know there is little benefit in spending much more than $100 on a grinder—but my experience making drip coffee is fairly limited.
A double shot of espresso made with great beans from one of the finest roasters in Dallas would use about 70–80¢ of coffee, so less than half that amount!
It seems like most people here are thinking of coffee as a break-room beverage, and I would agree that it would be a terrible idea for the DMS to spend so much money on equipment to make a break-room beverage.
But one can also view coffee-making as a craft—analogous to baking, and perhaps not very different from some of the other making activities already at DMS. We could potentially have classes on roasting (although this would probably be prohibited by the lease), espresso, latte art, and so on. On the other hand, this clearly doesn’t make sense if there isn’t a lot of interest.
Anyway, I will be very happy to chip in with @Photomancer and pledge $100 towards some good espresso equipment. So we are already 10% of the way there if we go with a smaller machine!
Come to think of it, I did look into building a machine from scratch a while back. It would totally be doable, especially with the resources at DMS—but the materials cost would be substantial. If there is interest in making this, I can do some more research on what it would take. It would be super cool to have a DMS-made machine in the kitchen area!
In the meantime, I very much look forward to trying my hand at pourovers.