Coffee beans are like any other food: exposed to air, they will go stale and the wonderful palate will dull to a non-descript ‘brown’ flavour, much like the shop-bought intsant coffees.
But, as soon as you grind coffee, the volatile coffee-oils are much more exposed to the air than when the bean was still whole.
This is why ground coffee starts to go stale almost the minute you grind it.
So, the answer to really fresh coffee is to get it out of the bag and grind it just before you brew it; only put enough coffee in the hopper of the grinder to make the required number of cups; the rest of the beans should remain safely in its one-way valved bag.
We use an espresso machine at home and grind directly into the portafilter, because we do not want to have ground coffee sitting around, even for the few minutes it takes to brew one coffee and start on the next.
A grinder with a doser attached really is only something for the busy café or coffee-shop, where the ground coffee does not get the chance to get stale in the doser;.
For home use you would be better off using a grinder which grinds directly into the portafilter or a small cup from which you can tip the ground coffee into whatever you are using to make the coffee.
If have used a doser before and you find it hard to calculate the dose of coffee you need, use the ‘counting seconds’ method.
Experiment with the seconds for the dose you and your family-members like best and jot them down; this way you can tailor-make everyone’s coffee without hassle.
If you do have a grinder with doser attached, still feed it only as much coffee as you need for the cup you are brewing… it is called ‘grinding through the doser’.
Use a set of measuring spoons and experiment with the amount of beans you need for your favourite brew and keep notes.
It may be a little more work, but the results will be fantastic.
Also, and this is very important for all grinders: run about 1 heaped teaspoon of beans through the grinder before you start making your coffees, then discard the ground coffee.
Every grinder ‘hangs on’ to some of the ground coffee around the burrs and in the chute from the last time it was used, and those grounds will be very stale by the time you use your grinder again.
Running some fresh beans through it gets rid of that stale coffee and readies the grinder for the fresh brews… trust me, that stale stuff tastes horrible and can ruin any coffee, even if you use the most expensive freshly roasted bean.
You can minimise the amount of stale coffee in your grinder-chute (and doser, if your grinder has one) by brushing it out with a small brush after you have finished your coffees for the day, but getting most of the stale grinds out of the burrs only happens with some fresh beans.
Every grinder needs regular maintenance to take old, stale, oily coffee residue out from under and around the burrs, replace burrs if they have blunted or refurbish electrical connections, so take yours to a good coffee-equipment place at least once every year, if you are not confident of doing it yourself.
In the end the cost of the work done will be offset against a much longer lifespan of your grinder and much better coffee