Daily Archives: February 20, 2013
Decided to up your latte game and invite a 'prosumer' espresso machine into your home? I was interested in learning more about two of the the heat exchangers that we have in the store -- the art deco inspired Nuova Simonelli Musica and the hand crafted Rocket Giotto Evoluzione -- so I decided to take them each for a test drive. Now, if you're into straight up features and spec comparisons, check out the table I've laid out below; but if you learn more from hands-on experiences, read on!
I started with the Musica and instantly fell in love with its portafilter. The smartly angled handle enables the filter basket to lie flat on the counter. Jessica held my hand as I dialed in the grind using the Mazzer Mini E – Type A grinder. After pulling a number of double shots, I came to appreciate the Musica’s automatic pre-infusion and programmable volumetric buttons, making this machine a breeze once you figure out the right grind and tamp for your bean. You can also steam milk extremely quickly using the standard three hole steam tip. I loved the paddle functionality to control the steam, allowing you to pulse or flip up for maximum power.
As I approached the Rocket, I could see my reflection in its highly polished casing. With a commercial-grade brew head, I was in store for consistent shots given the thermal stability provided by the E61. After inserting the portafilter, I flipped up the lever all the way to begin shot extraction. I was glued to a timer while pulling shots, and this would be best practice given there isn't volumetric programming on this machine. Steaming was straightforward with a traditional steam knob and single hole tip, giving me a little more time to work up the microfoam.
In the end, there was no difference in shot or milk quality from these two exceptional machines, so it all boils down to a few essentials in your decision set. If you need a convertible water source, crave sleek steel lines and appreciate the ritual of classic espresso extraction, the Giotto Evo is a strong bet. If you need an NSF rated machine for a small cafe environment or dig modern conveniences like programmable volumetrics and disco lights, give the Musica a happy home.
Nuova Simonelli Musica
Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Dimensions 12.75 in W x 16 in D x 16.75 in 12 in W x 17 in D x 15 in (16.5 in w/ cup rails) Reservoir Size 2.3 Liters 2.9 Liters Water Source Either reservoir or direct connect Convertible Programmability Volumetric control None Case Design Stainless steel with optional disco lights Stainless steel and fancy like a race car Steam Wand Traditional, not insulated, 3 hole tip Traditional, insulated, 2 hole tip Boiler Material Copper Copper Pre-infusion Automatic and programmable Passive Boiler Volume 2 Liter 1.8 Liter NSF rated Yes No Pump Vibratory Rotary Gauges Boiler pressure Steam boiler & brew head pressure