Crew Review: Rancilio Rocky Grinder

How Does It Compare?

It’s not hard to see why the Rancilio Rocky is one of our most popular grinders. Built with all the fixings you find in Rancilio’s commercials grinders, the Rocky is a sturdy workhorse for home baristas. It’s equipped with tempered steel burrs, stepped grinder adjustments, and comes in a doser or doserless model to fit into any home barista’s lifestyle.

Not to mention that the Rocky can grind from French press to espresso. The Rocky grinds fine enough to use with non-pressurized portafilters. Couple the Rocky with the Rancilio Silvia M Espresso Machine and you have a match made in heaven!

Other prosumer grinders like the Baratza Vario feature similar design applications. The Vario features both macro and micro adjustments to dial in your grind for drip brewing to espresso. That said, it doesn’t quite get coarse enough for French press. The Rocky’s range of extends beyond what we’d recommend for French press, which makes dialing it in all the more easy. Check out what the Rocky has to offer and see if it’s right for you!

The Rancilio Rocky features is their doserless model with the removable metal portafilter holder. The Rancilio Rocky features is their doserless model with the removable metal portafilter holder.

Commercial Quality For Home Use

Built with the same renowned quality as its commercial grinders, the Rancilio Rocky is one of the best at its price point. While the Rocky is designed for home baristas—and not a commercial setting—you could use it in a low-traffic environment like a studio or office. Its 50mm flat tempered steel burrs are secured on by very fine threads to allow it to adjust in small increments. Coupled with 55 stepped settings, it’s effortless for anyone to dial in.

Grind Settings

Look closely at the Rancilio Rocky’s grinder settings and you’ll notice it’s only marked from zero to 40 with options past 40. Beyond the 40 mark, there are a number of coarse settings you can experiment with. We cap the Rocky at 55 settings to provide you an idea of its application.

The Rocky features labeled settings from zero to 40 with over 55 grind adjustments. The Rocky features labeled settings from zero to 40 with over 55 grind adjustments.

If you try to turn the Rocky’s hopper past zero either coarser or finer, it won’t budge. The Rocky has a built in screw at the zero mark that prevents the burrs from grinding against each other. This ensures the burrs’ quality and sharpness are maintained while also preventing you from choking the grinder. On the other end of the spectrum, the coarsest setting makes chunky, inconsistent grind sizes that’s bigger than you need for French press.

Pro tip: After you’ve cleaned your Rocky, make sure to thread it on correctly to prevent cross threading and damage. Also, align the hopper on zero and with the body’s screws to ensure that your burrs won’t touch and the grinder settings are accurate.

Brew Espresso Or French Press

One of the reasons the Rocky is so popular is its breadth of brew methods. As the workhorse of home grinders, we’re frequently using the Rocky for anything from French press to espresso—non-pressurized espresso at that! With a lot of our all purpose grinders, we hardly see this sort of range of brewing.

A lot of people ask us, what settings should I set my Rocky to brew at? There’s no right answer. One thing you have to keep in mind is that different beans and blends will influence the grind setting. That said, we thought we’d provide a settings guide to start:

Espresso | 10 to 0+/-
Pour over | 20 to 10+/-
Drip Brewer | 25 to 35+/-
French Press | 40+

Use this as a launching point and experiment with the different settings. Typically, for espresso the Rocky’s grind setting around the 10 mark and for French press it was between 40 or more.

Ease Of Use

The Rancilio Rocky’s ergonomic settings make it easy for home baristas to dial in for different brew methods. Without beans inside the hopper, use the guide above to prep the Rocky for your cup of coffee. While the Rocky’s stepped grinding makes it easier to dial in, we noticed adjusting the settings into place can be difficult.

Adjusting the grinder settings require you to turn the Rocky’s 8-ounce bean hopper while holding down the locking mechanism, which keeps the grind setting in place. When we were adjusting the grind finer, we lost our grip on the hopper and it went flying to the coarsest setting. Fortunately, the Rocky’s stepped settings allowed us to quickly twist the hopper back to our original setting.

The Rocky is a manual dosing grinder, which means it only grinds when you manually push the button located in the bottom left-hand corner. With a manual dosing grinder, we recommend weighing your whole beans first before adding to the hopper. While this creates a bit of extra work, when you weigh your beans it ensures you have the right ratio of coffee for any brew method.

Two Styles To Choose

Best of all, the Rancilio Rocky comes in two models: doser and doserless. The doserless model features a chute and removable metal portafilter holder, so you can use it with your espresso machine or a container to pour into your French press. The doser model functions in the same way and includes a portafilter holder, except it has a grounds catcher with a lever to dispense coffee.

Aesthetics And Noise Level

Last, but certainly not least, is the Rancilio Rocky’s aesthetics. Encased in a polished metal body, this industrial-inspired grinder looks sharp in any kitchen. But it’s not all for looks, the metal casing helps reduce noise. Inside the Rocky is a heavy-duty, nearly 12-pound motor that rotates the burrs at 1725 RPMs (rotations per minute) that you’d expect to be loud. The opposite it true, this motor runs efficiently to help decrease excess noise. With an efficient motor and a metal case, the Rocky operates quieter than other consumer grinders.

The Rocky's metal casing reduces noise and creates a sleek, industrial look. The Rocky's metal casing reduces noise and creates a sleek, industrial look.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a complimentary grinder for your espresso machine or French press, the Rancilio Rocky Grinder is the one to get the job done. With a range of stepped adjustments, tempered steel burrs and, might we add, quiet grinding, the Rocky fits into any home baristas lifestyle.

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