Rocket Espresso Appartamento Espresso Machine: 2022 Review
The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is one of our longest standing fan favorites. This prosumer espresso machine is a stone cold classic, with its heat exchanger boiler, classic Italian styling, solid casing and design, and unique cut out side panels. Is it still strong in 2022? Let’s take a look:
Look and Feel
The Appartamento is still quite the looker, and it feels great to use. Tactile, hands-on controls put your brewing and milk frothing at your fingertips. The cut-out side panels also still provide a unique, striking look. You can even swap out the panels for different accent colors, which is a nice touch. There’s not anything that looks quite the same on the market, and the compact design means it’ll fit on most countertops.
There’s really nothing to complain about in terms of fit and finish either. This machine is still constructed to exacting standards, and its reliability and consistency has improved over time. While this machine may not last a whole lifetime, it’s definitely not something you’ll need to replace for years and years. This is largely due to the quality of components and construction, which has increased over time.
For some added visual flair, the Appartamento Nera adds powder coated black side panels that give the machine an even more refined and premium look. It's a nice upgrade option that we think is really stunning.
From a performance standpoint, the Appartamento is still a really solid machine for the $1,000-2,000 price range. The heat exchanger boiler allows for simultaneous milk steaming and brewing, giving you quick drinks with a snappy workflow. When paired with the right grinder it can produce very high quality shots that can rival just about any machine on the market with enough practice.
The E-61 grouphead contributes to this, offering temperature stability with its boiler-heated design. The only thing this machine is missing is PID controlled temperatures, but due to its design the traditional thermostat is understandable. We still think this is a very strong choice for the price and footprint in terms of performance.
The biggest change really comes from the competition. Offerings from competitors like Quick Mill, Profitec, Ascaso, and even our own Diletta line provide stiffer alternatives than what we’ve seen in previous years. With the Appartamento’s price increases (a natural part of any machine’s life-cycle) it does make these other machines more attractive as well.
There’s also the consideration of shooting for a higher end machine like something from LaMarzocco or Slayer, which may be overkill for your needs, but also may be the ideal.
Does this mean that the Appartamento should fall off your list of machines to consider for your big purchase? Definitely not. It’s still a very strong option that offers some striking design choices that you just won’t find anywhere else. That said, these other options are more viable than in the past, so it’s worth building a list of machines to check out and try to get some hands-on time with them in a retail location!