Lelit MaraX Vs. Diletta Bello Vs. Rocket Espresso Appartamento Comparison
The prosumer Italian espresso machine market has expanded quite a lot in the last few years. There was a time where we would have little question for us as to which prosumer machines to recommend, but with more options comes the need for some analysis to help you determine what the best machine will be for your countertop. Today we’re looking at three machines in that $1,000-$2,000 price range: the Lelit MaraX, the Diletta Bello, and the Rocket Espresso Appartamento. All three of these machines are hand-built and offer longevity and performance, but which is right for you?
Lelit’s MaraX is a strong contender for the throne of best features for the prosumer espresso category. For starters, this machine is has a very small footprint, 9x16 to be exact. This is a godsend if you have limited counter space, and may hep you make a decision on its own.
But it’s not the size of the MaraX that has really impressed us, it’s the engineering and innovation in how it uses its heat exchanger boiler.
The MaraX features a unique system for managing brew temps. The primary boiler mostly heats the water, but a separate probe at the group head helps to ensure that water is the proper temperature when it reaches the group. The result is brew temps even more stable than what you would find with this machine’s competitors. You can also adjust brew temps between three settings using a simple switch, but to be honest, most users won’t find a need for this.
Finally, the MaraX has three operation modes, the standard mode, Xmode coffee, and Xmode steam. As you might imagine, Xmode coffee prioritizes temperature stability at the brew group, where Xmode steam puts the focus on steam pressure.
Finally, the Lelit MaraX has a custom long-ramp pump that offers a nice, soft extraction and light pre-infusion. However, it is worth noting that you might not actually like how this affects flavor compared to our other machines.
The Diletta Bello is, by comparison, a much simpler machine than the MaraX. Where the MaraX is loaded with fine control and innovation, the Bello is arguably a less sophisticated option. With that said, we wouldn’t say that this means that the MaraX is objectively better.
The benefit of the Diletta Bello is that by removing some complexity, you can focus on your technique and workflow. Do you really need to be able to switch brew temps? Do you want to bump stability back and forth between brewing and steaming on a pretty limited basis? Or do you just want to learn to get better at making espresso?
The answers to these questions are going to differ from user to user. What we can tell you is that the Bello makes quality drinks. This all hands-on machine has simple controls for operation and won’t confuse you with its options. It does also feature an eco mode switch that allows you to set an auto shutoff after 60 minutes, which is a nice feature if you want to save energy and forget to turn the machine off.
Rocket Espresso Appartamento
The Appartamento is the classic workhorse on this list. Similar to the Diletta Bello, this machine is all hands on and focused on helping you improve your espresso brewing. While it is similar in many ways to the Bello, the Appartamento has a style and experience all its own.
The unique cutouts on the side of its case give the Appartamento that iconic look that has helped make it such a favorite in the category. This is going to be an easy one to work out for you as a user: if you’ve got to have those gorgeous cutouts, you’ve got to have an Appartamento.
But that’s not the only thing to consider. These machines are all built very well, but they’re still different. Different parts, construction techniques, and parameters mean that each espresso machine impacts flavor differently.
Which is the Right Machine for Me?
If you’ve been following along, we’ve got three very similar machines with some small aesthetic differences and some heavier feature differences on the MaraX. But there’s more to the story.
Like we said, each of these machines affect the flavor of your coffee differently, and each has slightly different workflow. This is why we always recommend trying before you buy, if you are able to. If you live near an SCG store, this is quite easy! If not, we still recommend all of these machines, so you can hopefully use the differences outlined here to help you decide on a machine to try first!
Want some more thoughts on these three machines? Check out our YouTube comparison by Tarah below!