Rocket Espresso

  • 2020 Rocket Espresso Holiday Gifting Guide

    Do you know someone receiving a new Rocket Espresso machine this holiday season? Turns out, getting the most out of it takes more than just the machine. We’re here to help you help them to get the most out of their new machine! Important to note - if they got their Rocket Espresso machine through Seattle Coffee Gear then they probably received a Rocket Espresso Pro Upgrade Kit! This is exclusively available from SCG, and covers some great additional items like a naked portafilter, premium tamper and milk pitcher,  and more. Worth checking to see if they have this kit before purchasing them another tamper or pitcher! We’ll give those a look in our first section!

    Tampers, Mats, and More

    While a Rocket Pro Upgrade kit may come with a premium tamper, having an Espro Calibrated Tamper doesn’t hurt. This tamper “clicks” when proper pressure is applied, so it helps to train new users on the perfect tamp. 

    Another key element of any espresso setup is a tamping mat. These rubber mats help contain any mess from spilled grounds and provide a places to tamp while protecting your countertop. Perfect for their new Rocket Espresso machine, check out this Rockest Espresso Tamping Mat!

    Finally, while it’s on the higher end, the Ona Coffee Distribution Tool is a great tool for improving shot quality. This adjustable, weighted tool helps to evenly distribute grounds across the portafilter for even extraction and reduced channeling. It’s a great addition to any Rocket Espresso setup!

    Pitchers, Glasses, and Storage

    Another great addition to a Rocket Espresso setup is a premium frothing pitcher. While one of these comes in the aforementioned Rocket Espresso Pro Upgrade Kit, we also recommend this stylish and easy to use Rocket Espresso Frothing Pitcher. The spout and shape make it the perfect pitcher for learning to froth and pour latte art.

    Speaking of pitchers, it’s key to get the perfect volume as you dial in shots. While we think a scale like the Acaia Lunar is a great addition to any espresso setup, you should also consider a Rhino Coffee Gear shot pitcher!

    Drinkware is also important, and we have a wide range of cups and mugs to choose from. Mugs and cups always make a great gift!

    Last but not least, there’s storage. No coffee setup is complete without a way to store coffee. You can store coffee in the bag, but to really get the most out of it you’ll want to keep it in an airtight canister. We like Airscape’s range of different coffee containers. It’s important to remember that the vacuum seal takes up some room inside of the canister, so you’ll want to get one a bit larger than the capacity of beans you want to store!

    Coffee!

    To top it all off, you’ve gotta gift them some coffee! We’re excited to offer gift coffee subscriptions for the first time here at Seattle Coffee Gear! Just select blends or single origins and a length of time and we’ll do the rest!

    Hopefully this has given you some great options for helping them get the most out of their new Rocket Espresso machine for the holidays!

  • Top 3 High-End Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines of 2020

    We’ve already taken a look at our favorite semi-automatics when it comes to staying budget conscious. We also know that everyone loves a look at some of the biggest, highest performing options. Today we’re going to toss budget out the window and talk about our picks for the top 3 high-end semi-automatics. These aren’t necessarily the most beginner friendly machines on the market, but they offer incredible performance and deep, hobbyist features. Let’s get started!

    Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto

    This year Rocket Espresso updated the classic R58 with the new Cinquantotto model. The previous R58 long represented the highest end of Rocket Espresso’s home line. The Cinquantotto absolutely lives up to its predecessor. It starts with the machine’s dual boilers, which allow for consistent steaming and brewing with nearly unbeatable recovery time in non-commercial machines. On top of that, the Cinquantotto features a hand built stainless steel case that dazzles and protects the internal components. Finally, the precise, tactile controls and gauges give you the feel of pulling shots and steaming milk in a Milan cafe. 

    But none of this is new, and what is really makes the Cinquantotto shine a little brighter. First, there’s the built in shot timer. Carefully built into the case to retain its classic look, this shot timer helps you dial in and stay dialed for all of your shots. Next, there’s the touchscreen PID controller, which gives you easy access to temp control, diagnostic info, and the new auto-on time programming. Even better, this control unit is detachable, allowing you to set it up and remove it to retain the machine’s looks. Finally, updated styling on the cup rail and legs give the machine a sleek new look that stay true to its classic roots. 

    Overall, the Cinquantotto is an incredible update, and we know you’ll love it as much as we do.

    La Marzocco Linea Mini

    The legendary La Marzocco Linea Mini is basically a commercial machine scrunched down to home size. It even carries and NSF rating, which technically makes it a machine you could use commercially. This really shows in the performance of the machine as well, with dual PID-controlled boilers, a La Marzocco saturated grouphead, precision brew paddle, and commercial style steam setup.

    It’s sometimes hard to express what sets the Linea Mini apart, but that’s just because it is an extraordinary machine when it comes to reliability and performance. This isn’t a machine loaded with complex programming or features, it just does its job better than most espresso machines available.

    Bonuses like pre-programmed pre-infusion, a lighted brewing area, and a large 3.5L water reservoir help improve the Linea Mini’s usability. When you put this together with its exceptional performance, it’s hard not to include this machine on a best of list when you remove budget consideration as a criteria. If you have the capital and want a forever machine, the Linea Mini is a great option!

    Rocket Espresso R Nine One

    The R Nine One gets its name from Rocket Espresso’s R9 line of commercial espresso machines. The one in this machine’s name comes from its single brew group, a distinction that matters when shopping for a commercial machine. With all that in mind, the R Nine One really is a home hobbyist machine, with many differences from the commercial line that make it a highly specialized machine. 

    Defining the term “prosumer,” the R Nine One really achieves more than most commercial machines. With a temp-stable saturated group and dual PID controlled boilers, you’ll get effortless steaming and brewing for drink after drink. You get all the expected bells and whistles as well like volumetric dosing, extremely high quality stainless steel casing and frame, and commercial style milk steaming. But where the R Nine One really shines is with its pressure profiling.

    Pressure profiling allows you to manually build a pressure curve for your shots, mimicking virtually any machine in history. If you know the curve that another machine generates, you can program it here. You can also manually use the brew lever to dial in pressures, which the R Nine One’s computer reads and stores. From there, you can simply press a few buttons and load a profile for perfect shot recreation every time. This may sound like overkills, but for those who really want to dig into hyper specific elements of flavor and body, there’s nothing like brewing on an R Nine One. 

    This is the ultimate espresso machine, with a price to match, but it really is a powerhouse.

    So there you have it! Our picks for the top 3 high end semi-automatic espresso machines available in 2020. We hope one of them is your dream machine!

  • 2020 Holiday Shopping Guide: Semi-Automatic Espresso

    Semi-automatic espresso machines can be daunting at first glance. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to crafting cafe style espresso drinks, and getting started with the right gear is key. That’s why we’ve got another one of our holiday shopping guides to help you give the gift of great espresso gear, or get some for yourself! Let’s get started!

    Grinders

    Grinding for espresso requires a highly precise, consistent grinder that will give you a fine enough grind to generate the pressure needed for this brew method. To understand this, it’s important to understand the difference between pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets. On a basic level, pressurized portafilter baskets have extra screens or chambering to create back pressure on water coming into the filter. This is to make up for a grind that’s too coarse or inconsistent to generate the needed pressure for proper espresso extraction.

    If you’re shopping for a grinder that will last you for semi-automatic espresso, you’ll want something that can grind fine enough for non-pressurized baskets. While you might want to start with pressurized baskets, having the ability to jump to those non-pressurized baskets will give you the ability to enjoy the trickiest single origins with your espresso setup.

    With all of this in mind, it’s hard not to recommend the Eureka Mignon Notte espresso grinder. This is a grinder that produces that fine grind that will work for both pressurized and non-pressurized baskets. It’s also got a precision, stepless grind adjustment that really lets you get that perfect consistency for various different roasts. These are features you’ll usually find on much more expensive grinders, so to get them in a grinder at the Notte’s price point is particularly impressive.

    With your grinder choice locked in, the next thing you’ll need to decide on is your machine!

    Machine

    Your choice of machine really depends on two things: Budget and how willing you are to practice. Thankfully, there’s an answer for both ends of either spectrum! 

    If you’re looking for a great entry point on the lower end of cost, the Solis Perfetta is the perfect machine for you. This espresso machine offers great performance, timed shot programming, and high quality steaming at a great price. It’s also all in a small footprint, so you should be able to fit this machine in just about any kitchen. Overall it makes for a perfect starting point for new users, and is also a great upgrade if you’ve been using a cheaper espresso machine to see if you like it. The Perfetta’s ability to grind with pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets ensures that you’ll be able to start with the “training-wheels” so to speak, and graduate to unpressurized baskets when you’re ready.

    If you really want to jump in with both feet, there’s always the Rocket Espresso Appartamento. The Appartamento is a little more challenging to learn on than the Perfetta, but it also offers a more “professional” feel and feature-set. This machine has a powerful heat exchanger boiler that will have you pulling shots and steaming at the same time. The steam wand and handle mirror commercial setups, and the tactile controls for controlling the brew head feel more hands on as well. There’s also the fact that the Appartamento is built to last, with stainless steel casing and high grade components, you really get what you pay for here. Finally, this is also one of the most affordable machines that features a heated group head on the market. Why is this important? By heating the portafilter you don’t lose any temperature during the brew process, which stands in contrast to other, lower cost machines.

    Both of these options work great depending on your budget and degree of confidence!

    Extras

    In addition to your grinder and scale, there are some extras you’ll want to consider as well. The first thing is a scale. It’s very important to ensure the proper brew ratios when you’re dialing in a new espresso. To do this, you’ll need a reliable scale. In a best case scenario you’ll be working with a water-resistant, espresso focused scale like an Acaia Lunar. Given that that might not be an expense you’re quit ready for, something like the Hario V60 Drip Scale can at least help you dose the correct amount of grounds. Just be careful not to get it wet!

    You’ll also want to have a knock box handy for cleanup. Knock boxes are used to eject used espresso pucks from your portafilter before dumping them into the garbage or compost. There are lots of knock boxes out there, we recommend something like the Rocket Espresso Knock Box to ensure longevity.

    Cleaning your machine is important too, and we love Urnex Cafiza for regular cleaning like backflushing. Just be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for machine maintenance and cleaning to keep it in tip top shape!

    Lastly, you’ll want a shot pitcher with clear and readable measurements. This allows you to keep your shots at the right volume over the right amount of time. Once you’ve got an espresso dialed in, you can switch to brewing directly into your cup! We are big fans of the Rhino Coffee Gear Espresso Shot Pitcher for this purpose.

  • Top 3 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines of 2020

    It’s time for one of our biggest best-of categories of the whole year - semi-automatic espresso machines! We love our brew, our grinders, our superautos, and everything else that we give top 3s for each year. With that said, semi-automatic espresso machines are one of the most complex products we offer (alongside superautos), so we take them quite seriously. This year we’re breaking this category into two. First, we’ll talk about semi-automatic espresso machines that can fit into a fairly wide range of budgets, and closely consider value in our picks. Later we’ll have a list of skies-the-limit high end machines that might be a little high dollar for the typical shopper. Let’s get started!

    Rocket Espresso Appartamento Nera

    The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is a longstanding entry on this list, and one of our most popular machines. If you know us, you know we love Rocket Espresso to the moon and back, and there’s a reason for that. This is a brand that focuses extensively on performance, reliability, and providing an authentic Italian espresso experience. All of these tenets are clearly present in the Appartamento. This year this machine saw some new styling in the form of the Nera, so naturally we’ve decided to put that version on this list!

    The Appartamento Nera starts with the incredible Appartamento as its base. If you’re not familiar with the Appartamento, here’s a primer!

    The Appartamento features a 1.8-liter heat exchanger boiler that gives you the power to brew and steam milk at the same time. On top of this, the heated E61 grouphead helps heat up the portafilter, which keeps water temperature consistent as it passes through the portafilter. These two elements alone make the Appartamento a really compelling machine at its price point. While there are other brewers in this range that offer similar prosumer features, the Appartamento also does it with a high degree of build quality and striking design. It also squeezes all of this into a small footprint that can fit most kitchens comfortably.

    The Appartamento, like every Rocket Espresso machine, also offers ultra tactile controls that are a joy to use. From the action on the brew lever to the twist of the steam knob, you’ll really feel each part of the drink crafting process here. It gives you that barista feel without the cost of a commercial machine.

    The Nera is a visual update to the Appartamento that trades the shine of the fully stainless case for a slick new side panel style. Don’t worry, the stainless case is still there under the powdercoat, but the black sides at a new level of elegance to the already striking cutouts that make the Appartamento so visually striking. With multiple insert covers, you can get just the right look for your Appartamento as well. This machine really is one of the best of the best, and now it’s got a new look too!

    Rancilio Silvia Pro

    The Rancilio Silvia is a legendary machine in its own right. Many new espresso users start with a Silvia to learn. While it can be a challenging machine to dial in, it’s still a great way to get started with more serious brewing and steaming. This year, Rancilio has finally introduced a new offering, the Silvia Pro.

    The Silvia Pro really is a whole new beast. First of all, this machine is equipped with not one, but TWO boilers. A 1-liter steam boiler powers the steaming, and a 300ml brew boiler is dedicated for your shots. This means that you can brew and steam at the same time, giving you that true barista feel. Both of these boilers are controlled by dedicated PID controllers. This gives you rock solid temperatures as well as control over each boiler’s temperatures. You can also turn off the steam boiler, which gives you improved recovery times for brewing multiple shots when milk frothing is optional. 

    Additional features like auto-on programming, energy saving, a shot timer, and a hot water spout round out the package. All of this combined really makes the Silvia Pro a huge upgrade over the base model. We think it’s a great time for it too. If you’ve had your Silvia for several years, you might be ready for an upgrade yourself, and the Silvia Pro really delivers. 

    We think this machine offers really fantastic shots, a range of great features, and truly efficient operation. It’s an easy pick for our Top 3 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines.

    Solis Barista Perfetta

    New to Seattle Coffee Gear this holiday season is the Solis Barista Perfetta! We normally like to give machines some breathing room before we put them on this list, but this is one special semi-auto. Coming in at an entry level price point for unpressurized espresso brewing, this machine really punches above its weight. We’re thrilled to be able to offer it to all of our budding baristas out there.

    The Perfetta’s thermoblock boiler offers quick heatup times with consistent temps that stand shoulder to shoulder with other brewers in its pricing level. It’s also got the pump to deliver with pressurized and unpressurized portafilters. The Perfetta’s portafilter also works with E.S.E. pods without needing an adapter, a real plus for newbies. Other features like hot water, strong steaming performance, and an easy to read pressure gauge place the Perfetta on equal footing with similarly priced machines. What really impressed us here is the extra details.

    For starters, the Perfetta is solidly built with a quality case that combines some metal and plastic elements in a way that feels more premium than some entry level machines. It also features auto-purge solenoid valves, which really make brewing unpressurized more enjoyable. Where other machines might produce some soupyness or spray when trying to brew with an unpressurized basket, the Perfetta performs on par with far more expensive machines from a pressure perspective. This is a really great feature that will help newer users get more life out of this machine, and transition to a more prosumer option smoothly. 

    The Perfetta’s manual single hole steam wand also mimics more expensive machines, and while it does take some practice, you’ll get some great milk from this machine. You can also program in shot times, which really helps you to understand the process of brewing espresso on a deeper level, and aids with dialing in. Adjustable temperatures give you a little more control over your brew than what we’d expect as well. Finally, the Perfetta squeezes all of this into a compact footprint that should fit on any countertop. 

    These are a lot of terms to throw out, but they all mean one thing when you put them together. The Solis Barista Perfetta is one of the best starting points for any new user. It lets you start with pressurized brewing, either with grinds from your brew grinder or E.S.E. Pods. From there you can learn how to dial in an espresso with a dedicated grinder, and steam up some really great milk drinks. It’s something we’re so happy to bring to our customers, and it’s our new favorite starting point for new users.

  • Rocket Espresso R Nine One Group

    Rocket Espresso offers an incredible lineup of home espresso machines, with a fit for any user. Today we’re taking a look at the Rocket Espresso R Nine One espresso machine. This is at the highest of the high end for home espresso, but it really does earn it. Note that Rocket Espresso does offer a commercial model called the R9, which bears some similarity, but the R Nine One really is its own specific machine made for home use.

    The Basics

    Calling this section “the basics” is a bit of a misnomer, as the R Nine One is anything but basic. The first thing you may notice about this machine is the price tag. It is an expensive machine, which is specifically designed for home espresso hobbyists who view brewing espresso as a pastime as much as a utility. The R Nine One is a lot more than just a powerful espresso machine, so if you’re looking for something more affordable in the prosumer market, the Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto is an incredible option as well.

    As for the R Nine One, there’s a lot here to cover.

    For starters, this machine is powered by two stainless steel boilers. The brew boiler is 1.9 liters and features PID controlled temperature regulation for stable brew temps. The service boiler is 3.6 liters, providing excellent recovery time between steaming sessions. At a basic level, the R Nine One is one of the most powerful, consistent home machines on the market. This is enhanced by features like its fully saturated brew group and commercial style steam arm, giving you professional grade brewing and steaming. The tactile controls that you come to expect from Rocket Espresso are here as well, with highly visible steam gauges for each boiler as well. The R Nine One also offers a hot water spout for rinsing and Americanos. It’s all wrapped up in a stainless steel case and frame, which gives this machine a stunning appearance and solid construction.

    We’ve established that the R Nine One delivers on a design and performance perspective, but what makes this machine truly special is the last part of its face that we haven’t touched on: That little screen, and what you can do with it.

    Programming and Pressure Profiles

    At a basic level, the touchscreen on the front of the R Nine One gives you elements like a timer and control of the machine’s temperatures. You can even set an auto-on time through the R Nine One’s screen. But the thing that sets this machine apart is its pressure profiling, a feature perfect for espresso hobbyists.

    Pressure profiling is a feature that allows you to manually set a pressure curve either by hand, or electronically. Every espresso machine applies water pressure to the portafilter over a slightly different curve. This is what creates distinct flavors from machine to machine. The R Nine One Group gives you the ability to create a profile by manually moving the brew lever during the brew process. You can also program in the profile you want via the screen. In both cases, you’ll be able to save 5 different profiles. This allows you to recreate virtually any espresso machine in the world.

    This might be a lot for newer users to take in. It’s hard to wrap your head around the differences between different machines, but this is likely the last machine a big fan of home espresso will ever need to purchase. It’s for this reason that we believe the Rocket Espresso R Nine One justifies its price point for true enthusiasts, and we can’t imagine a better machine for the serious espresso hobbyist. Shop the R Nine One here now.

     

  • Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto Review

    Rocket Espresso’s home espresso machine line up has seen some evolution over the last year. The Mozzafiato and Giotto received useful new timers, the Appartamento Nera offers a stylish new look for a legendary machine, and now the R58 has received a major overhaul in the form of the Cinquantotto. We’ve looked at the updates to the R58 in a separate post, but we wanted to give a review to the machine on its own as well. Let’s dig in!

    The Basics

    The Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto is a hand-built, double boiler espresso machine that is the very definition of “prosumer.” This is a machine designed for the engaged home espresso enthusiast that wants to make a long-lasting purchase of a machine they simply won’t need to upgrade. This machine features a .58 L dedicated brew boiler offering fast recovery times for brewing multiple shots in a row. The Cinquantotto’s 1.7 L service boiler allows for back to back milk drink steaming and hot water with additionally quick recovery times.

    Perhaps more important than boiler size is overall construction. The boilers themselves are brass/copper, with a stainless steel case and framing for a rock solid brewing and steaming platform that will stand up to year after year of use. On top of all of these, PID controlled temperatures maintain rock solid stability to ensure consistently perfect shots and milk steaming every time.

    Aiding in this is the Cinquantotto’s heated E-61 grouphead, which keeps the portafilter up to temp with the water in the boiler. This means no heat is lost during the brewing process, further ensuring incredible espresso.

    A commercial grade rotary pump delivers perfect pressure every shot, and offers the capability of plumbing this machine in. This provides you the option of using the included water reservoir or directly running a water line to the machine for convenience. 

    All of this combines to deliver an incredible package from a raw power, reliability, and design perspective. What really puts the Cinquantotto over the goal-line is it’s sophisticated controls.

    The Controls and Extras

    The Rockest Espresso R58 Cinquantotto features an all new touch screen PID controller that allows you to control various aspects of the machine. With the basics like temperature control easy to manage, you’ll have more programming at your fingertips as well. This PID controller offers the ability to schedule an auto on sequence, one of the biggest requests from home espresso aficionados. With this functionality, you can schedule your startup so that the machine is heated and ready for duty as soon as you’re ready for your morning espresso.

    Also new to the Cinquantotto is a mini shot timer. This small, unassuming feature is key to helping dial in the perfect espresso shot. Using it, you can ensure that you’re pulling just the right amount of volume over just the right amount of time. This will help you to get that perfect grind from your grinder to pull the perfect shot. It’s a small, but incredible welcome feature for this machine.

    Finally, one of the best parts of all of this is that the PID controller can be detached, letting you keep that classic look. The shot timer also blends in with the machine when not in use, giving you the stunning stainless appearance that gives Rocket Espresso its legendary style. 

    It’s safe to say that we highly recommend this machine to any customer looking for the pinnacle of home espresso. While it may have a learning curve for newer users, it’s a consistent, powerful, beautiful machine that is the perfect way to ensure year after year of incredible coffee.

     

  • Brewing in Style!

    We would always say the most important part of your coffee equipment is performance. You should always be striving to get a better cup of coffee. With that in mind, some of us are style conscious too! Slick machines that also perform are a great way to add a little engineered art to your kitchen. Here’s some of our favorite machines from a looks perspective

    Rocket Espresso Appartamento Nera

    The Appartamento was already a gorgeous machine before the Nera, but the Nera really kicks things up a notch more. The signature cut out side panels on the Appartamento give it a unique look even among stainless steel Italian machines. Beyond that, the tactile controls and gorgeous lines on this machine make it a wonderful addition to your countertop. What’s more, the stainless steel finish will add some shine to your mornings. The Appartamento Nera features black sides, allowing for an even more inviting color combinations through the cutouts. No matter what panel color you go with, it looks great with the Rocket Espresso Appartamento Nera.

    Saeco Xelsis

    The Saeco Xelsis is a superautomatic espresso machine that really does brew in style. Many superautos are just big “coffee boxes.” Machines with simple case designs that elevate function over form. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing - the challenge for superautos is space limitation. With a grinder, brewing unit, water tank, and steaming system all built in, a boxy design is better for workflow. Then there’s the Xelsis. We love the way the Xelsis uses its curved front plate to house the water tank. The design of the interface and the Chrome accents also give the Xelsis a smart look. Finally, the Xelsis features a bright, vibrant touch screen that looks and feels lovely to use.

    Ratio Six Coffee Brewer

    For some delicious and beautiful drip coffee, look no further than the Ratio Six. This strikingly modern drip brewer is a sight to behold on the countertop. It’s big and beautiful and features smooth lines, a shiny finish, and striking features. We love the way it puts form and function together with its filter basket. Almost looking like a second pot, the filter basket sits above the pot, integrating it with the rest of the machine visually. With the rubber gasket at the bottom, it also seals to the pot to maintain higher temperatures as coffee drips into the carafe. This machine is definitely on the higher end of cost for drip brewers, but it certainly stuns in terms of appearance.

    We'll continue to share some stylish brewers, grinders, presses, drinkware, and more in the future!

  • Introducing: Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto!

    The Rocket Espresso R58 espresso machine is the ultimate home device for whipping up incredible espresso and milk drinks. With its dual  PID controlled boilers and stainless steel, hand built case, this machine is at the pinnacle of home performance. If you hadn’t heard yet, Rocket Espresso’s new R58 offering adds even more to this incredible package.

    What’s the Same?

    The new Cinquantotto version of the R58 still has the defining features of the original R58. It still has two PID controlled boilers. These boilers ensure you’ll always have water at the perfect temp for brewing and steaming. The Cinquantotto also maintains the stainless steel case, which is brilliantly shiny and solid as a tank. You can still plumb this machine with its commercial quality rotary pump. Finally, every R58 Cinquantotto is still built by hand in Milan, Italy. With that out of the way, what are the changes?

    What’s New?

    The most noticeable new feature is the Cinquantotto’s beautiful touchscreen PID controller. Bright and colorful, this screen gives you easy control over boiler temps and even includes new functionality. Thanks to the new interface, the R58 Cinquantotto can be set to turn on automatically so it’s up to temp when you’re ready to brew. It’s still detachable too, for when you don’t want a screen intruding on that classic look. The next thing you might spot is this machine’s all new shot timer. Small but functional, the mirror finish on this timer allows it to blend into the beautiful casing when not in use. That means you get accurate shot timing without compromising the appearance of the machine. Speaking of appearance, redesigned cup rails and legs give the new R58 Cinquantotto a distinctive look that goes beyond what other Italian espresso machines have to offer.

    All of this means that the Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto espresso machine remains one of the best home espresso machines on the market. Between its build quality, performance, and sensibilities, this machine is a fantastic option for anyone looking to elevate their espresso game into the stratosphere. Check it out now on Seattle Coffee Gear.

  • Video Roundup: 11/1/2019

    Hello friends!

    It's time yet again for another weekly video roundup here at SCG! We've got 4 videos hot off the press for you this week, let's get started!

    First, we've got John with a review of the Rocket Espresso Boxer Timer One Group:

    Next is a much requested comparison between the Philips Carina and the Saeco Vienna, should you think about upgrading?

    Then Clementine offered up a tasty treat for this magical season:

    Last but not least, Allie provided some helpful tips and tricks for the Izzo Vivi PID Pro:

    And that's all for now! We'll be back next week with loads more to share.

  • The Importance of Timing and Weighing Your Shots

    Pulling the perfect shot of espresso is a learning experience. It's not easy to go from beginner to proficient at such a delicate process. We've talked in the past more generally about ways to improve your espresso game. Today we wanted to take a look at timing and weighing shots, two key components of brewing great espresso!

    Shot Weight

    Shot weight is important because, as with drip coffee, ratio is key. You need the right amount of water to pass through just the right amount of ground coffee. This ensures that the chemical process of coffee and water molecules bonding takes place. For drip coffee, using a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water is pretty standard. Due to espresso's more concentrated, syrupy nature and the pressure from brewing, 1:2 coffee to water is a good starting point. Using a scale to weigh your shot as it pulls is key here! While you can also use a shot pitcher that measures volume, a scale gives you more freedom. With it, you can brew to exact ratios and try different amounts of coffee and water.

    The important thing here is making sure your scale can accommodate you portafilter for weighing grounds AND be small enough to fit under the brewhead. Examples like the Acaia Lunar are small enough to fit under brew spouts and can be combined with plates to fit portafilters.

    Shot Timing

    In order to manage the perfect extraction, the amount of time a shot takes to pull is very important. Most of the time you'll be aiming for your shot to pull in 20-30 seconds. For more adventurous recipes you might use different timings. If your shot pulls very fast it could mean that you need a finer grind or a tighter tamp. Too long and you may need the opposite. In either case, without timing your shots you'll never know for sure.

    Poorly extracted shots can taste sour or bitter, just generally bad. If the timing is good and you use the right volume of coffee and water, you know that it's a problem with the bean! Many scales offer shot timers, but to truly measure down to the millisecond, try to find a brewer with one built in. Timers on machines will usually start automatically when the shot begins to pull. This ensures everything is synced up exactly. Check out this year's the Rocket Giotto for a great machine with built in timer.

    We hope this article drives home the important of adding a timer and scale to your espresso setup!

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