Rocket

  • Rocket Espresso Timers

    Rocket Espresso has long been one of the most reliable, fully featured, and consistent manufacturers of espresso machines that we carry here at Seattle Coffee Gear. We love their whole range, from the classic Appartamento up through their range of home machines. We also dig their commercial machines, which are some of the finest pieces of espresso engineering that money can buy. Naturally, we're pretty excited about some new machines that made their way into our warehouse this week: Rocket home machines with timers!


    Perfect Timing

    These machines offer the same quality internals and and gorgeous stylings of Rocket's full home line of machines. What they add is a discreet, simple timer that helps you get the very most out of your shots! Any espresso enthusiast knows that timing your shots is key to brewing the very best espresso, and these machines do just that!

    These timers don't impact the classic look of the machines either. A small circle above the on/off switch contains these clean digital readouts, and they work with a flip of the brew lever. This means that for every shot you can get a simple readout of how long they take to pull with no extra equipment.

    These timers are now available on both the standard and Type R versions of the Giotto and Mozzafiato. Check out these new timer versions of these legendary machines today!

  • SCG Exclusive: Rocket Espresso R58 - Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition

    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (17 of 32) The Rocket Espresso R58 - Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition featuring custom pink dials, commemorative engraving, and an individually numbered face plate.

    What does it take to pull the perfect shot of espresso? Patience. Expertise. Precision. Diligence. A deep understanding of your materials. The list goes on with different preparation techniques from person to person informing your perspective. Espresso aficionados alike strive for that euphoric moment of perfection – a demitasse cup of liquid gold. While many tools exist to get you there, a select few reign supreme. The Rocket Espresso R58 Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition stands at the peak of its class. A reflection of espresso and cycling mastery, the R58 Centesimo is a commemoration of 100 years of Italian Bike Touring excellence.

    The second of the famed 'European Grand Tour', The Giro d'Italia follows a route over 2,200 miles long circumventing Italy in a 23-day race. This centennial achievement is memorialized in this limited edition R58. Each R58 Centesimo sports the names of Giro d'Italia's champions (including 2017s Tom Dumoulin), custom side panels, maglia rosa-themed gauges and matching accessories. Much like a champion cyclist, you'll find the R58—with its classic dual boiler E61 setup, removable PID controls, and optional plumbing—a prime contender for creating some of the best espresso you've ever had.

    Limited to a run of 100 machines worldwide to echo the 100 winners of the race, each R58 Centesimo is individually numbered to reflect it’s place it this one of a kind collection. Only 9 are available in the United States exclusively at Seattle Coffee Gear.

    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (11 of 32) Reflecting a cyclist's wheel, each R58 Centesimo features custom engraving of every Giro d'Italia champion.

    The Big Race:

    Giro d'Italia 1953, Stage 4, Wim van Est and Gino Bartali Giro d'Italia 1953, Stage 4, Wim van Est and Gino Bartali
    • Founded in 1909, the original Giro d’Italia was organized as a means to raise funds for the La Gazzetta dello Sport – an Italian publication covering various sports and the most widely read daily newspaper in Italy.
    • The race is held annually during late May and early June, except for two breaks during World War 1 and 2.
    • The Giro d’Italia is one of three races that make up the ‘European Grand Tour’ – the Tour de France and Vuetla a España complete the trifecta.
    • Professional road bicycle racer Tom Dumoulin won the 100th race – becoming the first Dutch rider to win the race.
    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (20 of 32) The one of a kind R58 Centesimo stands above the rest.

    Details of Excellence on the R58 Centesimo:

    • Italian cycling history comes together with Milan-made espresso machine mastery featuring custom pink dials, packaging, tamper, and engraved side panels celebrating past winners of the Giro d’Italia.
    • Manufactured in Milan and limited to 100 machines. Only 9 exist in the United States and are individually numbered with a custom front face plant.
    • PID-Controlled Double Boiler allowing for superior control of steam and brew boiler temperatures. PID controller is detachable.
    • Plumb in adaptability; hosing included.
    • Classic E61 Group providing thermal stability at the head of the machine.
    • Insulated Steam Wand allowing for barista-quality steaming ability without the risk of burning your hands.

     

    What does Gail think? Check it out!

    Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of Bicycle racing and espresso history. Buy your one of a kind machine here!

  • Crew Comparison: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine

    La Marzocco and Rocket Espresso are two of the top manufacturers for high-end home espresso machines. It comes as no surprise that people often request a comparison between their two double boiler espresso machines, the La Marzocco Linea Mini and Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine.
  • Top Three Double Boiler Espresso Machines

    The Round Up

    We brought out the big machines for today’s top three double boiler espresso machines, the La Marzocco Linea Mini, Rocket Espresso R58 Dual Boiler and Breville Dual Boiler. Double boiler espresso machines are equipped with two boilers: a brew boiler and a steam boiler. While the steam boilers reach and hold pressure ideal for frothing milk, the other maintains consistent brewing temperature.

    Chances are in your search for a high-quality espresso machine, you’ve read the debate between double boilers and heat exchange espresso machines. Coffee enthusiasts have long expressed their opinions about the pros and cons of each boiler type and we suspect it’ll continue on. One of the benefits dual boilers reap is temperature stability and the capability to brew more drinks back-to-back than a heat exchanger. Not to mention that, like a heat exchanger, you can brew and steam simultaneously. A double boiler machine is for someone who wants to brew multiple drinks back-to-back and requires a faster turnaround time.

    La Marzocco Linea Mini

    In your morning quest for coffee, chances are you’ve encountered the La Marzocco Linea series powering your local café. Home baristas can now rejoice! The La Marzocco Linea Mini is your pint-sized commercial machine for home brewing. Well, not quite pint-sized, the Linea Mini is the largest machine on our list. It certainly puts a dent in the budget and counter, but for the right espresso lover, this espresso machine will impresses with an integrated brew group to maintain temperature stability and energy efficiency, and commercial-grade portafilter and steam wand.

    Home brewers aren’t the only people who’d benefit from the Linea Mini. Built to commercial standards, the Linea Mini is NSF-rated, so homey cafés and small diners can bring espresso to their menu. And, hey, this large machine’s roomy cup warmer will ensure patrons can enjoy toasty cups with their coffee.

    Rocket Espresso R58 Dual boiler

    The Rocket Espresso R58 Dual Boiler was an easy pick to make our list. The craftsmanship of Rocket’s espresso machine continues to entice coffee enthusiasts. Equipped with a programmable PID and, of course, double boilers, espresso temperature is under control—your control that is. Best of all, the PID is removable to store when it’s not in use to preserve the clean, classic style Rocket is famous for.

    The Rocket lineup is renowned for its commercial-quality build and the R58 is no exception. It’s build with the legendary E61 brew head that helps maintain temperature stability during brewing. And the R58 features a commercial-grade rotary pump that’s quiet—so the house can sleep in without sacrificing your morning espresso.

    Breville Dual Boiler

    Designed with the consumer in mind, the Breville Dual Boiler is user-friendly and affordable—like really affordable. What we love about the Dual Boiler is its intuitive interface that creates an enjoyable experience for anyone ready to master espresso. Two programmable espresso buttons make it easy for you to focus on frothing the perfect latte milk while the Dual Boiler pulls your pre-programmed shot. And if you’re an experienced barista, switch to the manual brewing to operate on the fly.

    Keeping true to their brand, Breville has designed this machine with extra goodies to fit anyone’s lifestyle. The Dual Boiler comes with two pressurized baskets for beginner baristas to practice their grind and two non-pressurized for experienced brewers. There is also a magnetic tamper conveniently attached to the machine and auto-on feature, so you can wake up to a pre-heated machine.

    Conclusion

    We’ve pulled out some of our top three double boiler espresso machine, the La Marzocco Linea Mini, Rocket Espresso R58 and Breville Dual Boiler. Equipped with dual boilers, these espresso machines create impressive steam pressure in one boiler while the other maintains the perfect  brew temperature. What do you think of our choices? Share your favorite double boiler espresso machine in the comments below.

  • Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Evoluzione

    How Does It Compare?

    Italian manufactured, Rocket’s contemporary espresso machines are designed with sharp precision and traditional inspiration. Underneath the surface, though, is where we start to see the individual personality of a Rocket. Let us introduce you to one, the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione.

    Encased in polished stainless steel, the Evoluzione brews with a rotary pump. Compared to vibratory pumps, found in many machines like the Rocket Espresso Appartamento, the rotary pump provides instant pressure and quiet brewing experience. And we fully anticipate home baristas pulling shot after shot. Best of all, the Evoluzione is the cheapest convertible water line machine in our lineup. Flip between reservoir or plumbed-in—most machines are one way or the other! The plumbable options offer homeowners the flexibility to remodel their kitchen and elevate their coffee game. Your home could be running like your favorite cafe!

    The Rocket Espresso Evoluzione Giotto features geometric side panels. The Rocket Espresso Evoluzione Giotto features geometric side panels.

    Shot

    Built with the commercial-grade 58mm portafilter and renowned E61 brew head, the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione runs strong and sturdy as a professional cafe’s equipment. But no, the Evoluzione is a home espresso machine. If you’re ready to invest in an espresso machine, the Evoluzione has Rocket’s solid reputation and spectacular features behind it.

    Under the hood, the Evoluzione features rotary pump that provides instant pressure to extraction. Under the hood, the Evoluzione features rotary pump that provides instant pressure to extraction.

    For example, the rotary pump instantly adds pressure as opposed to vibratory pumps, which slowly build pressure to nine bars. Coffee enthusiasts will appreciate the 'true' pre-infusion the rotary pump offers. It uses two or three bars of pressure from the plumbing before hitting full extraction at nine bars. On the other hand, the vibratory pump passively pre-infuses espresso by ramping up from zero to nine bars.

    A rotary pump is also considered more resilient. As the name implies, it rotates the water through the pump, which is gentle on the machine (for a quick comparison, vibratory pumps use a piston to push water). And most home espresso machines use identical rotary pumps as commercial models—like the Evoluzione. Let’s not forget to mention that rotary pumps are sweeter on the ears thanks to the quite

    Steam

    Equipped with a 1.8-liter copper boiler, the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione is built for frothing. Release the valve and a powerful mist of steam billows from the two-hole tip. That sort of power means milk is heated in seconds! Don’t forget, the Evoluzione has a heat exchanger, so you can brew and steam at the same time—you’ll be pulling a shot and pouring the milk in under a minute!

    With a 1.8-liter copper boiler, the Evoluzione steams milk in a matter of seconds. With a 1.8-liter copper boiler, the Evoluzione steams milk in a matter of seconds.

    Style

    Cut from the same cloth, the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione has the style and function that make coffee connoisseurs swoon and hole-up in the kitchen brewing espresso. But the Evoluzione gifts baristas with an extra feature. Built into the machine is a simple switch that flips between plumbed-in or reservoir. Imagine brewing latte after latte and never refilling the water in your espresso machine. Picture it. Got it? That’s the dream with the Evoluzione.

    The Giotto style features geometric panels that make the machine pop. The Giotto style features geometric panels that make the machine pop.

    If variety is the spice of life, then you’re going to love the Evoluzione’s two style choices. The Rocket Espresso Cellini Evoluzione features the classic Rocket style with clean edges and a boxy shape. The Rocket Espresso Giotto Evoluzione is outfitted with geometric side panels that stand out from the crowd of rectangle machines—but we’re not biased.

    Conclusion

    The Rocket Espresso Evoluzione features a powerful heat exchanger and rotary pump that produces quality espresso each time. This is one of the cheapest heat exchangers we offer that also comes with customizable options such as the style and flexible water reservoir. What do you think of the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione? Share it with us!

  • Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Water Reservoir Filter

    The Best Maintenance Is Preventive!

    If you ask us, the best maintenance is preventive maintenance! Keep your Rocket espresso machine squeaky clean and working like new with the Rocket Espresso Water Reservoir Filter. What does the Rocket water filter do, you ask? It prevents the buildup of scale in your Rocket boiler(s)!

    Now, this filter is little different from your Brita filters. The Rocket Espresso Water Reservoir Filter is a compact, square packet that floats inside the Rocket’s water tank. To get the water filter ready, rinse it under cold water before adding to the tank—voila! Rocket’s water filter will last between six and 12 months between replacements.

    Why Use A Water Filter?

    The Rocket Espresso Water Reservoir Filter helps reduce scale. Scale is the buildup of minerals (calcium generally) that naturally occur in water. Scale is more noticeable in areas with hard water, which just means the water is heavy with minerals. The buildup can lead to slow water flow, reduced boiler functionality or worse case scenario a malfunctioning espresso machine—and we don’t want that!

    How It Works

    The Rocket water filter uses resin and activated carbon filtration system to filter out calcium, chlorine and other impurities. The more minerals and dissolved solids like calcium there are, the harder your water is. You’ve probably heard about water hardness and that it’s bad for espresso machines. While minerals do cause scale, if you own a Rocket, you need minerals!

    Rocket machines use an electronic sensor that requires some mineral content in the water to register that the tank is full. So, if you pour distilled water to your Rocket, it would think you were out of water—neat!

    Here’s another consideration about water hardness; the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) recommends between 75 and 250 milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids (TDS), which include minerals like calcium or sodium. The higher the TDS, the harder your water is. The ideal mineral content for coffee water is 150 mg/L. So while minerals will cause scale, it’s not bad to have minerals in your water.

    How Often Do I Descale?

    Eventually, there will come a time where you notice your machine is a little lackluster. It might be time to descale! But listen up before you buy a descale solution—Rocket recommends that you do not descale your machine at home. Instead, Rocket recommends home barista’s take their espresso machines to a professional—such as Seattle Coffee Gear! It’s an extra step, but the peace of mind of having a professional look at your Italian hand-crafted machine is worth it—your Rocket’s in good hands.

    If you think you need your Rocket espresso machine descaled, send us the deets on your machine on this page.

  • Top Three Heat Exchanger Espresso Machines

    The Round Up

    Heat exchangers are a popular choice for home baristas looking for professional equipment on a budget. Because there’s only one boiler, the brew water heats through a tube (usually copper) specifically designed to reach the optimal temperature—brewing high-quality shots at the fraction of the cost of a dual boiler machine. Our top three picks are the Rocket Espresso Appartamento, Nuova Simonelli Oscar II and Rocket Espresso Evoluzione. Each machine is well-designed with high-quality components and professional grade materials. It comes down to the nuances that’ll make all the difference for making coffee you love at home.

    Best For Beginners: Rocket Espresso Appartamento

    We start off with the newest Rocket, the Appartamento. This machine is designed for entry-level and professional baristas who want to bring home a quality espresso machine. And it’s apartment sized to fit on virtually every countertop—or hey, just install a coffee bar. It features an E61 brew head, a 1.8-liter copper boiler—the same boiler in the Evoluzione—and commercial-grade 58mm portafilters.

    Another seductive draw of the Appartamento is it’s fashionable polka-dot side panels—available in white or copper! It still maintains the beautiful clean profile that Rocket is known for, but with a fun, modern twist. That said, the Appartamento is entirely manually operated by the barista, while our next pick has some handy programmability.

    Best Programmability: Nuova Simonelli Oscar II

    Equipped with two programmable espresso buttons, brewing and steaming at the same time just got oh-so-easy! Set your ideal single and double shot time for your favorite brew. Like the original Oscar, the Oscar II is outfitted with high-performing components like a heated 58mm group head that keeps shots consistently hot. You can get the Oscar II with a reservoir or plumbed-in, but it’s not interchangeable, so you’ll have to choose one way or the other.

    Of course, we can’t forget to mention that famous steam power we all know and love! The Oscar II’s updated design opened up more room for an articulated steam wand that has far better rotation than the original Oscar. The four-hole steam tip reaches every angle of your pitcher for perfectly frothed milk—just keep an eye on it since the Oscar II is a fast steamer! We also appreciate the steam switch that allows us to feather the milk for more control.

    Best Options: Rocket Espresso Evoluzione

    Built with the legendary E61 brew head, 1.8-liter copper boiler and commercial-grade 58mm portafilter, the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione is a powerful machine. If you’re thinking this sounds like the Appartamento, you’re right on track—these machines have identical components! However, the Evoluzione features differences that make it shine. For starters, the Evoluzione has a rotary pump versus the Appartmento’s vibratory plumb. Not only does the pump make the Evoluzione’s quieter when brewing—your household will thank you for that—but the boiler is also insulated to increase thermal stability up to 30 percent.

    Did we mention you have choices with the Evoluzione? Setup your Evoluzione to use the internal reservoir or—our favorite option—plumb it in directly to your water! Are you remodeling your kitchen or moving? No problem—the Evoluzione can switch back to fit your needs. You also have two styles to choose from; the Cellini, which has a clean-cut and boxy shape, and the Giotto, which sports sleek winged panels.

    Conclusion

    Our top three heat exchanger—the Appartamento, Oscar II and Evoluzione—each offer unique benefits for home baristas looking for an affordable and reliable espresso machine. What’s your favorite heat exchanger espresso machine? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID

    How Does It Compare?

    The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID’s high-quality build and timeless design will always be in style for us! We thought another review of this heat exchanger was in order. The Premium Plus’s headliner is the PID that maintains consistent boiler temperature alongside the E61 brew head—a favorite feature in the Rocket lineup. The Premium Plus shares many of its design elements—E61 group, professional-quality portafilter and 1.8-liter heat exchange boiler—with Rocket’s littlest machine, the Appartamento! But while the Appartamento has a lot to offer, the Premium Plus still has a leg up with its PID that allows home baristas more control over their espresso. An we love more ways to tweak our coffee! While the machines in Rocket’s lineup have different features, they all sport the same hand-built Italian pedigree and top-notch materials. Check out the Premium Plus and see what it has to offer.

    The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID comes in two body styles, Cellini and Giotto (pictured). The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID comes in two body styles, Cellini and Giotto (pictured).

    Shot

    The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus features an insulated 1.8-liter copper boiler to maintain temperature stability. What does that mean for you, coffee friend? The thermal retention helps your machine consistently brew delicious espresso! Paired with the PID, we can program the ideal temperature—we’re more than pleased with the results!

    As a refresher, the PID (proportional integral derivative) measures and controls the temperature in the boiler. Since this is a heat exchanger, you’ll want the boiler set higher than the brew temperature. Fortunately, Rocket has provided a manual with a helpful guide on how to program the PID to the ideal temperature.

    Like all Rockets, the Premium Plus comes with stainless-coated brass portafilters sure to stand the test of time. Rocket includes two standard baskets, single and double, and, best of all, two portafilter styles, the single and double spout—oh man, do we love these spouts! Match the basket size to its corresponding portafilter and never worry about prying off the basket again (your fingers will thank you).

    Steam

    Eager to perfect your frothing technique? The Rocket Premium Plus with PID features powerful steaming that quickly heats milk in seconds. Before you know it, your milk is heated and ready to pour! We’ll never discourage beginner baristas from getting their hands on this machine, but the power requires patience and practice. Experienced baristas will appreciate the speed—just like rush hour in the cafe. That said, everyone can appreciate the fluidity of the articulating steam wand that makes it easier to texture your milk at any angle.

    Style

    Wrapped in polished stainless steel and a clean, cut style, the Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID is a timeless centerpiece for any barista’s kitchen. The PID is hidden away under the drip tray to maintain a clean surface unburdened with electronic lights. The Rocket’s lever and knob control design mirrors traditional espresso machines, while the PID brings this machine into the modern age—you really get the best of both worlds with the Premium Plus!

    The Premium Plus also comes in two styles, the Cellini and Giotto. The Cellini features straight side panels that create a simple, boxy body shape while the Giotto features more dramatic geometric side panels that extend out and taper back down at the drip tray. That Giotto has a wider footprint than the Cellini, but that is the only difference between the two models.

    The Premium Plus features a hidden PID that complements the machines clean look. The Premium Plus features a hidden PID that complements the machines clean look.

    Conclusion

    While Rocket Espresso has introduced us to new models like the Appartamento, the Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID continues to amaze us with it’s built-in PID. If you love to change up your beans or simply want more control over your espresso, the Premium Plus is for you. Don’t forget that the Premium Plus has two styles—check out the Rocket Espresso Cellini Premium Plus with PID and Rocket Espresso Giotto Premium Plus with PID.

  • Crew Comparison: Baratza Forte AP vs Rocket Espresso Fausto

    How Does It Compare?

    The grind is one of the most important steps to making coffee you love at home. This week, we compared two magnificent, high-end grinders: the Rocket Espresso Macinatore Fausto and Baratza Forté AP. Both machines fall into the same price range but are equipped with radically different features. The Fausto’s burly burrs and infinite stepless grinder adjustments dose consistent grounds perfect for espresso—but the Fausto’s really just for espresso. Once you’ve homed in your ideal setting, you’ll only tweak it slightly or you risk losing your place.

    Then we have Baratza’s only commercial-designed machine, the Forté AP. The Forté AP (All Purpose) fine-tuned and marked grinder settings make it effortless for baristas and home brewers alike to find their sweet spot. We should add that the Forté AP has a wicked quick motor that grinds beans in a matter of seconds! But don’t let stepped or stepless grinding dissuade you—we think both grinders would look good seated on your kitchen counter! Find out which grinder has the right features and style for you.

    The Baratza Forté AP features an intuitive digital display and 260 stepped grinder settings. The Baratza Forté AP features an intuitive digital display and 260 stepped grinder settings.
    The Rocket Espresso Fausto features stepless grinding to allow limitless adjustments. The Rocket Espresso Fausto features stepless grinding to allow limitless adjustments.

    Grind

    Sure, these high-end grinders are designed to be used in a commercial environment, but that doesn’t mean small offices or homes shouldn’t reap the benefits! The Rocket Espresso Fausto is a meaty machine topped with a 1.4-pound bean hopper to caffeinate a crowd. All those beans are no match for the 65mm flat steel burrs and a beefy motor that runs 1650 RPMs (rotations per minute). All that’s left is dialing in the Fausto. Some fear stepless grinders because of the limitless adjustments. While the dial turns easily, you should be aware that each turn makes a huge difference in the grind—you can be nearly there and then way out of the ballpark instantly!  Although, once you find the right spot, you won’t be adjusting the Fausto much.

    The Fausto features two programmable time-based doses and a small digital display. The Fausto features two programmable time-based doses and a small digital display.

    In comparison, the Baratza Forté AP adjust quickly and effortlessly thanks to 10 macro and 26 micro stepped settings—that’s 260 options! In a few clicks, it can grind from espresso to French press! With that in mind, the stepped adjustments are well-suited for the Forté AP—an abbreviation of all purpose. And it really is all-purpose! Even at the coarsest setting, the 54mm ceramic flat burrs efficiently grind consistent grounds. While it’s burrs are a bit smaller than the Fausto’s, the motor runs at steady 1950 RPMs—or an average of 3.5 to 3.7 grams per second for French press.

    The Forté AP features time, weight and manual grinding controlled by the digital display. The Forté AP features time, weight and manual grinding controlled by the digital display.

    Grade

    The Rocket Espresso Fausto’s doserless chute and stainless steel portafilter holder are designed for espresso. The Fausto’s consistently fine grounds works with non-pressurized portafilters on a semi-automatic espresso machine. With limitless adjustments, we’d recommend pairing the Fausto with the Rocket Espresso R60V, which features pressure profiling. Together, these machines offer coffee connoisseurs countless opportunities to tweak their espresso. And with two programmable time-based buttons, you can save your ideal dosage for a single or double shot.

    The Fausto is designed for espresso featuring a doserless chute and portafilter holder. The Fausto is designed for espresso featuring a doserless chute and portafilter holder.

    The Baratza Forté AP’s has a trick up its sleeve. When you’re in a hurry, use one of your three programmable profiles and dose your grind with the touch of a button—oh yeah, did we mention it has a touchscreen display? The Forté AP doses grinds by weight, time or manually (perfect for topping off). Bonus: You can use the profiles to save both weight and time doses! However, weight-based dosage only works with the grounds bin—a great companion for a drip brewer. The Forté AP also comes with a portafilter holder, so you can grind directly for espresso!

    The Forté AP comes with a removable portafilter holder and a grounds container. The Forté AP comes with a removable portafilter holder and a grounds container.

    Glamour

    The Baratza Forté AP’s modern style and user-friendly interface make it one of our favorite high-end grinders. The combination of the touchscreen and tactile grinder settings allow us to make quick adjustments that satisfy home brewers and baristas need. Baristas working the peak morning shift will rejoice with the programmable doses—and their customers will appreciate a quick cup! Coffee lovers who enjoy French press and espresso will find it a snap to brew both.

    With a one-pound bean hopper on top, the Fausto has a large footprint. With a one-pound bean hopper on top, the Fausto has a large footprint.

    While the Forté AP is built for commercial settings, it’s actually closer to the size of home machines. Now can you see this high-end grinder in your home? We can! On the other hand, the Rocket Espresso Fausto is considerably bigger—nearly three inches taller. It might not sound like much, but the Fausto is nearly 18 inches tall and 11 inches deep. However, most of the Fausto’s height is from the one-pound bean hopper. In comparison, the Forté AP has 10-ounces hopper, so you’ll have to decide what features is important for you. The Forté AP’s small footprint would fit perfectly in a coffee cart or studio office while the Fausto would support a local café.

    Conclusion

    While both grinders fall in the same price point and are marked for commercial use, the Rocket Espresso Fausto and Baratza Forté AP are completely different machines. The Forté AP features an intuitive touchscreen that saves your three favorite settings—perfect for cafés or home brewers—and 260 grinder adjustments. The Rocket Espresso Fausto is designed for espresso and showcases its capable 65mm burrs with its stepless adjustments.

    Thanks for checking out this week’s Crew Comparison. If you’re looking for a high-end grinder, naturally you’ll want a high-end espresso machine to complement it! Check out Gear Guide: Top Three High-End Espresso Machines.

  • Crew Comparison: Rocket Espresso Appartamento vs Breville Dual Boiler

    How Does It Compare?

    There’s nothing we love more than being able to brew and steam at the same time! And with either the Rocket Espresso Appartamento or the Breville Dual Boiler, we can do just that, but the user experience is completely different. The Dual Boiler packs in dedicated boilers alongside options like a pressurized portafilter and programmable shot buttons. On the other end of the spectrum, the Appartamento is Rocket’s smallest semi-automatic and, like other models in the line-up, sports a heat exchange boiler and traditional manual controls. The Appartamento will require more commitment and the dedication to learn, whereas Breville’s programmable features and range of accessories give baristas the ability to hone their skills.

    The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is outfitted with a 1.8-liter copper boiler and legendary E61 brew group. The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is outfitted with a 1.8-liter copper boiler and legendary E61 brew group.

    Shot

    Breville pulls out all the stops when it comes to crafting user’s experience. We’ve got a list of what makes the Breville Dual Boiler user-friendly, but one that stands out is its programmability. It features two programmable espresso buttons, in single or double shot quantities, the control volume by time. So while you’re concentrating on frothing your milk, you can press a button and let the Dual Boiler do the work—well, most of the work—for you. If you want to change it up, it also has a manual button to give you full control. The Dual Boiler also features pressurized and non-pressurized baskets for the portafilter. For beginners, the pressurized portafilter assists in extracting delicious espresso, especially if the grind is off. This gives beginners a chance to perfect their technique, or honestly, allows baristas to be lazy with the grind. When you finally perfect the grind, switch it up to the non-pressurized portafilter to brew like a professional. Whichever way you brew, the Dual Boiler’s user-friendly brewing makes it an easy machine to learn on.

    The Breville Dual Boiler features two boilers that reach brew and steam temperature independently. The Breville Dual Boiler features two boilers that reach brew and steam temperature independently.

    The Rocket Espresso Appartamento’s design is influenced by traditional Italian espresso machines with its manual control lever and turn-dial knobs. Manual controls offer you freedom over your espresso and milk steaming. And with the Appartamento’s commercial-grade build, you’ll feel just like a professional barista. It’s equipped with two 58mm stainless steel portafilters (single and double spouts) and an E61 brew head that produces consistently hot espresso. Since there are no programmable features, there is a fairly steep learning curve and most of that is learning how to time pulling a shot while frothing milk. For experienced baristas, it’s muscle memory. For beginners, it’s more to handle—you can always slow down and froth, then brew. The Appartamento has features designed for an intermediate to an experienced barista, but with a will to learn an entry-level barista can pull delicious shots too.

    The respectable 2.25-liter water tank is easy to access in the back. The respectable 2.25-liter water tank is easy to access in the back.

    The Dual Boiler has an 84-ounce water reservoir that feeds a 10-ounce brew boiler and a 32-ounce steam boiler. The boilers may seem small but that’s to your advantage. After pulling espresso shots for the whole family, the small 10-ounce boiler refills and reheats in no time. The Appartamento, on the other hand, has a respectable 60-ounce (1.8-liter) boiler that we expect to find on a heat exchange machine. The larger boiler takes longer to heat up. It has to heat the whole boiler to steam temperature before it can heat water on the fly from the reservoir, so we have to wait (again) to pull consistent shots. Once the Appartamento is heated, it can make multiple lattes before needing time to refill and reheat.

    Steam

    While we’re on the subject of boilers, the Breville Dual Boiler has a programmable PID to control both boilers. This allows you to set the ideal temperature to create consistency for your brew. Also, the latest update on the Dual Boiler now allows you to control the steam boiler range from 265 to 285 degrees. Paired with the traditional steam wand, it feels like a true barista experience. The Dual Boiler features a three-hole steam tip that shoots hot steam evenly in your pitcher—it’s super easy to get your milk rotating into a nice whirlpool. However, we will say that the steam wand will take more practice and patience for a beginner to learn.

    Showing off the steam power on the Breville Dual Boiler. Showing off the steam power on the Breville Dual Boiler.

    The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is right up there with practice and patience. The 60-ounce boiler packs some incredible steam power and, paired with the two-hole steam tip, it whips up milk foam with ease. The Appartamento, however, doesn’t include a PID to set your temperature, so you’re stuck with Rocket’s standard heat settings. If you wanted to get technical with your brew, Rocket does offer other models with a PID. After making a handful of lattes on the Appartamento, we’re impressed with the temperature and consistency. When we compared its steam power to the Dual Boiler, to us it seemed obvious the Appartamento stole the show.

    Style

    The real show stopper is the Rocket Espresso Appartamento’s new style. It’s still the same beautiful stainless steel body but with white or copper side panels that are revealed through cutouts. The body sticks to Rocket’s clean cut style with gear-inspired knobs and their logo stamped front and center. The Appartamento may have been built like a traditional espresso machine, but its style is better described as contemporary, especially with those retro spots. While the Crew is divided about what color we like more, both will easily integrate into a home brewer’s kitchen. And it’s no problem squeezing the Appartamento on any apartment counter—it’s Rocket’s smallest machine to date. It’s even smaller than the Breville Dual Boiler, which is 6.25 inches wider than the Appartamento. Think of that prime counter space you’ll save.

    Copper or white? We're digging the retro dots. Copper or white? We're digging the retro dots.

    Even though the Dual Boiler’s a tad wider, it’s equipped with convenient extras that make up for it. One of those extras is hidden under the drip tray—Breville has included a swivel foot that drops down on the counter to easily rotate the machine around. This makes accessing the water tank effortless. It also included a hidden storage tray behind the drip tray and a magnetic tamper—everything you need for espresso is close at hand. While the Dual Boiler also has stainless steel casing it’s a cover over a plastic body, but we’re OK with that since we still get the style with an affordable price tag.

    The Dual Boiler comes with pressurized and non-pressurized baskets and a tamper that magnetically stick into the machine. The Dual Boiler comes with pressurized and non-pressurized baskets and a tamper that magnetically stick into the machine.

    Conclusion

    Between the Breville Dual Boiler and Rocket Espresso Appartamento, it comes down to what sort of user experience you desire. With the user in mind, the Dual Boiler comes equipped with programmability and accessories like pressurized and non-pressurized portafilters for beginners or experienced baristas. The Appartamento’s got style. It’s one of those machines you look at and can’t help but ask about. But the manual controls require commitment and plenty of patience to learn how to brew. So if you have the time and the will to learn, either machine will offer you the chance to hone your skills.

    The Crew is still debating what color is better: white or copper? Tell us what color you like the best in the comments below!

     

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