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Rocket Espresso is an Italian company that focuses on crafting high-quality espresso machines with the goal of expediting the process of making professional-level coffee. Rocket Espresso offers models both for amateur and professional use, so they can be found both in home kitchens and in some of the best Italian cafes.
We’ve spent dozens of hours in search for the best Rocket espresso machines in the company’s entire lineup, which, as of now, consists of 14 models. We’ve concluded that the Rocket R58 is the best option for most people. Even though this model is on the pricier side, even within Rocket’s premium lineup, we think the quality and performance you get are totally worth it. This product boasts some commercial-grade features such as a rotary pump, a large dual-boiler reservoir, and an E61 grouphead. At the same time, it’s also easy and safe to use with a low water sensor and an automatic on/off timer. As a result, this product is a perfect combination of the best of two worlds.
"This is a great commercial espresso machine that features a powerful insulated multi-boiler system, separate PID controllers for each grouphead and a lower height for easier interaction with customers."
The Rocket R58 Cinquantotto is our Editor’s Choice because it combines commercial-grade performance with ease of use, for quality shots of espresso that are truly cafe-quality. This semi-automatic espresso machine has a dual boiler with high insulation for faster heating time and efficiency, so you can work on pulling off consistent espresso shots even if you have a demanding workload. The machine has a rotary pump which means it is plumbable directly to a water line in a home, but you can also use a water tank if preferred over a direct feed. It features a large water reservoir that can be easily detached and is equipped with a low water sensor, so you’ll never run out of water at the wrong time. The Rocket R58 Cinquantotto is housed in a heavy-duty, polished stainless steel case that provides superior durability; it’s bulky, but not too heavy.
The Rocket R58 Cinquantotto is an update from R58, and it comes with a new feet design at the bottom. It also has an attached metal cup rail which is beautifully branded, and the same steam and hot water tabs. The Rocket R58 Cinquantotto has a new shot timer which was unavailable in the last version, and all the classic accessories are still there. It has a new detachable PID that is more intuitive and easy-to-use and comes with a different steam tip – 1.2 mm in addition to a standard 1.5mm one.
The Rocket R9 is made to fit in with commercial usage, so if you want to make high-volume espresso or coffee for customers, this is the machine you want. This espresso machine has multi-boiler design and each group head gets its own independently controlled 1.9-liter brew boiler which means that the heat and power will be much more consistent. Also, thanks to an automatic pump pressure calibration system, you don’t have to worry about that pump not working. The Rocket R9 is made of 304 stainless steel for maximum durability, which means it can last through high-volume usage without breaking down or wearing out. It has no-burn stainless steel steam wands and a backflush programming system for easy cleaning.
In our opinion, the R9 has the same aesthetic appeal as the other Rocket Espresso machines and it has a beautiful contemporary look. Its height is, however, lower, which is perfect for the barista to interact with the customers. It also comes with a digital display that highlights the boiler temperature and is adjustable in 0.1-degree increments. This machine has shot timers for every group.
When you think of espresso machines, we bet that the first thing that comes to mind is “high tech” and “high price”. This might have been true in the past, but it certainly isn’t anything close to reality now. The Rocket Appartamento espresso machine is both affordable AND technologically advanced. The Appartamento uses an E61 commercial group with automatic pre-infusion. It features a 1.8-liter copper boiler which heats up completely in 30 seconds. It also has a 52-watt vibratory pump and a large two-liter bottom-fed reservoir. This espresso machine has the safety features that you’d expect including a low water sensor and automatic shutdown after 90 minutes or 1.5 hours. The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is somewhat of an all-in-one, with hot water and steam wands on the side for your heating needs, as well as a double spout portafilter option that allows you to simultaneously brew 2 espressos at the same time.
What sets the Rocket Appartamento espresso machine apart from its competition is that it’s compact and scientifically designed for environments that have limited space. The engineers at Rocket redesigned the layout of most of the internal components and optimized the chassis while still maintaining the integrity of the machine. This ensures that despite the layout, you still get the same quality features that Rocket Espresso is known for. The Rocket Espresso Appartamento has 2 side panel insert options: white or copper.
Other features: semi-automatic, a digital shot timer, PID temperature control, insulated boilers, new stainless steel cup guard, adjustable feet, E61 commercial group with automatic pre-infusion, 304 stainless steel case
The Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has many great features that you will just love! It has a 1.8-liter insulated boiler, which will keep your water at just the right temperature all day long. Also, this espresso machine comes equipped with a rotary pump, which means you can either connect it to the direct water source or you can use a water tank. The Giotto Evoluzione R comes with a 2.9-liter water tank, so you don’t have to worry about running out of water throughout the day! This espresso machine is also equipped with an E61 commercial group with automatic pre-infusion, a digital shot timer so you know the exact time your shots are pulled, and group pressure gauges. This espresso machine also comes with a 304 stainless steel case for an amazing look.
The Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R has the same aesthetic appeal we’ve come to expect from this brand, but it also has several upgraded features. It comes with new redesigned and adjustable feet and a stainless steel cup guard that were not part of the previous models. It’s also equipped with new hot water and steam knobs, and the internal layout has been redesigned. Instead of a pressure stat, this model comes with a new PID temperature controller.
The Rocket Mozzafiato Type V Chrono semi-automatic espresso machine is a complete and versatile espresso machine choice. It features an insulated copper boiler which is known to produce quality steaming power. The plated brass ends are seen on the inside of the chamber while you fill it up with water. This ensures that no steam seeps into any electrical joints and keeps the insides in optimal condition. The machine also comes with a PID temperature control thanks to which you get the perfect brewing temperature every time. The Rocket Mozzafiato uses an E61 commercial group that is able to produce enough pressure for perfect pre-infusion. When you make your shot, there’s no need to worry about damaging or burning any parts as it comes with a no-burn design like other commercial-grade espresso machines. The hot water wand uses an insulated arm that separates it from direct contact with any surfaces and also prevents burns. The steam arm also comes with a similar design and insulation.
The Rocket Mozzafiato Type V Chrono and another Rocket espresso machine, the Giotto Type V, seem almost similar at a glance, but they have a few distinct differences. For starters, the Mozzafiato models has a flat-side panel on the outside which is integrated with cup rails. The Giotto, on the other hand, has angular side panels which add to its flair. Giotto espresso machines also have taller feet.
What are our favorite features?
Attractive design for commercial-grade espresso machine
Adjustable steam temperature
Insulated copper boiler that keeps machine cool
Commercial-grade E61 group
Low water sensor with alert
Available in two body styles
What could be better?
Heavy to carry
Not fingerprint-resistant, needs frequent polishing
Things to Consider
For many, the Rocket Espresso machine is just an appliance. It makes espresso coffee; therefore, it must be good. Well, there is more than meets the eye!
When you are done with this guide, you will have learned many things about buying an espresso machine that you didn’t know before. That’s our promise!
How to Pick the Best Rocket Espresso Machine
We’ve seen our fair share of customers and friends go through the process of buying an espresso maker, and we feel that most people end up choosing the wrong one. Here, we will show you what to focus on and give a few pointers on finding a solid espresso machine.
The first thing you need to understand is that there are several types of espresso machines: semi-automatic, automatic, fully-automatic and manual. There’s no right or wrong here as all of these types operate a bit differently, but it is important to know the difference before making your purchase.
All espresso machines we reviewed are semi-automatic, which means they will allow you to grind and pack your coffee without giving you the freedom of controlling the pressure.
Semi-automatic machines are very simple to operate. Just grind the beans, pack them in the portafilter and then use pressure to brew your espresso.
If you want a commercial machine that operates like the ones professionals use in cafes and restaurants, this is what we recommend.
In case you are wondering what the manual models are like and how to choose the best one, we recommend you check out our article on the best manual espresso machines that are popular today.
Dual Boiler vs Heat Exchanger
Whereas the heat exchange machine is a more popular choice, it doesn’t allow you to brew espresso and use the steam wand at the same time, unlike the dual boiler espresso machine
There are two main types of machines: those that feature a dual boiler and those that have a heat exchanger. Dual boiler machines will allow you to brew and steam at the same time while heating it up, whereas with a heat exchanger you would need to pre-heat your machine each time you want to brew espresso. The heat exchanger doesn’t allow you to control how much steam pressure you are creating. With a machine like this, you’ll never be able to make microfoam milk using the available steam valve. For those of you who want the ability to steam and brew at the same time, we recommend getting a dual boiler machine.
Rotary vs Vibratory Pump
This one is a bit technical, but it concerns the types of pumps that can be found inside an espresso machine. Choosing a rotary-type pump means your machine will have a pretty fast brew time and be able to heat up very quickly for steam as well. Rotary pumps are quiet, durable, and allow you to plumb your machine straight to a water line. A vibratory pump instead would mean you’ll save time on heating, but your brew time will be a bit slower and you’ll need to let the machine heat up for longer.
We also recommend getting a rotary pump instead of a vibratory one as it can handle daily wear and tear much better. With that said, keep in mind that your machine might not be as fast as other models out there if it has a rotary pump.
Plumbed-in vs Water Tank
For home use only: Get a plumbed-in machine if you want to have your espresso machine connected to the water supply. If not, look for a good-sized tank that will hold enough water for more than one espresso brew.
For commercial use: If you plan on using your machine out and about, get a plumbed-in model. Make sure to check with your local plumbing inspector first if this is allowed in mission-critical locations.
If you are looking for an appliance that is super easy to maintain (and shiny), then aluminum might be the right choice. On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending a bit more time on cleaning your machine and it will be in use often, stainless steel espresso machines like the ones we reviewed will make much better choices.
The smaller the boiler size, the fewer drinks it’ll heat up at once. If you’re a family of 2-3 espresso drinkers, get a smaller boiler size machine. If you are using it in a cafe setting, get at least a 15-30 oz boiler size.
Almost all Rocket espresso machines on our list come with PID temperature controllers
For most home users, this feature will not be necessary as it is mainly used in commercial settings where you have a lot of control over how the espresso is brewed. If you want a really good-looking machine with a nice dial, you can play around with, get one with temperature control.
A PID (“proportional, integral, derivative”) controller is a feature on commercial-grade espresso machines that will give you the ability to control the temperature of your machine more precisely.
Brew Pressure Gauge vs No Pressure Gauge/strong>
If you want to see how much pressure is inside your machine, get one with a brew pressure gauge. You might find it useful for playing around with your grind settings.
You can use your steam wand to froth milk on most models of Rocket espresso machines. Rocket espresso machines feature no-burn stainless steel steam wands. This is a safety feature that will save you from burning your hands or milk on the steam wand.
Dimensions and Weight
These vary from model to model. If you plan on putting your machine on a shelf under the counter, make sure it has enough clearance and will not be too tall for comfortable use.
Warranty and Customer Service
Rocket Espresso comes with a 2-year warranty and they seem to be very keen on making sure customers are fully satisfied. They have a great YouTube page filled with useful tutorials and we personally had no issues during our research.
The price of Rocket espresso machines varies from $1,800 to $13,100 depending on the model. They are definitely not budget espresso machines, but they should be well worth the money. If you decide to go for something on a cheaper scale, consider our list of the best espresso machines under $1,000
Rocket espresso machine boast plenty of useful features like: insulated boilers, pre-infusion (when the coffee is wetted before the actual brewing starts), water refill alarm, cup warmer, etc.
Some people leave their machines on 24/7 and don’t seem to have many additional issues by doing so. Nevertheless, we would recommend turning on your espresso maker in the morning and turning it off in the evening. It will reduce the amount of exposure of the internal components to heat and ensure your machine lasts longer.
If you plan on using your machine at home, look for one that has a drip tray that will catch spills to reduce the amount of time you will need to spend cleaning it. If you are using your machine in a commercial setting, make sure it has an anti-burn heating wand (Steam Wand) or other safety features like boil dry protection or water refill alarm.
Rocket Espresso machines are built to last and they come with the features you’d expect from commercial-grade equipment. They are built for quality and dependability in all kinds of settings.
What we most liked about our top pick, the Rocket R58 Cinquantotto, is its dual boiler design, the detachable PID controller with an intuitive touchscreen, and pre-infusion system for more consistent extraction.
The Rocket R9 is the best Rocket espresso machine for commercial use. It has a multi-boiler design, rotary pump, and a durable stainless steel body, among other fancy features. Home baristas will find it overkill for their needs, but it’s a great opportunity to take the next step up in espresso or coffee equipment.
The Rocket Appartamento espresso machine is the most technologically advanced espresso machine available at its price range. If you are looking to buy an espresso machine that is affordable but not cheap, then the Appartamento will most likely suit your needs.
Rocket Espresso produces the finest espresso machines in the tradition of ‘Fatto a Mano’ translated to, ‘made by hand’.
The PID controller is one of the most impactful technological advances in espresso machines in the last twenty years. But what is it exactly, and how did it wind up inside pretty much every modern espresso machine?