Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.
What are your priorities when shopping for an espresso machine? If you replied, “scrumptious espresso, compact design, impeccable construct high quality, and beautiful type,” hold studying.
In this Rocket Appartamento evaluate, we’re speaking a few machine with all the above. It could also be small, nevertheless it packs an enormous punch, each in taste and aesthetics. It could be precisely what you’re on the lookout for!
Rocket Appartamento Espresso Machine
- Ultra-compact warmth exchanger espresso machine designed for smaller houses
- An ideal introduction to prosumer grade espresso machines
- Attractive Rocket aesthetic with distinctive round cut-outs on the edges
It is a complete different universe away from the kitchenware manufacturers. I by no means really feel a must exit for a good coffee anymore.
– Jennifer M.
The Rocket Appartamento Review
Rocket Appartamento is a comparatively new addition to the Rocket Espresso line. It was launched in 2016, nevertheless it already proved very talked-about. As it seems, there’s a scorching marketplace for a trendy prosumer-grade espresso machine with a compact footprint. No shock, given how many people stay in smaller houses with out a lot counter area (1).
But is that this machine actually all it’s cracked as much as be? Or is it nonetheless using excessive on the wave of preliminary hype? That’s what I got down to uncover with this Rocket Appartamento evaluate. So let’s dig deep into the main points beneath that lovely exterior to seek out out the precise worth of the Rocket Appartamento and if it’s the appropriate machine for you.
Brewing Capacity – 3.5/5
The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is technically the ENTRY-LEVEL MODEL of Rocket’s line. But relating to this model, entry-level nonetheless refers to a really high-end piece of apparatus.
If you’ve come to the top of the road together with your appliance-grade espresso machine and are able to make the leap to a prosumer mannequin, this could be a unbelievable introduction. Once you get it dialed in, you’ll be blown away by its high quality and consistency.
They designed it to be ultra-compact, therefore the identify Appartamento. This is a machine constructed with residence dwellers with restricted counter area in thoughts. That mentioned, Rocket designers made surprisingly few sacrifices to realize the machine’s slender footprint.
Rocket Appartamento options the identical 1.8-liter copper warmth alternate boiler and vibratory pump because the bigger and dearer Cronometro Type V fashions.
So, you’ll be able to steam and brew on the identical time!
The solely distinction is that the boiler within the Rocket Appartamento isn’t insulated, so it’s much less energy-efficient and perhaps a tiny bit louder, although not a lot that you’d discover.
It additionally depends on the identical E61 group head discovered on the remainder of Rocket’s fashions — and certainly on most prosumer espresso machines. In an E61 group head, scorching water is regularly cycled from the boiler via the group head to the portafilter. This basic design ensures every part stays scorching and, most significantly, steady (2).
What makes it stand out?
There is the primary distinction between the Rocket Appartamento and the dearer Type V fashions. The Appartamento doesn’t use a PID for temperature management when brewing and steaming. Instead, it depends on a strain stat. A strain stat gained’t supply fairly as a lot management as a PID, and it’s not fairly as long-lasting. Still, it’s widespread for many warmth exchanger machines. It additionally retains this one reasonably priced and not using a vital impression on the standard of the espresso.
The Rocket Appartamento comes commonplace with Rocket’s revolutionary twin pre-infusion system, which claims to boost the flavour of the coffee. It’s a mechanical system that makes use of a progressively working piston and static pre-infusion chamber.
There is a strain gauge on the entrance panel that displays steam boiler strain, which could be very helpful. However, not like a few of the bigger fashions, there is no such thing as a separate gauge for pump strain.
User Friendliness – 4/5
Any prosumer espresso machine will really feel a bit intimidating for those who’re upgrading from an appliance-style mannequin. And warmth exchanger boilers, specifically, take a bit getting used to as you determine cooling flushes. That mentioned, the Rocket Appartamento has a comparatively brief studying curve that anybody can grasp. And that’s as a result of it’s an entry-level mannequin.
The preliminary set-up is about so simple as it will get. Just plug it in, and also you’re just about good to go. Thanks to its compact design, it warms up comparatively shortly. You’ll be able to brew in 20 minutes, which I do know sounds lengthy in comparison with the 3-second heat-up time of cheaper thermoblock machines.
But belief me, it’s well worth the wait.
And it’s very speedy in comparison with the extra outsized twin boilers, which may take upwards of 45 minutes to realize temperature stability.
The high acts as a cup hotter, so the 20-minute warm-up time is a wonderful probability to get your mugs toasty when you wait.
If you’re used to pushing a button for espresso, you’ll discover that utilizing a prosumer-grade machine is a really satisfying tactile expertise.
It feels and appears like a high-performance industrial machine. The portafilters are weighty, and also you pull a lever to start out the shot. Again, there might be a little bit of an adjustment interval, however in the long run, the consumer expertise is much superior.
There are just a few facets of the Rocket Appartamento that detract from its user-friendliness. One is the comparatively small water tank. Of course, this is smart when a small footprint machine is a objective. But since you’ll be able to’t plumb within the Rocket Appartamento, you’ll have to be alert about filling the water tank. Fortunately, it does have a helpful warning system. The on/off mild will begin blinking when the tank is just too low.
Pressure, strain, strain
As I discussed earlier than, there is no such thing as a strain gauge to observe pump strain. In normal, that is no drawback. But it may be in case you are pulling a number of pictures in a row. So, it’d be good to have the strain monitored, so that you see how shortly the machine recovers between drinks.
Another potential draw back is the small 3.5-inch clearance between the spouted portafilter and the drip tray. This will solely be a problem for those who’re recurrently making bigger drinks, like an Americano or a latte, particularly if you wish to slip a scale in there as nicely. You’ll need to brew into an espresso pitcher first.
Interestingly, the bigger and dearer Rocket Timer fashions have a fair decrease clearance, so it’s exhausting to complain about 3.5 inches on such an general compact machine.
Milk Frothing – 4/5
The milk frothing on the Rocket Appartamento is EXCELLENT. There’s no different phrase for it. Because it has the identical boiler because the bigger fashions, it has the identical steam wand energy, which comes as a shock because it seems a lot smaller.
In truth, for those who’re new to milk-steaming on a prosumer machine just like the Rocket Appartamento, it’ll in all probability be an amazing quantity of steam strain. At first, it’ll be someplace between 1 to 1.5 bar. But when you’ve mastered it, you get to get pleasure from cafe-quality microfoam like by no means earlier than — and in just a few seconds per drink.
One thing more, the steam wand is provided with a two-hole tip. I definitely assume that is properly balanced with the steam strain. But you’ll be able to simply swap it for one thing roughly intense, relying in your ability.
Both the steam wand and the new water wand are totally articulated, making them simple to place in any milk pitcher measurement. And each steam and scorching water wands have double-wall designs (aka no burn), so their exterior by no means will get scorching sufficient to scald you. More importantly, it doesn’t get scorching sufficient for milk to burn to the surface of the steam wand, which, for those who’ve ever skilled it, you’ll realize it’s an enormous problem to wash
Build Quality – 5/5
Rocket espresso machines at all times stand out for his or her construct high quality and aesthetic enchantment, and when you do pay a premium for this, I think about it cash nicely spent (3).
To the previous level, a well-built espresso machine will last more and be simpler and cheaper to keep up, saving you cash and frustration in the long term.
And relating to aesthetics, keep in mind that prosumer machines, even compact ones just like the Appartamento, are massive. The Rocket Appartamento is more likely to turn into the focus of your kitchen, so it’s nicely value spending a bit extra on one thing that makes you cheerful to have a look at day by day.
So, what’s it product of?
The Appartamento makes use of the identical parts because the higher-end Evoluzione line, together with the copper boiler, chrome steel casing, magnetic drip tray, and 58 mm industrial grade portafilters. This makes it a wonderful worth. It even comes with an aluminum tamper, a wonderful step up from the ineffective plastic tampers sometimes included with entry-level fashions.
Rocket caught with what they do greatest and outfitted the Appartamento with skilled grade supplies.
This machine’s stand-out design options are the distinctive laser cut-outs on the aspect, which you gained’t even discover on different Rocket fashions. They instantly establish it because the Appartamento. The round cut-outs come commonplace in black, white, and copper, however there’s loads of customization potential if you wish to personalize your machine. And like all Rocket machines, the knobs for the steam wand and scorching water wand are adorned with the long-lasting R brand.
More just lately, Rocket has launched the Serie Nera (aka Black Series) Appartamento, which prices lower than $100 additional and ups the type ante. The sides are coated in a rubberized matte black coating, and a extra sturdy metallic cup rail is added to the highest across the cup hotter. The Serie Nera additionally has an ECO mode for saving vitality, shortly switched on and off with a button on the underside (4).
Cleaning and Maintenance – 3.5/5
As lengthy as you deal with your Rocket Espresso machine nicely, it ought to final a really very long time. For instance, at all times go for filtered water, and add a softener for those who stay in a hard-water area. This avoids the build-up of scale and one other crud within the steam boiler and plumbing. A bit little bit of preventative work will prevent a number of frustration in the long term.
The Appartamento is bought with a provide of cleansing tablets, a blind basket, and a set of directions, and your greatest guess is to make use of them as prescribed.
Admittedly, managing water could be a little bit of a problem with this machine, however it is a pure trade-off for its small stature. Both the water tank and drip tray are a bit smaller than commonplace. The drip tray holds 28 ounces, and the reservoir tops out at 2.25 liters.
When mixed with the cooling flushes wanted for HX espresso machines and the overpressure valve that releases extra scorching water into the drip tray, you’ll must be fairly vigilant about emptying the drip tray and filling the water reservoir. If potential, you’ll need to place the Rocket Appartamento close to a sink for those who plan to make use of it steadily.
A possible draw back?
One factor value preserving in thoughts with the Appartamento is that its compact design makes it harder to service your self. It’s fairly cramped inside. If issues go mistaken, I recommend hiring a technician with expertise with these fashions or sending it again to the supplier you purchased it from.
Luckily, there isn’t a complete lot to go mistaken. Heat exchanger espresso machines have fewer components than double boilers and are thus a bit extra dependable. Because the E61 brew head is so commonplace and has been round for therefore lengthy, it’s a lot simpler to seek out expert technicians and spare components ought to you could have an issue. And as I’ve already mentioned, Rocket’s construct high quality is top-notch.
Don’t Buy the Rocket Appartamento If…
You’re not seeking to save area: The fundamental promoting level of the Appartamento is its distinctive compact design. If you could have room to spare, try the bigger Giotto or Mozzafiato Cronometro fashions, which add a PID for temperature management. Conversely, if you’d like one thing much more compact, try the revolutionary moveable Porta Via.
You desire a double boiler: If you intend on making a number of back-to-back drinks, and even for those who’re simply not sure in regards to the workflow of a warmth exchanger machine, you would possibly desire a double boiler. The Bianca model by Lelit is an reasonably priced selection which provides the thrilling possibility of movement management (5). Or if you wish to keep on with the Rocket aesthetic, try our R58 review.
You don’t care in regards to the Rocket aesthetic: When you purchase a Rocket espresso machine, you pay a little bit of a premium for its very cool look. If it’s going to be the focus of your property or enterprise, that’s cash nicely spent. But if seems don’t matter to you, there are higher worth decisions. Consider the Lelit Mara, which is definitely even smaller than the Rocket Appartamento, or Profitec Pro 500.
Suppose you’re on the lookout for a prosumer espresso machine that manages to have a small footprint with out making any sacrifices when it comes to high quality. In that case, the Rocket Espresso Appartamento has your identify on it.
By preserving the full-size 1.8L warmth alternate copper boiler of the dearer fashions, this little powerhouse can sustain with its massive brothers whereas nonetheless becoming comfortably in an residence kitchen. Add to that the distinctive type of the laser cut-outs, and also you’ve received one thing fairly particular!
- Williams, C. (2017, October 20). Millions Of Americans Are Still Sharing Apartments And You’re Worried About A Bubble? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/websites/bisnow/2017/10/20/millions-of-americans-are-still-sharing-apartments-and-youre-worried-about-a-bubble/?sh=3905b1d24ef4
- Burton, G. (2011, January 11). The E61 Group Head: An Oldie however a Goodie. Retrieved from https://www.fivesenses.com.au/weblog/the-e61-group-head-an-oldie-but-a-goodie/
- Velits, M. (2017, July 18). Andrew Meo founding father of Rocket Espresso Interview. Retrieved from https://isadore.com/weblog/article/andrew-meo-founder-of-rocket-espresso-interview
- Ellis, V. (2015, January 2). Perky new EU effectivity guidelines for coffee machines and vitality labels. Retrieved from https://www.energylivenews.com/2015/01/02/perky-new-eu-efficiency-rules-for-coffee-machines-and-energy-labels/
- Grant, T. (2020, July 29). How Flow Profiling Affects Espresso Extraction. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/07/how-flow-profiling-impacts-espresso-coffee-extraction/