"Can the Breville BES920XL even compare to the Rocket Espresso Appartamento?"
With a price difference of well over $500, is the Rocket Appartamento (made in Italy) that much better than the dual boiler from Breville? The answer lies in what you're looking for and what you need, and don't need, from your espresso machine. On the face, it would seem like the Breville is the better value, right? I mean it has dual boilers where the Appartamento only has one, right? Surely it's the better value - not exactly. In fact, it's hard to even compare the two brands however we'll do our best!
|Rocket Appartamento||Breville BES920XL|
|Price||from $1,700||from $1,139|
|Manufacturer||Rocket Espresso Milano||Breville|
|Height||14.2 inches||16 inches|
|Width||10.8 inches||15 inches|
|Depth||16.75 inches||15 inches|
|Weight||44 pounds||30 pounds|
|Material||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Drip Tray||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Capacity||2.25 liters||84 oz|
|Low Water Sensor||Yes||No|
|Amount||One - single||Two - double|
|Capacity||1.8 liters||0.3 liters (brew boiler), 0.95 liters (steam boiler)|
|Power||1300 W||1700 W|
|Type||Vibratory||15 bar pump|
|Recommended Brew Pressure||9 bars||9 bars|
|Adjustable Brew Pressure||Yes||Yes|
|Included||(2) Single, Double Spouted||(1) Double Spouted|
|Tamper Included||Yes, Rocket Espresso Metal Tamper||Yes|
|Warranty Period||2 years||2 years|
|Coverage||Parts, Labor & Shipping Both Ways||Whatever Breville provides|
The first thing you should notice from the comparison table above is where these machines are made. The Appartamento is handmade by espresso nerd just outside Milan, Italy where the Breville is mass produced in China. This alone should give you a good idea of which machine is better build, uses higher quality materials and will last you longer. Hint - it rhymes with "Crocket".
Price is usually the #1 determining factor when purchasing anything and comparing products. The BES920XL is certainly cheaper however it won't last as long, won't create as good espresso on a consistent basis and you'll still need a grinder with both machines (another cost to consider). Sure, we'd all like to have the budget for the incredibly awesome Rocket R Nine One or GS3 but man are they expensive.
Good news is, either the Appartamento or Breville will do just fine.
Plainly put - the Breville has it, the Rocket doesn't.
PID temperature is a convenient tool that will allow you to adjust boiler temperature with the simple touch of a button. Temperature is one the two most important aspects to creating quality espresso (the other being pressure) and will have a direct affect on how your espresso tastes. Being able to adjust it easily is a great convenience.
Having dual boilers is certainly a plus. Combine that with a powerful 1700 watt heating element makes the Breville incredibly tempting given the cheaper price. Finding a dual boiler in this price range is incredibly hard.
That said, we still go back to the Appartamento and the build quality. It's just better and will last you decades if taken care of properly. The one negative review you'll consistently see on the Breville is it craps out after only a year or two. You won't experience that on a Rocket.
The Breville contains dual stainless steel boilers where the Rocket contains a single, copper boiler with heat exchanging capabilities (allowing you to brew & steam simultaneously).
Stainless steel boilers have proven to hold heat better and last longer when compared to copper.
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