Is the Rocket R58 Price Justifiable?
The machine - Rocket R58 Dual Boiler
The price - $2,800
Worth it? That's the question.
There's no denying it. The Rocket R58 price is up there. It's certainly not cheap compared to other espresso machines you can opt for. But that's not really the issue, is it? The issue, when comparing the R58 to other dual boiler espresso machines, is really whether or not the R58 price will give you more for the increased price.
There are other dual boilers out there for less. You can get a Mini Vivaldi for $1,795 ($1,005 cheaper!) or a Quick Mill QM67 for $1,995 ($805 savings). The main question you'll be asking yourself is whether or not the taste will be any different. Well, in all honesty, there is a difference if you're using the machine properly and taking the right steps to making great espresso.
Let's get technical...
|Rocket R58||La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi ii||Quick Mill QM67|
|Boiler Material||Copper||Stainless Steel||Copper|
|Casing Material||Stainless Steel||Plastic/Wood||Stainless Steel|
|Pre-Infusion||Yes, Included||Available (extra cost)||Yes|
Looking at the table above, we can easily compare the Rocket R58 and it's features to that of other, cheaper dual boilers. So, which one wins out? That just depends on what you're looking for and what you require!
Features to Pay Attention To
In reviewing the above chart, pay attention to the following factors that will absolutely have a direct effect on the taste of your espresso.
- Boiler Material - the R58 & QM67 contain dual copper boilers where the Mini Vivaldi has stainless steel - nod to Rocket and Quick Mill here.
- Pre-Infusion - a massively necessary component for making great espresso - while it's available on all three, it'll cost you extra if you want a pre-infusion chamber on the Mini Vivaldi (+ $79.95). It comes standard on the Rocket R58 and QM67
- Pump - This is the big one. The R58 contains a commercial rotary pump. The others contain a simple vibratory. Not only will the R58 be much quieter, but the consistency in pressure will be a step above it's competitors here. We put a value of at least $200 on the rotary pump.
- Group Head - R58/QM67 contain the infamous E61 heated group head where La Spaziale has their own. We love the E61 as you can't go wrong with it.
- PID - All contain dual PID. PID on the Rocket R58 is remote.
Bells & Whistles
All machines contains bells & whistles but they do vary. For example, the Rocket R58 contains a remote PID that is completely detached from the machine. Depending on what you like, this can be considered a plus or a minus. Me personally? I like then PID to be on the actual machine like the QM67 and Mini Vivaldi.
- Shot Timer - No shot timer on the R58
- Programmable - The Mini Vivaldi can be programmed for shot time. R58/QM67 can't.
- Colors - While the Rocket R58 and QM67 only come in one color (the beautiful stainless steel) the Mini Vivaldi has options. Black, red or even wood side panels! Wood will cost you an extra $400 but man do they look nice!
- Plumbable - Only the R58 can be plumbed directly to your water source. This is a feature I wish I had on my home espresso machine (I have the old Rocket Cellini PID). Believe it or not, re-filling the tank is just annoying and something I wish I didn't have to worry about. Is it worth the extra cost? I think so.
All machines are made in Italy by highly reputable manufacturers. Cliff & Pebble has built strong relationships will all of them and we're here to tell you that you really can't go wrong with any of these brands. Italian manufacturers do something others don't - they care more about the quality of their product than the quantity they sell.
Every machine is hand made with precise attention to detail. While Rocket and Quick Mill's appearance are very similar (stainless steel bodies), we applaud La Spaziale for taking a different approach. The wood especially. I mean, do we really need another Italian manufacturer making the same thing as their competitors? Probably not.
So, is the Rocket R58 Price worth it?
Back to the original question!
As discussed above, you certainly don't need to spend $2,800 if you're looking for a dual boiler. You can get one for over $1k less (La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi ii) or a highly comparable one at $1,995 (Quick Mill QM67). What we've found is that most out there who want the Rocket brand are usually willing to fork over the extra cash for it. But, if you don't care about that then the Rocket R58 price is probably not justifiable to you & we'd then recommend you opt for a Mini Vivaldi or QM67. With the money you'd be saving on a Mini Vivaldi, you could even add pre-infusion and wood panels - that would get you up to almost $2.3k - still much less than an R58!
If you need the dual copper boilers, remote PID, ability to plumb it to your water source and the commercial rotary pump - then the choice is much clearer - you need a Rocket R58.
2017 Updates to the Rocket R58 Price
Much to our dismay, Rocket announced a small increase to the Rocket R58 price in early 2017. They upped it by $50. This increase wasn't just a blind increase though. Rocket added height adjustable feet to the R58 (and most Rocket models minus the Appartamento) giving you the ability to raise or lower your machine by up to an entire inch! A very convenient feature not found on any other espresso machine we know of.