August 11, 2017 6 Comments

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We Put The Rocket Appartamento To The Test

The Rocket Appartamento has been a massive hit since it's release not too long ago. The demand for this machine seems to do nothing but go up and up. Today, we test the Appartamento and go over all it's features, uses and discuss it's design (which is stunning, to say the least). This espresso beauty is a work of art in both design and performance. But, it does have some flaws. We go over everything in our Rocket Appartamento test.

Cliff & Pebble is an authorized USA retailer of Rocket Espresso machines. See their entire lineup of machines here > Rocket Espresso Machines


Overview of the Rocket Appartamento

Smaller Footprint

Rocket went after a couple things when designing the Appartamento - size and price. Now starting at $1,700, the Appartamento is cheaper than the previously cheapest Rocket. Additionally, the Appartamento has a much smaller footprint.rocket appartamento dimensions

Rocket Appartamento Dimensions - 10.5"W x 17"D x 14.25"H

That's about 1.5 inches narrower and almost 2 inches shorter than most Rocket Espresso Machines making the Appartamento ideal for those with limited counter space or low hanging cabinets.

"Does smaller stature mean less quality and power?" 

An emphatic NO to that question.
The Rocket Appartamento may be smaller but it still packs a serious punch. It's built with the same components as Rocket's Evoluzione line, still contains the E61 heated group head, thermosiphon system, heavy duty portafilters and a copper boiler. Unlike other Rockets, the Appartamento's boiler is not insulated. This results in the Appartamento being a tad louder but nothing to ride home about. Aside from the insulated boiler, the Appartamento also doesn't contain a rotary pump or PID like the Evos. Other than that, the Appartamento can hang with the Evoluziones no problem.





Rocket Appartamento Test - Pulling Shots

pulling shots on a rocket appartamento

As mentioned above, the Appartamento has an E61 heated group head - the best. While your machine is warming up, always make sure the portafilter is locked in place in the group head to make sure it's heated and ready to go once the machine is fully heated. 

"Since it's a heat exchanger (HX), is PID even necesary?"

The Rocket Appartamento is a heat exchanger without PID. To answer the question - no, PID isn't necessary just a conveniency. All you need to do is make sure you give your Appartamento ample time to heat up (about 25-35 minutes). Also, give it about 15-30 seconds in between shots to recoup. PID is great - just not necessary. You can always adjust boiler temperature by opening up the machine and turning some screws. Be sure to contact us before doing so as we'll walk you through how to do this so you don't void your warranty, damage your machine or more importantly - hurt yourself.

Shot Quality

Shot quality on the Appartamento is impressive. Brewing shots with this lever machine is also incredibly easy. The Appartamento, unlike other Rockets, only contains one gauge - a boiler pressure gauge. For brewing, this is great but when it comes time to steam, it's a little inconvenient not to have that gauge up there however this will only really impact you if you're someone who's going to be brewing and steaming multiple drinks in a row (being able to see your steam pressure and how quickly it recoups is nice - can't do that on the Appartamento). 

The portafilters on the Appartamento are high quality and commercial grade. You won't have to worry about these guys holding heat. Included in every Appartamento is a single and double shot portafilter along with a blind basket for cleaning. 

Rocket Appartamento Test - Steaming Milk

The Appartamento comes complete with a 1.8 liter boiler. The steam pressure is phenomenal - on par with a Rocket Evoluzione. The steam and hot water wands are no-burn (you can touch it) and the steam contains a two-hole tip system. This system makes steaming milk incredibly easy as it aims to circulate milk for you with as little work as possible on your end - a vital component to creating that perfect micro-foam.

rocket appartamento steam wand

"Will a beginner have trouble steaming milk on the Appartamento?"

Creating quality espresso and espresso-based drinks is an ongoing process that you can never really perfect. For beginners, the learning curve is of course larger however we still recommend the Rocket Appartamento the even the newest of the noobs. We'll even call the Rocket Appartamento an entry-level machine suitable for new and experienced espresso creators. 

As far as steaming milk goes, it's just something that'll take some practice and patience. The Appartamento will provide you will the necessary steam pressure but you still have to make sure the wand is in the right place. We recommend checking out as many videos as you can on Youtube to help you with your milk steaming skills. Or, give us a call! We're happy to help in any way possible!







Frequently Asked Questions

Does not having PID matter?

Not really. Because it's a heat exchanger, PID is not necessary. You can still adjust boiler temperature however you'll need to open up the machine to do so. Please contact us for instructions.

What is the gauge for? 

The gauge on the Appartamento (sole gauge) measures steam pressure. If you're looking for a machine with both a steam AND brew gauge, this is not the machine for you.

How long will it last?

Prosumer espresso machines can be compared to luxury cars. If taken care of properly, there's zero reason they can't last north of 15 years. 

What type of maintenance is required? 

Back-flushing your group head both before and after use. Purging your steam wand both before and after use. 

What about descaling? 

The manufacturer, Rocket Espresso, actually recommends against this as they feel it's impossible to fully remove descaling solution from your machine once it's in there. Eventually, it will start showing up in your drink! Alternatively, using the right type of water should rid the need for any descaling. Filtered or bottled water is preferred or an in-reservoir water filter is also an option.

Since the boiler isn't insulated, is it loud? 

While louder than other Rockets or any other machine with an insulated boiler, the Appartamento is not terribly loud. If you want quiet, opt for a machine with a rotary pump!

Can I purchase the upgraded cup rail from you?

Of course! 

Have a question that wasn't answered? Comment below, call us (800.410.8867) or email us at sales@cliffandpebble.com. We're here to help! Cliff & Pebble is an online authorized dealer of ALL Rocket Espresso products.

c-and-p-points


6 Responses

Cliff & Pebble
Cliff & Pebble

September 03, 2019

Hi Omar,

Get yourself a WEMO wifi timer on Amazon for $20 or so. Put the machine on a schedule and have it pop on well before you’re even awake! That way when you walk into the kitchen, it’ll be heated up – ready to go!

Omar
Omar

September 03, 2019

25-30mn heating time. Does that mean that you wouldn’t recommend this machine for someone who wants to kick start the day with an espresso right off the bed? Any alternative for guys who don’t have the time or who are reluctant to wake up 30mn earlier, get down to turn it on and snooze back!?!! Can’t stand my Nespresso anymore…ok don’t make fun:)

Cliff & Pebble
Cliff & Pebble

August 18, 2019

Hi Matt,

We agree with you completely and is the very reason why we include the upgraded stainless steel rail for free with every Appartamento we sell!

You can email your concerns directly to Rocket Espresso here – sales@rocket-espresso.com

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

August 18, 2019

Hi … we recently bought an Appartamento coffee machine …. sadly the plastic cup surround has already snapped …. and I am told the breakage is not covered by the warranty!

The use of flimsy plastic is not fit for purpose and in our opinion detracts from the overall experience ….. and as such Rocket should consider the design of their surrounds more carefully

Not that I have a Ferrarri but I image its akin to driving one, only to find the wipers belong to a Toyota!

I would be grateful if you pass on my feedback regarding the Appartamento plastic cup surround

Thanking you in advance

Cliff & Pebble
Cliff & Pebble

April 04, 2019

Hi Richard! It’s not normal but most likely isn’t defective. It probably just came loose during shipping, is leaking and needs to be adjusted. I’d contact the dealer you purchased from – they should be able to help you out or determine if a new gauge is necessary.

Richard Weremczuk
Richard Weremczuk

April 04, 2019

My boiler pressure valve has steamed up on the inside is the normal or is the valve defective
The machine is only a few days old

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