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.
Rocket went after a couple things when designing the Appartamento - size and price. Coming in at $1,550, the Appartamento is a cool $449 cheaper than the previously cheapest Rocket. Additionally, the Appartamento has a much smaller footprint.
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?"
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.
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 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.
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.
"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!
This machine is a stunner. A true beauty.
If this is your first glance upon the Appartamento, you'll quickly notice something different - those circles on the side panel!
Available in copper (well, they really look bronze in person) or white, the Rocket Appartamento will instantly become the centerpiece of your kitchen that'll yield endless compliments and questions of where you got it.
Sorry every other machine out there on the market, including other Rockets, the Appartamento wins our best looking award for 2017 - this thing is just beautiful.
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