Rocket Appartamento vs Breville Dual Boiler

Shopping for a home espresso machine? We're comparing the Rocket Appartamento vs Breville Dual Boiler to provide you with all the details you need to get closer to your decision.

ROCKET APPARTAMENTO VS BREVILLE DUAL BOILER

Here's what we're going to cover in this guide...

  • Similar features on the Rocket Appartamento and Breville Dual Boiler.
  • Key differences between these espresso machines and what they mean for you.
  • Advice on which machine to pick based on your needs, preferences, and skill.

Quick Summary

Rocket Appartamento

Rocket Appartamento Espresso Machine

This high-end semiautomatic machine delivers cafe-style espresso drinks with an E-61 commercial group, automatic pre-infusion, and robust steam power. It's the best choice for intermediate to expert baristas looking for a long-lasting home or office machine with unique style.

Breville Dual Boiler

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

This prosumer espresso machine is designed with commercial parts to create a professional barista experience and equally professional results. It's ideal for beginner to expert home baristas on a smaller budget.

Similarities

1 Group

A basic but important similarity between the Rocket Appartamento and the Breville Dual Boiler is the single-group design.

If you're shopping for a home espresso machine, one group is the standard. Espresso machines with two or more groups are intended for medium to high volume businesses.

But this doesn't mean that single-group machines can't be used in a commercial setting. Depending on the model, a single-group machine can be ideal for a business with low volume espresso sales.

Pour-Over Espresso Machine

The Rocket and Breville models come with water tanks that the user manually replenishes when the water levels get low.

While these pour-over machines don't offer an automatic water supply like a direct-connect machine that plumbs into a water line, they do offer mobility.

You can use a pour-over machine anywhere—you don't need to place it near a water source. If this is an important element of your next espresso machine, the Rocket and Breville are great options to consider.

Pre-Infusion

To maximize the flavor potential of any type of coffee, pre-infusion is just about indispensable.

Pre-infusion refers to an initial stage in the brewing process where the coffee bed is fully immersed in water before the pump builds full pressure.

Because the coffee is evenly saturated for a certain period of time, the subtle flavors are better extracted.

The Rocket comes with automatic pre-infusion while the Breville's pre-infusion is programmable.

Low Water Detection

When you have a pour-over machine, it's nice to have indicators that alert you to the water level inside the reservoirs.

When the reservoir is running too low, a green light on the front of the Rocket will start to flash, communicating that it's time to refill.

The Breville will also let you know when it's time to replenish the reservoir via a signal on the LCD screen.

Key Differences

Heat Exchanger vs Double Boiler

Inside the Rocket and Breville models are different boiler systems. Though they're built differently, they have the same aim, which is to allow the user to pull a shot and steam milk for a cappuccino at the same time.

The Rocket's 1.8 liter heat exchange boiler consists of a single boiler with a tube running through it, drawing water from the tank to the brew group and heating it to the ideal brew temperature. 

While the Rocket achieves simultaneous brewing and steaming temperatures with a heat exchanger, the Breville accomplishes this with two separate boilers. One is dedicated to steaming and one is dedicated to brewing.

Both types of systems are commonly found in commercial espresso machines, giving you all the power you need to make drinks quickly and efficiently.

Style

Right off the bat, you can see big differences between these machines. The Rocket has a high-luster 304 stainless steel casing while the Breville comes in brushed stainless steel.

As far as gadgetry goes, the Rocket showcases traditional turning hot water and steam valves and a manual dosing lever. The Breville has an LCD display with push-button controls and a push-pull steam trigger.

Does a snazzy appearance capture your imagination? The Rocket is going to be a challenge to beat. It has a bolder personality and unique circular cutouts on the side panels with your choice of White or Copper inserts.

Overall, the Rocket maintains more of a classic espresso machine look with a modern twist. The Breville is a clean-cut machine, albeit less exciting than the Rocket.

Semiautomatic vs Volumetric

A semiautomatic espresso machine like the Rocket Appartamento places more control in the user's hands. 

To begin brewing on this lever-operated machine, the lever connected to the brew group is pulled into the "on" position. The user then determines when the correct espresso volume and timing have been achieved and returns the lever to the "off" position.

The Breville Dual Boiler is a volumetric espresso machine, which means that the user can program the machine to measure out a specific dose. Pushing the brew button activates the programming and delivers the same volume each time.

Whereas the Rocket allows for more on-the-fly customization and flexibility, the Breville creates automatic consistency from shot to shot.

Steam Power

Despite the fact that the Breville has a decent-sized steam boiler (approximately one liter), the steam production isn't quite as powerful as what you'll get with the Rocket.

The Rocket steams quickly, which you would notice if you were to test these machines one after the other.

Aside from faster steaming, the Rocket also creates incredibly silky microfoam for fluffy cappuccino milk.

Pressure Gauges

Depending on what type of pressure gauge your espresso machine comes with, you'll have greater access to data that can help you operate the machine.

As the name implies, the Rocket's boiler pressure gauge will show you the pressure inside the boiler. What this translates to is an indicator of when the machine is ready to brew and steam, which is particularly helpful when it's just booting up in the morning.

The Breville's brew pressure gauge displays the amount of pressure the pump is building when brewing. If you're not reaching the recommended nine bars of pressure, it's usually a sign that you should take a closer look at your brew ratio. 

Dimensions

What many home setups need is a compact machine. Other kitchen appliances and smaller counter spaces can leave little room for a new piece of equipment.

Fortunately, the Rocket is a petite machine. Measuring 14.25 inches high, 10.5 inches wide, and 17 inches deep, it can be tucked underneath cabinets and between other appliances with ease.

The Breville is a little bit larger at 15 inches high, 16.25 inches wide, and 15 inches deep.

To make sure that your kitchen can accommodate the espresso machine you want, taking accurate measurements of your counter space is a must.

Rocket Appartamento E-61 Commercial Group

The Rocket's E-61 commercial group is the mechanism that generates automatic pre-infusion and improves brewing performance.

This group is specially designed to stay warm by circulating water from the boiler to the group on a continuous loop. 

Between the automatic pre-infusion and increased brew temperature stability, it's not hard to see why baristas love the classic E-61 group.

Rocket Appartamento No Burn Hot Water and Steam Arms

Ever been burned accidentally touching the steam wand while cleaning it? You'll be happy to know that Rocket installs no-burn hot water and steam arms on the Appartamento.

These wands stay cool to the touch to make cleaning and general machine operation safer.

An extra benefit is that milk won't instantly cake onto the steam wand, so you'll have an easier time removing the residues.

Rocket Appartamento Cup Warmer Rail

Rocket equips the Appartamento with a plastic cup guard that keeps cups from sliding off the warmer in case the machine is jostled.

The cup guard is also removable, a convenience factor that makes for easier access while cleaning.

It can also reduce the total height of the Appartamento just a tad, but just enough to fit under a low-hanging cabinet in some situations.

Rocket Appartamento Metal Tamper

Do you prefer plastic or metal tampers? If the answer is metal tampers, you'll appreciate that Rocket provides one with the Appartamento.

Metal tampers are weightier. This is an advantage for tamping—getting the correct amount of pressure can be tricky. 

Moreover, a metal tamper just looks nice. There's something about it that gives that polished, professional appeal.

Breville Dual Boiler Manual Dosing Option

In case you'd miss the dosing control of a semiautomatic machine, the Breville comes with a manual dosing button.

This option provides the opportunity to brew on autopilot or pull longer or shorter shots on demand.

Flexible dosing options are great for all skill levels. Beginners may start with the volumetric dosing button and slowly graduate to manual dosing as they gain more confidence in their craft.

Breville Dual Boiler PID

The way the Breville Dual Boiler does temperature stability is through a PID controller.

Generally, PID controllers employ an algorithm to monitor and regulate a system. The Breville's PID controller lets you set the machine temperature.

This can give you some flexibility for experimentation if you're interested in manually adjusting the temperature for different outcomes.

Breville Dual Boiler Automated Cleanings

At the end of the day, thoroughly cleaning your espresso machine is a vital step. With automated cleanings, the Breville makes this task simpler.

Instead of manually backflushing in the cleaning process, you can push a button and allow the machine to perform backflushing for you.

Price Considerations

At Majesty Coffee, we're always looking out for your budget when we price our espresso equipment.

We offer the Rocket Appartamento with White circular cutouts for $1,700 and Copper cutouts for $1,750.

We do not currently carry the Breville Dual Boiler, but at this time you can find it online in the $1,200 to $1,300 range.

So Which Should You Buy?

When it comes down to it, the Rocket and Breville are both well-designed prosumer models that highlight different advantages.

With an E-61 commercial group and no-burn hot water and steam wands, the Rocket provides intermediate to expert baristas the freedom and creativity of manual dosing with user-friendly features.

The Breville, on the other hand, has impressive functions like PID temperature adjustment, dual volumetric and manual dosing, and automatic cleanings.

In short—it's the more automated machine that can be easier to approach for beginners but advanced enough to appeal to the more expert home baristas.

But what the Rocket has going for it is longevity. It's a solid machine that reviewers praise for its durability.

And if you're looking for a machine for a business environment like an office, the Rocket is the way to go. The Breville's job is to bring commercial functionality to your home kitchen.

To recap—

The Rocket can suit an office or home setup while the Breville is more suited to home kitchens.

Not sure which machine to pick? Consider budget, style, size, and your brew preferences. Each model is made to accommodate certain preferences and skills, which can guide you toward your ultimate decision.

For the best price online, check out the Rocket Appartamento here on Majesty Coffee...

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