In this guide, we're taking a deep dive into the Rocket Appartamento vs ECM Mechanika Slim comparison. You'll discover the ins and outs of these home espresso machines to help you get closer to a decision.
Here's what we're going to cover...
- Which features are similar on the Rocket Appartamento and ECM Mechanika V Slim.
- Key differences between these espresso machines and what they mean for you.
- What to consider when choosing between these models for your home or office.
This premium home or office espresso machine is built to delight the prosumer with automatic pre-infusion, a heat exchange boiler, and a lever action brew group. It's perfect if you're looking for distinguished style and a traditional barista experience.
ECM Mechanika Slim
With a similar old school appeal and professional features, this lever-operated machine is another great option for the prosumer's home or office kitchen. If you're looking for an ergonomic portafilter design and dual pressure gauges, this one may be for you.
Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
Nothing gives you control of the brew process in today's espresso machine market like a semiautomatic machine.
With lever-operated brewing, the Rocket Appartamento and ECM Mechankia V Slim are fully controlled by the user and deliver a nostalgic element many home baristas crave.
Simply push the lever into the "on" and "off" positions to brew. Since you're determining when to stop the brew cycle, you'll need a certain amount of training, but you'll get to customize each and every shot to your liking.
E-61 Brew Group
Built with an E-61 brew group, the Rocket and ECM models offer enhanced brew temperature stability and automatic pre-infusion.
Per design, water circulating between the boiler and the group on a continuous loop keeps the brew temperature within optimal range.
With automatic pre-infusion, the coffee will be immersed in water before the pump reaches full pressure, giving it a chance to bloom in the group head.
When the espresso reaches your cup, the flavors will be more fully developed. You'll be impressed with the results.
Pour-Over Machine Type
Unlike plumbed-in machines that connect directly to a water supply, the Rocket and ECM come with reservoirs that you'll need to refill when they get low.
While you will need to keep an eye on the water tank, a pour-over machine does give you the freedom to take it anywhere.
Some home baristas choose pour-over machines for practicality's sake if they can't set them up near a water line.
Just remember to use filtered water and descale the water tanks frequently!
Heat Exchange Boilers
With heat exchange boilers, these espresso machines are fully capable of brewing espresso and steaming milk at the same time.
This is because heat exchange boilers keep the steam and brew temperatures separate. They're built with tubes running through them that siphon water to the brew group and heat it to perfect brewing temperature.
These are classic boiler types in both home and commercial espresso machines. For best results, it's recommended that you flush the brew group a little before pulling a shot to ensure that the temperature is always optimal.
Style and Size
At a quick glance, it's almost difficult to tell these machines apart. Between the stainless steel case, twist steam and hot water valves, and E-61 lever group, they seem to follow the same sort of design template.
On the other hand, the Rocket Appartamento's circular cutout pattern on the side panels makes it distinctive—the ECM's side panels are plain.
Both of these machines have a sleek look that strikes a nice balance between vintage and modern aesthetics.
Low Water Sensor
You don't have to guess what's going on with the water tank in the Rocket and ECM. They'll alert you to a low water level with a flashing light on the front of the machines.
As a precaution, the machines will also cut the power in the event that the water level gets too low.
Ultimately, these functions help to protect your investment. In an office environment, they can also be helpful where more than one person is using the machine and the water tank isn't being closely monitored.
No Burn Articulating Steam Wand
The steam wands on the Rocket and ECM come with a full range of rotation, which means that you can better angle your pitcher to aerate the milk and promote even heat distribution.
As insulated no-burn steam wands, they'll remain cool to the touch to reduce the risk of burning you accidentally.
Cleaning the steam wands will also be easier since milk residues won't stick to them as quickly.
Boiler Pressure Gauge
A boiler pressure gauge does exactly what it sounds like—it shows you the pressure in the machine's boiler.
However, its everyday function is more nuanced than that. By checking this gauge, you'll be able to tell when the machine is up to temperature to brew and steam.
A device like this is especially helpful when you're just turning the machine on and waiting for it to warm up.
Cup Warmer with Removable Guard
Using the cup warmers on top of the Rocket and ECM ensures that your lattes will stay hotter for longer.
Preheated cups hold the temperature of a hot drink more effectively than cold cups. This is why baristas will fill empty cups with hot water, or retrieve cups from the warmer area when making customer beverages.
You'll also get a removable cup guard around the warmer so that machine bumps won't send the cups flying.
And if you need a little extra space above the machine for storage, you can always remove the cup guard entirely.
Copper vs Stainless Steel Boiler
Copper and stainless steel present their own unique properties that can benefit the boiler system in different ways.
Due to its copper material, the Rocket's boiler has natural heat conducting capabilities and is antimicrobial, promoting better sanitation.
The stainless steel material that the ECM's boiler is made out of is durable and has the potential to last for a long time when properly taken care of.
Both are high in quality, adding to the overall value and longevity of the machines.
The ECM's 2.2 liter boiler is a tad bigger than the Rocket's 1.8 liter boiler, but these are both ample sizes for home machines that provide plenty of power.
You'll find that steaming milk on the Rocket and ECM is quick and easy. The ECM may have a little more steam power from its slightly larger boiler, but not much.
Without a doubt, these machines should do well in a home or office environment.
Rocket Appartamento Non-Compression Valves
The Rocket Appartamento's non-compression valves provide smooth sailing when you're steaming milk.
Baristas appreciate them because they're easy to use, and espresso machine owners find that they're not as expensive to replace if this is ever necessary.
Rocket Appartamento Metal Tamper
Included with the Rocket Appartamento is a metal tamper (the ECM comes with a plastic tamper).
Metal tampers are favored by many professional baristas for their quality. They typically provide the necessary weight for applying the appropriate pressure when tamping, and they're made to last.
You may also prefer a metal tamper simply for the style. When you have a gorgeous stainless steel espresso machine, a metal tamper is the matching accessory.
ECM Mechanika V Slim Brew Pressure Gauge
Along with the boiler pressure gauge, a brew pressure gauge is incorporated into the ECM Mechanika V Slim.
This gauge allows you to monitor the pressure generated by the pump when you're brewing espresso. Acting as a guide, it can help you determine whether you need to adjust your brew ratio.
ECM Mechanika V Slim Angled Portafilters
A special feature that increases the ECM Mechanika V Slim's user friendliness is its angled portafilter.
When the portafilter is resting in the group head, you'll see that it's tilted slightly downward. This is a more ergonomic design that feels intuitive for the barista.
At Majesty Coffee, we're dedicated to providing our customers with first-rate espresso equipment at affordable prices.
Our Rocket Appartamento comes with White side panel cutouts for $1,700 and Copper cutouts for $1,750.
At this time we do not offer the ECM Mechanika V Slim, but you can find it online in the $1,800 to $1,900 range.
So Which Should You Buy?
As high-end home or office espresso machines, the Rocket Appartamento and ECM Mechanika V Slim can be hard to choose between for aficionados.
With E-61 groups, articulating steam wands, and lever-operated brewing, they're suitable for intermediate to expert home baristas who want more of a traditional experience.
The ergonomic portafilters with the ECM may appeal to some while the Rocket's non-compression valves may be a winning feature for others.
Since these machines are essentially in the same price range, budget is probably less of a deciding factor.
Style might be something to consider, however. If you're looking for a unique design, the Rocket's side panel cutouts could fit your lifestyle better. On the other hand, the simpler side panels on the ECM fit in with many different types of decor.
What's the bottom line?
Style and feature preferences will likely determine which machine works best for you. Because these models are so similar, there's a good chance that you'll be delighted with either one.
For the best price online, see the Rocket Appartamento here on Majesty Coffee...