Searching for a Rocket espresso machine for your home or your business? In this article, we're comparing the Rocket Appartamento vs R58 and reporting on all the details to help you figure out which is the better fit.
We're going to cover...
- The features the Rocket Appartamento and the R58 have on common.
- Which features are different on these models and what it means for you.
- Advice on choosing the espresso machine that meets your needs.
This semiautomatic model's circular cutouts give any home kitchen, office, or small business a modern look. It's perfect if you want a stylish machine and a professional barista experience with simpler operation.
The R58 adds features like PID temperature control and plumbing options to gear it toward the commercial environment. This is the best machine for expert home baristas and busy small businesses.
Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
As semiautomatic espresso machines, the Rocket Appartamento and R58 offer baristas greater control.
Whereas automatic machines measure out a precise amount of water for the espresso, semiautomatic machines depend on the operator to stop the brew cycle for accurate measurements and timing.
This requires some skill, but there's plenty of room for creativity. You'll gain the ability to brew longer or shorter shots on demand.
Dosing on the Rocket machines is done via lever, which adds a distinctive analog feeling to the process that many enthusiasts prefer.
Able to produce 20 espressos per hour, these Rocket espresso machines are adaptable for the home user and small business professional.
With a single group, they're perfect for a small office staff, providing cafe style drinks all day long.
Even in a small restaurant, one of these models can be ideal for low-volume but steady espresso drink orders.
E-61 Commercial Group
Simply put, the E-61 commercial group alone puts these machines in an upper tier of home and small businesses models.
This group is designed to keep water circulating from the boiler to the group head, maintaining brew temperature consistency.
Another feature of the E-61 group is automatic pre-infusion, which pre-wets the coffee bed in the group head to allow for more even extraction. The result is a better tasting espresso with more of its flavor characteristics developed.
These Rockets are built with non-compression hot water and steam valves. This makes using the hot water spigot and milk steaming functions smoother and easier.
A bonus is that non-compression valves are more affordable than their compression counterparts to replace.
Low Water Sensor
Espresso machines with water tanks like the Rocket Appartamento and R58 require manual refilling. That's where the low water sensor comes in handy.
Often, it's hard to tell when a pour-over machine's tank is running low. Conveniently, the low water sensor detects the water level for easier operation.
If there's more than one person making lattes on the espresso machine throughout the day, this sensor will be especially helpful.
From the outside, you could easily mistake the Rocket Appartamento and R58 for one another.
Encased in durable 304 stainless steel, these shiny machines have the same boxy shape, industrial-elegant look and twist-turn valves.
The key aesthetic difference is the Appartamento's circular cutouts on the side panels that come in White and Copper.
Otherwise, these models could almost be twins.
No Burn Hot Water and Steam Wands
Traditionally, hot water and steam arms reach temperatures that can easily burn you're not careful.
The Rocket models' wands remain cool to the touch so that you can more safely clean them throughout the day.
Because the steam arm stays cool, it will deter milk from sticking, which means easier cleaning, too.
Why do baristas love metal tampers? Because they're classic, for one thing.
The Rocket models come with metal tampers that give a professional feel to the experience for prosumers and experts.
Metal tampers are also known to produce optimal espresso as they usually have the right weight and design for correct tamping.
Heat Exchange vs Dual Boiler
The Rocket Appartamento's heat exchanger and the R58's dual boiler system have the same purpose: to allow the user to brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.
The Appartamento's heat exchange boiler has a separate internal compartment and a tube that draws water to the brew head, heating it to the perfect brew temperature. This is how the machine is able to keep the brew and steam temperatures separate.
The R58's dual boiler system manages brew and steam temperatures simultaneously in separate boilers.
Both boiler systems are made with copper, which provides energy efficiency as a natural heat conductor. It's also antimicrobial to reduce bacterial growth.
Vibratory vs Rotary Pump
Thanks to the rotary pump, the Rocket R58 is a quiet machine. Aside from quiet operation, the benefit of a rotary pump is a long lifetime.
The Appartamento is built with a vibratory pump. This is usually a little louder than a rotary pump (though not typically to a distracting degree).
However, the vibe pump is smaller and easier to replace should this ever be necessary, and also less expensive.
The boiler pressure gauge in the Rocket Appartamento will show you the pressure in the boiler. How this translates for you is as a quick and easy indicator of when the machine is ready to brew and steam.
You'll get a boiler pressure gauge with the Rocket R58 as well as a group pressure gauge, which can help you assess your espresso process.
If you find that the group pressure gauge reads an inadequate level, it's likely a sign that you need to make alterations to your brew ratio.
And if the pump were to ever need replacement, this gauge could also serve as an indicator. In this way, the group pressure gauge is a multipurpose maintenance tool.
Rocket R58 Plumbing Options
One of the R58's biggest differentiating factors is the inclusion of plumbing options.
Both the R58 and Appartamento function as pour-over espresso machines with manually refillable water tanks. Pour-over machines offer portability as they can function away from a water line.
But the R58 can also be plumbed into a water line for an automatic supply. For businesses, this often means that the customer line won't slow down if the tank needs refilling.
But even home users and offices can benefit from the pour-over function. Installing a water softener to reduce scale buildup is made simple to reduce maintenance headaches.
Rocket R58 PID Temperature Controller
From tamping to temperature, consistency is key for producing the best espresso each and every time.
The R58's PID controller is a thermal regulation unit. Based on an algorithm that continuously calculates variables, the PID system maintains temperature consistency.
You can adjust the group and steam boiler temperatures in the R58 with an external control box with multiple language settings.
At Majesty Coffee, we price our espresso machines with care in order to bring you premium technology at an affordable price.
Our Rocket Appartamento is available with White cutouts for $1,700 and with Copper cutouts for $1,750. Our Rocket R58 is available in classic stainless steel for $3,000.
So Which Should You Buy?
Home users, offices, and small restaurants are all in a position to benefit from both the Rocket Appartamento and R58.
But because the R58 comes with a plumbed-in option, it may be the more ideal choice for commercial use.
The R58's PID feature may also be what the expert prosumer needs in a home espresso machine.
The Appartamento is excellent for anyone looking for an authentic experience on the professional level, but with more straightforward operation without the extras.
Bottom line: The espresso quality is equally stellar with either of these machines—the R58 simply offers a little more versatility while the Appartamento makes an excellent "base" model with high-end, easy-to-use features.
For quality service and the best prices online, see the Rocket Appartamento and R58 here on Majesty Coffee…