If you're comparing the Rocket Appartamento vs Rancilio Silvia, this is your guide. We're getting into the nitty-gritty details of these prosumer espresso machines to help you decide which one is right for you.
Here's what we're covering...
- Key similarities between the Rocket Appartamento and the Rancilio Silvia M.
- Which features are different and how they affect you.
- How to pick the ideal machine based on your needs.
The Rocket Appartamento is an advanced prosumer espresso machine with lever-operated brewing, automatic pre-infusion, and other features that are perfect for intermediate to expert baristas. It's the best option for the home or office if you need a machine that can brew and steam at the same time.
Rancilio Silvia M
Compact and energy-efficient, this model is an excellent choice for beginner to intermediate baristas searching for a home or office machine. Choose the Rancilio Silvia M for a pod-adaptable machine or a high-quality option on a small budget.
Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
With easy manual dosing, the Rocket Appartamento and the Rancilio Silvia M are two semiautomatic espresso machines that prosumers can hone their skills on.
Automatic and semiautomatic machines have certain advantages for the user. If you're looking for a streamlined brew process and machine-regulated consistency, an automatic machine with programmable dosing is your best bet.
But if you want full control of the brew process, semiautomatic machines like the Appartamento and the Silvia M rely on the user to decide when the brew cycle is complete. Each espresso is the product of your expertise and entirely customizable.
For this reason, semiautomatic machines are great for those will some training, but motivated beginners will quickly move up in skill on a semiautomatic.
Pour-over espresso machines like the Rocket and Rancilio models come with reservoirs that are manually refillable.
This means that you'll want to keep track of the water level in the tank and replenish it when it gets low.
While a pour-over machine is less convenient than a plumb-in model that connects directly to a water line for an automatic supply, it does offer portability—you can make an espresso in any location, regardless of proximity to a water line.
In a pour-over machine, the size of the reservoir is a big determining factor in how frequently you'll need to refill it.
With typical use, the Rocket and the Rancilio minimize this daily maintenance with high-capacity water tanks.
For a small espresso machine, the Rancilio has a large 2 liter tank that's ideal for a low-volume environment. Built with a 2.25 liter water tank, the Rocket will easily sustain a small office.
The secret to keeping your cappuccino hotter for longer is a preheated cup. You can accomplish this by adding hot water to the cup before you pull a shot, but an even simpler way is to use the cup warmer.
This is the space on the very top of the Rocket and Rancilio machines. Heated to the perfect temperature, the warming trays are combined storage areas and preheating elements for your espresso cups.
The Rocket also comes with a removable plastic cup guard to keep cups safely on top of the machine or provide more overhead room when removed.
All baristas have their preferences. If yours is a lever machine, you'll enjoy the Rocket Appartamento's lever action brewing mechanism.
Pulling a lever to start and stop extraction is about the closest you can get to a vintage manual machine method, an experience that some home baristas seek out.
Still considered a traditional operation type, the push-button brewing system on the Rancilio is incredibly approachable and user-friendly.
Both systems put the control in your hands, and both produce superb espresso.
Heat Exchanger vs Single Boiler
A crucial element that differentiates these espresso machines is the boiler type, which directly affects how you'll use the machine.
With a single boiler, the Rancilio Silvia M requires a pause between brewing and steaming functions to allow the boiler to reach the correct temperature for each.
Because the Rocket Appartamento is designed with a heat exchanger, you can brew and steam with no wait in between. A copper tube inside the boiler draws water to the group head, heating it to brew temperature while the steam temperature is maintained.
As a budget model, the Rancilio may be slower, but it's still a reliable machine that you can craft expert drinks on. But if you want to work faster, the Rocket will accommodate you.
Style and Size
Appearance shouldn't be overlooked in an espresso machine. You're making the investment, so why not choose something that both performs well and fits your style?
The Rocket and Rancilio are encased in polished stainless steel. Durable and shiny, they look elegant on your countertop. But this may be the only discernible similarity between them.
Featuring circular cutout patterns on the side panels in White or Copper and a contemporary look, the Rocket is as sleek as it is intriguing. The Rancilio has something of an industrial-minimalist look that meshes well with a wide variety of styles.
The Rancilio is also the more compact model at 13.75 inches high, 9.25 inches wide, and 11.25 inches deep. But that doesn't make the Rocket bulky. At 14.25 inches high, 10.5 inches wide, and 17 inches deep, it will fit in with small kitchen arrangements.
Rocket Appartamento E-61 Commercial Group
Temperature consistency and automatic pre-infusion are the benefits of the Rocket's E-61 commercial group.
The E-61 group keeps water moving from the boiler to the group head while the machine is idling, increasing brew temperature stability.
When you activate the brew cycle, the coffee bed will be fully immersed in water before the pump reaches full pressure to encourage uniform extraction.
With the automatic pre-infusion, you'll get more nuanced flavors in the espresso and a rewarding tasting experience.
Rocket Appartamento Boiler Pressure Gauge
Just like it sounds, the Rocket's boiler pressure gauge shows you the pressure in the boiler.
But the real advantage is in knowing exactly when your machine is up to brewing and steaming temperature.
It's especially helpful when you're in the warm-up period after turning the machine on and you're waiting to make your morning latte.
Rocket Appartamento Burn Free, Easy Steam and Hot Water
Typically, steam and hot water wands get hot—really hot. To keep your hands and arms protected, the Rocket adds no-burn wands to the Appartamento.
They'll stay cool to the touch so that you can operate them with greater confidence. And thanks to the cooler temperature of the steam wand, milk won't instantly cake onto it.
Built with non-compression valves, the Appartamento makes steaming and drawing hot water easier. In case the valves ever need replacement, they'll be more affordable than compression types.
Rocket Appartamento Low Water Sensor
Keeping track of the water tank can be tough. To make it easier, the low water sensor in the Rocket Appartamento will trigger a flashing light on the front of the machine, telling you that it's time to refill.
To safeguard the machine, when the water level gets too low, the Rocket will automatically cut the power.
Whether you're using the Rocket in a home or office environment, this feature will serve to protect your investment.
Rocket Appartamento Metal Tamper
What do baristas love about metal tampers? There's no shame in preferring the style over plastic.
Metal tampers carry a touch of professionalism that matches the machine. Functionally, the Rocket's metal tamper is well designed with a good weight balance that assists tamping with adequate pressure.
Form and function—the combination is what makes a metal tamper a favorite of many baristas.
Rancilio Silvia M Optional PID Temperature Controller
Though the Rancilio Silvia M doesn't come standard with a PID temperature controller, you can purchase it as an add-on.
A PID temperature system uses an algorithm to continually measure internal parameters for accurate temperature adjustments.
You'll be able to set the temperature to perfect your process and fine-tune the results.
Rancilio Silvia M Adjustable Expansion Valve
The Rancilio Silvia M's adjustable expansion valve allows you to set the maximum brew pressure.
This will create the opportunity to easily fix issues that are potentially throwing your extraction process off.
You can even use this feature to experiment with extraction. It's conveniently located in a surface position right by the boiler.
Rancilio Silvia M Insultated Boiler
The Rancilio is an energy-efficient machine. With a thermal wrapped boiler, hot loss is minimized and energy conservation is increased.
Due to the insulation, the boiler saves up to eight percent more energy when you put the machine in standby mode, creating an even lower eco footprint.
Rancilio Silvia M Optional Pod Kit
Often, beginner baristas practice with pods. You'll learn the basic functions of the espresso machine without having to get into dialing in the grind on an espresso grinder.
If you like the idea of using pods but retaining the ability to switch to freshly ground espresso, you're in luck.
The Rancilio Silvia M is pod-adaptable so that you can get comfortable on the machine and still have delicious espresso. When you're ready, you can change to fresh coffee at any time.
We always take your budget into consideration when we price our espresso machines here at Majesty Coffee.
Our Rocket Appartamento comes with White cutouts for $1,700 and Copper cutouts for $1,750.
We offer the Rancilio Silvia M in elegant stainless steel for $715.
So Which Should You Buy?
The question of which espresso machine you should buy comes down to your budget, skill, and preferences.
For budgets that cap at $1,000, you won't be disappointed with the Rancilio Silvia M. But if the Rocket Appartamento is in your budget, you have more wiggle room before you reach your decision.
Since the Rancilio can work with a pod kit, it may be the ideal machine for absolute beginners who feel a little intimidated by adding the espresso grinder to the mix. With an optional PID and adjustable overpressure valve, this model is anything but basic.
The Rocket isn't hard to use by any means, but the lever action does appeal more to those with some experience. The automatic pre-infusion and heat exchanger may also be better for those who expect a higher level of performance from the machine.
Altogether, they're both high-quality home machines that you can set up in a small office if you need. Consider what's more important for your office—easy espresso pods or simultaneous brewing and steaming.
The Rocket can even be good for a small restaurant that can't do without a fast espresso machine.
Lastly, think about what style you want. Aesthetics are an important part of an espresso machine, and manufacturers spend time designing models to have a very specific look.
So what's the bottom line?
The Rocket and the Rancilio models are both excellent home and office machines.
For a wider range of professional features, speed, and a vintage feel, go for the Rocket. If you're searching for a machine on a tight budget or for a beginner skill level, the Rancilio may be preferable.
For expert service and the best prices online, see the Rocket Appartamento and the Rancilio Silvia M here on Majesty Coffee...