Rocket introduces its Giotto Premium Plus Espresso Machine with PID. Rocket has earned a favorable reputation in the espresso market by its standard-setting machines meticulously hand-made in Milan, Italy. Prosumers will enjoy exciting features such as a beautiful stainless steel construction, the famous E61 grouphead with thermosiphon system and dual pre-infusion, an insulated copper boiler with heat-exchanger and a controllable PID for precise temperature control.
UNIQUE, STAINLESS STEEL DESIGN
As with all Rocket espresso machines, this unit looks as impressive as it functions. Constructed of durable stainless steel with a uniquely designed shape, the Rocket will bring sophistication to your kitchen.
E61 GROUPHEAD WITH THERMO-SIPHON SYSTEM FOR HEAT STABILITY
Heat stability is the name of the game to producing the perfect espresso with that luscious, caramelly crema and Rocket has taken extensive measures to optimize this. This machine has the esteemed E61 grouphead and it is a whopping 9 pounds of solid chrome plated-brass and is located close to the boiler to soak up and maintain radiant heat for ultimate temperature stability. Rocket has included a thermo-siphon system to heighten the consistency. This system allows for 20% greater water-volume capacity than its counterparts.
DUAL PRE-INFUSION SYSTEM
A specially designed pre-infusion system ensures a superior extraction. Rocket has upped the ante by integrating a dual pre-infusion system with a progressively working piston and a static pre-infusion chamber.
LEVER-ACTION SEMI-AUTOMATIC OPERATION
Operation on the Giotto Premium Plus is very straight-forward, users must simply pull up on the lever to start the brew and pull down to stop.
EFFICIENT HEAT-EXCHANGING COPPER BOILER
Rocket’s commitment to heat retention is evident in the careful construction of the boiler system. The 1.8 liter boiler is composed of pure copper (Cu 99.9%) with two lead-free, heavy brass end plates. The copper material is superior at heat retention. Rocket has also wrapped the boiler in heavy insulation which improves thermal stability up to 30% verse comparable systems.
PID CONTROL FOR PRECISION TEMPERATURE ADJUSTMENT
To protect the classical aesthetics this machine boasts, Rocket has hidden the PID temperature control inside the drip tray. Simply slide out the drip tray to reveal the digital display. Holding down the left arrow allows the user to enter program mode where the up and down arrows can be used to make precise adjustments to the temperature. Holding down the right arrow turns the boiler off. Please note the display only reads in Celsius, however, the instruction manual contains a handy conversion chart for converting to Fahrenheit.
DOUBLE GAUGES FOR PUMP AND BOILER PRESSURE
Many espresso machines have one pressure gauge that has two arrows indicating the pressure of the pump and the boiler, this can be confusing for users who only have a brief moment to glance at the gauge while extracting or steaming. Rocket has solved this common problem by included two dedicated gauges for easy, quick visualization.
ANTI-BURN STAINLESS STEEL STEAM WAND AND HOT WATER WAND
The Giotto Premium Plus is equipped with two wands, one for steam and the other for hot water. Both are constructed from stainless steel and are multi-directional. A nice feature on this unit is the insulation built into the steam wand to prevent dried milk build up. Though the wand is insulated, it is not cool-touch so users should use the grip and exercise caution when touching the wand after use. To control the output, users simply must turn the ergonomic knob.
REMOVABLE WATER RESERVOIR
Located towards the back of this machine is a removable 98 ounce water tank. The lid to the tank is separate from the cup warmer so users will not have to clear cups off to remove and refill/clean the tank.
Located on the top of this machine is a passively heated cup warming surface. As mentioned previously, maintaining temperature consistency is absolutely critical to creating the best brew. Extracting the espresso into a cold cup will compromise the flavor, so Rocket has included this cup warming surface to pre-warm cups to preserve and maintain heat.
Posted by Barrett on 1st Mar 2016
I initially started shopping around online for this machine once I made my decision on which machine I wanted. Ran across espressooutlet.net and asked for the best price. Loved the price so I went with it. I spoke with Joe Kolb himself via email regarding some questions I had about this machine and brand. He verified that yes they are authorized dealers of Rocket as well as all their machines. My experience with the company has been great.
The machine itself, its an amazing and beautiful espresso machine. I had an approximately $300 stainless machine for quite a few years now. It was time for an upgrade and I did not want to take small steps as I knew where I would eventually end up at, a Rocket. Packaging was top notch, opened the package and the top box contained two portafilters, a single and double, as well as a blind basket for back washing the machine. The tamper is quite nice, most machines even the expensive ones come with a cheap plastic tamper usually. This came with a nice machined aluminum flat bottomed rocket tamper. Couple odds and ends brushes, a micro fiber cloth, lexan cup warmer tray, DVD, etc. Pulled the machine out of the box, its a heavy one so be prepared. The machine came packaged in nice foam with a micro fiber dust cover around the machine with the rocket logo.
I set up the machine, laid the drip tray in place, filled up the water tank and turned it on. At first the PID was a bit intimidating as its in Deg C rather than Deg F. The chart in my opinion did not think made the most sense in the book. Long story short, dont mess with it at first. It is set at 120 deg C which is about 248 deg F. The PID controls boiler temperature, not brew head temperature, so adjusting your boiler temperature might be something you will want to do later once you get used to everything else, but it comes ready to go in terms of getting started. All in all the PID is a much better temperature controller than older methods with wider temperature swings. It stands for "proportional integral derivative controller" and has been used in the beer, wine, and food industries for many years as well as many other industries requiring a less expensive self contained IO temperature controller. Once set there isn't much of a need to adjust the temp.
With this machine I recommend flushing the water out of the lines to get the hottest water to the brew head, I flush into a cup or the trip tray, fill a basket, tamp, and lock into the brew head. This machine has the ability to pre-infuse, so water can run into the portafilter but the pump will not turn on. Flip the lever all the way to activate the pump and pull a shot. By my third cup I was getting amazing looking espresso even though my grind and tamp wasn't fine tuned. What was bitter in my old machine had so much more character and smoothness that I was only getting from the coffee shops. The steam wand is powerful, I can get milk up to temp in 8-10 seconds while simultaneously pulling a shot, something that I could not do previously at the same time, and steaming took roughly 30 seconds on my old machine.
Features I have come to appreciate once I got past the learning curve are the two gauges on the front of the machine. The boiler gauge, although it just shows pressure, lets me know when the machine is ready to go and hot. The brew head pressure gauge has been amazing for dialing in my grind and tamp. One thing I bought was a Reg Barber tamper with a euro curve bottom and I believe it has improved my shots substantially. I also bought a big package of micro fiber cloths so that this nice shiny machine does not get scratches.
Quality and craftsmanship is 5 star
Ease of use is honestly 5 star once you get past a learning curve, for me I have been using cheaper machines for 15 years so it didn't take long. If this is your first, expect some frustration, but that's fine because you will learn quick with videos and trial and error.
Value/price I would say is 4.5 stars. Its expensive... and this is one of the less expensive Rocket machines. The thing is you get what you pay for in the end which is going to be the center point of your kitchen that stands out and looks beautiful. Its hand made, and the attention to detail and quality is top notch.
All prices are in USD