August 23, 2013

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Kit Review - Rocket Giotto Premium Plus V2

Overview

The Rocket Giotto Premium Plus V2 is a mix of beautiful Italian craftsmanship and advanced technology, which delivers consistently amazing espresso with style. It's a fantastic machine for home, office or a low volume commercial setting such as a bar or restaurant. 

In the world of HX espresso machines, the Premium Plus is up there with the best of them. It has an amazing build quality, including a commercial grade E61 group, a cool to touch steam wand and separate hot water tap, allowing the machine to be used for teas and Americano coffees alongside espresso, cappuccino and latte.

At £1199.00 the Giotto Premium Plus V2 comes in around the upper-middle to top end of HX machines. If you are looking for a machine that delivers on quality, but does not scrimp on style, this is the machine for you.

Initial Impressions
Arriving in a beautifully designed box featuring the Rocket Espresso Milano logo, the machine is well packaged, and packed at the top and bottom with a layer of foam. The box also contains a smaller box of accessories such as the portafilters, drip tray, cup warmer surround, single and double baskets and user manual. Removing this box reveals the espresso machine wrapped in clear plastic, and is easily lifted out by gripping the sturdy E61 group head and rear of the machine. All of our Rocket machines have been equipped with UK plugs at our request, so all that is needed to setup is to plug the machine in and fill the water tank.

First switch on
The Rocket Giotto Premium Plus automatically fills and refills the 1.8l boiler from its 2.9l Internal Water Reservoir when first switched on. This takes around 1 minute and 30 seconds, and then the heating element switches on and proceeds to quietly heat the water within the boiler.

The Anti Vac valve starts to whistle, then closes at around 8 minutes as steam is starting to be created, meaning the water temperature is around 100°C. Water in the boiler will be heated to around 120°C to create steam; with the Heat Exchanger(HX)/Thermosyphon system present in the machine cooling the brew water to around 94°C when pulling a shot of espresso.

Is it ready yet?
At 10 minutes and 30 seconds the boiler pressure gauge is reading 1.1BAR and the element clicks off. Although the water is hot enough for steam and espresso, we would recommend leaving the machine on for a further 5 minutes in order to maintain a stable brewing temperature. This also allows the E61 group and the attached portafilter to warm up and retain heat, creating consistent espresso shots.

Espresso please!
The Giotto was easy to dial in, and the built-in preinfusion makes the machine very forgiving of grind size, distribution and tamping techniques. When you flip the lever on the group to pull a shot, the pump engages and allows water to infuse with the ground coffee at a lower pressure (4BAR) for around 7 seconds (depends on grind setting) then quickly ramps up to 9BAR and extracts the espresso. Our first shot pulled a little quickly at 18 seconds, but a notch finer on the grinder and slightly firmer tamp gave us a lovely rich 25 second shot. The vibe pump is fairly quiet due to the solid build quality.

Milk?
The steam pressure on this machine is perfect for the volumes of milk that can be expected at home. It’s a two-holed steam tip, with 6oz of milk taking around 25 seconds to heat to 60°C, and the final milk texture was very silky and easy to pour. As the machine uses a Heat Exchanger (HX), it can pull shots and steam milk simultaneously with ease, and the insulated steam wand is cool to the touch, avoiding burns.



How does it feel?
The handles and levers are finished to a really high quality, functioning with a smooth, quiet action.

Nice Bits…

Water Reservoir

The water feed is located at the bottom of the tank at a sealed valve, as opposed to hoses which drop in to the tank and pull the water out, meaning that when the pump activates to refill the boiler or to pull a shot, it draws the water directly from the bottom of the water tank. This makes removing and replacing the water tank very quick and easy.

 

Drip tray

While the drip tray on the Rocket machines isn’t as sizeable as the 1.5l tray on the Expobar, it makes up for it in fitment. The Rocket has one of the best drip tray fitments we’ve seen and it makes a difference- the tray slides out from the machine on its rails, and is easily replaced in the same way.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Giotto Premium Plus V2 is a fantastic machine both in terms of quality and style. It's layout and build are up there with many commercial machines, plus it's E61 group delivers consistently amazing temperature stability. Out of all of the HX machines we've tested to date, the Premium Plus wins hands down.

Contact us to arrange a demo or for more information: info@machina-espresso.co.uk / 0131 629 0998


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2 Comments


Masda
Masda

December 09, 2014

Outstanding post however I was wondering if you could write a little more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it!


Brooke
Brooke

November 23, 2014

Thanks for sharing this. Was looking for this info all over the web.

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