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Thank you so much to Espresso Unplugged. I ordered this on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived today! (Wednesday)
I have used a friends machine before, so I knew what I was expecting with the ROK, and I used it as soon as I got home. I could not be happier with this purchase.
Admittedly, it did take a bit of experimentation, on my part, to finally achieve that perfect double shot with crema, with a number of different espresso roasts . . .
One thing that I would highly recommend, is to only use enough boiling water to reach or just exceed the metal ring -- surrounding the water reservoir -- by a centimeter or two, since the bulk of the crema accumulates toward the end of a successful pull. Another suggestion, would be to use filtered or RO water to improve the taste and crema production, especially if your local tap water is very high in minerals (ours was north of TDS 275 ppm, on a local well); and that is also a real factor. Most of the readily-available YouTube instructional videos suggest nearly flooding the reservoir; and that was an early mistake that I too made. Instead, pre-pump it lightly few times, to gain some resistance; allow the beans to be infused by the hot water in the portafilter; then, slowly draw the arms down. It may take a second pump to yield that double shot.
In terms of coffee weight, I eventually settled upon 15 grams as about ideal, for my tastes, though have also tried between 14 and 18 grams -- that latter weight, having being recommended by a number of users. Use reasonable tamping pressure -- nothing too strenuous; just ensure that the coffee "puck" is firm to the touch, without cracks; and ensure that the sealing surface of both the filter and the silicone gasket above it are free from grounds. For espresso, I use both the finest and next to finest setting on my Capresso burr grinder; and the second or third setting on my Porlex hand grinder. Both settings on either machine produced great, consistent grounds; and fantastic espresso. My pulls range from 20-30 seconds; and with an occasional second pull, to achieve upwards of 59 ml (about 2 oz), with 10% or more of the volume taken by crema -- which is also dependent upon the type of coffee. Very dark roasts often elicit little crema; many espresso roasts surprisingly tend toward the medium; and some brands also include some lesser robusta beans, to produce a more pleasing and consistent head.
The ROK is exceptionally well made and designed; all too easy to disassemble, clean and service with a standard screwdriver. Some critics of its plastic reservoir and silicone components are blissfully unaware of the sundry plastic and elastomer parts, contained even within the most expensive of the Italian machines, behind all of that beautiful chrome and distracting eagle statuary and filigree. One of my college jobs was in the servicing of several brands of commercial equipment; and there is more plastic inside those 10K machines than straining bra-tops on a beach in Malibu.
Simply remove the screw at the top of the ROK; spread the arms outward; and all of the components can easily be removed with a gentle twist and thoroughly cleaned, if and when needed. I do that about once a week, after twice or more daily use. Run the well and the plunger under the faucet and remove and rinse the silicone o-ring and diaphragm. Reassemble, ensuring that the reservoir is tightly locked -- clicked -- in place; and you're good to go . . .
Makes the best home made coffee. Took a bit of trial and error to get the grind right, but well worth it.
Marvelous machine, great in every way!
Definitely on my Wish List. Met a fellow camper with the Rok who made me a coffee. Best tasting coffee after my coffee at Parachilna. I have a fully automatic Saeco at home, would love to replace it with the Rok. Just what I need for great coffee in the bush - no power needed.
Have been using these for some time now at a friends place and decided to finally get one myself. They are great. Great design, and stands front and centre in the kitchen. Quick and easy to use, and the coffee tastes great.
I found this review really useful and it has some really nice product shots http://www.slinkystudio.info/reviews/2013/1/5/rok-espresso-maker-review.html
Having owned and used a Presso, forerunner of the Rok for 5 years I can tell you it's great. It makes a perfect coffee and it's so easy to use. Clean up is fast, a quick rinse under hot water and drain. And ...... no electricity required, definitely ticks all the boxes.
Makes a great cup of coffee, looks fantastic, making a great cup of coffee takes a bit of skill and can be difficult to pick up but it definitely adds to the satisfaction of the coffee however at the end of the day the plastic components contain BPA at currently unconfirmed levels.
This is the perfect office coffee maker. It only takes a few minutes to squeeze a delicious cup of coffee, and seconds to clean up. No waiting to get up steam - just fill it from the Zip MiniBoil. No expensive hydraulics or electrics to go wrong. No capsules to chuck. Brilliant !
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