Rocket R58 Espresso Machine: Our Quick Review
The Rocket Espresso R58 is a sleek, stylish and spectacular way to bring café-quality espresso into your home. This is the semi-automatic espresso machine for the person who wants barista-quality espresso at a reasonable price point.
Are you that person? Read on to find out if this machine is right for you.
The Rocket R58 ‘In A Nutshell’
It has a dual boiler, steam pressure consistency, you can plumb it or use the reservoir, and it’s quiet.
For these reasons, I assume it was designed for home-baristas with taste, or, for small cafes.
Unless you are going down deeper into the rabbit hole of barista-style coffee at home (and it’s a long, dark hole some days – let me tell you), this is a great machine – especially for the price.
As a semi-automatic, it is a bit easier for the newer members of the cafe-quality-coffee-at-home tribe, while still offering the opportunity for those with more knowledge to dig in deeper to the features and controls.
Plus, you get many of the features that you find in much more expensive models.
- Made in Italy
- Stainless steel
- Dual Copper Boiler
- Electronic PID
- Rotary Pump
- Has a water reservoir or can be hooked up to your water line
- External PID (could get damaged unless you’re careful)
- Water reservoir is on the small side
- The water tank can be hard to remove
Things To Know Before You Buy
The price point for the Rocket R 58 is around $3000
For an espresso machine of this quality, that is reasonable, but let’s be real here. Reasonable is relative in this caffeine-obsessed world that you and I live in.
$3000 is still a lot of coin to drop on a coffee maker – no matter how spectacular it is.
I know that for me, buying an espresso maker is an aspirational purchase. I stretch my abilities, my budget and my partner’s patience when it’s time to upgrade.
It’s Popular…For The Right Reasons
The R 58 is a popular machine.
This may be because of its price point, which is significantly less than other machines with similar capabilities – that run somewhere around the $3,500 – $5000 mark.
Maybe it is because it falls into that sweet spot of being a semi-automatic that isn’t technically overwhelming, yet still gives you quality espresso at home (without having to hook up with a barista… not that I’ve ever done that just to get a good cup of coffee at home…).
It’s Stylish and Quiet
Made in Italy, this machine has a stainless steel finish and its sleek design makes it looks like a much higher-priced product.
It’s also a reasonably quiet machine – thanks to the built-in commercial-quality rotary pump.
This is important in my world. I get up early and the first thing I do is make coffee.
For me, the ability to NOT wake up the rest of the house is a requirement in an espresso machine.
Not To Big, Not To Small…Just Right
This isn’t a huge machine, but it ain’t small.
If you are in a 500 square foot condo in New York, Vancouver, Sydney or Paris… this machine is going to overwhelm your kitchen… hell – your whole apartment!
You need some space for it. And it’s pretty enough that you’ll want it to have a prime spot in your kitchen.
It’s Got Some Higher-End Features
This machine punches above its weight when it comes to what it can do, including that it has some features similar to its more expensive sibling, the R60v.
Things like a dual boiler and consistency of steam pressure (which translates into that smooth milk texture that makes for a great latte) and the ability to plumb this in or use the reservoir might not seem world-changing, but they could be decision-making.
The Rocket Espresso R58 Review
I am a big fan of the Rocket R 58. For the money, it is a sweet machine that looks and acts like some of the more expensive machines.
Here are a couple of reasons why we love the Rocket R 58:
1 – It Makes Your Kitchen Look Gooooood!
Hand-built in Milan, Italy, it is a work of art.
Rocket is known for their quality of craftsmanship – and this machine is no exception.
It’s not a huge machine, but its presence will make itself known in your kitchen.
I just like to sit and stare at it. It’s like barista-wannabe meditation. Then I make an espresso and move back into my real life.
Rocket Espresso has a great story. If you are interested, you can learn more about it here (2).
2 – Pre-Infusion Means Better Coffee With Less Work
I am a little obsessed with pre-infusion.
You see, at the very start of brewing during the first few seconds, the coffee is exposed to low-pressure water – this is called pre-infusion.
This is a little bit of espresso-making magic that I am learning more about.
It provides smooth extraction, resulting in exceptional body and crema. Want to know more about pre-infusion, check out this video here.
3 – Double Boilers Save Time
There are separate boilers for espresso production and steam. And you can do both simultaneously, while controlling the temperature of each boiler.
This increases efficiency and extends the life of the machine. Then it’s just about whether you want steamed milk or foam.
4 – Safety With The Frothing Wand
The steam wand is thermos-insulated, which means it gets hot, but not as quickly as more traditional and uninsulated wands.
If you have felt that painful singe on your fingers when a wand is too hot, you know how good it is to hear this.
5 – Controlling Pump Pressure = Better Espresso Taste
Dual professional gauges allow you to monitor pump pressure during extraction.
This matters. Paying attention to this – and having control over it – means that your extraction is better.
And we all know what that means: better extraction = better espresso taste.
6 – Warm Cup, Happy Heart
Maybe a cup warmer isn’t the most important feature of this machine, but it puts joy in my heart. This means that you pour your espresso into a warm cup, which keeps the crema from breaking up.
This is important for a whole bunch of reasons, including if you want to create some coffee art that can be deemed Instagram-worthy.
Interested? Check out this video here.
Something to keep in mind when you are out there comparing the Rocket R58 V2 vs V3 options: you can still get a V2, but it has been discontinued to make way for the V3.
The team at Rocket is always upgrading our coffee lives. The V3 is the most recent model.
Unless you are getting a great deal on the V2, get the V3. This is a big investment and you want it to last for years. Buy the most recent model.
Don’t Buy The Rocket R58 If…
You want a shot timer – The Rocket R58 lacks a shot timer. If this is important to you, take a look at the Quick Mill Dual Broiler instead. It’s very similar to the Rocket R58, both in terms of features and price, with the main difference being the shot timer and the aesthetics.
You have the budget for more bells and whistles – If you can afford to spend a little more, Rocket’s higher-end model, the R 60V, is guaranteed to please. While it won’t necessarily make a better espresso than the R58, additional features like app connectivity will certainly make it more fun to use.
Here’s the deal – the Rocket espresso R58 is a fine machine that any kitchen would be proud to host. If you use it right, it will serve you well for a long, long time.
It’s a sweet machine and it has some great features. With this machine, you will be able to make café quality espresso at home.
Think… no going out in the rain, the snow, when you can’t find your pants (or don’t feel like putting them on)… no smiling at people if you don’t want to, no lining up… no worrying if the barista washed their hands when they took their bathroom break … all of it gone forever.
- Rocket R 58 Espresso Machine – ROCKET MILANO S.R.L. Retrieved from https://shop.rocket-espresso.com/collections/domestic-espresso-machines/products/r-58-espresso-machine
- Our Story | Rocket Espresso Retrieved from https://www.rocket-espresso.com/