The ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker is a favorite in the van, as it matches perfectly with the type of gear we think it’s well worth carrying: it’s functional, well made, it does not require electrical power, it’s nicely designed and it works GREAT! Being away from home is not an excuse to skip our coffee ritual anymore, sweeeet!
What we Like
- No electricity needed
- Quiet to use
- Rubber base to prevent the machine from sliding and to protect the counter top
- All metal construction (except the water recipient)
What we Don’t Like
There are more variables to control (water temperature & pressure) than an electrical espresso machine, therefore it takes some practice to obtain repeatable results.
The machine is designed for regular, double shot in mind. At home we generally make lungo double shot for our Latte; that’s not really possible with the ROK. Unless the reservoir is refilled and a second extraction is performed…
What’s in the Box
- ROK Espresso Maker
- Splitter (Splits a double shot in two separate cups)
- Coffee Scoop and Tamper
- Stainless Steel Manual Milk Frother (!)
- Spare Seals (2)
- Storage Tin
Models & Where to Buy
Pulling an Espresso Shot
We highly recommend to experiment and find a method that suits your taste. There are few variables to play with: the grind size (fine or coarse), the grind quantity and how you tamper it, the pressure applied on the ROK arms. We’re serious about our coffee, but we’re no experts… here is what works for us:
1) Use the Porlex JP-30 Manual Grinder (Buy on Amazon) to grind enough coffee to fill the Portafilter at a fine espresso setting:
2) Fill the portafilter and tamper the grounded coffee
3) Fill the water recipient on top of the ROK with boiling water. After a few seconds, put the water back in the kettle: this is to pre-heat the machine so the infusion temperature is appropriate.
4) Install the portafilter on the ROK.
5) Ensure that the arms of the machine are lowered, then fill the water recipient on top with boiling water.
6) Bring the arms fully up
7) Then push downward to create pressure and pull the shot.
As for any espresso, the “normal” extraction time is about 20-25 seconds. Less than that and the espresso will taste under extracted. More than that, you will get bitter and astringent taste. Head over Home-Barista.com for more elaborate information!
8) Discard the coffee residues, rinse the portafilter and clean the ROK Presso with a damp clothe.
Here is the complete procedure on video:
For a while, we used the small manual milk frother included with our ROK Presso. It’s great! It does what it is supposed to. However, milk has to be heated in a casserole (which has to be cleaned); milk temperature must be carefully monitored; the small manual frother is difficult to clean (because the interior is hard to reach). For these reasons, we moved toward the Aeroccino Milk Frother and we don’t look back:
We’ve been using the Espresso Maker since February 2017, it’s still too soon to tell. We’ll keep you updated, Subscribe to our Mailing List to be notified!
On the go? Some friends recommended us the HandPresso: it is small, very portable and gives impressive results. Since we don’t plan on making espresso on top of the hill, we went for the ROK Presso after having seriously considered the HandPresso.