Are you considering buying a manual espresso machine? ROK espresso machine may be the choice for you.
Manual espresso maker can be an intimidating term when considering equipment to have in your coffee arsenal, especially if you do not consider yourself as an expert on the art of coffee extraction.
If you have been drawn by the allure of a manual espresso machine but have been intimidated by the skill required to operate one, we are glad to introduce to you the ROK Manual Espresso Machine.
Read this ROK Espresso maker review to learn more about how it can make your coffee brew the best ever.
The ROK Espresso Maker – What makes it so special?
This is a very unique coffee grinder that can brew your cup of espresso without the need of an external energy source like electricity.
While there might be a small learning curve, this ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker is not difficult to use at all. All you need to do is put your inputs in and the machine will do the rest by itself.
ROK first introduced a manual espresso appliance in the early 2000s as the Presso. But the appliance was re-launched in 2012 as the ROK Press Manual Espresso Maker with some great improvements. It provides a simpler and less complicated appliance that can produce the best cup of coffee for you.
One of the first things that you will notice about the product is the neat packaging, which is nothing short of remarkable. Each and every component of the grinder comes in stainless steel tin foam fittings so that everything remains safe during transportation. It is more portable than even the cheapest espresso machines.
As we know, the ROK is a non-electric espresso machine. This is one of the best attributes of the appliance. There are no wires and no machine maintenance required.
It even has a 10-year warranty.
Most people would take this as a negative attribute, since a machine has intricate heating elements that maintain a constant temperature throughout the brewing process as well as pressure forcing the water to be consistent.
While control over these variables might not be as easy in the case of the ROK coffee press, the stainless steel is easily cooled and the arms do not create constant pressure.
The build of the ROK espresso is excellent and is made of high-quality and attractive metal alloy that the manufacturer boasts has 35% higher tensile strength than in the original iteration. The arms have also been made sturdier since the original Presso had problems with arms snapping off. This espresso maker will give you no such problems.
The scoop you receive with the ROK espresso also acts as a tamper and gets the job done. You will also get a milk frother, which is very easy to use. If you want to froth your milk, you just warm it up for about a minute, set the frother into the cup or bowl, and pump until satisfied. Pressing the arms should not be a difficult task for adults.
Here are some eye-catching features of the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker
- The size is very compact making it suitable for even the smallest kitchen counter.
- Weight is around 7 pounds so it is easy to carry while you travel or even take to your workplace.
- Portafilter with Splitter spout which includes a portafilter of 49mm.
- Durably constructed metal parts that carry a warranty period of 10 years
- Handy plastic scoop to measure the coffee grinds and also serves to tamp down the coffee grounds.
- Milk Frother is a sleek looking stainless steel cylinder that creates frothy milk for your cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos.
- Uses ground coffee eliminating the hassle of pod and capsule selection
- The trendy design of the reusable storage tin makes everything compact and can store the scoop as well as the double shot detachable spout.
How to Use the ROK Non-Electric Espresso Machine
You start off by grinding some coffee beans to a very fine powder. The ROK hand press espresso maker does not use standard measurements. It requires a different technique. You can fill the portafilter up completely, which should take approximately 12gms of ground coffee.
Next, make use of the scoop to press or tamp down the grounds evenly while applying some significant amount of pressure. You might end up with some coffee on the portafilter’s walls and it might be a bit uneven. Attach the portafilter to the body of the appliance.
With arms completely downwards, you will need to pour boiled water into the upper chamber. According to the instructions, you need to fill the water just above the metal rim for a consistent level of brewing pressure.
Now, you need to lift the arms of the appliance all the way up until you feel a resisting pressure and hold for a few seconds. By doing this, you are allowing the water to briefly pre-infuse with the coffee before applying pressure.
After this, press down again.
Do not press down slowly, and press as far as the arms can go. Initially, you will not see anything coming out of the spout, but you will see a steady steam in a second or two.
When the stream starts to lose pressure in about 10 seconds, repeat the process again for another 10 seconds. You should not repeat this process for the entire amount of water; it is too much. Two times for extraction is good enough. Discard the remaining content as it will be bitter and over-extracted.
First-timers will not be able to produce a perfect espresso at once, unless you can successfully control all the variables like timing, pressure and temperature. But you can always add some water to make an Americano or some warm frothed milk to make a latte or a cappuccino.
- The coffee grinder is environmentally friendly
- This is because the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker can potentially replace electric and traditional espresso machines because it does not need electricity or any other power source to function
- The ROK Presso coffee grinder comes with a 10-year warranty period
- The entire appliance is made of durable and heavy-duty material
- The ROK Presso Manual Espresso Machine will last for a very long time. These espresso appliances are known to have the kind of durability that you will not see normally in regular coffee grinders. This is because everything on this device is mechanical and has no electrical circuits
- The base has with slip-resistant grips so that the appliance does not slip accidentally
- Thanks to these grips, you will not have to worry about the appliance slipping off the shelf. The grips will keep the appliance secure while you are working on the espresso machine as well
- It is portable and small enough for taking on long trips
- Yes, the appliance is quite small and you can carry it in your vehicle if you are planning a picnic in the woods. The only drawback here is that the appliance is bulky and cannot be carried on person for a long time
- The brewing method is straight-forward
- As seen above, the brewing process is very easy. You do not need to be Einstein to figure out the whole brewing process. All you need to do is follow the instructions and practice a bit
- You can create great espresso shots with the ROK coffee press
- It can take some time to master the technique of filtering ground coffee for great espresso
- Some reviewers state that they have had issues with the portafilter breaking or cracking
- The water reservoir is plastic
- Although the appliance is great for long road trips, you cannot take it hiking since it is too bulky
- The milk frother is underwhelming. You are way better off using a glass frother or frothing the milk manually.
- Since it is not electric, you need to boil water in a kettle separately.
How To Get Best Results With ROK Coffee Press
Now that you have gone through the pros and cons of the manual ROK coffee maker here are a few tips to ensure you get the best tasting brew from your manual espresso machine. Keep the portafilter locked securely. Sometimes it may not lock properly, leading to water dripping on to the sides.
The brew will taste better when you use the right amount of coffee and, more importantly, good quality coffee beans that are freshly roasted.
And keep the chamber and the cup heated for a proper extraction.
Furthermore, another significant part of the process is the temperature of the water you use for the brew. The water you use should be not less than 92 degrees. In other words, it should be near boiling point for the right espresso brew.
Final Thoughts on ROK Coffee Maker
In theory, an electricity-free manual machine that is easy to understand, use and carry sounds great. But the question is: can it brew the perfect espresso for coffee enthusiasts? Overall, this appliance might not work out for people who are just looking for the perfect brew of espresso and get no pleasure at the prospect of manual brewing.
On the other hand, the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Machine can suit people who appreciate the novelty of the appliance and also understand the trial-and-error method to perfecting the brewing method.
The fact that you do not need electricity to run the appliance, as well as its portability, makes it a great addition for those planning to be an at-home barista. You get the ability to tinker with the enjoyable process of making espresso completely by hand, for not much of an investment.
From our ROK espresso maker review you should now know that this machine is a very durable gadget but is limited by the addition of some cheaper parts which prevent it from being a true masterpiece.
While it is easy to use, you will require time and practice to brew that perfect cup of espresso. When you reach that point you will be really glad you made the choice. Nothing beats the boost that a manually made good shot of espresso coffee can give you.