Rocket Appartamento Nera or Ascaso Steel Duo PID

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
AL1827

#1: Post by AL1827 »

Hey guys,

Brand new to the espresso game but really interested in learning. Thinking about diving into the rabbit hole and picking up my first setup. I'd like something that pulls a great shot, but also a machine that looks nice on the counter. I've got it narrowed down to the Rocket Appartamento Nera and the Ascaso Steel Duo PID. Which machine do you guys think I should go with? For the grinder, I'm leaning towards the Eureka Mignon Specialita. Setup will be used to make 1-2 drinks daily.

I know I can go with a cheaper starter machine like a Gaggia Classic Pro, but I want something middle of the road that I won't feel the need to upgrade right away. Help me decide!

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

In that general price range, I'd also consider the Quick Mill Silvano Evo, the Lelit MaraX, and the Lelit Elizabeth.

I'm not a big fan of thermoblock brewing due to temperature-control issues. A PID may control the thermoblock temperature, but, at that price point, not the brew temperature.

The Silvano gives you a close-coupled brew head with a boiler behind it. By using a thermoblock for steam, it comes in at a reasonable price.

For different reasons, virtually all HX machines require manual flush routines to manage temperature, with or without a PID controlling the boiler temperature. The MaraX controls the group temperature and is a notable exception.

The Elizabeth is a dual-boiler machine with preinfusion control. If you get deep into the hobby with "drip" roasts, that kind of control can be valuable.

Many like the Breville Dual Boiler ("BDB"), especially if you like to tinker.

jgood

#3: Post by jgood »

How did you come to those choices? The Rocket is a HX which may not be the best choice for a first machine. The Ascaso is I think a dual thermoblock machine, which is an unusual setup. Why not tell the forum your location, budget (for machine and grinder), and whether you're an espresso fan, cappuccino fan, whatever. And are you a traditional dark roast, med, or light roast person -- to the extent that you know. And how many drinks do you anticipate making at a time. Just noticed the post by Jeff -- good points. I would advocate for a double boiler E61 from a major manufacturer if the budget can stand it -- assuming milk drinks are on your agenda.

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by baldheadracing »

I really like what Ascaso has done with the additional electric grouphead heater on their 58mm group machines. Kaffemacher's tests are quite convincing, but I have no experience with the machine.

Previous versions of the Ascaso Steels have been a bit on the noisy side, so hearing one in person would be a good idea.

For 1-2 drinks a day, I'd definitely take the Ascaso over an Appartamento, but I'd also definitely not get a Mignon ... for 1-2 drinks a day I would get a Niche - or a hand grinder.

Good luck!