ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker Review

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ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker Review
Bottom Line

True espresso enthusiast love the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker. It's a fully hands on espresso maker, and the included frother produces milk for lattes, cappuccinos and other specialty drinks. This espresso maker is not for beginners unless you are very serious about a true, traditional espresso experience and are patient enough to learn the ins and outs of making your own beverages without any automated assistance. You'll also need a good burr-style coffee grinder and a water source, such as the pour over kettle we discuss in our report on tea kettles.

ProsIncludes frother and tamper, Uses ground coffee, Very attractive/durable, Completely hands onConsLearning curve to get best results, Process takes time

Breaking it down

Performance

Included frother offers versatility. The ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker is a fairly basic tool that uses a lever-type action to press the boiling water through the grounds, extracting the maximum amount of flavor. Anyway, that's the theory; in actuality it takes some practice to get it just right. You may need to experiment with grind, water temperature and the exact amount of pressure. However, reviewers say that once you get it right, this espresso maker produces a delicious, rich brew. In addition, it includes a frother that allows you to make milk-added beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. Some suggest that the included tamper is only so-so and recommend upgrading; everyone agrees you also need a good burr grinder.

Ease of use

Easy is as easy does. It's hard to separate ease of use from performance with the ROK Manual Espresso Maker. Technically, it's very easy to use, but it has a definite learning curve that, as we mentioned above, has a big effect on performance. You also need to be patient -- it can take up to 15 minutes or so to make one shot of espresso. However, the ROK is very easy to clean, users say, and they love the included storage tin. The base has rubber, slip-resistant legs so you don't have to worry about the espresso maker shooting across the counter when you apply pressure.

Appearance/durability

Will last for years. The ROK Manual Espresso Maker boasts high-quality construction that's made to last for many years -- and ROK backs that up with a 10-year warranty. Customer service also earns high praise for its responsiveness. Users say the ROK is very attractive and modern-looking and that it doesn't take up much space. The ROK espresso maker is available in stainless, black, berry and copper, but not all colors are available at all retail sites, so, if you want a specific color, you may need to shop around.

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Our Sources

1. Cook's Illustrated

Manual Espresso Makers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, December 2012

Editors of Cook's Illustrated test three manual espresso makers, including the ROK manual Espresso Maker. All espresso makers are evaluated for flavor, cleanup and function.

2. Amazon.com

ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2015

In roughly 125 reviews, the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker earns an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. Most love it, saying it makes the best espresso ever and the like the endless customization and that it needs no electricity. A few say they simply can't master the learning curve.

3. Whole Latte Love

ROK Espresso Maker, Contributors to WholeLatteLove.com, As of December 2015

There's not quite a dozen reviews at this coffee enthusiast site, but reviewers love the ROK Espresso Maker, giving it a perfect 5-star rating. They say its simple design makes a delicious cup of espresso once you master the learning curve. There are almost no negative comments here.

4. FrshGrnd.com

ROK Espresso Maker Hands-on Review, Aaron Frey, Oct. 14, 2013

In this extremely informative review, Aaron Frey thoroughly tests the ROK Manual Espresso Maker. He includes a number of tweaks and suggestions for getting the ultimate in performance.