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ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker Review

By: Kelly Burgess on January 05, 2017

Bottom Line

The ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker is 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, however, unless you have the patience to learn the ins and outs of making your own espresso.

Pros

  • Includes frother and tamper
  • Uses ground coffee
  • Very attractive/durable
  • Completely hands on

Cons

  • Learning curve to get best results
  • Process takes time
Our Analysis
Specs
Read Amazon Reviews

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. You'll also need a good burr-style coffee 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.

Our Sources

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. Although this is an older review, the ROK's construction or features have not changed since it was published.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2017

In roughly 175 reviews, the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker earns an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Most love it, saying it makes the best espresso ever and they like the endless customization and that it needs no electricity. A few say they simply can't master the learning curve.

Contributors to WholeLatteLove.com, As of January 2017

There's just under 15 reviews at this coffee enthusiast site, but all 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.

Aaron Frey, Oct. 14, 2013

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

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