I recommend the machine for the home/small restaurant user. It has served us very well, and we look forward to many more years with it.
Positive Product Points
_ Beautiful machine with surprising attention to detail given the price _ Solid stainless steel construction _ Consistent shots _ Ample pressure for shots and steam _ Perfect size
Negative Product Points
_ Minor ergonomic issue with steam wand (note: negligible) _ Valve handles are so well built that closing them all the way makes it sometimes difficult to re-open (note: easily solved by not closing the valves fully)
This review will be short as the machine is exactly the same as the Rocket Giotto Premium Plus (only with straight in lieu of angled ... a much cleaner design IMO). As such, feel free to trust those opinions - this post is simply for people who may be "confused" as to what the difference is, and why there are no Celini Premium Plus reviews.
Firstly, don't let the name fool you. Rocket machines are made in Italy, by long-term espresso builders, using mostly Italian sourced parts.
The machine is very well built and easily competes with higher end machines that retail for significantly more (i.e. at least compared to our experience with a Cimbali Jr. machine our parents own). As relatively new to pulling espresso shots, I can comfortably say that after setting up the machine, the shots were immediately fantastic (note: we struggled more with getting the grind right - once we did, we had no issues).
The simple no frills design is appreciated: pull the shot by lifting the lever, steam the milk by opening the valve. Done. No buttons or anything else to consider. You control the pour duration unlike pre-timed machines.
the temperature can run a little hot if you don't do a pre-shot flush (i.e. run the water for a bit to equalize the temperature in the grouphead, portafilter, pipes, etc). That being said, we experience the same thing on the Cimbali Jr.
if you tightly close the steam/spout valves, you may find them a little tough to open. Thankfully there is no need to fully close them: there is ample space between turning off the steam/spout and tight.
the steam wand may be a little close to the group head for some. Not really and issue, but ...
Finally, having spent roughly 4 months in Milan, we were fortunate enough to pay the factory a visit. The owner Andrew was very kind, and took time to explain the machines, production, and the Rocket business philosophy. You are dealing with fabricators who appreciate there craft - I doubt you will see a flood of Rocket machines on the market given they are hand-built in small batches.
In closing, the machine has been great, and we are happy to have it. Moreover, we are glad we supported the "little guy" who cares about the little things. We hope you do too !
We purchased the machine at Espressotec in Richmond BC, in person.
We originally went in looking at other pricier machines, but along with substantial research, were convinced to get the Rocket.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
Still an incredible machine ! Have been pulling double espressos almost every other day (on average) and performance has been outstanding.