Mindful to purchase from whom and Caution of "imported" goods!
Positive Product Points
- Very aesthetic! - Solid structures (weight about 29kg). - it would not be moved or shifted while hooking up the porter-filter. - Duel boilers for steaming milk and brewing respectively. - Quiet pumps in use (less disturbance to family members in the morning or at nighttime) - PID system for temperature controls for both boilers - Pressure gauges for steaming and brewing to indicate the readiness of brewing - External PID (easy to be replaced if out of order) - Large size of water reservoir (less frequent for filling up the water reservoir for domestic use) - Pipes provision for tap water connection if water reservoir not use - The supporting "feet" or "stand" could be adjustable for horizontal or vertical leveling on the table.
Negative Product Points
- relatively small size of drip tray compared with other brands of same level of high-end products. - the turning button for on/off steaming ward is too tight, not easy to be controlled - the heavy weight could be as negative point if it is required to be delivered for services/maintenance - the steam ward could be hot or burnt to be touched even "Cool Touch technology" is addressed in the leaflet.
In my coffee journey, I, as domestic espresso machine user, have used two espresso machines at home in different periods. Both are consist of piston/vibration pump and a single boiler. The latter one is Roncilio Silvia. Both were fine in terms of cost vs values, especially for Silvia. Recently, I want to upgrade my coffee gears, so I have been searching specifications of espresso machines in web and went through the customer reviews as the most coffee lovers or geeks did. Since I have certain years experiences for domestic espresso brewing, I knew what I need to look for:
- Duel boiler system - Single brewing group (E61 group head) - Rotatory pumps - PID system - Cool and machismo outlook (show-off at home!) - Good service/maintenance provider (in case of repairing or maintenance required)
In Hong Kong, not like in the States or other Europe countries, espresso machine in terms of high-end and good quality is quite limited choice and is not very popular especially for domestic use. Only a few brands could provide stocks or demo machines to be displayed for consumers reference prior to purchasing. Anyway, after searching in web and review of customer comments, I have found Rocket R58 may satisfy the above criteria, so I contacted a couple of suppliers in Hong Kong to see and "feel" the demo machine.
I have found that the machine is pretty solid in terms of the structure. The features and functions are same as those described in the official specifications. The most impressive that is the outlook and design are the coolest (subjective view) compared with the other brands.
I was also impressed that the pump operation is very quiet compared with the ones I have had with vibration pumps. Since the typical living environment is very packed in Hong Kong, a quiet pump to minimize the disturbance is curial particularly in early morning or late evening periods. It is an advantage of Rocket R58 I considered.
Moreover, the advantages of Rocket R58 is its external PID panel. It is flexible for users to connect or detach to the machine. In my opinion, in case the panel is out of order, it is not necessary to deliver the whole machine to the maintenance agent for repairing. And the logic and interface of PID are quite user-friendly. I found that the function (temperature control) of PID may suit for someone who frequently brew different origins of coffee beans. PID also could adjust the boiler temperature for steaming, hence it could vary the steaming power to suit for anyone with different steaming techniques.
So far, I am still exploring and refining my coffee brewing techniques by using my new "toy" - Rocket R58. And I am delighted to use Rocket R58 to polish my coffee brewing techniques and enjoy it to brew coffee to enrich my coffee journey of my life.
However, for buying experience, it is pain in ass. Once I bought the item through the coffee shop, my nightmare has begun.......
I bought the "item" this summer in 2013 via the coffee shop in Hong Kong. I use the term of "item" in the review to demarcate that it is nothing to do with the quality of Rocket R58 by itself.
During the purchasing, I contacted two suppliers in Hong Kong who are able to sell the item and both could provide stocks and displays for purchasing. I learned that one is the Authorized Distributor of Rocket of Hong Kong and the one I engaged is a small and typical coffee shop in Hong Kong.
Since the coffee shop offered a discount for the item during on-sale period and I checked that the item was good in order in the shop prior to the delivery, finally the deal was close with the coffee shop. Afterwards, the coffee shop arranged the delivery for the item to my house.
After I opened the box, I found that the item was damaged:
- PID out of order - basin for holding up drip tray bended - steaming ward bended and loosen
After a "long" discussion with the coffee shop (last for three months, on and off, with the Consumer Council involved), the shop insisted no refund or no replacement for the above damages and defects. During the case investigation, it is found that the product is so-called "imported" item from China that no warranty is to be provided by the manufacturer or the authorized distributor since it is considered as a private deal between the coffee shop and myself. Even worst, the coffee shop proclaimed the above damages were caused by the owner (myself) due to misuse reason.
You could imagine how painful it is to pay $US 2,700 for a damaged item and receiving accusation of misuse with no grounds. The issue has been last for about three months. That means the item could not be used or touched and await for the issue cleared.
Finally, the damages have been fixed recently via the official distributor's help. Such painful buying experience is "unforgettable".
It is a lesson learn of mine and wish no one would fall into such incident or tragedy. Mindful to purchase from whom. Be caution of the warranty issue and "imported" goods.
Three Month Followup
The machine works effectively everyday!
lesson learn and friendly advices: purchasing the machines with Authorized Dealer; don't purchasing the machine (imported item) through internet or unauthorized coffee shops since it is risky and no maintenance services. (Read my story the above)
One Year Followup
The machine still works great. But it seems the pump is getting louder than that at the time of purschasing.