I ordered this because my Starbucks Barista did not work as well as I hoped with my Rancillio Silvia. I read a number of websites and spent a little time on the alt.coffee newsgroup and decided to purchase a Rocky. (By the way, there are a large number of knowledgeable folks on alt.coffee that seem more than happy to share their experience with coffee. It's worth checking out) The Rocky is consistent and does help me to produce some very nice shots.
It's a lot quieter than the earlier, less expensive grinders I owned. These included a Capresso burr. As a matter of fact, when I first got it I thought that my beans jammed it up. They didnít. Rocky was done grinding and went into "quiet mode".
It's easy to adjust and has a large range, giving it the potential to be used for a variety of devices, but I find it easier to stay within the range used for making espresso and I use the Barista for everything else. You need to find the "zero point" first as a reference. This isn't always at the zero setting on the dial. The dial has 40+ settings on it. I just turn the unit to 20 or 30 and turn it on. I slowly turn, (slowly!), the dial towards zero. When you get a hint of a whisper that the burrs are touching you have found "ZERO". This may be below the zero on the dial and it was for me when I first got this grinder. I've heard that the zero point can move as you use the grinder over time. Mine did and is now at 1 on the dial. I found that by turning it to 8 or 9 (+7 or +8 from zero) I was at least in the range to start trolling for a good shot on my espresso machine.
The grinding burrs are good for 1,000 pounds of coffee and are replaceable but since 1,000 pounds would last me over 10 years I don't think I'll worry about it too much.
It's fairly easy to clean out with a brush, but I purchased a small shop vac (25$ at Home Depot) and use that to clean out excess grinds or beans.
I don't keep a ton of beans in the hopper or grind out more than a shot or two into the doser. I purchased a larger, commercial portafilter and still do not have a problem getting that to fit on the plastic forks. Some excess does spill but if I was worried about being excessively neat I would not have pursued the espresso craze. * See followup comment below.
This grinder is built solidly and the stainless version I have looks great next to the Silvia. I have had the little dosing lever on the side come apart on me. There is a rubber(plastic) sleeve that covers the end of the lever arm and this slipped off occasionally. I found that pretty easy to fix.
My understanding is that some of the components are from higher end, commercial grinders and like the Silvia this grinder was built to last. In addition, there are so many experienced espresso folks out there who use or have used the Rocky that if something does go wrong or if I need to maintain it I am confident that there won't be any major problems finding out what to do. On the whole this was an excellent buy and I recommend the Rocky highly to anyone looking to purchase a very useable, espresso grinder.
Got it from Wholelattelove. They make it easy. Enough said
Three Month Followup
Well..I still love the Rocky. But, the doser is a big pain to clean out. I highly recommend the modification on Randy G's site. The other thing that became a pain is the portafilter forks. I mentioned earlier that some of the grounds spill but the easy solution is to remove the forks. It's fairly easy to do if you look at the screws etc. holding it on. This gives you the ability to distribute the grounds around the filter and helps when you tamp later on. All and all, I would still recommend Rocky highly to anyone who needs a quality espresso grinder.