A solid machine that lives up to the hype - don't bother with the doser!
Positive Product Points
It is a really robust machine. You don't feel like bits are going to fall off in your hands. It's not overly noisy - the cat doesn't get frightened, just a little surprised. It meets the grade on whatever grind of coffee I want. It looks the business! It says I belong to someone who is serious about coffee. It makes the coffee out of my evil espresso machine taste like something I'd pay money for - and better than some of the coffees I've paid money for.
Negative Product Points
I don't get the doser - it just seems to make a mess! I'm new to this and have a hard time figuring out when to turn the grinder off. The manual was verging on terrible. It took me a long time and a lot of coffee to tune it to a grind that didn't strangle my machine - it did a lot of hissing and spitting and there was a fair bit of blue language.
I'd been thinking of upgrading my espresso machine and was looking at the Gaggia Classic or Miss Silvia when I read that a grinder can make or break your coffee and I was using a Delonghi grinder that made talcum powder or, even worse, preground coffee. I went through reviews and kept coming back to the Rocky. A lot of dollars (543NZD) but not the small fortune some of the comparative grinders cost. I figured I'd need a good grinder anyway and it might make life with my evil espresso machine a little sweeter a little longer. It took me a long time to dial it into the right setting. I started with the manufacturers guidelines and my machine threw a paddy. I moved up and down and reread reviews and eventually found that my machine was happy with the 11 point - higher than a lot of others but the burrs really weren't happy until the 6 mark. Finally I got a beautiful double shot, beautiful crema and nectar to taste. My evil machine made this! It was far superior to many of the coffees I pay 4.50NZD of my valuable cash for! Why would I ever want to leave the house! I love the rocky now but initially I thought it was a bad idea while I sorted out a grind that didn't choke my machine. Now I tend to hover when anyone goes near it just in case someone fiddles with the dial. I thought the doser was a great idea, despite reviews to the contrary. Why! I still really don't get the hang of it. I grind for about the count of 15 (I'm new at this OK!) which seems to make a regular dose and then pull the doser handle, grind enough for another shot and then pull the handle until it falls into my handle. I may sound stupid but I don't get the idea that technically I could grind away madly and get a mountain of coffee and then I have to pull the handle till it moves around, gets it's top knocked off and then falls into my handle. I tend to put a container under the fork and then measure out my own dose - like I would have done with a doseless grinder! Maybe I'm doing something wrong! or maybe I just don't get this hands on control thing!
Fairly OK. I shopped around. Finally bought it from Altura Coffee, an importer and distributer that also roasts great coffee. The salesgirl complimented me on my choice but didn't do a demo. Maybe if I'd bought it from the first place I went to where it was 200NZD more I might have got a demo. I wanted to be able to touch the product rather than order online. I could have done this with Altura but I had a nice car trip and lunch in their cafe so it was enjoyable.
Three Month Followup
Three months has meant I have my Rocky dialled in perfectly and it doesn't disappoint. I've become used to it and really have been taking it for granted! It's only when I visit my sister and try to converse while she grinds beans on one of the three settings her grinder has that I realise my Rocky really does rock! I now feel confident enough to change the setting when my husband wants coffee for his french press without getting into a cold sweat. Cleaning is still a pain but I can cope!