Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro Review
At Ideal Grind, we love a proper espresso machine. You know what we mean by a proper espresso machine, don’t you? The kind that you would find in the best coffee shops, that produce the best coffee. Well, the Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro is a proper espresso machine, so we were very excited when we were asked to review it.
Rocket Espresso have built themselves a solid reputation within the coffee industry. Founded by an Italian and a New Zealander, it is a company that has brought together influences from the two cultures to develop some fantastic coffee machines. Fusing the tradition and elegance of the Italian coffee scene, with the modern innovation from New Zealand.
We have been burned before, though. We know that reputation and past glories count for very little when you review a product – it has to live up to the hype. Which is why this article exists – we are going to be taking an in-depth look at the Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro (Type V). First we will look at the features and specifications to discover how it is made and what it should be capable of, before then putting it through its paces to see what it is like to use.
We will then conduct the most important part of the entire Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro review – the taste test – before delivering our verdict.
So let’s dive straight in…
Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro Specs & Features
As we always tend to do in this section, before we get onto the meat of what this coffee machine can do, we are going to take a minute to consider what it looks like. It’s easy to dismiss the aesthetics of a machine as unimportant, but you should remember that whichever machine you buy is going to be out on display at all times (nobody is lifting a machine out of a cupboard every time they want to use it), so what it looks like really matters.
I think it’s the chrome finish that does it. It is a machine that just seems to shine – every knob, lever and pipe adds something else to the feel of this espresso maker. It combines the early 20th century with the now – pipes and gauges, with a sleek sophistication. You would be proud to have this out on display in your home, I am certain of that.
What you will also notice when you first cast your eyes upon the Mozzafiato Cronometro, is that it is actually quite a compact little machine, considering the type of machine that it is. Measuring just 28cm x 42.5cm x 40cm (WDH), this will fit comfortably into most kitchens – even if it is not quite as small as their Appartamento model.
The reason that it is not as small as their model that has been specifically designed to be small, is because it can do a bit more. I would like to spend a bit of time talking about one key feature that really makes the Mozzafiato Cronometro stand out – the PID Controller.
Let’s first establish what a PID controller is. PID stands for ‘proportional integral derivative’, and it is a mechanism that is often used in industrial systems that need to maintain particular levels of pressure, temperature, flow and speed. Rocket Espresso were one of the first companies to recognise that this sort of control would work incredibly well in an espresso machine.
So we have the Mozzafiato Cronometro , which is designed to give you complete control over the temperature of your brew – you can adjust it to suit different types of coffee and different roasts. The temperature will remain stable throughout the brewing process, so you can be certain you are getting the best possible extraction, and therefore, the best tasting coffee.
On top of this, it is fitted with the E61 group. Unlike most other brew groups, this incorporates a dual pre-infusion system, which fully saturates the coffee with water as you begin the brewing process. The idea here is that it will result in a much fuller extraction, and therefore a well-balanced coffee with a full aroma. The E61 group head is basically a commercial-grade brewing group on a domestic machine.
We’re not done yet though. You also get a vibratory pump, designed to be quieter than the ones in commercial machines, but one that produces coffee to a similar standard. This is integral for getting the right amount of pressure as you extract the coffee.
The heavy-duty boiler is built for efficiency. A 1.8 litre copper boiler with a 1200 watt heating element that will maintain the temperature while retaining the heat, and any passive heat is used on the removable cup warmer on top of the machine.
For your milky coffee drinks there is a ‘cool touch’ steam wand. This basically means that you aren’t going to burn yourself if you touch the wand while it is in action. It is fitted with two holes in the tip, which are designed to evenly distribute the heat, to give you more control over how your milk is steamed. There is also a pressure gauge just under the wand, so that you can make sure you are using the optimum amount of pressure (usually 1 bar).
Included in the box, you will receive two 58mm portafilters – one single and one double – as well as a tamper. All of these are made from good-quality aluminium, so are sturdy and well made. The tamper, in particular, is a lovely bonus that you don’t often get when you buy a machine, and it is genuinely useful. A nice little touch from Rocket Espresso.
This is the thinking behind the many different features and specifications of the Mozzafiato Cronometro, and as you can see, there is a lot there. What really matters, though, is how it performs – let’s take a look.
What It’s Like To Use The Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro
We always find that the best way to accurately describe what a coffee machine is like to use, is to walk you through the process, step by step. That way, you can see exactly what the process is like. So for the Mozzafiato Cronometro, let’s make a cappuccino so that we can test every aspect of the machine.
First thing, you need to turn on the machine. Now, this may sound like a really basic step, but it is one that you will need to put a little bit of thought into, especially if you are used to the almost instant heat-up times of pod coffee machines. Traditional espresso machines take a little bit of time to heat up to the correct temperature – in the case of the Mozzafiato Cronometro, this is around 10-15 minutes, so be sure to turn the machine on in plenty of time before you make your drink. A tiny bit of planning can make this much easier to deal with.
Next up, check to see that there is enough water in the tank to make your shot. As the water tank has a 2.5 litre capacity, you won’t need to worry about filling it up very often, but we would advise against leaving water to stand there for too long as this will impact on the eventual taste of your drink. Fresh is always best, even when it comes to water.
With that in mind, load your coffee into the portafilter. We went for an Italian roast whole bean, which we put through a grinder to get the perfect fine grind for a great cappuccino. Again, wherever you are able to, use the freshest coffee, ideally straight out of a grinder. (If you haven’t got a grinder already, you may want to consider investing in one to make the most out of your new espresso machine).
Tamp down your coffee in the portafilter with the handy aluminium tamper that is provided with the machine so that it is packed in, but not so tight that the water can’t pass through. Then load it into the machine (once the lights on the front of the machine have indicated that you have reached the optimum temperature) and you are good to go. To pull your coffee, you just need to use the lever in the centre of the machine.
Now for the milk. For a cappuccino, it is best to use whole milk if possible. This will give you the most ‘velvet’ like texture to your drink. Fill up a steel jug to the required level and turn the dial to activate the steam wand. Wait until the pressure gauge is showing around 1 bar and then position your jug so that the wand is just under the surface of the milk, and slowly move the jug up and down to stretch the milk. You are looking to add volume to the milk, about a third more than you started with.
When that is done, tap the jug on a hard surface a couple of times (you will have seen baristas do this in coffee shops) to disperse the larger bubbles, and swirl it around a couple of times. Now just add your milk to your espresso and you have a delicious cappuccino ready to go.
The main skill here is in the milk preparation – everything else is pretty straightforward. If you have never frothed milk before, it may take a little time and effort to perfect it, but it is a fun process. And incredibly satisfying when you get it right!
Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro Taste Test
So this is the most important aspect, right? We have established that it looks great, has great functionality and is pretty easy to use, but what good is all of that if it makes a drink that tastes like you’ve just added hot water to some instant coffee?!
Well, we’re here to reassure you – the Mozzafiato Cronometro makes fantastic coffee. It really does. The espresso itself is rich and creamy, with a fantastic crema, with a well rounded flavour. You can tell the coffee has been extracted perfectly – just make sure you are putting in quality coffee – this machine deserves it.
Where it really excels though, is with the milk preparation. You basically have a commercial coffee machine here, so you are able to make all of the coffees that are available at your local coffee shop – all it needs is a little time to perfect the technique. The steam wand is one of the best that money can buy on a domestic coffee machine. The control that you have over your milk means that the potential is limitless.
You have probably already guessed this, but we are huge fans of the Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro. It has everything you could possibly want from a domestic espresso machine.
You pay for that privilege, of course, and we are talking about a major investment for your home. This isn’t something you buy on a whim, and it won’t be for everyone. There are plenty of people that won’t have the time or inclination to become a barista in their own home, and want to settle for a quicker, easier and cheaper machine. I get that, and there is nothing at all wrong with that.
However, if you are looking for that WOW factor in your home, and are willing to spend the time to perfect your technique, then this could well be the machine for you. It oozes style and quality, but most of all, it makes incredible coffee. You will be able to dazzle your guests with any coffee they could imagine, and those lazy weekend mornings when you want to relax with a great coffee will be greatly enhanced.
The Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Cronometro is a wonderful espresso machine, and one you should seriously consider if you have the budget for it. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll have great coffee in your home for a very long time.