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It wouldn't be a stretch to say that I fell in love with Rocket Espresso machines after my dalliance with the Rocket Espresso R58 Dual Boiler machine. So, I was ecstatic this week when two new Rocket Espresso boxes turned up in my office. The Evoluzione V2 machines are the most advanced iterations of Rocket's line of Cellini and Giotto home espresso machines and I could hardly wait to get them out of the box.
For the sake of time, I wound up brewing with only one of the two machines, but that's okay because in terms of internal specs, the Cellini and Giotto are identical, Rocket being so devoted to aesthetics that the only differences between the two machines are purely cosmetic. If I had to choose between the two, I'd have to say that Giotto is the prettier machine in my opinion with all of its smooth edges and unique framework. The trade-off is that the Giotto is a bit wider and a bit more expensive than the Cellini.
I was impressed how quiet the machine was as I started making espresso. One of my favorite features of the Evoluzione V2 machines is a much quieter brewing experience due to the inclusion of a commercial rotary pump. I was happy to see that Rocket Espresso included some goodies along with the machine like a newly designed metal tamper, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a how-to manual and DVD. There was also a group head brush, but that's not quite as exciting.
Like the Rocket Espresso R58 which uses two boilers to brew and steam, the Evoluzione V2 machines can brew and steam at the same time thanks to their heat exchange system called a thermosyphon. While I'm not yet confident enough to try it, I'm sure many people will appreciate that capability, and they will be especially thankful for Rocket's patented cool-touch steam wands, which makes steaming safer.
On the topic of steaming, I also un-boxed Rocket's accessory set of four steam tips to play around with. For people like me, who are still getting the hang of manual steaming, experimenting with the variety of tips can be helpful. So if you find that the two-holed steam tips that come packaged with the machines aren't quite to your liking, try a variety of accessory tips. By the way, if you're really daring you might also want to try Rocket's bottomless portafilter.
Taking a look at the workings inside the machines, the Cellini and the Giotto share many similarities with Rocket's new R58 espresso machine. All three are equipped with sensors that shut the machine off if the boiler is dry, they all use the chrome plated brass E-61 brew group, they all come with commercial grade chrome plated brass portafilters, they all use commercial grade Sirai pressure stats, they all use dual pre-infusion systems, they've all got silent rotary pumps, and of course, all three machines come with an on-board water reservoir but are also plumbable to a direct fresh water source.
The boiler is one of the few places where the Evoluzione V2 machines differ from the R58. Whereas the R58 comes equipped with dual 1.7 liter 1400 Watt boilers, the Cellini and Giotto both use 1.8 liter 1200 watt heavy-duty copper boilers that come wrapped in a special heat insulating jacket for increased heat retention and thermal stability.
Really the biggest thing to consider when deciding between the Cellini and the Giotto is which one you think looks better.
The Cellini is more traditional in its shape, with flat sides and rectangular construction. The Giotto on the other hand has angular sides that extend out about half an inch from the main construction but, the base of the machine is the same size as the Cellini. The only real functional difference that results from their body construction is that the cup tray on the Giotto is slightly smaller than the Cellini. Both machines feature a pair of slick black steam and hot water knobs and a pair of black pressure gauges and are cased in stainless steel.
True to their creed, Rocket Espresso has again wrapped commercial quality components in a pair of elegant packages. The Cellini and Giotto Evoluzione V2 are sure to wow anyone in the market for a gorgeous machine with prosumer power.