Rocket | Giotto | User guide | Rocket Giotto User guide

Rocket Giotto User guide
Inside This Review
The Giotto Evoluzione arrives well packed (Rocket
How it works
Inside the Giotto Evoluzione
A detailed Tour
Key Features
Using the Giotto Evoluzione
Final Thoughts
Espresso use heavy grade packaging and Bella
Barista also double box the machines). Build
quality is good with high quality (industry
standard) components. Constructed using chrome
plated steel, outside a black painted steel frame
inside. The quality is noticeable when lifting the
machine as the Giotto Evoluzione is a heavy
This type of heat Exchanger (HX) machine
internally, is slightly more complex than cheaper
non HX machines, but much simpler to operate.
There are fewer controls and no need to do
anything special (apart from filling the water tank
occasionally) to draw steam, hot water or
espresso at any time. The Giotto Evoluzione
automatically maintains the water level in the
boiler as required and if run low on water in the
tank the Giotto Evoluzione switches off the
heating element as a safety precaution, but in
common other Giotto models, still has no low
water alarm.
The machine is attractive and fits comfortably
under standard height kitchen cabinets. The
Giotto Evoluzione compares favourably with other
similar prosumer machines that have a heritage
and reputation for looking good.
Some coffee enthusiasts buy second hand
commercial machines that are very large and
heavy, plumbed into the mains and with 3-6kw
heating elements in 5 litre or larger boilers to
make quality beverages at home. The Giotto
Evoluzione can make the same high quality
The details were correct at the time of writing, but the manufacturer and
Bella Barista reserve the right to change the technical specification of
the packaging, machines and any accessories supplied with the
machine (including quantity and type of accessories supplied)
drinks), without the hassle.
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Rocket Espresso Evoluzione v3.doc
Page 2 of 15
Overview – cont.
These legendary machines have been reborn and
improved under the care of Rocket Espresso. The
Giotto is a great machine both for the customer
to use and the reseller to support. It will provide
years of reliable service with the minimum of
maintenance. Once in position on the counter the
machine looks nice and does not dominate on a
standard sized work surface. The height of the
machine is very convenient and gives plenty of
room under standard height kitchen cupboards. It
has a nice large cup warming tray. Placing the
Giotto Evoluzione in a corner is ideal, especially
when located near the sink.
Very well packed inner box, protected by double packing in
airan air
-cell filled outer by Bella Barista
Even if you are completely new to coffee making
Note: My model apparently has the lower feet
(optional), but I am recommending that Bella
Barista have llower
ower feet on their machines as
standard, because it looks so good
and this type of machine, you will have no problem
making all those great coffee drinks in a very short
time The Giotto Evoluzione is easy to keep clean, a
quick wipe with a damp cloth and a buff with a
micro fibre cloth is all that’s required to keep it
The Giotto Evoluzione comes well packed, in a
looking great. The more complex tasks such as
tough box and with comprehensive
backflushing and descaling are actually very easy to
documentation covering all aspects of operation,
do and the supplied Bella Barista user guide
routine maintenance and production of espresso
explains how to do them in detail.
based drinks. A valuable addition to the Italian
manufacturer’s written User guide that comes free
with the Giotto Evoluzione.
The Giotto
positioned in the
corner of my
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 3 of 15
How it works
The diagram shows a simplified diagram of the Giotto (although the boiler shown is vertical, rather than
horizontal as in the Evoluzione, the principle is exactly the same tho
). The pump keeps the boiler
about 60% filled with water that is heated and kept at a pressure of 1.
2 bar (about 22 psi). The
temperature of this water is above boiling point and has an area of steam above (similar to a pressure
The pipe for the steam wand is at the top of the boiler (in the steam area) as the steam tap is opened,
steam is forced through the steam pipe and as the pressure drops more of the water instantly flashes to
steam, giving a continuous supply.
Hot Water
The pipe for the hot water tap is submerged below the waterline in the boiler. As the hot water tap is
opened, steam pressure forces the hot water from the boiler through the pipe and out of the hot water
Coffee Brew Water
Coffee brew water for the group does not actually come from the water in the boiler, but is pumped
directly from the tank through a “heat exchanger” (essentially, a big copper tube) that passes through
the hot boiler. As the cold water from the water tank passes through this tube it is heated to the correct
temperature for brewing coffee.
Lifting the lever starts the pumping of brew water, lowering the lever stops the pump and additionally
safely,, ((the
releases the pressure (all 140 psi of it) from the group, so you can remove the filter handle safely
excess water goes into the drip tray when pressure is released)
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 4 of 15
Inside the Giotto Evoluzione
A close inspection of the Giotto Evoluzione shows
a machine that has all the usual refinements
internally that one would expect. Internal build
quality is good, with great attention to detail.
Components are well positioned, neatly
assembled; all cables are well away from hot spots
and comprehensively tied to avoid movement.
Some internal shots below;
top,, with
The powerhouse of the machine accessible from the top
the removal of only 4 screws
The rotary pump and motor pump tucked under the boiler
electroClever managements of the tanked water supply with electro
-valves on far
right controlling tanked or plumbed operation via electric switch (inset)
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 5 of 15
A detailed Tour
Hot water
Steam Valve
Vacuum breaker
Pressure relief valve
(Safety valve)
(not visible)
Brew Boiler (nickel
plated copper with
heavy brass end
ECM control
box, autofill,
heating elements
limit stat
Sirai Commercial grade
pressurestat, pressure
adjustment under yellow cap
(flat head screw driver
Rotary pump
and motor under
OPV/Expansion Valve,
2 “solenoid valves”
used to regulate brew
controlling tanked or
plumbed operation
Yellow dotted line
shows position of
internal tank
Low water sensor (via
electrical conductivity)
Electronic switch for
tanked or plumbed
Water tank vent
Above, the major components of the Giotto
Evoluzione, once the case is removed accessibility
for maintenance is good. removal/refitting of the
case is moderately time consuming
This machine would be fairly simple to work on
for most of the major components requiring
replacement over time.
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 6 of 15
Key Features
Quiet rotary pump, with facility to adjust
pressure externally
Adjustable commercial grade Sirai
pressure stat.
Mains plumbed or internal tanked operation
at the flick of a switch (proper drain facility
Attractive retro design and chromed
steel case
Ball Joint steam and water arms (no burn)
Separate brew and steam pressure
Nice quality internal water tank
“Clever” low water sensor and tanked water
supply mechanism
2 portafilter holders and 2 filter
baskets as standard
“non compression” steam & water valves
Chromed Steel external case. The case is a
good fit, but does require care during
removal and refitting. Access to some
components is quickly achieved from the
top via removal of 4 screws. More involved
maintenance requires case removal, which
is moderately time consuming. One or two
areas need a little care and may pose
difficulties for the inexperienced.
Nice quality nickel plated boiler with good
brazing and heavy brass endplates
Good routing of internal cables and pipes,
avoiding hot spots and areas of vibration
High quality internal components
All components quite accessible. This
makes servicing easy
Very accessible pressurestat that is not too
sensitive to adjust. This makes pressure
adjustment easy and can be adjusted
without removing the entire case; just the
water tank carrier and 1 interior plate need
to be removed (4 screws).
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 7 of 15
A nice quality metal badge. For a change a
machine with a badge that actually is in
keeping with it’s value. It is even screwed in
place, which means it won’t fall
off1.something that occasionally happens
on some espresso machines with constant
exposure to heat and steam.
Readers of past reviews will know that I am
not a fan of cheap badges, especially when
stuck on, or even worse, not level.
Nice quality cold water tank holding almost
3 litres and simply drops in the top, no
tubes to worry about. Refilling can be
done with the tank in or out of the machine
and there is a handy access hatch for filling.
The grab handles make removing a full or
empty tank, much easier.
Nice large cup warming tray. You can get
plenty of cups on there, definitely no lack of
space. The little hatch for refilling means
you don’t have to remove every cup.
Note: I have not removed the protective
plastic film from the cup tray surround as
this will eventually become someone else’s
machine and I will leave them to do this.
The Giotto Evoluzione is heavy, because
the internal frame is rigid and constructed
with a quality (thick) steel. The machine is
difficult to slide around. You will want to
slide it around to refill it if it is under
Problem solved for a few pounds. Stick 4 of these little felt pads on
the feet and it slides about with one hand!
Alternatively use Teflon “glide pads” and you can slide it around with
1 finger!
The feet have been improved from
previous models, but annoyingly, are
still not height adjustable for “levelling
the machine” when using a twin spout
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
The drip tray is not the largest I have seen
and holds around 250-300ml before it needs
emptying (it can hold more but you will spill
liquid whilst trying to empty it).
It is all steel and nice quality, plus it has a
hole (plugged) all ready to open for the
drain facility (shown below) if running mains
plumbed I do my cooling flushes into the
cups I am going to use and have a
tupperware container I place under the
group when cleaning and flushing..
Professional quality no compression steam
valve and ball joint “no burn” steam wand. It
was also long enough to reach to the
bottom of all my smaller pitchers. The Giotto
Evoluzione is a moderate steamer and it’s 2
hole tip foamed medium quanitites of milk
with ease..
The machines come factory set to 1.0
bar, this is not high enough for proper
brew temperature or steaming. I have
recommended that all Bella Barista
machines come factory set to 1.2 bar.
In addition the machines steaming
capacity and power would benefit greatly
from using a 1400W heating
element*Rocket Espresso are currently
testing a 1400W heating element.
I like the “no burn” ball-joint mounted steam
and hot water arms. The large knobs with
“non-compression valves”, much more
tactile and look good too.
“No Burn” – a wand with an airspace preventing
the walls from heating up when water (or steam)
is drawn. Even these wands do eventually get
hotBUT cleaning the milk from the steam wand
is MUCH easier.
“non compression” valves - Releasing
pressure on a spring allows the valve seal to
open, closing simply compresses the spring
again which then presses against the seal to
close. As opposed to direct compression of a
washer by screwing in the tap. Commonly used
on commercial machines, as the seals connot
be damaged by “ham-fisted” operators closing
them too tightly.
The more I think about it, the more I am
convinced even “no burn” steam wands
should have those black rubber silicone
burn protector sleeves on them
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 8 of 15
The equipment supplied with the Giotto: The
review machine had 2 portafilter holders
(very good quality) with single and double
baskets and the usual plastic tamper,
measuring scoop, blind filter, group cleaning
brush, coffee measure and all hoses. It’s a
very comprehensive and excellent set of
equipment and Rocket Espresso have
taken notice of earlier feedback in this
area where certain items were not
The portafilters are also a much better fit
than in previous models.
The machine switches off the heating element when low on water, the boiler then
goes cold and the pump will not run. However, there is NO low water alarm the
only visible indication that the machine is off apart from the slowly decending
boiler pressure gauge, is the green power light flashing. This is not so easy to see
in bright sunlight and it is not apparent from a distance, or from a casual glance
that the machine has switched off the heating element. I really think that an
audible alarm should be added. It can be very irritating to go to make a coffee
only to find that the machine switched off the heating element an hour ago and
then have to wait 20 minutes or more for it to warm up (this point was also made
in previous reviews).
I asked Rocket Espresso why they had not changed to Gicar which I previously
recommended because they have a low water alarm built in, They said they had
actually found the boxes they currently use, even more reliable than Gicar. I
expressed concern that the spares price of the Gicar was very reasonable and
they assured me that their own box would be priced at a similar level.
The expansion valve vents water (due to
thermal expansion) into the drip tray. This is
a little when warming up and a few drops
during/at the end of a coffee making
When the drip tray is removed for emptying
(usually at the end of a coffee making
session)1.the vent will drip a small amout
of water onto the welds of the steel frame. If
this is not wiped up rust will start to form as
can be seen, because the water sits in this
area underneath the drip tray. This could
easily be solved during manufacture by
the application of a small bead of black
silicone and smoothed to 45 degrees
with a wet finger. If I owned this
machine, I would personally run a small
bead of black silicone along the weld.
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 9 of 15
Page 10 of 15
The rating plate, placed on the underside of
the machine
Both steam and brew pressure gauges,
which look fantastic and really nice
quality. Set off nicely with a big chromed
The Steam and brew pressure gauges
were not straight. Rocket Espresso
realise this is a problem and are in the
process of trying to get tabs fitted to the
gauges so that they will always be
installed straight. This annoys them as
much as it does me.
The new machine is greatly
complemented by the use of a
Commercial grade heavy duty Sirai
pressurestat (left of picture). Although the
Sirai pressurestats cost significantly more,
they are known to be very reliable and,
accurate and almost never fail in
domestic use.
These pressurestats
are a little noisier,
due to the heavy
duty relay inside
them. They also take
up a lot of
they’re good!
You adjust them by removing the yellow cap
to reveal the adjuster will need
a lot more turns than you are used to say
when adjusting a cheaper MATER
I think it’s time that all manufacturers started to insulate the boilers of their machines1It’s not so much a
complaint as an observation. Currently most manufacturers do not, but more are insulating them as standard e.g.
Quickmill, Izzo, Expobar etc.
I mentioned this in reviews of previous models and think the Giotto Evoluzione would also benefit from such
insulation in the areas of, component life, steaming and reduced power consumption. Rocket has promised to look
into insulating the boiler this time round.
The heating element (1200 watt element) is stated as being, made from special long life material (5 times
longer than normal elements). I think this is great, because heating element replacement is one of life’s less
pleasant tasks. They are currently testing a 1400W heating element and I am hoping this is made of the same
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
The thermosyphon tubes have been
enlarged, the reasons stated are:
“Superior layout of thermosyphon system
resulting in optimum extraction. Generously
dimensioned. 20% higher volume as with
comparable machines on the market.”
and1“Optimised boiler capacity to
thermosyphon system ratio. Results in fast
heat up time”
Page 11 of 15
I always let a machine heat up for a while before I use it1usually
about 30 minutes or more. What I can say is the Giotto was ready in
30 minutes and some other machines are not quite there after 30
min. In addition a thermosyphon with increased capacity can only be
an advantage in cold conditions or when pulling lots of shots.
My internal inspection shows a much longer route for the
thermosyphon pipes than before, especially the top pipe (probably to
make connections easier). I suspect this was also a reason for
increasing the diameter of the pipes.
This is a minor niggle and is becoming more
common. It’s nice to see a machine with a
factory fitted UK 3 pin plug, but I do wish
they would go to the trouble of fitting the
exposed pins with those plastic “plug”
protectors to prevent any risk of scratching
in transit.
The machine has external access to
adjust the pressure of the rotary pump.
Although it does allow you to adjust
pressure without removing the moderately
difficult to remove case, it is in a tricky
position, underneath the machine.
In addition the side panel fixings would have
to be loosened to relieve the case
sufficiently to get a socket in there to
release the lock nut.
I would also personally use a mains
plumbed pressure range of 2-3 bar and a
pressure reducer if necessary to prevent
exceeding 3 bar. This is contrary to the
Insert sheet in the Rocket Espresso
instructions, which state limiting line
pressures in excess of 5 bars
The mains water connector underneath,
which also handily swivels in any
I have no idea why the earth bond cable
is on the outside and not the
inside*..Totally baffled, if it was my
choice this would be inside the machine
where it can’t catch on
anything*.perhaps some EU rule?
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Just a click and you can switch from
mains to plumbed. No reaching for a
lever underneath the machine. Apparently
people loved it at the Milan show and I must
admit it’s pretty cool. It works by actuating a
couple of electro-valves inside the machine.
One opens and another closes and you are
on mains operation1.flick it back and the
reverse happens and you are plumbed.
People who know me, know that I like
engineering simplicity (where it does the
job)this is a very elegant, and cool,
solution to a simple problem. Me, I like a 2
way manual valve with a lever moved by the
Mk1 human being, but I’m old, poor and
perhaps biased?
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 12 of 15
Page 13 of 15
Using the Giotto Evoluzione – simple and easy to use!
The Giotto Evoluzione runs hot, but not too hot,
Hot Water
unlike many other Heat Exchanger (HX) machines.
It’s nice to have really hot water on tap, recovery
Due to the compromise of any HX machine,
time after drawing hot water for an Americano is
between continuously available steam and
very fast. Although I always say for regular hot
production of brew water for espresso. The
water production a kettle is a better option in
pressure in the boiler is directly related to the
areas where lime scale is a problem and saves
temperature, a higher pressure gives higher
having to descale your machine so often.
temperatures. Because of the way HX machines
work most require a cooling flush prior to
I felt the Giotto did not need as large a
cooling flush as many HX machines
drawing the first in a series of espressos, the
Giotto Evoluzione in common with other
machines of this type also requires this “cooling
The E61 group
flush”. However, Giotto did not need as large a
cooling flush as many HX machines
The E61 group is an industry standard (as are
many of the components in the machine), so
Pressure Settings
parts such as, pumps, gaskets, shower screens,
You can alter the pressure/temperature of the
filter holders, filter holder handles etc. are all a
boiler if required; I found the factory settings of
standard size and readily available from multiple
1.0 bar to be less than optimal for brewing or
suppliers. This also means that the pricing of
steaming. I raised it to 1.2 bar which was far
these spares is highly competitive.
better and all Bella Barista machines
machines will be factory
set to 1.2 bar.
Steam Production
The Giotto Evoluzione has reasonable steam
As long as a cooling flush is performed, the Giotto
steaming, especially with smaller quantities of
Evoluzione makes consistently good espressos
performance; it takes a little while to get used to
and easily maintains the temperature during the
pour. HX recovery is fast enough that domestic
volumes of espresso will be absolutely no
problem, but not too fast, giving advanced users
scope to use this recovery time to try for different
optimum brew temperatures depending on the
coffee used.
As a rotary pumped machine with a balanced
bypass, brew pressure when tested was set to 9.0
bar and was stable, but could easily be adjusted
to whatever you desire. The take of for the brew
pressure gauge is at the pump head and outside
the sealed brew circuit (the correct place), so
unaffected by water expansion effects.
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 14 of 15
Final Thoughts – so what’s the bottom line!
You might be forgiven for thinking that I didn’t
There are people who are going to love the looks
like the
the Giotto Evoluzione,
Evoluzione, but you would be
of the Giotto (I did) and as a lifestyle choice for
wrong. I liked this machine a lot, so much so, that
some, nothing else will do. It is a fine looking
I went to the trouble of being very thorough with
machine and it makes espresso as well or better
the review. Sure there are a few things that could
than many other machines in the prosumer class.
be improved to make the machine even better. I
“the Giotto Evoluzione, represents better
value for money than the Izzo Alex MK II
dual water”
felt that bringing these out in a review would
provide more incentive for the improvements to
be made,
It definitely holds its own against other similar
machines and is significantly better than more
The machine nearest competitor is the dual water
expensive offerings from the competition. I truly
Izzo Alex and the Giotto Evoluzione costs a little
believe it is one of the better rotary pumped, HX
less. Its rotary pump is actually quieter than an
machines you can buy for the money. It also works
Izzo Alex (better mounts, heavier base frame).
really well, usually I am very quick to place my
Bella Barista will hate me saying this:
this: the
the overall
Duetto back on the counter and pack up a review
quality and components used in the Giotto
machine. I have been in no particular hurry to do
Evoluzione is so good,
good, it represents better value
this with the Giotto Evoluzione. I have had it on
for money
money than the Izzo Alex MKII dual water.
water. It
test for 4 weeks now and can only say it has
also looks far better (my opinion) and has a much
performed flawlessly.
larger onboard internal water tank. Sure there are
some differences between the two machines and
Anything you would change?
you need to read both reviews to decide which
you feel is better for you personally.
It’s heavy at 23kg, but not too large, although
slightly deeper than some machines. It’s also not
It needs a slightly smaller cooling flush than most
too tall and I do prefer machines that are a little
HX machines and the water refilling/management
more balanced in this way. A commercial 1 group
is easier than on many machines. Detection of
(which would make similar beverages), would be
low water level is excellent (reliable) and the
significantly bigger, heavier and overkill for the
entire tank is used before the machine switches
home user.
off the heating element (and pump). I would like
As a reviewer, with my 20/20 hindsight, there
to see Rocket Espresso address as many of the
were a few things, although the machine is priced
recommendations as possible in this review. I
really competitively especially considering the
think it’s a lost opportunity and I think it’s a
features it has. These have been fully bought out
machine that so good, it deserves that little extra.
in the review. But don’t be unduly alarmed they
are minor improvements on a machine that has
many admirers and do little to detract from its day
to day operation. Importantly they are small things
on a machine at such a competitive price when
compared to other similar machines.
The Giotto
Giotto Evoluzione is a great machine,
with fantastic retro styling, that any
owner would, and should,
should, be proud
of….makes great coffee too!
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
Page 15 of 15
Gallery – A few pictures of the Giotto Evoluzione
The beautiful lever operated E61 group, just
waiting to make that espresso or latte!
Removing only the panel gives reasonable access, removing 1 or more
side pane
ls gives very good access for maintenance/servicing
© Bella Barista
Bella Barista, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1LD
Tel: 01933 273275
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