17 comments on “ROK Manual Espressomaker Review

  1. I set the base atop cloth on the countertop and that consistently works well. I can get a decent crema just by raising the arms fully again after the espresso begins to pour from the portafilter and resuming pressing down.

    • Andrew, you’re right, the relift improves the crema! Saves me the trouble of that second tablespoonful of hot water. Thanks for the helpful comment.

      While I’m here, I should also mention that flushing 2 chambers of boiling water through before making espresso with the third helps with the low temperature — but I can’t usually be bothered.

    • thanks for the link Harry. Glad it was helpful.

      Postscript: I hope the seal of silicon to portafilter is hermetic, b/c the same corrosion is happening in the chamber. Aluminum alloys have a way of protecting themselves against environmental hazards, and as you can see it’s not just a patina as with brass…

    • They’d probably honor it if the parts became inoperable from corrosion. I’d be surprised if they would for surface finish—claims would eat them alive.

      • Definitely not. It’s all very thick casting.

        But the cosmetic issue will doubtless chafe a lot of people. For my part I just don’t want to drink any metal oxides, which generally are not desirable dietary supplements.

      • “For my part I just don’t want to drink any metal oxides” me neither!
        Just one question I have and haven’t found an answer for and that is whether the plastic water chamber is BPA Free (bisphenol A; an industrial chemical!)? I know the Aeropress unit, when they were launched, were found to have had this in the product manufacturing process, but soon changed the process after health concerns over BPA .
        Is the ROK Espresso Maker plastic water chamber BPA Free?

  2. Harry, I’d love to ask the company that, and if I get around to it I will certainly update here. (I despair of the answer we want, though.) I’ve corresponded with their PR department and will make a note to dash off an email.

    Given that brass alloys sometimes contain lead, and that my Francis! Francis! portafilter flaked chrome from the inside of the double portafilter spout where it wouldn’t be noticed (!), I bristle that we have to interrogate manufacturers so. We shouldn’t have to wait until we are doddering and drooling to prove that lead and chrome have done us more harm than old age.

    • I contacted ROK PR here in the UK yesterday as there was no real data in the box the ROK came in, and after an hour they got back to me; a lady, who really didn’t know the product at all, and was reading from a manual she had in front of her, and after all that she didn’t know the answer! Let’s put it this way, if the plastic water chamber was BPA Free, you’d use that in your PR campaign to reassure folks that it was all perfectly safe; the Aeropress, was quickly re-manufactured after it was found to have BPA in it’s material! We await proof!
      “made in P.R.C”

  3. I’ve just had it confirmed from ROK, that there IS BPA (bisphenol A) in the plastic, and to me that is no good where hot water and plastic is concerned in the process of making an ‘espresso’ using the ROK!

    • Thanks Harry, though I am gutted to hear that. I hope that my few months’ exposure to ridiculous levels of BPA (hot water=55 times the normal levels that leach, and I read somewhere else that BPA continues to leach out for at least 10 years) won’t affect my health adversely. I don’t use plastics much of anywhere else.

      Though apparently BPA-free plastics have their own issues. The convenience of plastics is just not worth the risk.

      Shame on ROK for ruining what was a brilliant product with some seriously lazy manufacturing. Now I don’t even know what to do with the damn thing.

      • I’m returning my unopened ROK imminently!

        All in all, the presentation and design of the ROK looks great and is well packaged, but such cost cutting measures using inferior materials, does not bode well for what could be a first class portable espresso unit! Let’s hope ROK, are listening, and we await v3 with bated breath!

        Put your health first, Avoid!

  4. Received from Diane Beaumont Sales and Marketing Assistant
    db@presso.co.uk—> “Thank you for contacting us about the ROK. There is no issue with BPA and we are therefore not considering a BPS free version.”

    I have a feeling that if there is enough outcry from the public then there will be an issue. Meanwhile, I agree …AVOID.

    • Hi Rhea,

      I don’t think the aluminum versus copper choice is particularly material, given the issues with BPA (or hormone-impacting plasticizers in general) that, as far as I can tell, persist in the copper incarnation of the product. The construction flaws in the aluminum model were cosmetic anyway.

      Given that ROK has expressed indifference to the possible health impacts of BPA, and that BPA-analogues are problematic as well, I would, and do, stay away from ROK entirely.*

      ___________
      *I’ll give you a deal on my aluminum model if you sign a waiver. 😉

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