Beauty and performance for the home espresso grinder
Positive Product Points
Beautiful. At least mine is. I know that some have some manufacturing blemishes. Grinds very precise. Matched perfectly to Rancilio Silvia via the doserless portafilter holder. Easy to load hopper, even for single doses. Spring loaded switch for dosing.
Negative Product Points
A little noisy. Is never completely purged of ground coffee. Hopper is too big for a doserless machine. Beans get stuck in the hopper guard screw holes.
I purchased this unit as part of a Silvia/Rocky/Base package from WholeLatteLove. I was originally looking at the Solis Maestro and was finally sold on the Rocky by the lack of plastics securing the grinder plates. I really wanted a conical grinder and still do, but I can't be convinced yet that plastic is a worth while place to fix grinder plates. The nice thing about a conical grinder is that you can always place the feed from the grinding chamber below it and so everything always falls out. This is the number one problem for the Rocky and any other flat grinder no matter what other qualities the grinder may have. For the restaurant where beans are constantly moving through the grinder, this is not a huge issue. But for the home roaster who is fussy about freshness, it is real liability. Attentive Rocky owners report that they regularly clean the feed passage out, but you still aren't going to do that every day. If you take the trouble to roast your own coffee and run just a dose a day through it, a solid fifth of the dose is going to be yesterday's grind. I grind for two doses and I don't care that much. A little day old coffee does not gore my ox.
When I first started the unit empty, it made a buzzing sound which alarmed me. But when I added coffee, it hums along nicely so I don't worry about it. The grind selecter switch rattles around a little, but the machine is otherwise so solid and reliable, that I don't worry about that either. This completely characterizes this unit, it inspires trust and confidence. I'll be shocked if it goes out like my Silvia did.
The folks at Whole Latte Love sent me my set right away via FedEx after I purchased them all refurbished on eBay. Whole Latte Love is a well established espresso business. I've had no cause to deal with them regarding my Rocky. My experience suggests that purchasing refurbished from wholelattelove might be a bit of an adventure. Proceed with caution.
Three Month Followup
This was never submitted.
One Year Followup
I have been using this grinder at least three times a week and have no cause to complain about it beyond my initial impressions. I never store beans in the hopper. I only put enough beans in the hopper to provide for my one latte. This is one reason that the fact that it does not purge ground coffee completely so irritating. It seems like you could just angle the feed down so that gravity might do the job or something. Another place this shows up as a problem is if you change settings for drip, for example. When you change back to espresso the previously unpurged grounds from drip are a problem for the first dose.
I have to withdraw the suggestion that the unit is "beautiful". It's nice, but the little plastic spout is pretty crappy. It is an ugly, rough casting and considering the nice appearance of the rest of the machine, a real eye sore.