Recently I decided to gain back some of my countertop real estate, and so I decided to hire a crane to come in and move my Mazzer Jolly back into storage and to retire my Solis Maestro. in order to get back about 2 square feet of countertop space. I settled on a doserless version of the Rancilio Rocky. From reading all the reviews of the dosered Rocky, we all know the specs of the basic Rocky, and it appears that nothing has changed, except that it appears that they have added a few more grind positions, it says it has 55 positions. It has the same electric motor, and burr set.
I patiently waited for my order to arrive at my front door. Well...actually it was a day late because the address was wrong, and I was sure the UPS guy had taken it for his home. I darned near ran after the UPS truck as it drove by like a dog chasing a car.
When it finally arrived I ripped open the box, and the Box that actually held the grinder was the same box that the standard Rocky comes in, what can i say? I guess we need to teach the utilitarian Italians about marketing. I opened the box and there before my eyes was the legendary Rocky.
The first thing that I noticed was the power cord, it was huge and the location is on the right side and sticks straight out the side, I wish that companies would learn that the cord location should be under the units and towards the back. But this is a minor thing. The plug on the cord is 3 prong plug, about 3" long and sticks straight out of the outlet so it is a bit hard to locate if you have limited space like I do. this will not affect most people as they will have more space than the 6 square feet of counter I have.
The second thing I noticed was the Doser fork as it were. It is actually a chromed 3/16" piece of steel rod bent into a shape that most portafilters will fit fine. It is held in to the front of the grinder by 2 holes in the front that holds by pressure, no screws to remove. It came uninstalled and I left it that way as my Elli's portafilter does not fit the shape, but that is just an Elli problem. Ok... I did try it and the fit is very sturdy, unlike the original doserfork. Ok enough of the construction, I will finally say that the build is extremly high quality. and He just looks good.
After finally getting to the point of getting in it's home, I read the manual, and turned the main power switch on, and pressed the momentary switch. It purred into life. I love the snap of a commercial motor when it turns on. It was a very quiet hum as it ran. and now to zero it in. Unlike the previous reviews when I took it down to zero, I could just barely hear the burrs touch. So while my Elli was heating up, I decided to grind some coffee for my drip machine, I cranked it up to 40 on the dial, and threw in some Home roasted Mexican. I put the very loose fitting lid on it, and put the filter basket under the spout and ground the portion, It jumped to life and ground untill it was done. I was taken back by the amount to static that it created. the bits of chaff stuck to the spout, and yet all the grounds landed in the middle of the filter basket. I felt the grind and it was astoundingly even, I slipped it in the coffee machine and started the brew, and inspected the grinder, I realized that the finger guard held several beans back from being ground. I got out my screw driver and decided to look at the burrs while i was waiting for the Elli. I had to turn the grinder upside down to remove the stuck seeds. I removed the screws and to my surprise the finger guard came right off, problem solved. I then removed the Hopper, marked the zero location and unscrewed the burr mount. The burrs were smaller than I expected, but they are the same type as is on the Jolly, just smaller diameter, and they were so sharp. One thing that I will say right here is how smooth the burr group moved, it is so smooth that you can tell that it is quality machined. Here is point that shows the caring that goes into the engineering of this macnine. The upper burr group is made if brass and it has very small threads. Small threads mean that coffee grounds when fine can get stuck in them. Rancilio solves this problem in a very reasonable way. They cut grooves in across the treads in 3 locations of the group to act as a thread cutters and gives a place fot the grounds to fall out of the threads, always keeping the threads clean, Great idea. I also noticed that there was about 1 gram of coffee in the grind chute, not alot considering what I have been using.
One thing that i did not like was the placement of the mometary switch. It only stays on while it is pressed, and it is hidden when dumping into the basket, I would much prefer a rocker switch that stayed on, or a 3 way switch, but that is because I only put in enough to grind what i'm using. Also moving it to the top, corner would make it much easier to see Also you should adjust this with the motor running if you are switching from drip to espresso You need 1 hand to press the swithc, and one hand to depress the hopper lock, and one hand to turn the hopper to adjust the grind, You will need to have a small dish to catch the grinds, because I haven't found enough hands. I used the lid to catch the wasted grinds and into the knock box with them.
While talking about using a doserless in a home situation, the first bit of the grind should be wasted as it is old grounds, I wipe out my portafilter out with a paper towel to keep the portafilter hot, so i just grind the first part of the grind in the dry portafilter and dump it in the knock box, only about 1 gram. then I finish the grinding into the porta filter, it is another step, but a minor one.
The drip coffee was excelent. I suspect that has to do with the eveness of the grind, and No powder
By then my Elli was hot. It only took 4 pulls to hone in the grind. It came very simply, Well... The 3rd was at about a thirty minute pull, so i didn't taste that one, lol.
I mentioned about the static, but I feel that was not neccesarily Rocky's fault. It was 10 degrees F here, and with a humidity of about 0% humidity. Heck even I almost stick to the walls like a a balloon in that kind of weather. Enough said! Ok...not enough said, After using the grinder for several days the static seems to have solved itself, very little after the initial grinds.
Now with all the negitives handled. let me talk about the positives, it seems that I may be pointing out the negatives, but with this machine it is all about grinding. This machine is fast and a quality grinder all the way. It grinds as evenly as the Mazzer that I have. This is a commercial machine that will last forever.
Rancilio handled all of the problems with the doser by not putting one in this machine. It was a great idea, and the Doser fork is a great improvement. A point about the doser fork, with it being a smooth rod, you can leave it on the machine, and still grind into most drip filter baskets. The grounds just bounce off the fork.
Cleaning will be a breeze on this machine, No doser removes a ton of steps in cleaning of the unit.
I would buy another one in a heartbeat.