Is The Rok EspressoGC Coffee Maker Right For You? Our No-Nonsense Review

by | Aug 20, 2019

While we love our single-serve coffee machines and all the other lovely electrical gadgets out there, there are times when what we want is a simple, straightforward, sturdy machine that is a leader in its field.

Since sustainability is increasingly important, it can sometimes be useful to remind ourselves of some of the machines out there that don’t require power. The Rok espresso maker fits the bill perfectly.

Presenting The Rok EspressoGC Coffee Machine

As a company, Rok has over 20 years of experience in the field. This is an updated version of the original manual espresso maker. This machine was originally on the market as the Presso, in around 2004; it became the Rok in 2012.

The Rok EspressoGC has a very distinctive look and its design would fit in perfectly with any décor. The machine has a polished metal finish and the metal components are guaranteed for 10 years – yes, we really did say 10 years, so make sure you file your receipt somewhere safe.

 

ROK EspressoGC Coffee Maker 

ROK EspressoGC
261 Reviews
ROK EspressoGC
  • Includes a single spout portafilter, a detachable plastic double spout attachment, and a measuring cup
  • Upgraded piston gasket produces better pressure than original ROK
  • Lightweight and Portable at 3.5 lbs and 11.5 inches tall
  • Extract crema-rich espresso easily by squeezing the GC’s two arms down
  • Includes 10 Year Warranty on Metal Parts

The pressure chamber is made from a BPA-free glass composite. The shower screen is made from silicone, which makes for a pretty clean extraction. There are 4 keys on the back, so you know it’s secure and generally leak proof. The fact that the holes are smaller than on the older models also means you can rely on a precision placement for your coffee.

While it’s an ideal gadget for a full-size kitchen, it’s compact enough for other settings like an RV or dorm room, and will appeal to those who like to take control when they’re making espresso.

 

Features And Benefits Of The Rok EspressoGC

This is a very handsome machine. It measures 5.1 x 8.6 x 11.8 inches and weighs less than 5 pounds. Shipping adds around another 1.5 pounds to the package. This compact machine is less than 12 inches high. The four rubber legs under the base of the GC mean it’s very stable while you use it, as long as it’s on a level surface.

This machine comes with a single spout stainless steel portafilter, a detachable plastic double spout with attachment, and a measuring cup. The water reservoir is plastic; there’s a ten-year warranty on the metal parts.

The piston gauntlet has been upgraded so that the pressure is much better than on the original Rok, and the pressure chamber has improved insulation. This model requires less force to extract than previous versions.

There is no electricity required – this is a manual brewing machine, and you will need to apply a reasonable amount of force on the arms, although don’t overdo it. There is a storage tin to make it easy to transport, although we wouldn’t suggest taking it on an airplane unless it’s your only carry on item. It is, however, ideal for road travel, camping, or as part of your kitchen kit in an RV or on a houseboat.

 

What You Need To Make The Most Of Your Rok EspressoGC

You’re completely in control with the Rok Espresso GC, making it especially suitable for those who enjoy the craft of making the perfect espresso. You choose the brewing temperature, so that, in general, this machine will give you espresso as hot (or not) as you like, with excellent crema.

As we’ve mentioned already, it will probably take you a few attempts to get the hang of crafting the perfect artisan espresso. It’s a good idea to warm the cups and water tank first – one technique is to pour boiling water into the vessels first, before you even start the brewing cycle. Empty the water before you start on the real business of making the espresso with fresh water at the temperature that’s right for you.

 

ROK EspressoGC Machine 

ROK EspressoGC
261 Reviews
ROK EspressoGC
  • Includes a single spout portafilter, a detachable plastic double spout attachment, and a measuring cup
  • Upgraded piston gasket produces better pressure than original ROK
  • Lightweight and Portable at 3.5 lbs and 11.5 inches tall
  • Extract crema-rich espresso easily by squeezing the GC’s two arms down
  • Includes 10 Year Warranty on Metal Parts

Some owners have also found warming the portafilter helps them to brew the perfect espresso. In this case, the portafilter needs to be placed inside a container that can cope with boiling water. After heating, empty the portafilter over the sink, then dry with a paper towel or similar.

Before you start brewing, make sure the coffee is tamped tight in the filter, and you are likely to find pre-ground coffee is not really fine enough to generate the pressure needed for espresso release. Ideally, you need freshly ground coffee beans.

You will also get better results if you weigh your coffee – or at least use the same spoon or measuring device, to keep it consistent.

 

Can You Make An Authentic Espresso With The Rok EspressoGC?

While the instruction manual suggests a two-step extraction, this may result in a brew that’s a little bitter yet a little weak for some tastes.

Once you get the hang of it, this machine is super-easy to use. You just fill the water reservoir, lift the arms, lock the portafilter in place, and plunge the arms downward, slowly and gently. This technique should extract a crema-rich espresso.

It might sound elementary, but press out all the water before you remove the portafilter after you’ve made a shot, otherwise it can get a little messy!

 

Pros And Cons Of The Rok EspressoGC Coffee Machine

What we really like

The machine looks great and is delightfully light and compact

You don’t need any electricity for this machine

The crema is authentic

There’s a really long warranty on the metal parts

We love the carrying tin

It’s pretty environmentally friendly

You’re definitely in control

What we don't like

✗ The machine takes quite a lot of getting used to

✗ The reservoir is plastic

✗ You need to exert just the right amount of gentle force (within reason) when you’re bringing down the arms on the device

While opinions vary a little on this machine, for every negative review from a Rok EspressoGC user, there are around three positive reviews of the machine. Users speak very highly of the crema in particular, and the fact that it helps them stay in touch with the artisan aspects of making coffee. The manual milk frother that comes with the machine isn’t the most sophisticated in the world, although it does the job.

Users also liked the fact that it’s a very easy machine to clean – you simply need to rinse it out, and you should find there’s relatively little residue left on the screen.

 

Alternatives To The Rok EspressoGC

We always like to explore our options when we’re deciding on a coffee machine, and our review of the Rok is no exception to the rule. We’ve taken a look at three alternatives in a little more detail.

 

Flair Espresso Maker 

The Flair Espresso Maker is another manual machine for those who like to be completely in control of the whole espresso process. It’s the only machine we’re aware of at the time of writing with a detachable brewing head. The press stand is made of aluminum and the brewing head is made of stainless steel. This machine comes with a metal carrying case and a five-year warranty.

It tends to run a little more expensive than the EspressoGC, but like the Rok EspressoGC, there is no need for electricity.  The dimensions are 12 x 6 x 10 inches and it weighs around 5 pounds.

Flair Espresso Maker, Classic - Manual Press
321 Reviews
Flair Espresso Maker, Classic - Manual Press
  • HANDCRAFT SHOTS OF ESPRESSO - With the Flair Espresso Maker, you have a complete manual espresso machine that can produce professional quality shots of espresso from your home, or wherever you are....
  • FULLY MANUAL & COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL - The Flair is a 100% human-powered, manual espresso press. There are no plugs or electronics, meaning the Flair, which was designed from the ground up, will look...
  • EASY TO CLEAN - The Flair Espresso Maker is the only manual espresso maker with a completely detachable brewing head. This patented design allows for users to completely remove the brewing head,...
  • BUILT TO LAST - Made from durable materials like cast aluminum and stainless steel, you can be sure your manual espresso maker, by Flair, is built to last. Both the aluminum press stand and the...
  • FULLY PORTABLE - All Flair Espresso Makers come standard with our precision cut and padded carrying case meaning you can take your manual espresso maker anywhere you’d like.

 

The NISPIRA Syphon Coffee Maker 

This opulent looking coffee maker from NISPIRA is another alternative to the Rok EspressoGC. The body is gold and chrome in color, with a wooden board; the water retainer is made of stainless steel. The glass for the alcohol burner is, necessarily, heat-resistant. Those who are interested in watching the chemistry of coffee at work may find this particularly appealing.

The dimensions of this coffee maker are 12.2 x 5 x 15.7 inches and it weighs just over 5.5 pounds. The machine comes with a measuring spoon and cup. This machine is usually a little cheaper than the Rok EspressoGC, although not by very much.

Nispira Belgian Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon Siphon Coffee Maker Gold Color, 1 set
53 Reviews
Nispira Belgian Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon Siphon Coffee Maker Gold Color, 1 set
  • NISPIRA Syphon Coffee Maker for 3-5 Espresso Cups (500ML- about 17 OZ)
  • Beautiful Gold/ Chrome Color body with brown wooden board base
  • Stainless steel water retainer,and plug
  • Heat-resistance glass, alcohol burner. Plated balancing shaft,and handle, measuring spoon and cup.
  • Manufactured by NISPIRA. Solely Distributed by Coffee and Toy.

 

Rok Manual Espresso Maker 

Our final alternative is another product from Rok – Rok Manual Espresso Maker. Like the Rok EspressoGC, it looks lovely; its dimensions are 14 x 14 x 14 inches and it weighs just under 8 pounds. It ships with a case, a coffee scoop to allow you to measure your coffee accurately, a manual milk frother and extra gaskets for the water chamber.

The body is made of aluminum and this machine is easy to clean, but it is considerably more expensive than the EspressoGC and it’s a little tricky to see why.

 

We recently put together a round-up review with the best vacuum coffee makers of 2019. Feel free to check our ultimate guide.

Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker, Siphon Coffee Brewer,Slow Brew, Bold Flavor, Made in Europe, Black, 8 cup, 1 liter, 34 Ounces
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Hario Technica 5-Cup Glass Syphon Coffee Maker
Top Design
Diguo Belgian/Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker. Elegant Double Ridged Fulcrum with Tee handle (Egyptian Black & Gold)
Budget Option
[Factory Store] QUEEN SENSE Patented Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker Electric Vacuum Coffee Pot CM0601 (Siphon Coffee Maker)
YAMA Glass 5 Cup Tabletop Siphon Gravity Coffee Maker with Alcohol Burner
Customer Rating
Dimensions
12.5 x 10.3 x 7.8 in
16.3 x 4.9 x 6.5 in
17.1 x 13.9 x 5.9 in
13.8 x 11.9 x 7.5 in
4 x 4 x 14 in
Weight
1.55 lbs
1.55 lbs
6 lbs
4.85 lbs
2.2 lbs
Price
$35.99
$75.50
$128.00
$69.99
$71.00
Prime Benefits
Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker, Siphon Coffee Brewer,Slow Brew, Bold Flavor, Made in Europe, Black, 8 cup, 1 liter, 34 Ounces
Product
Customer Rating
Dimensions
12.5 x 10.3 x 7.8 in
Weight
1.55 lbs
Price
$35.99
Prime Benefits
Best Value
Hario Technica 5-Cup Glass Syphon Coffee Maker
Product
Customer Rating
Dimensions
16.3 x 4.9 x 6.5 in
Weight
1.55 lbs
Price
$75.50
Prime Benefits
Top Design
Diguo Belgian/Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker. Elegant Double Ridged Fulcrum with Tee handle (Egyptian Black & Gold)
Customer Rating
Dimensions
17.1 x 13.9 x 5.9 in
Weight
6 lbs
Price
$128.00
Prime Benefits
Budget Option
[Factory Store] QUEEN SENSE Patented Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker Electric Vacuum Coffee Pot CM0601 (Siphon Coffee Maker)
Customer Rating
Dimensions
13.8 x 11.9 x 7.5 in
Weight
4.85 lbs
Price
$69.99
Prime Benefits
YAMA Glass 5 Cup Tabletop Siphon Gravity Coffee Maker with Alcohol Burner
Product
Customer Rating
Dimensions
4 x 4 x 14 in
Weight
2.2 lbs
Price
$71.00
Prime Benefits

 

Conclusion – Do We Recommend The Rok EspressoGC?

CoffeeGearSpy.com Rating: (4.4/5)

Using the Rok EspressoGC to make your coffee is not unlike a ritual: it reminds you that making coffee is an art at least as much as it is a science.

Although it’s not a cheap machine it’s not overly expensive either. The Rok EspressoGC is a very good value for money and, used correctly, should last you a long time. It is true that you do need to invest a little time and effort to learn how to use this machine, and you also need to allow time to brew your espresso – but then, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

 

ROK EspressoGC Maker 

ROK EspressoGC
261 Reviews
ROK EspressoGC
  • Includes a single spout portafilter, a detachable plastic double spout attachment, and a measuring cup
  • Upgraded piston gasket produces better pressure than original ROK
  • Lightweight and Portable at 3.5 lbs and 11.5 inches tall
  • Extract crema-rich espresso easily by squeezing the GC’s two arms down
  • Includes 10 Year Warranty on Metal Parts

  Last update on 2019-11-13 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

  Last update on 2019-11-13 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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