In this guide, we’ll be putting the La Marzocco GS3 vs Rocket R58. If you’re not sure which one is better for your home or business, we’ll give you the information you need to make your decision.
This is what we’ll uncover for you:
- What’s the same and what’s different between these espresso machines
- Information on the cost of the La Marzocco GS3 and Rocket R58
- Our advice on how to decide which one to buy
Let’s get started.
La Marzocco GS3
Its powerful dual boiler system makes the La Marzocco GS3 the choice for high-end home coffee bars or small businesses. Pick this one if you’re in need of an espresso machine that can steam and brew back to back drinks continuously and effortlessly.
Rocket is a popular manufacturer among at-home espresso enthusiasts due to their reliability and impressive looks. Get one of these models if you’re searching for an inexpensive and high-quality espresso machine to take home or put in a low-volume business.
Espresso comes from the group on an espresso machine. If you have more groups, you can make more espresso shots at the same time.
But there are also pros to having a single group, like the GS3 and the R58.
Chiefly, a greater ability to focus on each shot as it’s made. If you’re making multiple shots on multiple group heads, you either need another barista at the machine or you need to split your attention between them.
With one group head, you can spend more time ensuring that every single shot is the absolute best it can be. As a result, the quality of your drink is increased.
Additionally, single group machines are user-friendly. Beginners will have time to work on each shot rather than having to balance multiple shots.
Dual Boiler System
With some espresso machines, you can’t steam milk and brew the shot at the same time – you have to wait after doing one before you can do the other.
If you’re making drinks to serve your family and friends, or you’re serving a few customers, this waiting period can become an issue. The dual boiler systems in the GS3 and the R58 solve this problem.
This system bypasses the waiting period by having one boiler for steaming and one for brewing. Because of this design, these espresso machines can steam and brew simultaneously.
On either one of these espresso machines, you’ll be able to speedily whip up drinks.
Optional Pour-Over or Direct-Connect
Of course, you can’t have espresso without water.
There are two ways you can manage your water supply with espresso machines: pour-over or direct-connect. With the GS3 or R58, you’ll be able to access either of these ways.
Pour-over machines have a reservoir that you have to manually replenish. While this can take too much time when you’ve got lines of customers, it has the unique benefit of being mobile.
Unlike direct-connect machines, which have to be connected to a water supply, pour-over machines can be used pretty much anywhere there’s an outlet. That makes them wise choices for coffee carts or homes.
Otherwise, as a general rule, commercial environments should use direct-connect machines. Because they’re plumbed into your water line, they refill themselves automatically.
Automatically refilling water can be critical when you’ve got lines of customers at your counter. The time saved from not having to stop to pour water in can really add up.
Regardless of which water tank configuration better suits your needs, these espresso machines can meet your requirements.
Large Water Reservoir Capacity
If you’re choosing to use your espresso machine as a pour-over, you’ll probably want a larger water reservoir so you don’t need to stop for refills too often.
Fortunately, the reservoirs on both the GS3 and the R58 are large. The R58 has a 2.5-liter tank, and the GS3 has a 2.25-liter tank.
This size is nearly identical, and either one will be able to aid in crafting multiple drinks in a row. You won’t be constantly interrupted by the need for a refill.
PID Temperature Controller
Temperature is crucial to every part of the drink-making process, from brewing the espresso to frothing the milk.
For that reason, the GS3 and R58 grant maximum control over temperature to you with their PID temperature controllers.
These temperature controllers monitor variables and make adjustments to the temperature using a complex algorithm. You can also use them to make your own tweaks to the brew and steam boiler temperatures individually.
In addition, you can experiment with the flavor profiles of your drinks by using different temperatures.
Because of that, PID temperature controllers are a prized feature among baristas, and you’ll get to use them, too, with these espresso machines.
Cool Touch Steam Wands
Many espresso machines require a degree of caution to use, because their steam wands can shock you with a nasty burn.
However, this issue is a thing of the past on the GS3 and R58. They each use cool touch steam wands that remain at a comfortable temperature even after prolonged use.
Clearly, one great thing about this is no more burns. But there’s a second benefit to these steam wands:
Because of their cool temperature, milk doesn’t burn and get stuck to their tips. You won’t need to struggle to clean milk off their ends, reducing your time spent cleaning.
Stainless Steel Construction
Both these espresso machines are encased in shining stainless steel.
The advantage to this is twofold:
For one thing, it’s visually appealing. The look of the GS3 and the R58 is one of cleanliness and professionalism.
Either one would fit right in on a kitchen countertop or in a bustling business.
For another thing, the stainless steel makes these machines long-lasting. You’ll be able to rely on them for a long time.
Although the GS3 and R58 each have stainless steel cases, there are still distinct differences in their appearance.
In particular, Rocket is well-known for designing attractive espresso machines. You can see this in the R58, with its straight, unblemished side panels and bold R logo on one of its valves.
On the other hand, the GS3 has black side panels and slim steam and hot water wands that arch over the drip tray. The effect is one that reeks of elegance and sophistication.
Appearance aside, these machines are also a little different in size.
A bit larger, the GS3 is 17.5 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 21 inches deep.
Because it was designed with homes in mind, the R58 is slightly more compact. It measures at 16.25 inches tall, 12.25 inches wide, and 17.50 inches deep.
Dual boilers are used in the GS3 and R58, but their construction varies between them.
The GS3 uses stainless steel brew and steam boilers. Stainless steel is a popular boiler material, due to its durability.
So what’s the alternative? Copper, which is used by the boilers in the R58.
Not only is copper naturally exceptional when it comes to conducting heat, but it’s antimicrobial. If you’re looking for an espresso machine for a business, this increased sanitation could be especially appealing for you.
Dual boiler systems are legendary for the steam power they bring to the world of espresso.
But not all dual boilers are equal. Larger boilers tend to lead to even greater steam power, which is the case with the GS3.
It has a massive 3.5-liter steam boiler that will give you the strength to steam lines of drinks without a single issue.
On the other hand, the R58 has a 1.8-liter steam boiler. At little more than half the size of the GS3’s, its power is reduced, but it is still more than enough for homes or businesses with a lower volume of espresso orders.
La Marzocco GS3 Paddle Controls
Atop the La Marzocco GS3, you’ll find a mechanical paddle.
To begin or end the brew cycle, you move the paddle from side to side. This gives you the highest level of control over the brew process.
One thing to note here is that this does mean there’s a steeper learning curve on the GS3. But because of its control, a skilled barista can truly hone their craft using this espresso machine.
Rocket R58 E-61 Commercial Group
The group on the Rocket R58 is a special type called an E-61 commercial group.
What does that mean for you?
You’ll get two perks when you choose a machine with this kind of brew group: increased thermal stability and automatic pre-infusion.
These brew groups protect your espresso from fluctuations in temperature by ceaselessly circulating water from the group head to the boiler. You won’t have to worry about cold pockets tarnishing the quality of your shots.
The second perk, automatic pre-infusion, promotes well-rounded flavors in your espresso. By soaking the grounds before extraction, it eliminates any channeling caused by poor tamping technique.
That means you’ll get top-tier espresso even if you’re just learning how to make espresso-based drinks.
La Marzocco GS3 Periscope Manometer
Beyond temperature, the pressure used during brewing is critical.
The optimal amount of pressure for espresso is nine bars, and if your espresso machine consistently fails to meet that requirement, you might need to make repairs to it.
That’s what makes the GS3’s manometer so useful. It sits right on top of the brew group, where you can clearly see it at all times during use.
With just a quick look, you’ll be able to tell when your machine is ready to brew, or if you’re experiencing issues with pressure.
Rocket R58 Metal Tamper
Everyone likes getting little extras with their purchases.
As a thoughtful bonus, the Rocket R58 comes with a matching metal tamper. On top of looking sleek, the metal tamper gives you the weight necessary to properly tamp the grounds.
Many home espresso machines come with a plastic tamper. While this will still work when it comes to tamping, it’s not as durable as a metal one.
Generally speaking, that’s why baristas prefer metal tampers. And with the R58, you get one automatically.
Of course, one of the first things most people are concerned with when it comes to investments is how much it costs.
Here at Majesty Coffee, our goal is to make sure we extend the lowest prices online for the best equipment to our customers.
Our Rocket R58 is available for $3,000. We don't carry the La Marzocco GS3 in our store, but you may find it in other online stores. If you're interested in La Marzocco, however, you can take a look at our La Marzocco collection.
Which one should you buy?
Each set of circumstances is unique, so you’ll need to examine the aspects of your specific situation to choose the best espresso machine.
If you need a more inexpensive espresso machine, the Rocket R58 will be the ticket for you. It’s a fantastic choice for homes or businesses on a tight budget.
Furthermore, choose the R58 if your home or business is short on space. Because it’s slightly smaller than the GS3, it can comfortably fit into cramped spaces.
But if you’re going to have frequent lines of customers, you’ll need as much steam power as possible to back you up. That’s when the La Marzocco GS3 will be the clear winner, because of its greater steam boiler capacity.
On the subject of boilers, however, those desiring a higher level of sanitation should look towards the R58. The copper construction of its boilers is antimicrobial in nature.
What’s the bottom line?
While the La Marzocco GS3 would be far beyond sufficient for any home, it’s going to really excel in commercial settings. With its massive steam boiler, you won’t be left high and dry mid-rush.
Those looking for a smaller expenditure and size to fit into their home coffee bar or company will find a better match in the Rocket R58.
You can learn more about these exceptional espresso machines here:
We don't have the GS3 in our store right now, but the La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II is an excellent alternative. It also has a dual boiler design and allows you to make adjustments to its temperature.