There’s no doubt about it: Rocket makes some of the best espresso machines out there if you’re looking for something that combines a compact size and power. The Rocket Cinquantotto, one of their most recent machines, is an example of this raw power in a small package.
But how do other machines hold up against it? Is there anything comparable?
To answer that question, we’ll be comparing a similar machine, the Lelit Bianca, with the Rocket Cinquanttoto. These are the areas we’ll be covering:
- What these machines have in common.
- The features that separate them from each other.
- Their costs.
- What you should think about before choosing either one.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started…
If you want an espresso machine with a style all its own, you probably don’t need to look much further than the Lelit Bianca. This gleaming, polished model has warm walnut accents. Beyond its looks, you have a strong dual-boiler design to look forward to and an innovative pressure profiling system that gives you total control over your espresso. We recommend this one for experienced prosumers or anyone what wants more flexibility to customize their espresso.
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The Rocket Cinquantotto really lives up to its manufacturer’s well-established name. It has a high-quality 304-grade stainless steel case and a unique touchscreen PID temperature controller that you can use to tweak internal temperatures on the fly. If you don’t like the look of the temperature controller on the side, you can even detach it and store it away. This is an all-around good espresso machine for home baristas or small businesses alike.
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Their basic machine type is a huge similarity shared by the Lelit Bianca and Rocket Cinquantotto. It will have the single largest impact on how the machine works regularly.
A semiautomatic machine is one of the trickiest to learn because the timing is entirely in your hands. Semiautomatic models require you to decide when to start and stop brewing the espresso. Given that the duration of the brew cycle can affect the outcome of the flavor, this can put a lot of pressure on beginning baristas.
In time, as you get better at timing the brew cycle, you may find this rewarding. Semiautomatic machines give you far more versatility when it comes to the length of your shots.
Read Also: Best Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
Another massive similarity between these machines is their boiler design. Both have two boilers inside them. One boiler is for steaming milk and the other is for brewing espresso.
Dual boiler espresso machines are popular in big businesses like bustling coffee shops. They’re much faster than single-boiler machines generally, as they make it possible to froth milk and pull shots at the same time.
There are two main drawbacks to this design. Dual boiler machines are often more expensive, and they can also take longer to warm up initially since they have to bring two separate boilers up to temperature.
E61 Commercial Brew Groups
Both the Lelit and Rocket machines in this comparison have E61 commercial brew groups. There are two distinct advantages to this type of group head.
First, these brew groups make greater consistency possible through pre-infusion. Even if you’re still learning how to tamp properly, pre-infusion will help reduce the risk for human error by settling the grounds right before extraction.
Second, you’ll get increased thermal stability. By constantly running water back and forth between the group and the boiler, E61 brew groups reduce random temperature changes that can otherwise be difficult to account for.
The Lelit Bianca and Rocket Cinquantotto each have a single group head. Single-group machines aren’t able to output espresso at the same capacity as multi-group ones, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As you add more groups to an espresso machine, it often gets more expensive. Single-group machines are typically more budget-friendly.
Furthermore, you likely don’t need more than a single group in your average household. If you’re not serving lines of customers, there isn’t really a reason to have a multi-group espresso machine.
Many businesses even choose to use single-group machines. You can check out some more examples in our guide to the best 1-group commercial espresso machines.
If you’re picky about your espresso, you’ll want to be able to control more brewing aspects. One particularly important quality you should have control over is the temperature.
PID controllers built into the Rocket Cinquantotto and Lelit Bianca make this easily possible. Either machine will give you complete control over the temperature of their boilers.
Pour-Over or Direct-Connect Functionality
It’s always nice to have choices, and you’ll get even more of them when you pick the Cinquantotto or the Bianca. These machines are both pour-over and direct-connect compatible.
Should you choose to use them as pour-over machines, they will need you to add water to them by hand as their tanks run low. The good thing about this functionality is that they’re also not connected to a water line, so they’re more portable.
But if you think that’s too much of a hassle to deal with, then you can simply attach the Cinquantotto and the Bianca to your water supply. That way, they will automatically draw water into their boilers, eliminating the need for untimely refills.
Water Tank Capacity
Does a pour-over espresso machine seem better for your needs? In that case, one thing you’ll want to look into is how large your machine’s water tank is.
The more you use your espresso machine throughout the day, the more water it will need. A larger water tank will allow you to keep going for longer periods of time before you need more water.
This is an aspect in which the Lelit Bianca and Rocket Cinquantotto are completely equal. They have 2.5-liter water tanks, which is a fairly generous size.
Low Water Sensor
Running your espresso machine when it has little water in it can be unnecessarily stressful on its components – especially the boilers. Ideally, you want to make sure it’s well-supplied with water at all times while you use it.
Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with espresso machines or you’re busy quickly preparing drinks for guests, it’s a little too easy to forget to add water. It’s for this very reason that the Bianca and Cinquantotto have low water sensors.
When it’s time to add more water, the machines will let you know with their sensors. This will reduce the risk of running your machine when it’s dry or near dry.
Stainless Steel Cases
There’s one big similarity you’d notice just from looking at the espresso machines in this comparison: they have stainless steel cases. This is a popular design element in espresso machines all over the market, but especially so in high-end ones.
Stainless steel casing serves two main functions: looks and durability. It just looks appealing, and it also helps protect the inside of your machine from harm.
Both machines in this comparison were made to be compact. Neither one will require a substantial amount of space, so it’s a simpler matter to find room for them in your home.
To be specific, the Lelit Bianca is 15.75 inches high, 11.4 inches wide, and 19.1 inches deep. The Rocket Cinquantotto is 15 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 17 inches deep.
In other words, if you have room for one, you probably have room for the other, too.
Read More: Best Entry-Level Commercial Espresso Machines
A nice little touch the Bianca and Cinquantotto offer is integrated cup warmers located right on top of either model. You can rest a small assortment of your favorite coffee mugs in the flat space crowning the machine.
As you may have guessed from the name, though, these shelves do more than just hold your mugs – they also preheat your mugs. Why does this matter?
Pouring your espresso and frothed milk into a cold cup brings the temperature down more quickly. If you use a preheated mug, your drink will stay warmer for a longer period of time.
When it comes to their appearances, the Cinquantotto and the Bianca really only have two things in common: their overall square shape and shining stainless steel cases. That is where the similarities end. The good thing about this drastic difference in appearance is that it’s another point to consider when it comes to choosing between them.
Want something with a bit of a warm and natural feel to it? Then we say go for the Lelit Bianca, thanks to the wooden handles and feet.
But what if you want something with a more neutral look that can blend in with anything? In that case, the sleek and modern-looking Rocket Cinquantotto is exactly what you’re looking for.
It’s fairly common to get an extra bundle of accessories when you buy an espresso machine. We can’t guarantee the bundle will be the same across the board regardless of who you buy the machine from, but we can say that the accessories our Lelit Bianca and Rocket Cinquantotto come with differ from each other.
One main advantage to the Cinquantotto’s bundle is that it includes a DVD. The DVD will walk you through the main points of brewing quality espresso consistently, so that you’ll have a better understanding of how to use your machine.
For the most part, many of their other accessories are the same, including portafilters and a plumbing kit. The exception is a high-quality microfiber towel that the Lelit Bianca comes with so you can safely clean it without scratching its casing.
Rocket Cinquantotto Removable Cup Guard
We’ve already established the fact that both espresso machines have cup-warming shelves on top. If you look at them, you’ll notice there’s one difference between them: the Cinquantotto has a railing around the edge of its shelf.
That railing is an extra safety measure for your benefit. If you ever brush up against the machine or something causes it to move around slightly on your counter, the railing will hold the mugs on top of it in place.
If you like the look of the machine better without the railing or just want to make it slightly shorter to fit underneath a cabinet, you can also remove it.
Lelit Bianca Flow Control Paddle
The Lelit Bianca includes an innovation that many home espresso machines lack: flow profiling. This brilliant feature comes in the form of a paddle that you can move from side to side to alter the flow of water while brewing a shot.
You can use the flow control to experiment with different pressures at different points in the brew cycle. The result is a new and unique way to play with unexplored flavor profiles.
Rocket Cinquantotto Non-Compression Hot Water and Steam Valves
One thing Rocket does extremely well is use sturdy components or components that are easy to replace if necessary. An example of this is the Cinquantotto’s non-compression hot water and steam valves.
Aside from having a seamless movement that leads a more user-friendly experience, these valves are a simple matter to repair and replace. As a result, replacing them can be surprisingly inexpensive.
Lelit Bianca Group Pressure Gauge
Because of its flow profiling paddle, the Lelit Bianca needs something extra so you can monitor what pressure level you’re at while brewing. Enter the Bianca’s integrated group pressure gauge.
As you move the paddle from side to side while brewing, you’ll be able to watch the water pressure rise and fall with the pressure gauge. Once you get a feel for what your favorite pressure level is, you’ll be able to take note of this and adjust accordingly.
Rocket Cinquantotto Detachable Touchscreen PID
Touchscreens are all the rage these days, and who can blame people for loving them? Touchscreens are uncluttered, clean-looking, and simple to use.
That’s why the touchscreen PID controller on the side of the Cinquantotto is so pleasant. You’ll never have to deal with struggling to find a specific button or a button getting worn out and dirty with use. Plus, if you find the look of the controller on the side to be disruptive (or just need to narrow the profile of the machine), you can detach it and store it nearby.
Majesty Coffee has both the Lelit Bianca and Rocket Cinquantotto in our store. We always strive to offer our machines for the best prices you’ll find online, including these two outstanding machines.
What can you expect to pay for them? We offer our Lelit Bianca for $2,979 and the Rocket Cinquantotto for $3,200.
Which Should You Choose?
Giving their close price ranges, the price point probably isn’t going to help you decide whether you should choose the Lelit Bianca or the Rocket Cinquantotto. How else can you decide between them? We’ll help you out.
One easy aspect to think about is their appearances. Since we spend a lot of time in our homes and offices, you shouldn’t feel guilty about choosing appliances for those places based on their looks. You might as well enjoy the visual elements of an espresso machine, too.
In this regard, the Rocket Cinquantotto and Lelit Bianca are quite different. We think the wooden parts on the Lelit Bianca make it perfect for rustic or farmhouse-style homes, while the Rocket Cinquantotto’s air of professionalism is great in modern designs.
Another thing to consider is how knowledgeable you are when it comes to brewing espresso. The Lelit Bianca’s flow profiling paddle increases the amount of control you have over the development of your shots, but it also adds another layer of complexity. If you’re a beginner, that may be overwhelming, but if you’re an experienced espresso prosumer, that may be appealing.
Here is our suggestion:
The Lelit Bianca is the better choice when it comes to those looking for an espresso machine that works in rustic interior designs. It’s also a bit more flexible in terms of pressure control, so it’s great for experienced baristas or those who just want room to experiment.
We think the Rocket Cinquantotto is great for modern-style home kitchens. Its removable cup railing and PID temperature controller also gives you some more flexibility in terms of space, since you can incrementally make it narrower and shorter.
At the end of the day, though, either machine is likely sufficient in environments where the other would thrive. If you need more help deciding between them, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-978-5224.
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Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team
Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.