Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R vs R58: Which Is Better?
If you’re looking at Rocket espresso machines, you may have come across the Giotto Evoluzione R and the Rocket R58.
When you compare these two great models, it can truly be difficult to decide between them.
You’ll want to make the best investment possible, so you’re probably asking yourself:
Which one should you buy?
This is what we’ll review:
- The features the Giotto Evoluzione R and R58 have in common and what they mean
- The differences between them and how those differences affect your decision
- What you should consider when you buy either one
SEMIAUTOMATIC MACHINE TYPE
These days, you’ll commonly run into two basic types of espresso machine: automatic and semiautomatic.
What’s the difference between semiautomatic and automatic machines?
Briefly, an automatic espresso machine is, like its name implies, automatic. Dosing of the espresso is handled for the user, typically at the push of a button.
Semiautomatic machines put more control in the hands of the user. Instead of the dosage time or volume being controlled by the machine, the barista has the final say on when to start and stop brewing.
Because of this, experts tend to prefer semiautomatic machines like the Giotto Evoluzione R and the R58. With the Evoluzione R and R58, users can begin or end brewing with the simple push or pull of a lever, pulling as long or short of a shot as they need to.
A nice bonus to this lever-operated system (as opposed to pushing a button to start or stop, as with other semiautomatic machines) is that the overall effect is nostalgic and vintage, paying homage to the earliest espresso machines.
Either one of these machines gives you the flexibility to choose between pour-over and direct-connect options.
In a professional setting, direct-connect is usually the standard.
When using a direct-connect configuration, the espresso machine is connected to a water line, so its reservoir refills automatically throughout the day. Not having to stop and refill the tank manually is just more convenient, and allows employees to focus on other tasks.
The alternative is pour-over, which means you’ll need to refill the water tank by hand when it gets low.
The downside to this is that you’ll need to keep an eye on the water level, which can be difficult when multiple people are using the machine. We also recommend using filtered water and a water softener tablet to protect the longevity of your machine in this situation.
However, if you don’t have a location near a water line or you need your espresso machine to be mobile, then you’ll find the pour-over option desirable.
No matter which option you prefer, the Evoluzione R and the R58 allow you to choose.
If you need your espresso machine to make a lot of drinks, you’ll be intrigued by the Evoluzione R’s and R58’s ability to make up to 20 espressos per hour.
This may be insufficient for businesses with a high volume of espresso orders, but homes, small offices, or small restaurants with a lower volume of espresso orders will find that this more than meets their needs.
E-61 COMMERCIAL BREW GROUP
Machines with E-61 commercial groups come with progressive features as a standard.
Their first defining feature is how they promote thermal stability by circulating water between the group and the boiler. This smooths out any cold pockets that may form in the water, protecting your espresso from temperature fluctuations.
Their second and last (but certainly not least) quality is automatic pre-infusion. Before espresso extraction, E-61 commercial groups lightly immerse the espresso in water to even it out.
Human error is unavoidable. Pre-infusion helps guard against it by neutralizing mistakes made while tamping.
With a more stable temperature and pre-infusion combined, you’ll notice the heightened quality in every shot of espresso you pull.
Loud noises from machinery can be disruptive to your or your customers, especially when you’re cultivating a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that so many coffee enthusiasts enjoy.
This is what makes the rotary pumps in the Evoluzione R and the R58 so much more remarkable.
During operation, they run much more quietly than machines which use vibratory pumps.
This means your customers will be able to savor a quieter atmosphere in your business, or you’ll be able to appreciate the disruption-free experience from the comfort of your home.
But it gets even better:
Rotary pumps are sturdy and long-lived, so you won’t need to worry about frequent break-downs or replacements.
LOW WATER SENSOR
When you’re using the pour-over options these machines offer, you’ll need to be sure to refill the water tank when it gets too low for two main reasons:
To prevent damage to your machine and, of course, to keep making drinks.
But if multiple people are using the machine, or you find yourself getting caught up in all the drinks you’re making, it’s too easy to forget to keep an eye on the water tank.
Fortunately, both the Evoluzione R and the R58 use low water sensors which notify you the moment your water levels get too low.
To further protect your investment, these machines turn off if the water is not replenished, which guards the machine from damage.
STAINLESS STEEL CASING
Lustrous 304-grade stainless steel casing lends both these machines a glimmering sheen and a high level of durability.
You’ll find that the gleaming exterior of either one of these machines blends in well with your other appliances. They’ll both bring an air of professionalism to any business or kitchen.
BOILER AND GROUP PRESSURE GAUGES
Whether you’re new to the world of espresso or you’re an aficionado, you’ll probably agree that the more information you get from your machine, the easier it is to make sure you craft the best drinks each time.
That’s why, for many experienced baristas, pressure gauges are imperative.
Just like their name, pressure gauges tell you what the pressure levels are like. Both the Evoluzione R and the R58 have pressure gauges for their boilers and their groups.
You’ll be able to determine what the boiler pressure is at with a quick glance, which tells you when the machine is ready for brewing and steaming.
Group pressure gauges will keep you informed on the pressure of the pump during brewing. Through these pressure gauges, you’ll know right away when you need to make adjustments to your brew ratio.
If you’re drawn to the gleaming metallic look of these machines, you’ll like the branded Rocket metal tampers that come with both of them.
Aside from the polished look, metal tampers are the usual tampers of choice for seasoned baristas, because their weight makes it easier to apply the optimal pressure for tamping.
It doesn’t hurt that they’re much more durable than plastic tampers, either.
NO BURN HOT WATER AND STEAM ARMS
For many espresso machines, touching the hot water and steam arms either on accident or for cleaning results in a nasty burn.
Understandably, this can make using the machine an uncomfortable experience for baristas.
The solution to this problem is found in the thermally insulated hot water and steam arms on the Evoluzione R and the R58. Because of their insulation, the hot water and steam arms remain cool to the touch.
But comfort isn’t the only thing this thermal insulation provides – since the steam wand stays cool, milk doesn’t immediately crust onto it from steaming. This makes cleaning the steam wand a snap.
CUP WARMER WITH REMOVABLE GUARD
Coffee and tea lovers can agree that there’s nothing quite as irritating as their hot drinks becoming tepid.
Pouring a hot drink into a cold cup is one reason why drinks rapidly cool. To guarantee your drink stays nice and toasty for as long as possible, pouring it into a warm cup is ideal.
Cup-warming shelves are situated on top of the Evoluzione R and the Rocket R58. This makes storing and keeping the cups warm as simple as setting them on the shelf.
To keep the cups in place, both the machines come with a guard that wraps around the cup warmer. If you need a little more room, these guards are easily removable.
Appearance-wise, the Evoluzione R and the R58 are very similar with their first-rate stainless steel looks.
However, there are still subtle differences in their aesthetics that may play a role in your decision.
The side panels will be the main difference between them here. The Evoluzione R has angled side panels that resemble a diamond shape, while the Giotto has smooth and flat side panels.
Of course, this difference is purely aesthetic, but it may be important to you if you’re trying to promote a particular image and want an espresso machine that blends in.
DUAL BOILER VS HEAT EXCHANGE BOILER
The greatest difference between these machines is their boiler setup.
The speed and steam power of any espresso machine depends largely on the type of boiler it utilizes. Some machines cannot steam and brew simultaneously due to having only a single boiler.
This isn’t an issue with either the Evoluzione R or the R58, which are both more than capable of simultaneous steaming and brewing. How they achieve this is the difference.
A heat exchange boiler is used in the Evoluzione R. It works by carrying brewing temperature water through a copper tube from the boiler to the groups, while steaming temperature water is kept separate.
With a heat exchange boiler, you’ll need to flush the group prior to pulling a shot to make sure you get the perfect temperature.
The R58 has two boilers, with one dedicated to steaming and one dedicated to brewing. This does result in a greater steam power, but it may need more time to warm up when you turn it on because it does need to heat two separate boilers.
If you were to put these machines next to each other and steam on both of them at the same time, you’d notice the R58’s slightly greater steam power allows it to steam a bit faster. However, it’s not necessarily a massive difference.
PID TEMPERATURE CONTROLLER
A PID temperature controller uses algorithms to stabilize the temperature in an espresso machine.
While both the Evoluzione R and the R58 use PID temperature controllers, they operate a little differently.
The R58 has an external PID controller that’s attached to the side of the machine. You can use it to select the optimal temperatures for both the group and the steam boiler in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Once you’ve found the right temperature settings, you can easily remove the controller from the side of the machine and store it separately. This gives you a bit more counter space and preserves the sleek look of the machine.
In the Evoluzione R, the PID controller is built into the machine. You are not able to remove it, and it cannot control the temperature of the group head, but it does still grant you control over the boiler temperature.
ROCKET GIOTTO EVOLUZIONE R ADJUSTABLE FEET
Home users, offices, or small coffee shops with packed counters will most likely look for a compact machine that can squeeze into tight spaces.
To better meet that end, the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R has feet that you can adjust to change its overall height.
Need to fit the machine underneath a low-hanging cabinet? No problem – all you need to do is lower its height through its adjustable feet.
Our goal at Majesty Coffee is to offer you the best deals on high-quality espresso machines.
WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU BUY?
Both the Evoluzione R and the R58 would be great picks for home users, small offices, or coffee shops.
If you’re not sure which one you should buy, then in addition to price, you may also want to consider their look and boiler types.
It may seem shallow to take the look of a machine into consideration, but it’s often important that your appliances fit in with a particular decorating scheme or impress customers.
If you like simple appearances more, than you might like the R58’s smooth and unblemished panels.
But if you’re looking for a machine with a subtle twist that makes it pop, you may prefer the sophisticated diamond-shaped panels on the Evoluzione R.
Do you need to be able to quickly make drink after drink? Then the powerful dual boiler system in the R58 is a good fit for you.
For those who need to have the maximum amount of control over temperature for a greater ability to customize drinks, the external PID controller on the R58 will be a must-have.
However, if you need a machine that needs to be able to adapt to temperature changes fast or warm up rapidly, then the Evoluzione R’s heat exchange boiler is a good bet.
This is the bottom line:
While price is clearly important, you should also think about how you plan to use the machine and how its features will help you achieve those plans.
Think about how much espresso you’ll be making, the level of customization you need for drink-making, and whether speedy warm-up times are important for you.
When you take these factors into consideration, you’ll find the espresso machine that will truly complement your needs.
For more information on either the Rocket R58 or the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R, check out our listings here: