Making coffee has become an art, science and form of witchcraft, and this fascination with the perfect beverage doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. As well as independent coffee shops springing up around every major and minor city, people are looking to recreate the same experience at home. You’ve probably seen mechanical personal barista set-ups, but ROK’s products provide ways to do the same steps by hand. There’s the GrinderGC, which allows you to grind up your coffee beans ready for use, and then there’s the EspressoGC, which hand-presses hot water through your tamped coffee to produce an espresso shot.

All of ROK’s products are aesthetically pleasing, and this is no exception. It has the industrial-chic vibe to suit your home barista dreams, and the hand-powered factor gives the whole process a more crafty, artisanal feel, as though you’re really doing something. However – are you? It’s a fact that every step of coffee preparation affects its taste, from how hard the grounds are tamped to how hot the water is and the speed and pressure with which it travels through the coffee. Given all of this, the engineering of the EspressoGC is important, and we can’t deny it – it makes a good shot of espresso, with just the level of crema you’d hope to see!

However, I’m not sure why it is better to do this by hand over a mini mechanical barista set-up. Given how much this press, the grinder and the additional milk frother accessories etc. would cost you from ROK, the answer isn’t price, so I presume it's a matter of aesthetics, and perhaps of energy conservation. You can use this device in your super-green, off-the-grid hipster home, and honestly, that’s a very cool quality, and shows that ROK knows its market. However, as someone with limited kitchen space, for me, this set would be impractical to use regularly.

The EspressoGC comes in an attractive chrome, or, for an additional £20, in black and berry. If you have the space, time and inclination, the EspressoGC from ROK offers you the chance to feel really hands-on and artsy about your coffee, and your kitchen will look more attractive for it. This isn’t as practical as an all-in-one, mechanical alternative, but if you want the preparation of your coffee to be as much of an experience as drinking it, this is a great indulgence.



Looks attractive
Makes a high-quality shot
Sturdily made
Doesn’t require any power

Full collection takes up space