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Portaspresso Rossa PG vs HC?

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  • Portaspresso Rossa PG vs HC?

    Hello everyone, this is my first post on this forum.

    The Rossa PG seems to be nice from what Portaspresso shows on their website, but I have some concerns about the aluminium rather than bronze construction (aluminium typically cools down way too fast when exposed to air) and the fact that the pumped air seems to become in direct contact with the brew water (how clean is the air coming out of a bicycle pump?). The Rossa HC is very nice, but with the PG I guess it is easier to focus on getting the desired pressure profile... Any thoughts?

    Also, is the Rossa PG anodized?


  • #2
    Hi Kreyszig.

    Doesn't look like anyway is going to reply too quickly.

    Any concerns about aluminium leaching are non-existent. Also any concern about air quality are non existent as I cannot see how air from a pump would be different as from a automatic machine.

    There are a few other threads which should fill in your other concerns or email Ross at Portaspresso; he's a good bloke.

    My friend has a Rossa HC and I have a PG. I prefer AirE as a name but whatever.

    The reason why I like the AirE is because I don't need to hold it or use a stand during the heating phase and I think you're right, controlling the pressure profile is easier on the AirE, but others may disagree.

    Once you have the technique sorted, they make pretty sweet coffee.


    • #3
      There are a couple of other threads discussing these devices.

      As Jim says your concerns re aluminium and air contact are unfounded.

      I have owned a Portapresso as well as a Rosco grinder for a little over six months, I bought them for use while traveling.

      The Rosco is a well made hand grinder and does an excellent job, as it should for $400.

      Cant say I'm very enthused about the Portapresso, it's slow to use, fiddly and makes very average espresso, if I were served a similar shot in a cafe it would make my do not return list.
      There are those who claim god shots from it, I seriously wonder about the criteria they are measuring against, in the past when I have questioned this the immediate reaction has been to have my technique questioned along with suggestions that I visit the PP site, watch the video's and learn a bit about the process

      Both are nicely made, the attention to detail is beyond criticism.

      The Rosco is a very good grinder.
      The PortaPresso is a well made device that produces average espresso very slowly.
      I also bought the tripod (it's a bugger to store) would be more than a little difficult trying to use these devices without it.

      As far as traveling is concerned, forget about taking them anywhere by air, they are way too heavy, I use mine in our motor home.


      • #4
        Yelta, sounds like you would prefer a airE too.


        • #5
          I have a HC and found that once pressure is reached it is easy to increase and decrease the pressure to the desired profile. This is the best thing about this machine. however it is slow and fiddley to make multiple espressos.


          • #6
            I've just gotten Rossa HC and kinda understand Yelta's un-enthusiasm about the hand crank version.

            On the Rossa Air(PG), from day 1, I can make god shots with one-eye closed (maybe even two-eyes closed), once I dialled the grind in. It's that easy that I almost take great espresso for granted. However, pumping the cylinder for Rossa Air may get old for some people – part of the reason that intrigues me to try the HC.

            Given my experience on the Rossa PG, I thought I could master the HC easily. But no, with HC there is certainly a learning curve. I can get decent espresso with good crema, but the appearance & taste are definitely a notch lower than I can manage on the PG. Most importantly, the pull is not as great looking as in the videos, so I know I have not mastered it yet, and there are areas of improvement to achieve better shots like the videos.

            So far I have owned the HC for *two* day, pulled about *5* shots, so do take my impression with a grain of salt. I use the basket from my existing Rossa PG so I didn't need to dial in (or so I initially think).

            And I've narrowed down some tips that may help new Rossa HC owners (mostly me) to improve, since these aren't instinctive if you don't pay attention:

            i) Finer grind - Rossa HC do take fine grinds than most pump/lever machines and even a tad finer than Rossa Air due to the slower pressure ramp-up.
            ii) When fine-tuning your grind size, adjust it until the screwing effort is met with some *quite* significant resistance – it will probably feel like you can’t turn it further if you try to go faster, but the espresso should still be flowing out. It's easy to fall into the trap to be pulling with minimal resistance (incorrect grind size), and thus too low pressure and lousy-shots. Since there are no direct feedback that you're using too coarse of a grind.
            iii) A stand is extremely helpful, I do mean like very very extremely helpful. Do get them.
            iv) Pressure gauge will provide some cheat for you to skit through a major chunk of the learning curve. Knowing the pressure will help immensely in achieving the right grind size faster, with less trial & error. If you prefer to learn faster initially, you can opt to buy the pressure adaptor.

            Based on my experience, the majority of learning curve with Rossa HC are i) the difficulty to determine the right grind size and also ii) to juggling with the screwing effort and stabilizing/coordinating the HC at the same time. But both are easily solved if you get the gauge & stand. Without them, it’s still possible to achieve excellent shots. But you just have to be a little more patient with the trial & error. If you know the output can be at par or even exceed the shot quality from 1.5k++ machines, it’s worth to presevere.

            Will update again.