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Thread: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberital?

  1. #1
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberital?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I know theres another thread on Rocky vs. Iberital Challenge, but I didnt want to hijack it with this question, so I thought Id start this very specific cost-benefit analysis thread.

    So head to head, given the approx $100 difference, what are the arguments for and against each taking into account the price difference and the benefits (or otherwise) of the two grinders?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I think a rocky would hold a better resale and most likley will last longer. Its a bit better built. the iberital is a pig if you want to use it for anything other then espresso. not only is it alot of turning, but the refernce point is not fixed, so you might have to dial it back in for espresso once your done. (waste of coffee) That said for espresso only use the steples adjustment is valuable. There seems to be a bit of debate lately about just how big the steps on rocky are. Ill let someone who has used both compare grind quality.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    All I can say is that I never have a problem adjusting Rocky to achieve a 25-35 second pour changing from bean to bean - ie from light such as the Peaberry Monsooned to heavier such as the Brazilian Carmello and back again. And because of the steps, its easy to remember where the best setting was for what bean and humidity etc (and you can write it down if you really want to )

    Cheers

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I would have thought there was more then $100 difference between the two grinders.

    I would get the Iberital or if I want something better I would go beyond the Rocky and get something real nice for close to $1,000.
    I, personally, wouldnt spend the extra for the Rocky. It looks cheap for how much it costs. If I spend that much I would like it to look good too. It is subjective, of course.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Monti link=1182252486/0#3 date=1182272540
    I would have thought there was more then $100 difference between the two grinders.

    I would get the Iberital or if I want something better I would go beyond the Rocky and get something real nice for close to $1,000.
    I, personally, wouldnt spend the extra for the Rocky. *It looks cheap for how much it costs. *If I spend that much I would like it to look good too. *It is subjective, of course.
    I disagree.

    In construction its a whole heap better than the Iberital and the thing with this grinder is that it will still be around in 10 years- and I doubt that for the Iberital- which is lux based. Im not so sure on the construction of the doser version of the rocky but a rocky doserless offers great bang for buck....

    Id say grab one and then if upgraditis hits, you can retire it to cupping, origin of the week or decaf duties....

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Stainless and more stainless - cant see the Rocky doserless looking cheap.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott link=1182252486/0#5 date=1182291075
    Stainless and more stainless - cant see the Rocky doserless looking cheap.
    Yes mate,

    And its damn fine quality stainless too.... The outer cladding is at least 1.2-1.5mm thick and so tough that I used three Sutton Titanium Coated drill bits to drill four holes (they went blunt, didnt break em) and two sets of hand taps to cut threads for new screw-on feet to replace the original stick-on rubber ones.

    If thats not enough, the Rocky is actually a commercial Rancilio MD-40 (info here) enclosed within a handsome (yeah I know, subjective but I like it) exterior so theres lots of pedigree and capability tied up in that very compact little package.

    Mal.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita


    Hi Benandfaith,

    I was also struggling with that question for a while, once I worked out that the bigger grinders like a Mazzer Mini or Macap were simply too big for the kitchen.

    For me, the Rocky was shorter (slightly) than the Iberital, and that was a key reason - the grinder had to be small.

    When I looked closely at the grinding burrs on both the Iberital Challenge and the Rancilio Rocky, the former uses the conical burrs and the latter the flat burrs.

    Since the flat burrs seem to be prevalent in the commercial grinders like Mazzer, this was the 2nd reason why I picked the Rocky.

    Was it worth the extra $100 or so? Probably not if you are not a serious coffee drinker. As far as I can tell, the grind quality from both are comparable.

    In terms of durability, I believe that the Rocky is going to outlast the Iberital. Just lift both grinders up and you can feel the weight difference.

    But for the average home user who is not grinding heaps and heaps and heaps of coffee every day, I think the claim to longevity is not as relevant, as both grinders will last a long time for the Average Joe home owner like myself.

    The last point that sold me is that whilst the Iberital had micro adjustment of the grind, the Rocky can quickly switch from one grind level to another so its more versatile.

    Lawrance

    p.s. I believe that the doser of the Iberital Challenge may sweep more cleanly than the doser of the Rancilio Rocky, so if you want a doser unit and you drink only espresso, perhaps Iberital is the answer.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I have not owned either, but have had a Sunbeam [same burr as Lux/iberital] and have briefly borrowed an iberital and a Rocky [but not at the same time].

    The Sunbeam and Iberital are very noisy....probably to do with their cheaper construction and possibly their conical burr set.

    Depending on how acoustically bright you room is [I would call ours soft to medium] they will kill any conversation with and between guests and are guaranteed to walk up young children.......not good for that Sat arvo cuppa.

    I was surprised how much quieter Rocky was against the Sunbeam.

    Given they only run for a short time, noise is a relatively minor issue, but If it was a factor, go the Rocky.



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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Basically, it all comes down to what you value.

    If you value durability, and adjustability between blends, go for the rocky. If you value grind quality and adjustability for espresso, and can stand the higher pitched noise, go for the iberital.

    If thats not enough, the Rocky is actually a commercial Rancilio MD-40 (info here) enclosed within a handsome (yeah I know, subjective but I like it) exterior so theres lots of pedigree and capability tied up in that very compact little package.
    Id just like to address the whole "commercial" construction thing for a second. "Commercial" quality components refers to durability. It does not refer to quality of the result. I have used many commercial machines that have performed much worse than good prosumer machines. *braces for impact*

    Its pretty funny, actually; La Marzocco are famous for going to the extreme lenghts of rerouting the plumbing in their machines and installing PIDs, adding many hundreds of dollars to the bottom line to control brew temeprature to their satisfaction. But when you open up an FB80, the steam boiler is controlled by a CEME pressurestat, just like in many prosumer machines!

    I believe that the doser of the Iberital Challenge may sweep more cleanly than the doser of the Rancilio Rocky, so if you want a doser unit and you drink only espresso, perhaps Iberital is the answer.
    Actually, I wouldnt go for the dosered Iberital. The doser does seem to do a good job of sweeping pretty clean, but I worry that the return spring on the dosing lever doesnt feel very strong. I guess if you dont dose at a million miles an hour it wont be a problem ;P

    Since the flat burrs seem to be prevalent in the commercial grinders like Mazzer, this was the 2nd reason why I picked the Rocky.
    Yes, and its interesting that Mazzer seems to manufacture some burrs for Rancilio, although their webpage doesnt list the rocky sized burrs.

    However, the top of the line commercial grinders use conical burrs.

    Each grinder certainly has its good points and its bad points. I guess it just means that you have to work out what is important to you. Were espresso nutcases - Dave bought a $2500 commercial conical grinder for the barista comp because it doses slightly more cleanly than a mazzer. He bought it on the advice that the stepped adjustment was so small that it wasnt a problem. Within two weeks, we were all so frustrated with it that it just sat in the corner. Dave ended up ripping the adjustment mechanism off and building his own stepless adjustment mechanism for it!

    When stocks of the Iberital dried up, I sought out the Ascaso i2 as a replacement, based on recommendations from Jim Schulman of coffeecuppers.com that it grinds as well as his mazzer mini. I set up the i2 next to a mazzer super jolly and was hard pressed to tell the difference between the two in the cup. I owned a Rocky for two years, and argued for the i2 instead. That is why we decided to go with the less well known grinder rather than the Rocky, even though we could probably sell Rockys by the wheelbarrow full with all of the great press that they get on the internet. I havent done a head-to-head of the Iberital and a Mazzer yet, but Im looking forward to it ... once we get some stock.

    So, like I said in the beginning, its horses for courses. Get the rocky if you value durability and adjustability between espresso and french press. Get one of the stepless conicals if you value espresso quality.

    Cheers,

    Luca *brace for impact* C

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    your a determined man Mal...

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Veneziano Caffe link=1182252486/0#9 date=1182311460
    If thats not enough, the Rocky is actually a commercial Rancilio MD-40 (info here) enclosed within a handsome (yeah I know, subjective but I like it) exterior so theres lots of pedigree and capability tied up in that very compact little package.
    Id just like to address the whole "commercial" construction thing for a second. "Commercial" quality components refers to durability. It does not refer to quality of the result. I have used many commercial machines that have performed much worse than good prosumer machines. *braces for impact*
    That is all I was trying to convey here Luca.... Just because something is rated as of "commercial" quality doesnt mean it will automatically grind coffee any better than a decent prosumer machine. By the same token, Rancilio MD-40s have a pretty good record for not only reliability but also for quality and consistency of grind and when it comes right down to it, thats all you can ask for.

    The fact that it will also live long enough to hand down to ones grandchildren is also a definite positive in my book,

    Mal.

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I have had people try to lift it at home and have been very surprised by the weight in such a small package

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott link=1182252486/0#12 date=1182337857
    I have had people try to lift it at home and have been very surprised by the weight in such a small package
    ...I had a laugh ;D

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    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Is anyone able to quantify to some degree how long each of these machines will last? Even a semi-wild guess will be fine.

    From what Ive heard: "it will also live long enough to hand down to ones grandchildren is also a definite positive in my book" - means weve got one vote for at least a 30+ years lifespan for the Rocky.

    Anyone want to put forward a rough figure for the Challenge or modify the Rockys numbers? (assume daily use of 2-3 grinds)

  16. #16
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Having re-read my post Mr Macchiato I might have been able to put that a bit better to fend off those of us with a wandering mind....

    ...The Rancilio Rocky on my kitchen bench is the item that is heavy to lift, depsite being on the smaller side of things.


    I would take a stab at 20 years or so, but I have not looked at the motor etc...just guessing cause of the weight.

    cHEERS

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    ...why cant I stop laughing along with Mr Macchiato - it must be late.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by tempestv8 link=1182252486/0#7 date=1182309002
    I was also struggling with that question for a while, once I worked out that the bigger grinders like a Mazzer Mini or Macap were simply too big for the kitchen.
    My Macap takes offence and reckons your kitchen is just too small. :P

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Its not the size of the package, but how it grinds.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Okay

    Here is my two bobs worth

    I own an Iberital Challenge.

    I have watched a Rocky grind a dose *twice*

    My Iberital does just fine for me - yes it takes a bit of fiddling dialling it in - so does a rocky. Once it is dialled in, all I need to do is turn the adjustment knob roughly a quarter turn or so every few days to compensate for the beans ageing.

    At my stage of being a coffee conniseuere *spelling?* (bog standard beginner), I think that the Iberital will be just fine for the time being.

    For me.

    I am noticing the limitations of the "stepless" adjustment already - I am trying different beans on an almost weekly basis and find that the setting for one bean is somewhat different to that of another. What this means is that I use up more beans (up to half a kilo) to get the grind rigt for that bean. To return to the grind setting for a bean I had previously tried is a matter of trial and error because of the stepless adjustment. There are no set numbers for each "fineness" setting.

    For a Rocky it is a matter of 15 for Indian Tiger Mountain or 23 for Brazillian Monte Allegro (made up numbers!) . Very simplistic example but quite representative.

    The limitation for the Rocky is that the difference between each setting , eg: setting 6 and setting 7, may be too much to gain the best result from the bean where the Iberital provides infinite adjustment.

    In my opinion, the Iberital seems to be most suited to someone who sticks to a single bean or blend, without much variation, and adjustment is made as the bean ages.

    The Iberital seems quite well made and would retain good resale value as would the Rocky.

    I suppose, if it all comes down to price only, I personally would choose the cheaper unit and in the future, upgrade to a better unit using the benefit of experience.

    Hope this is not too confusing for you

    cheers

    jeff

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott link=1182252486/15#15 date=1182340241
    I would take a stab at 20 years or so, but I have not looked at the motor etc...just guessing cause of the weight.
    Just so happens as a result of having an electrical engineering background, that I am quite familiar with what goes into making a quality piece of electrically powered hardware and in the case of a Rocky and any similarly well designed and manufactured grinder, a 30 year lifespan is well within the bounds of probability.

    Naturally, the Burr Plates will need replacing every 400-500Kg of coffee put through it but at our usage rate of approx 1.5Kg beans per month, that works out to be about 25 years on one set of burr-plates, give or take so theres still a lot of life left in the young guy yet ;).

    Mal.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    How boring having the same grinder and espresso machine for 30 years. Even if one can write endlessly in forums about how ones grinder is a commercial spec machine that grinds no better then a $250-$300 grinder, having a 20-30 year old machine is not very satisfying. Maybe collecting them in the basement is OK but to use it, look at it for 30 years is not my cup of tea......mmmm.... coffee, I meant. I doubt, most would wear out a Challenge grinder for a very long time and if it is worn out after only 10 years then it doesnt matter anyway as by then there are newer ones on the market for even cheaper then you bought the first one. :)

    I am looking at buying a MM grinder as well but not so that I can own it for 30 years and pass it down to my grandchildren and because it grinds better then a Challenge, but rather because it looks cool, does a good job, and I want one. Honestly, who cares about it lasting 30 years? One of those expensive grinders could cost $1,000 while an Iberital Challenge I got for $256. I could buy 4 Challenge grinders for the price of one expensive MM. I dont think that the MM will last more then 4 times longer. But who cares anyway? If I want an MM, I will get one weather it lasts longer or not.

    Why is it important for a grinder to be so heavy that you can barely lift it to wipe the bench? Why is it good that it is so tough that you use up your whole drill set to get through it? How many of us would even consider drilling one?
    Who cares about the noise a grinder makes? It is a coffee grinder. It supposed to make noise. You people are getting soft (or old). Even a Rocky will wake up a baby from its sleep.

    The only things that are important in a grinder are that it has to grind consistently, it can be adjusted in small increments. and it should last a bit (10 years perhaps). The rest are just objective preferences that people just argue/debate about so that they can justify their purchase decisions most of the time.

  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Each to his own mate,

    Once Ive got the Roller parked in the garage Im saving up for a slightly used Bugatti Veyron, doubt Ill ever get bored with the Rolls though,

    Mal.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Monti - you forget that some of us either dont want to or cannot simply drop a Gorilla for a COFFEE grinder. And if you can get longevity out of such a good grinder why not.

    Cheers

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I didnt forget, ozscott, that is why I said that an Iberital Challenge grinds just as good at quarter of the price of a $1,000 MM.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1182252486/15#22 date=1182439140
    Each to his own mate,

    Once Ive got the Roller parked in the garage Im saving up for a slightly used Bugatti Veyron, doubt Ill ever get bored with the Rolls though,

    Mal.
    Once you have that much money, Mal, who cares how much crap you buy and collect? Your money, you spend it however you like, just dont tell people that you bought the Roller because it performs well and it lasts long. ;)

  27. #27
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Funnily enough if your into 6.5 off litres and a ride like a pillow you can pick up a 10 year old Roller about as cheap as a 2 year old ex-taxi.

    Cheers

  28. #28
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Well I was fortunately in the position of being able to afford my Macap and I will never have to buy another grinder.
    It looks good.
    Its quiet.
    It grinds to a consistent standard.
    In other words its all most might want in a grinder.

    Monti if you are the type that likes to replace your shiny new toys more often than those like Mal and myself then please dont write with such a condescending tone.
    Be more considerate of others and their values.

    To say we should put them in a collection in the basement just to look at rather than use them was a bit inflammatory.
    Many here purchase equipment that is old to start with.

    I found your post quite insulting.

    As Mal said, "Each to their own".

    Do please show some consideration.
    I respect your right to your beliefs, please respect those of others.


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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Ill fly over for a ride in the Veyron if you pay for the petrol ;) W16, quad turbo, F1 oil sump technology....400km/h plus top speed and 0 to 100km/h in 2.5 seconds.....ohh baby :P

    hahaha...seriously...I doubt anyone here has a spare 2 million dollars in their bank accounts ;)

  30. #30
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    ......well said TG.

  31. #31
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Interesting banter... :)

    Anyway, Im 4 days away from popping into Di Bartoli to pick up a brand spanking new Rancilio Silvia and Iberital Challenge. At the end of the day this is what I decided after hearing the thoughtful comments on this thread and the one from http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1181816335

    1. The Iberital Challenge is $150 cheaper than the Rocky (at Di Bartoli anyway)
    2. I will be grinding ONLY for espresso, in particular for the Silvia (from what Ive read, it just needs a quarter to half turns as the beans age and to account for humidity changes)
    3. Sounds like the Rocky will outlast the Iberital by about 10-20 years, but Im guessing the Challenge will still last about 8-10 years given my usage (5 times a day in the first few weeks of trial and error[?!?!!] and then twice a day 6 days per week) - after which this purchase would have been well and truly forgotten by the missus and Ill get whatever costs $270 at the time which should hopefully last another 8-10 years or splurge out for a Macap!

    Ive got 4 days to change my mind, but here is where Im at at the moment!

    Thanks for your thoughts and if anyone has $2 mill spare and decides to buy a Veyron, please at least let me fly over to wherever you are to let me see it (or better still to ride in it while you fang it at 406km/h)!!!

  32. #32
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    everyone loves a vee dub

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes link=1182252486/15#28 date=1182531331
    hahaha...seriously...I doubt anyone here has a spare 2 million dollars in their bank accounts ;)
    Never set your sights too low Shoes ::)

    Mal.

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    I think you will need at least 50% more than 2mil for a veyron - after all they cost VW 5mil to manufacture. That is right they make the handful that are available at a loss, purely to prove that they could make the ultimate car.

  35. #35
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    ....I would settle for the R series Passat when it comes out

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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes link=1182252486/15#28 date=1182531331
    Ill fly over for a ride in the Veyron if you pay for the petrol ;) W16, quad turbo, F1 oil sump technology....400km/h plus top speed and 0 to 100km/h in 2.5 seconds.....ohh baby :P

    hahaha...seriously...I doubt anyone here has a spare 2 million dollars in their bank accounts ;)
    You forgot the best stat, 100 L of fuel in 11 seconds with your right foot flat, pumpin out 1001Hp......

  37. #37
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    The amazing this is that in addition to the insane power and torque it out handles a Ferrari

  38. #38
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1182252486/30#32 date=1182584313
    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes link=1182252486/15#28 date=1182531331
    hahaha...seriously...I doubt anyone here has a spare 2 million dollars in their bank accounts ;)
    Never set your sights too low Shoes ::)

    Mal.
    Off topic - Too true Mal - I worked for a privately owned company approx. 5 years ago where they had an average of half a mil going into their bank account every single day of the year. The owner had much, much more than a few mil to throw around! He is a pom so liked the aston martin - had one at home in NZ and another here.

    On topic - benandfaith, sounds like a good combo that youll be happy with and am sure will make great coffee!

  39. #39
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1182252486/30#37 date=1182651043
    On topic - benandfaith, sounds like a good combo that youll be happy with and am sure will make great coffee!
    Thanks for remembering me!

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    35

    Re: Is Rocky worth the extra $100 over the Iberita

    We have the iberital doserless and it grinds perfect espresso grind everytime. Chose that over the rocky because of the price and we dont need any other grind except for those that go into the espresso machine. In a few years time, well probably get itchy and buy one of the more higher end ones, so might as well put that extra $100+ aside for that.

    The micro adjustments help alot when you just need the grind to be a teeny wee bit coarser or finer. As for the noise, well I wake up to it every morning along with the smell of freshly made coffee so no complains ! :D



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