‘Be The Barista’ at Home with ROK Espresso Maker


Specialty coffee shops are taking over London and all over the world many cities are ridong the same wave. The UK media are catching up too, so what was a niche trend now is turning into a global phenomenon.

One thing is clear: being a coffee connoisseur is a trend, Britain is now a nation of coffee drinkers, customers are better educated about coffee and more people want to learn how to brew the perfect cup at home!



For years I have used the same supermarket coffee blend and a Bialetti stove pot. Nowadays I like to have multiple coffee choices: from freshly roasted specialty espresso blends to single origin coffees; from espressos to filters.

My husband is even more of a coffee geek than I am, so between the two of us we now have a range of brewing devices at home: a stove pot, an aeropress, the Hario v60 and a chemex (and the Hario Buono Drip Kettle).

The latest addition to our coffee makers’ collection is the ROK espresso maker.

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The ROK is “a finely engineered gearing that lowers the piston to generate the pressure to extract the coffee oils to create the perfect espresso”. It’s a simple machine that works without electricity: just the power of your arms!

I received a ROK espresso maker from Selfridges London as part of their campaign Be The Barista and for the past week my husband has been experimenting with it. I just let him practice with the ROK, while I’m enjoy having my breakfast coffee served to me every morning! I hope this new routine lasts! ;)


“The Selfridges campaign celebrates the art of specialty coffee, and being able to create coffee shop quality at home. From artisanal coffee masterclasses and demonstrations of essential coffee-making equipment and accessories to amazing bean-to-cup coffee machines, discover a world dedicated to coffee.”


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Making the perfect espresso with the ROK requires practice, so allow some time to master the machine. There are also many other variables to a good coffee: the quality of the beans, the freshness of the roast, the coffee grounds, the right water temperature and brewing time.

For the ROK machine you need coffee grounds suitable for espresso (not too coarse or the water will pass through too easily, not too fine or it will be very hard to push the arms down). I usually buy fresh roasted coffee online at Pact Coffee, a London-based roasters and monthly subscription service*.

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Fill the ROK cylinder with hot water, lift the handles and then push them downwards in a firm, smooth motion. Hold them down until all the water has been extracted (this should take between 20 and 30 seconds). Your double espresso is ready!

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Making good coffee at home is a priority for us and the day cannot start without it!

Whether it’s an espresso or a milk-based coffee drink, we can use the ROK to make a good coffee. As I said, it requires a bit of practice and it’s not as straight-forward as using a stove pot, but I’m confident we will master it soon and learn how to create a good espresso crema!

As part of the Be The Barista campaign, Selfridges have partnered with Origin Coffee Roasters to hold weekly coffee masterclasses in their store, in the “Cookshop” area on the lower ground.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ROK machine from Selfridges. All opinions are my own.

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  • Reply Pedro 17/11/2015 at 22:26

    On crema, I previously tried multiple brands from supermarket and never got much (both pre-ground and whole beans). Probably as Crema depends on a recent roast and who knows when that was done on supermarket packets! This is due to higher amounts of CO2 on freshly roasted beans for effective emulsification as you’ve probably come across in your research.
    I recently bought some “Coffee Masters Exclusive Master Blend of 100% Arabica Espresso Coffee Beans” from Amazon. Coffee masters includes the roast date on the coffee (the one I received was roasted within 2 months). It creates a rich crema, 3-4mm high quite easily.
    When grinding, I use the Hario medium hand grinder.

    • Reply Pedro 17/11/2015 at 22:27

      Good luck on your coffee quest ;)

  • Reply Nutella Brioche Croissants - Mondomulia 14/01/2016 at 09:56

    […] make espresso, up until recently we would use the ROK or the Bialetti stove pot machine. Making cappuccino was impossible as we couldn’t steam the […]

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