Alex Dowsett once tweeted, "Are you even a pro cyclist unless you own a chrome Rocket espresso machine?"
Alan Murchison aka The Performance Chef (and a regular CW fitness contributor) rather cheekily replied that pro cyclists actually have La Marzocco and that Rocket is the Ultegra of the coffee world, but an espresso machine that costs £2,735 is in most people's eyes firmly at Super Record level.
£2,735 is the price of the limited edition (limited to 100) Rapha Rocket R Cinquantotto espresso machine that will be made exclusively to order for members of the Rapha Cycling Club.
“For as long as there have been cyclists, there have been coffee stops,” says Rapha. “The two go hand in hand, and over 140 years since an Italian inventor filed a patent for the world’s first espresso machine, a Milanese manufacturer still leads the way. Rocket Espresso produces the world’s finest espresso machines by hand for coffee connoisseurs around the world, including most of the professional peloton and now members of the Rapha Cycling Club.”
The Rapha Rocket R Cinquantotto features the British apparel brand's logo on its pressure gauge and on the side of the machine’s casing. There’s also a plate on the front of the machine with its number in the series of 100 stamped into it.
Here are some of the technical details about the R Cinquantotto from Rocket’s website:
“Dual independently operated PID controlled boilers allowing for optimum extraction of any coffee type or roast style.
“Rocket Espresso inclined boiler technology means precise group temperature adjustment and unprecedented levels of temperature stability.
“Commercial grade rotary pump draws from the machine's internal water reservoir or allows for the machine to have a direct water connection from the water supply.
“Machine functions are controlled by the touch screen communication pod that now includes an automatic on/off function – your machine is ready to go whenever you need coffee. The communication pod can easily be removed from the machine to retain the aesthetic that is Rocket Espresso.”
Rapha has confirmed that you do need to be a Rapha CC member to buy one - but if you can afford one, the £70 annual membership fee is unlikely to put you off.
So if you fancy a Rapha Rocket R Cinquantotto espresso machine and are a Rapha CC member, they cost £2,735 including all taxes and duties (they are shipped directly from Milan) you can buy one here. (opens in new tab)
Here are some deals on three decent Italian coffee machines that we like if you're looking more at Veloce level.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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