Giotto Home Espresso Machines Extended Review

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Giotto Evoluzione

Giotto Premium Plus

Giotto Premuin Plus
(note the single dial)

We offer two models of the beautiful and sturdy Giotto espresso machine by Rocket Espresso, Milan, Italy. The Evoluzione is a plumbed-in machine that, interestingly, can also be used without plumbing it in. See my note on the details page. The rotary pump has sufficient power to draw water from an external container. The Premium Plus has a water reservoir and is designed to be used without plumbing lines. We tested these machines for nearly 2 months before offering them, and feel they represent both solid design and craftsmanship in their build. Paired with a good grinder and some basic espresso technique, you can truly produce great espresso time and time again with these machines.

Both the machines are based on the same chassis and same body design, and share many components including the proven E-61 group head design. The key differences are significant, but do not make for a long list. There is the difference in pump type (the Evoluzione, left, is a rotary pump machine and the Premium Plus, right, is a vibratory pump machine). There is the water uptake between the plumbed-in vs. non-plumbed-in designs, as well as the drip tray in the Evoluzione that has a drain hole, whereas the Premium must be emptied manually. To be straight forward, we think that the plumbed-in Evoluzione model suits the needs of the home enthusiast much better than the Premium, and even when run using external containers for the water supply and drip tray waste, will make for a much better experience. That's our bias. As I said, we tested the machine for 2 months or more, and have a lot more information on this Giotto Details page. We also have a lot of information about making espresso in general on our Espresso Pages.

The Giotto Evoluzione

Giotto Professional


The Giotto Evoluzione is a serious home espresso machine with proven design features and a very stylish appearance. In many ways, the Evoluzione has a standard build for machines in its class .... standard meaning great quality internal components. There's little here that is new or experimental; these are proven components. The list of features includes

The Giotto Premium Plus

Giotto Premium Plus

The Giotto Premium Plus is the self-contained version of the same espresso machine as the Professional... it has a built-in water reservoir and the drip tray does not drain. That means you fill the water tank when it is empty (the machine has an auto-shut off function to let you know when it needs water), and you empty the drip tray when full. It also has a vibratory pump, which is a more difficult to adjust than the rotary pump on the Professional model. (The good news is that we are willing to open up your machine and adjust your pump pressure before we ship it to you, if you request us to do so!) It lacks the brew pressure gauge of the Professional as well, but does have the boiler pressure gauge. Like the Professional model, the Premium Plus is a serious home espresso machine with proven design features and a very stylish appearance, with high quality internal components and a refined finish. We want to encourage people who want to make espresso at home to get the plumbed-in Professional model, because you can run it effectively without actually attaching it to a water line and a household drain; you can run the Professional from a water container or jug of your choosing, and another container to receive the drip tray water. Why?We think over the life of the machine, which is 15+ years, the convenience of a plumbed in machine is well worth the difference in price. Obviously, the Premium Plus shares the same chassis and looks as the Professional and many of the same internals to the feature list is similar. The list of features includes:

  • A heat-exchanger brew temperature system with rapid warm-up times: The Premium Plusis a single tank model that essentially "flash heats" the brew water by running it through the high temperature steam tank. This is a proven and efficient technology, and the machine can be left on all day, ready to use whenever you like.
  • A water-regulated E-61 group head: A classic, proven design which features a siphon water-recirculating circuit within the brass brew head to regulate temperature. Also, there is a bolt-on thermometer upgrade you can add to read brew head temperature, if desired.
  • Standard 58mm coffee handle design: If you are stepping up from another machine, your filter baskets and tampers will be useable. 58mm is the professional standard.
  • Ukla vibratory pump: The vibe pump is louder than the rotary pump and is not adjustable. You can work around this and adjust the pressure release valve and thereby control the brew pressure.
  • Sirai Pressurestat: A commercial quality "p-stat," which is easily user-adjustable. Most E-61 machines do not have this quality of p-stat, and it is often the first component to fail on these types of machines.
  • Nickel-plated boiler: Most machines are exposed brass, but the Giotto features a nickel-plated brass boiler, which will resist breakdown over time, and has better thermal properties.
  • Boiler Pressure Gauge.
  • Big Water Reservoir with no lame tubes: A lot of machines have awkward tubing dipping into the tank from the top, which must be moved and replaced each time you refill. The Giotto Premium has a nifty tube free design. Also, it has a two-part top plate so you don't necessarily have to move your cups to pull out the water tank.
  • It's Attractive! The Giotto looks fantastic, with unique high-polish stainless steel panels, and a very high quality of finish overall. When nit-picking for issues, we found the gauges to the ever-so-slightly askew but aside from that, every single surface, every nut, bolt and badge is flawless. Trust me, it is hard to take pictures of mirror-surfaces!
  • Brewhead Pressure Calibration: Because it is a bit trickier to set the brew head pressure on a vibe pump machine, and you don't have a pressure gauge that the Professional has to guide you, we are offering to set this for you. Most espresso machines straight from the factory (including the fanciest high price ones) come with brew head pressure set way too high: 11 or more bars. We will set it to 9 bars upon request (you will be asked upon checkout).
  • Our Giotto Premium Plus machines are the latest models from Italy. Some offered at other retailers are previous models. One year parts and labor
  • Warranty through Sweet Maria's Coffee directly.