Fresh is best - We have found that the quicker you can go from bean to cup the better the crema and the better the taste. If you use pre-ground coffee make sure it is fresh and supplied in an air-tight bag as coffee degrades once the beans are ground - it can lose up to 80% of its aroma in 20 minutes of exposure to the air.
Temperature - Pre-warm the portafilter, cup and water chamber with the excess water from your kettle to get the hottest shot.
Brew - After lifting the arms, pause for a few seconds to let the water infuse into the grind before squeezing out your espresso.
Crema - See Fresh is best - above. Try over-filling the water cylinder to increase the pressure and crema. Stop the squeeze once the double is out. Catch the remainder in a second cup and throw away. If you make it too long you may over-extract.
Cleaning - To clean, simply remove the portafilter by turning to the right. Knock out the coffee 'cake' into a bin and rinse off any remaining coffee ground. Occasionally wash you ROK espresso maker with soapy water but do not put through a dishwasher. The salts will destroy the high-quality finish.
Filling the portafilter - Build the coffee up one small layer at a time and tamp down each layer as you go.