User Experience: Vesuviana Stove Top

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#1: Post by yakster »

I've been enjoying reading the restoration threads about Vesuviana stove top espresso machines in the Repair forum, but thought further posts on brewing might go here. Existing threads:

Restoring Rare Vesuviana Caffetiere

Very Old Vesuviana With Very Special Provenance

My first try with the Vesuviana six cup was with 22.5 grams of coffee tamped in the portafilter. The group on the Vesuviana is different in that there's a cylinder that descends about halfway down into the portafilter basket area which will go down into the coffee bed so tamping is probably not necessary or desired. I nearly choked the Vesuviana with this attempt.
I went coarser with 18 grams of coffee without tamping and got a much better result, strong coffee without the Crema. The 6 cup just fills my Corelle coffee cups to make a single strong cup of coffee.
The portafilter doesn't have a basket insert, but rather a press-fit screen that is pushed down to the bottom of the portafilter.

You can see that the handle threads are prone to rust like the La Pavoni, something to be checked.

Here's some photos of the coffee and water dose, the resultant coffee, and the puckology photo followed by a group photo.

This is still a work in progress. I'm finding that it's brewing the coffee a bit hotter than I prefer for Ethiopian varieties, I'm starting with hot RO water from my water cooler combined with my mineral additives and putting it on high on the stove, but I'm enjoying the coffee.


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#2: Post by drgary »

Chris, thanks for this thread and your excellent photos, which will help illustrate what I'm writing here. I was able to brew successfully today with the 9 cup Vesuviana. I ground even coarser than for drip - coarser than the grind you are showing - and left lots of headroom in the portafilter. The brew was at somewhat low temperature and is at low pressure on these machines, facilitated by the weighted pressure relief cap. The coffee began extracting in drips across the bottom of the portafilter. It then collected into a slow stream. Those brew parameters were ideal for the coffee I was using, bringing out acidity and caramels and without extracting the vegetal flavors that were present in this particular roast where the propane tank ran out just as the roast was nearing its final stages. The cup had some clarity and nice balance between acidity and caramels.

One of the features of these Vesuvianas is the cylinder in the group head that displaces coffee when you lock in and captures grinds when the portafilter is removed. Cleaning involves spooning out grounds within that cylinder and doing a thorough rinse. The shower screen can be removed for cleaning, but mine is held in by a rusted screw that I'll deal with later. But thanks to you, I have a larger Vesuviana to experiment with.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#3: Post by yakster (original poster) »

Checking back in on this thread since I'm thinking of brewing with the Vesuviana with some Ethiopia Agaro and I'd forgotten all my previous brew parameters. Anyone else have and brew tips for the Vesuviana? My wife has expressed concern regarding another coffee toy taking up space on the kitchen counter, but I've run out of accessible cupboard space to hide this in.

Update: Just finished brewing and I'm enjoying a nice, sweet cup of Sweet Maria's Ethiopia Agaro. I like it better than the cups I had this morning from the Kalita, but I have to admit that the Kalita was from a different jar that'd been out of the freezer for a few days and the Vesuviana came from a jar I just pulled out, time to roast some more coffee. I used the same brew parameters as before, 18 grams of finely ground coffee, leveled with a tamper but not really tamped with an Aeropress filter on top and about 280 ml of brew water. I did intentionally cool off the jug and my cup after filling the Vesuviana with water to help with any temperature issues and I think it may have made a difference.

LMWDP # 272