Post By Paolo
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Post By Paolo
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Post By Paolo
Vesuvius #17- 4 months on
I can thank my dearly and recently-departed brother Rob for this one! Whilst in life he always supported my coffee fetishes and experimentation....he always angered when I lashed out and bought a new machine. It's the way he was....we joked about it.
Anyway, his untimely death lead to some money left over from his funeral fund. He would "roll in his grave" to know that I had bought another machine with his leftover funeral money....but I smile and think of him whenever I use this amazing machine.....it was a tribute to him that I bought it. It is a way that I am reminded of the spirit of this amazing man living on...
I wanted to get one of these when I first read Chris at Talk Coffee mentioning it on Coffeesnobs. Chris and I shared many e-mails. I NEARLY got one of the early-adopter ones from Chris but for one reason or another didn't go through with it. There were a few hiccups with production and many, many questions from me to:-
Paolo Cortese (the designer and developer) from Ambient Espresso....the Vesuvius is his baby....Ciao Paolo!,
Dave Corby (the English developer who is also a CS member),
Chris Natoli from Talk Coffee and
Pedro Lara from Coffeeparts.
I want to thank each and every one of these fine men for their patience, dedication and experience....and for the many e-mails of mine that they each replied to with their insights.... until I felt satisfied that my brother's $$ would be well-invested in this machine.
Whilst I would have liked to support Chris from Talk Coffee and have a test-drive of the Vesuvius in Melbourne, I live near Sydney (2 hrs away).... and Coffeeparts was the practical choice for taking a demo model for a spin.
Pedro from Coffeeparts has always been free with his time and support. I have bought machines from him before and have always been well-taken care of. It has always been "Take a sickie and a leisurely drive to Sydney and bring back something amazing!" This time it was no different.
After entering-in Dave Corby's settings on Pedro's demo machine, I pulled some amazing shots straight off. I thought "This Vesuvius is sorely tempting!" and Pedro's demo machine was in fine company....a single group Slayer on one side and a paddle LM GS3 and a Speedster on the other!
After familiarizing myself with the Vesuvius, I knew that I couldn't go home without one of Coffeeparts' new arrivals. To me it offers all that the Speedster, GS3 and Slayer do....and more. It is a handbuilt, beautiful piece of Italian craftsmanship.
I was treated like royalty at Coffeeparts....it's always great to catch up with Pedro and Cilinia. Mine is machine #17 off the production line. I took #17 to my sister's house and set it up for its first shot. Amazing! My 91 year old mum took the honours of moving the lever for shot #1. Monsooned Malabar to die for! My sister told said "WOW!!! THAT'S THE BEST COFFEE I HAVE EVER HAD!" and yes, she was just about shouting! Many coffees were consumed that night my friends.....
The next day I pulled some more shots before heading north with my new baby.
I have had #17 for just over 3 months now and it is producing absolutely stellar shots day after day....that are improving subtley as I continue to master it. I tend to use 3 or 4 single origins only that I home-roast. I swap back to other machines for a comparison every now and then....LM Linea, Caravel, Cremina,Brugnetti Aurora and QM Achille. They all make magic...but the Vesuvius is something else again.
I tend to use the one profile but tweak it a bit here and there to get the very best out of the SO that I am using. The other day I extended the 2Bar pre-infusion that I have set in Profile #1 by 2 seconds.... and the 2nd part of the extraction of 11Bar by 2 seconds as well. It made a noticeable difference in the cup. AMAZING versatility and repeatability! I have experimented with the temperature, which is in 0.5C increments. It is fabulous to be able to have absolute control of temperature and pressure parameters in such a repeatable way.
I love all of my machines but this one is that much more special than the others. It is the one that I go to first. It gets 80% of the use in my home. It is also the only machine that I have had that I didn't feel the need to modify in some way. As testament to this, I haven't even felt tempted to remove any panels and check things out. It has all worked flawlessly straight out of the ingeniously-designed wooden crate that it came in. I wanted to start a thread on Coffeesnobs earlier but wanted to make sure that it wasn't the smitten honeymoon stage talking in me. It took many comparisons with other fine machinery with the same beans for me to realize what a winner the Vesuvius is....kudos to all involved in its evolution!
I am looking forward to the journey that this machine's adjustability and repeatability will allow me to traverse.
I am sure that my brother Rob would have approved if he was able to sample the spoils!
Last edited by Paolo; 21st November 2014 at 02:06 PM.
Nice story Paolo. I'm sure your bro would have approved especially if it out-delivers some of the other classic equipment you listed.
So when are you putting the others on the market. It sounds like they might be a bit under-utilised
I forgot this one
Now THAT'S a good question! They all get used...and as I said, "I love all of my machines"!
(Just remembered that I have a really lightly-used and almost immaculate 240 volt 1987 Cremina that I will list for sale one day....)
Last edited by Paolo; 21st November 2014 at 02:01 PM.
Thanks for the kind words Paolo and it's great to see you're having fun with your Vesuvius.
Our experiences mirror yours. Our clients have been blown away by what it can do and my tech absolutely loves what he sees inside as well.
This one really is genius. It's definitely as special as a Strada EP in what it can achieve in the cup, but a whole heap easier to drive. There is no machine on the market which can do what a Vesuvius can do.
We have one (demo) remaining for a lucky local and then it's backorders with an ETA of around February.
what a great story and yep think your brother would have approved.
Congrats on what is no doubt an absolutely stunning machine. Having seen it at Talk coffee, even my wife commented on it and asked if i were purchasing that one
Great story and totally threw me off the R58 bandwagon. Think I’ll hold on to my anita now, save up a WHOLE heap more than get the Vesuvius, seems like the prosumer machine for the ages
Paolo, that's a great story. Sounds like an awesome machine. I remember seeing a photo of your house in the Olympia Cremina thread once and I almost fell off my chair. The thread was about the Cremina and in the background was a 'humble' LM Linea and Robur from memory! You truly deserve the title 'coffeesnob'. May you enjoy ALL your toys for many years to come - life is too short.
Hi Bennett....Thanks so much for your sentiment...I truly appreciate it. I agree completely! And I DO enjoy them all.
Originally Posted by bennett
For the life of me, I can't remember the picture of the Cremina, Robur and Linea that you mentioned....but you are right about the Robur.
I DO remember, however, taking a picture of the 3 Creminas that I owned at the time....a 1967 model, the 1987 model (mentioned above) and a 2011 one that I bought new. With a bit of a spit and polish they were posed in a line and photographed. I had the photo blown up and framed...looks GREAT!
Yep....proud to be a Coffeesnob....I consider myself incredibly fortunate in having such a supportive partner!
Hi Paolo, the photo is somewhere in this thread. 1987 Olympia Cremina and tucked in behind it - just in view LM Linea and off to the side Robur.
Thanks for that, Bennett! It all comes back to me now....
Originally Posted by bennett
first of all thanks for your kind words about our machine and support.
your story is absolutely speechless for me due of your trust in us.
i hope that you will enjoy our machine for a very long time.
Many thanks, Paolo!
Originally Posted by PaoloCortese
I am absolutely in awe of you and Ambient &spresso....firstly in having the vision of a domestic programmable pressure-profiling machine of this calibre and then having the passion, patience and skills in turning the vision into a reality with such a groundbreaking yet user-friendly machine. I tip my hat to you...
Here it is. I'll be on the lookout for this beauty if Paolo finds it in himself to part with it.
Originally Posted by bennett
Yes sir....that's my baby!
Have sent you a PM if you are interested in becoming its new Daddy!
Hi Paolo, thanks for the review. The Vesuvius has been on my radar since Chris announced it earlier this year. How do you find the temperature stability?
Originally Posted by leontoh
I don't have a Scace device so am not in a position to give you any more than an opinion...no problems recovering from one shot to the next.
(With a 1000W heater doing its thing on an 800ml insulated boiler, I wouldn't expect there to be any problem either.)
Maybe Chris, DaveC or Paolo Cortese would be best able to answer this one....
I sat down and wrote 21 things that I really like about my Vesuvius:-
1) There is a door that opens from the side to expose the water tank. ..so you don’t need to remove anything from the warming rack. This door opens only partially, so you don’t have to worry about it dropping onto anything and getting dented or damaging hinges etc.
2) The controls and settings are all operated via the touchscreen.
3) Pressure profiling- My favourite SO at present is Monsooned Malabar. It has taken a while but for this bean I have worked out what I consider to be the optimum pressure profile. On my machine I use Profile #1 for this bean. This profiling allows me to extract more from the bean than I can with straight 9Bar extraction machines.
I am aiming to do this for each of my favourite SO’s. There are 5 separate profiles available on the machine.
To make an adjustment to the profile eg. to extend the pre-infusion from 6 seconds to 10 seconds realistically takes less than a minute to do.(see 4 below)
4) Navigating through the menu is really logical. It is not like when you get a new mobile phone, where you know there is a setting for something but just can’t find it…
5) Warmup time takes less than 5 minutes for the boiler to heat up. The group takes a further 18-20 minutes, so less than 25 minutes and you are ready to go.
6) The wooden and aluminium handles…they look GREAT!
7) There was a naked portafilter included with the machine, also with the wood/aluminium treatment. Thanks Chris and Pedro for requesting this with the Australian machines!
8) The grates on the warming rack and underneath the group where the cup sits is stainless…but being wire, doesn’t scratch anywhere near as easily as stainless sheet metal does. I really like little touches like this.
9) The steam boiler is easily turned off via the touchscreen. I hardly ever use this boiler so it’s good to be able to not have to feed it electricity when it isn’t needed. To turn it on via the touchscreen takes less than 10 seconds.
10) There are 2 on/off settings for each of the 7 days in the week. If you wake up at the same time each weekday, you can set the machine to turn on 20 minutes before you will actually need it. If you want to shut it down before the turnoff time is reached, it is just 2 touches on the touchcscreen. There is another on/off setting say for instance to turn on 20 minutes before you get home from work. Magic! If you don’t want the machine to turn on with the timer, you just turn it on and off manually via the touchscreen.
11) The waste water collects in a nifty reservoir that is really solid stainless steel. The whole drawer slides off the machine for draining into the sink and a quick clean with a sponge.
12) Once a shot is started, it will finish even if the water level in the tank is running low. After the shot the screen will change to a red colour to tell you it needs topping.
13) The designer (Paolo Cortese) is a fellow-Coffeesnob member and is accessible if you need help via a PM.
14) The machine has its own Forum. It is a bit slow at present but will sky-rocket once more Vesuvius machines are out there.
15) There is an excellent User’s Guide available online for this machine that was written by another Coffeesnob…Dave Corby. Dave is also a great resource of information and knows this machine intimately.
16) The machine has a ‘no compromise on quality components’ feel to it.
17) The touchscreen can have its colour changed, brightened etc. which is great for those of us who have diminished eyesight capacity. I have mine set so that there is no backlight when my machine is turned off…but you can have a colour if you want.
18) Tweakability-this is a tweaker’s dream machine. You can easily adjust temperature through the touchscreen. It is simple to add or take away pressure and/or time for the different stages within a shot if you want…but you don’t have to. If you just want to have a standard 9Bar machine shot, you can do that too. It’s up to you completely.
19) Shot timer-never thought about having one before but use it with each shot as a matter of course now.
20) Touchscreen is sensitive to the touch but not too sensitive.
21) Using the Vesuvius is really intuitive and user-friendly. It's fun too!
Last edited by Paolo; 25th November 2014 at 06:24 PM.
Reason: Added 'It's fun too' comment
Gee Paolo, are you on ambient espressos payroll?
I already ditched the r58 for the Vesuvius at the beginning of this thread.
Now I'm at the cusp of impulse buying one, that's a great review (/marketing ploy)!
edit: perhaps you can post some pics of #17!
Last edited by Avex; 25th November 2014 at 09:25 PM.
Originally Posted by Avex
No....I am not on the Ambient payroll.
I merely wanted to allow other CSers an insight into this machine.
If you listed features on other contemporary top-end machines there would be a lot that each machine would have in common with other top-end machines.
Many of the features that I listed above are not common on contemporary machines.
If you have a look at a demo model (and preferably pull a few shots with one), you would experience the above features first hand.
If you e-mail Paolo Cortese, Dave Corby, Chris Natoli or Pedro from Coffeeparts and mention my name and ask about my (many) e-mails you would no doubt initiate eye-rolling. When I was finding out all that I could about the Vesuvius,I sent an e-mail to the person at each stage of my quest who I thought would best be able to answer my question. I was S-O-O cautious before I shelled out money for one.
Why don't you get yourself to Melbourne or Sydney and see one in the flesh if you haven't already?