Question about Vev Vigano Kontessa Oro 12-Cup Espresso Machine

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My Vev Vigano Kontessa 12 cup espresso maker does not work properly

I recently purchased a 12 cup Vev Vigano Kontessa espresso maker. The directions that came with the product looked pretty simple and I have folowed them exactly. I am having a problem because not all of the water is being forced through into the pot. I'm getting approximately half of the coffee that it is supposed to make. I can't figure out why there is not enough pressure to force the water through. I purchased the correct coffee (illy espresso fine grind, cafe macinato). I tried low, med and high heat on my gas stove. I tried running just running water through (with no coffee) and it seemed to work fine. All the water came through and filled up the pot. Is there some trick to using this that I'm not aware of?

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  • ttay11 Sep 07, 2008

    Hi I've exprienced the same problem and have tried just plain water and nothing works! I can only get a trickle of water to come through. The water boils and there is an obvious amount of pressure but no water rising into the top cavity. I have two other machines and they work perfectly well albeit they are much smaller. Is there a solution to my problem or have I been given a dud? Please help, Tina.

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I had the same problem, so I embarked on a search mission. Here's what I found, and it worked for me. First, these pots are designed to work only for the amount of water specified for each size. So I have a 6 cup pot that requires 9 oz of water. If I try to put 8 oz. of water, I only get about 1 maybe 2 oz of coffee. Size of the grind doesn't matter as long as you stick to espresso grind (some coffee grinders have several settings for espresso grind). As soon as I put exact amount of water, it works much better. Now, you have to understand that some water gets evaporated as steam, and some water should remain in the boiler section of the pot for safety reason. The general advice is to take the pot off the burner as soon as the gurgling sound reaches its peak and just starts to subside.
That may result (as least for me) in weaker coffee than I like. So what I do, is I fill the coffee funnel with coffee grinds, tamp it very lightly, and then using a wooden skewer I make 3 or 4 holes all the way to the bottom of the funnel. That will help the steam to escape. Before I learned this trick, I thought it was a valve problem or a seal problem. As soon as I tried this trick, bingo! I personally like strong coffee. So I didn't want to compromise it and start adding less coffee to the funnel. The thing is that steam wets and expands coffee grinds, and that may be enough to hinder the process. If you make several holes, steam will not be building in the boiler section and escaping thrgough the valve or break the seal on the gasket.
Hope this helps.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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Hi I also have the same problem with this coffee maker. First off solution One "BEST SOLUTION" is insulting. Do you think people are idiots? I will try solution 2, but what a hassle, there should be at least a fill line in the over priced piece of ****. I have had many stovetop expresso makers not only was this the most expensive but also the most frustrating by FAR! I AM TRULY UPSET WITH THIS PRODUCT.

Posted on Jul 19, 2010

  • singingwhale Jul 19, 2010

    I tried solution #2 from "loveCoffee and I am glad it works great for your 6 cup. Tried adding 18 oz of water to my 12 Cup, 18 OZ. espresso maker but it still didn't work I am taking a sledge hammer to this piece of ****! Unbelievable! I had a wonderful stovetop expresso maker that my wife threw away because it was made out of Aluminum. I really miss it :-(

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(a) Check that the pot is screwed on tightly enough...if you see an excess of steeam coming from where the two partrs join, then you may have coffee grounds trapped, thus steam escapes, thus you have less coffee, because you lose pressure...lose pressure = lose heat = less coffee! SO, make sure the pot is tight AND there is no coffee grounds on the rim.
(b) There is always some residual water left in the basin
(c) Water is also trapped in the residual cake of spent coffee left over.

Posted on Jun 07, 2008

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