History of the Espresso

The History of the Espresso

History of the Espresso

An espresso is a type of coffee beverage resulted by forcing water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans in a short amount of time.  This brewing method extracts all the flavors from the coffee, resulting in a concentrated, intense and full-bodied cup of coffee.  The term espresso is the Italian word for “fast”, and the espresso machine was invented to efficiently provide individuals with a quick concentrated cup of coffee.

Espresso Machine Patented by Angelo Moriondo

The first signs of an espresso machine date back to 1884 when Italian Angelo Moriondo registered a patent for his invention.  However, his machine was bulky, and was ironically slow to brew a cup of coffee.  So in 1901, Milanese Luigi Bezzera built a better coffee machine with a boiler and four divisions to force steam and boiling water through the coffee.  He was able to “expressly” brew a concentrated cup of coffee with the machine.  It was soon patented and commercialized so the espresso drink was born.  Along with the period of urbanization, the espresso became popular as quick as it actually brewed.  The espresso drink was enjoyed mostly by the working class who socialized and frequented coffee bars.

Vintage Espresso Machines

By 1927, the espresso phenomenon spread through into the United States.  But soon, flaws and complaints surfaced and piled up stating that the espresso drink was bitter with a burnt aftertaste.  In 1938, a factory technician by the name of M. Cremonesi refined the espresso machine by developing a spring piston pump that eliminated the burnt aftertaste in which was due the long extraction of coffee by the boiling hot water.  This improvement also produced a creamy finish to an espresso, and introduced the era of the “crema” (or foam).

Faema Espresso Machines

Further technological advancement over the years had continued to refine and improve the espresso machine, in such an electrical pump was introduced in 1961 by M. Faema.  This was the beginning of the pump-driven machines from which all modern espresso machines are derived from.  Today, an espresso machine can brew a cup/shot of espresso instantaneously in which can be enjoyed by itself or be incorporated into a variety of other drinks such as the Americano, Macchiato, Cappuccino, Latte, etc.


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