Research Topic: Espresso Machine

Coffee is the fuel that drives my existence, as is the case for millions around the world.  Nothing satisfies a caffeine addict’s cravings quite like an espresso.  As I drank my midday coffee, I got to wondering, “where did the espresso machine come from?”

First of all, it is important to understand what an espresso machine is.  The espresso machine was originally made by Angelo Moriondo in Italy, and was patented in 1884.  The machine forced highly pressurized steam over coffee grounds to create a very potent potion.

The patent for Moriondo’s espresso machine


The machine emerged from an age in which steam was king, and people wanted everything immediately.  One can see the attitude of the age through Moriondo’s machine–the patent was for,  “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage.”

Moriondo’s machine was far from perfect though–it was strictly a bulk brewer.  It wouldn’t be long, then, before two more Italians would come along to improve the machine.  Luigi Bezzerra and Desiderio Pavoni made a machine that was capable of creating single cups of coffee in a matter of seconds.  In addition to making the machine smaller, they added a pressure valve so as to control the dispersion of the coffee.  The men debuted their machine at the 1906 Milan Fair, and it became an instant success.  From there the machine gained popularity, and was eventually developed to be able to function without steam.

This picture illustrates the inner-workings of an espresso machine



4 thoughts on “Research Topic: Espresso Machine”

  1. Brock,

    Your idea that the espresso machine arose out of a desire to incorporate steam into coffee making because people during the later part of the Industrial Revolution associated steam with progress could be extended into a really interesting paper, especially if you looked at early public enthusiasm for the espresso machine as reflecting this penchant for steam. I really like this idea.

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