A Brief History of Espresso

A Brief History of Espresso

Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing business, invented Espresso at the turn of the century. Bezzera was simply trying to figure out a way to brew coffee faster. He figured if he could just add pressure to the brewing process it would speed things up, thus the “Fast Coffee Machine” was created.

His idea of a fast cup of coffee turned out much better than he had planned. He ended up with a better, fuller-tasting cup of strong coffee, as well as a much faster process. He found that his quicker, more efficient brewing method allowed for the quality of the beans to be extracted as opposed to the over-extracting he had previously experienced in his experiments. The term “Espresso” means fast in Italian, hence the name.

It wasn’t until later when Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights to the espresso machine from Mr. Bezzera that it became really popular. Pavoni was extremely successful in marketing the product and probably changed the way people drank coffee from then on. Just look around! Coffee and Espresso shops are everywhere, particularly in the USA. Coffee has become popular not only for the delicious beans, but the ritual of drinking coffee in all its delicious variations has given us a new place to socialize.

Espresso Timeline:

In 1901 Luigi Bezzera filed a patent for the espresso machine that contained a boiler and four “groups”. Each group could take different size filter that contained the coffee. Boiling water was then forced by pressure through the coffee and into a cup. Ambrogio Fumagelli says that this was the birth of (fast) espresso coffee.

In 1903 Luigi Bezzera’s patent was then purchased by Desiderio Pavoni and put to market in a big way.

In 1905 The Pavoni company began manufacturing the espresso machines solely based on Bezzera’s patent.

In 1927 the first espresso machine was installed in the United States. It was a La Pavoni Espresso Machine installed at Regio’s in New York.

In 1938 Cremonesi designed a piston pump that forced hot water through the coffee. It was installed at Achille Gaggia’s coffee bar.

In 1946 Gaggia begins manufacturing the commercial piston machine, leading to the currently popular foam or cream layered coffee, or cafe’.

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