Espresso Coffee

Espresso Coffee

Most people aren’t aware of the origins of expresso coffee. Here’s a short but fascinating history of this popular coffee drink.

The Accidental Invention of Expresso Coffee

The owner of an Italian manufacturing business, Luigi Bezzera, is credited with inventing expresso coffee at the beginning of the 20th century. Luigi was looking for a way to make coffee brew faster, so he tried adding pressure to the brewing process. He was successful with his “Fast Coffee Machine” and there was an added bonus. In addition to brewing coffee faster, the coffee produced by his machine had a bolder, richer flavor. The faster extraction which his brewing method used actually resulted in a stronger cup of coffee. Luigi’s new machine came to be known as Expresso, which translates to “fast” in Italian.

The Marketing Success of Expresso Coffee

Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights to the expresso coffee machine from Luigi Bezzera. It was Pavoni’s marketing skill that really made expresso coffee popular. His efforts resulted in a change in coffee-drinking habits. The coffee shops which have appeared everywhere as new social gathering places all serve expresso coffee and owe a debt of gratitude to Desidero Pavoni.

Timeline for Development of Expresso Coffee

1901: A patent for the original expresso machine is granted to Luigi Bezzera. His original design was for a boiler and four containers.  Each container used a different size filter containing coffee.  As the water boiled, it was forced through the coffee filters and dispensed to a cup. This design included the process for making “fast” (or expresso) coffee.

1903: Desidero Pavoni saw the potential in the new fast coffee and purchased the patent rights from Bezzera.

1905: Pavoni’s company begins manufacturing expresso coffee machines. Pavoni used his marketing skills to make the expresso coffee machine popular.

1927: The first expresso machine appeared in America. Regio’s in New York was the site of the installation of a La Pavoni machine.

1938: A piston pump to force boiling water through coffee was designed by Cremonesi. The first installation was at Achille Gaggia’s coffee bar.

1946: Gaggia began manufacturing the commercial piston machine by Gaggia. It included layered foam or cream on expresso coffee.

Note: The correct words for “expresso coffee” should be “espresso coffee”. I wrote this article to catch those readers who may have typed the wrong ones in search engines. Are you one of them?