A Brief History of Espresso

J. Brian Keith

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Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing business invented Espresso at the turn of the century. Luigi 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, what he ended up with is a better, fuller tasting cup of strong coffee, as well as a much faster process. He found that the quicker more efficient brewing method allowed for the quality of the beans to be extracted as opposed to over extracting he had previously experienced. The term “Espresso" means fast in italian, hence the term.

It wasn't until later when Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights from Mr. Bezzera for the espresso machine that it became popular. Pavoni was extremely successful in marketing the product and probably changed the way people drink coffee from then on. Just look around! Coffee and Espresso shops are popping up everywhere, even in the U. S. it has become not only popular for the delicious beans, but 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 filters that contained the coffee. Boiling water was forced 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 begins manufacturing the espresso machines soley based on Bezzera's patent.

In 1927 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. Resulting foam or cream layered coffee or cafe’.

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