The Espresso might be the single most popular drink around the world, which is loved by one and all. In fact, the love of espresso is so great, that it has literally inspired an industry to form in its shadow. And if you though that espresso manufacturers were the only ones to benefit from the espresso, then you might be surprised to know that the espresso has also inspired a whole new breed of professionals called the Coffee Connoisseur.
But even with all of its success, little do people realize that behind this most enjoyed beverage in the world, there perhaps has been one of the longest lineage of history and quest lasting almost 100 years for the finest Espresso quality.
The Quest For Espresso Quality Begins
If we just jump back a 100 years to 1900’s, then Espresso was known as… Well it was known as nothing, because it didn’t exist prior to 1905. In the year 1884, an inventor named Angelo Moriondo was the first person to have actually demonstrated the Espresso Machine in public and was granted the patent (33/256) for it.
But it wasn’t until 1901, when an engineer named Luigi Bezzera got hold of the patent (163,94, 61707) and made significant upgrades to Moriondo’s espresso machine and bring us a step closer to our beloved Espresso. Finally in the year 1905, Bezzera sold his patent of the espresso machine to Desiderio Pavoni and the world was introduced to the first La Pavoni espresso machine and the Espresso as we know it.
Through The Years
When introduced in 1905, the espresso machine was an overnight commercial success and gave way to the Barista revolution, but the espresso was still a long way from the way we know it. The designs of the initial espresso machines consisted of a steam boiler and an army of pressure valves which had to be adjusted to make the espresso. But a major problem with this design was that inside the boiler, the steam integrated with the ground coffee.
Which brought down the flavor of the coffee substantially. The pressure of the boiler was another factor which forced people to look for alternative ways to make espresso, because the traditional espresso machines failed at creating high levels of pressure inside the boiler which gave the espresso its signature taste. And applying high levels of pressure to the boiler only made the steam integrate better with the coffee which damaged the taste even further and in few cases, the machine itself broke down completely.
The Next Step
In a desperate attempt to prevent the coffee from coming in contact with steam and integrating with it and to produce higher levels of pressure, inventors tried their hand at every possible idea to improve the traditional Espresso machine. But the solution eventually came with the help of an age old invention called the lever, which was combined with a load piston to produce pressure levels of 9 ATM’s or 9 BARS.
Commercialized first by manufacturing giants Gaggia, with the Gaggia Crema Espresso machine. The Gaggia Crema did not only efficiently produced 9 BARS of pressure to refine the taste of the Espresso, but it also dealt with the age of problem of steam coming in direct contact with the ground coffee. Which was accomplished by building a separate group head to release the steam. The lever piston espresso machine was the second generation espresso machine which helped Espresso gain the taste we are so familiar with today.
With the level piston espresso machine started changing the Espresso Industry once and for all, La Pavoni became desperate to regain their previous supremacy and started looking for ways to help them reach their goal. And as a result in 1961, the La Pavoni introduced the first Espresso Machine for the home called the Europiccola. Which went on to become the most commonly found Espresso Machines in homes across Italy, was shown in a Bond Movie and went on to become a part of the American Heritage.
1961, was not only the year when La Pavoni introduced the world to the home espresso machine, but it also saw the rise of the ever so familiar pump espresso machine which was introduced to the commercial sector by Faema with their E61 model. The most popular pump driven Espresso machines which the world witnessed over the years include the Single Boiler, Dual Use Single Boiler, Heat Exchanger and Dual Boilers. The next significant change in espresso machines came in 2005 with air pump driven espresso machines, which operate with the help of CO2 or NOS cartridges to produce the required pressure.”