For most coffee drinkers around the world, espresso is coffee. It is considered the purest distillation of a coffee bean that brings out the coffee’s literal essence. But what is an espresso and how did it come to being? Most importantly, roasting is neither a blend, a bean, nor a roasting method. Espresso is a preparation method where highly-pressurized boiling water is passed through ground coffee to produce a concentrated coffee drink with a robust and deep flavor.

How it all came to being?

Coffee was a huge business in Europe during the 19th century, with coffee cafes flourishing across the continent. But since coffee brewing was a slow method, customers had to wait for quite some time for their brew to arrive. Inventors, upon seeing this as an opportunity, started to look out for ways to make use of steam machines to reduce the brewing time.

While there were many prototypes and patents, the invention of the first espresso machine is usually credited to Angelo Moriondo of Italy. He patented his steam machinery for the instantaneous confection of coffee. Although Moriondo was the first person to invent the espresso machine, it was quite bulky; additionally, there were no more such machines made and Moriondo was lost to history. But the design paved the path for newer models to follow in the future.

The models that followed

Luigi Bezzera, an inventor from Milano, patented abetter-quality espresso machine in 1901. This machine consisted of a single boiler and four containers that held different filers and could contain the coffee. This machine was called the Tipo Gigante. Two years later, Desiderio Pavoni purchased Bezzera’s patent and started manufacturing espresso machines in large-scale and formed the La Pavoni Company. Soon, La Pavoni’s first espresso machine was installed in the US in 1927.

The first piston pump coffee machines

At this point in time, these espresso machines made use of forced steam through coffee grounds, which explained its burnt flavor. However, Cremones invented a piston pump in 1938 that forced hot water through the coffee grounds; this gave the resulting coffee a more natural flavor and added one of the most major characteristics of modern espresso on the top, a layer of foam. The first espresso machine of this kind was first installed at Achille Gaggia’s coffee café. Sadly, the ongoing World War II stopped any further development of the device.

Gaggia then started the production of commercial coffee machines that made use of the piston system immediately after the war ended. In 1961, a pump-based system was developed by the Faema Company that made use of an electric pump to deliver pressurized water to the coffee grounds. The water was drawn from a fresh source via a tube, heated, and goes to the coffee chamber. Today, almost all modern espresso machines are based on this design.

Today, the development of espresso machines are still underway; developers and inventors are trying to make espresso machines capable of delivering a delicious cup of espresso coffee in a lesser span of time. Espresso coffee has grown in popularity and is quite popular among the masses today.