The Godfather Of Espresso Machine – Angelo Moriondo

Ever wonder who made the coffee espresso machine that is installed in every office and marriage?

Angelo Moriondo was born on 6 June 1851 in Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia. He was an Italian inventor and is credited with patenting the earliest known espresso machine, in the year 1884. His machine used a mixture of steam and boiling water to brew coffee. He invented the coffee espresso machine that we widely used today. He belonged to a business family. His grandfather was known for founding Giacomo, a liquor-producing company and his father established the chocolate company Moriondo. He was awarded a bronze medal at the General Expo of Turin where he first showcase his talent. It was first patented for six years and Moriondo continued to work on it to improve it. He never drove his invention to large-scale industrial production. He worked on manual machines for making his espresso machine bigger. Soon it became a bulk brewer

machine that can brew coffee not just for one single individual but for many individuals. This was the biggest modification. Ian Bersten called this invention “the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee” and Moriondo was “one of the earliest discoverers of the expresso machine”.It was a great compliment to him and his invention.

In the early decades, the machines were manual as Moriondo worked on hand-built machines. The coffees at that time were made by physically applying pressure by pulling the lever. This will allow the pressurized water through the coffee beans. They are very fine coffee beans. Espresso coffee is thicker and more intense than regular coffee because of the lower water ratio. Another achievement was achieved On 6 June 2022 when Google celebrated Moriondo with a Doodle on his 171st birthday. It’s important to note that Moriondo’s invention served as a foundation for future improvements and advancements in espresso machine design. Luigi Bezzera, for example, refined Moriondo’s design by introducing a system with better temperature control and other enhancements to improve the quality of the extracted espresso.


Angelo Moriondo’s espresso machine was a significant innovation in the coffee-making industry.

Here is a step-by-step overview of how Moriondo’s machine brewed espresso:

1. Water heating:

Moriondo’s machine used a large boiler to heat water and convert it into steam. The boiler was typically filled with water, which was then heated using a heat source, such as a coal or wood fire.

2. Generation of steam:

Once the water reached boiling point, steam would start to form in the boiler. The pressure generated by the steam was essential for forcing hot water through the coffee grounds and extracting the flavours.

3. Coffee grounds preparation:

While the water was heating and converting into steam, Moriondo’s machine required coffee grounds to be prepared. The grounds were usually ground finely and evenly to ensure proper extraction of flavours.

4. Coffee and water infusion:

When the steam had reached sufficient pressure, it was released into a separate chamber where the tightly packed coffee grounds were placed. The pressurized steam forced hot water through the coffee grounds, extracting the flavours and oils, and resulting in a concentrated coffee.

5. Collection of espresso:

As the water passed through the coffee grounds, it flowed into a container or cup, collecting the espresso. The process was relatively fast, and the resulting coffee had a strong flavour and higher concentration of caffeine compared to traditional coffee.

6. Continuing the process:

Moriondo’s machine allowed for continuous brewing, meaning that once a batch of espresso had been extracted, more coffee and water could be added, and the process could be repeated.

Here are some additional details and insights about Moriondo’s invention and its impact on coffee.

1. Historical context:

At the time of Moriondo’s invention in the late 19th century, coffee was typically brewed using a percolation method, which was slow and did not produce a concentrated flavour. Espresso was a relatively unknown and niche beverage, primarily consumed in Italy.

2. Moriondo’s inspiration:

According to historical accounts, Moriondo was inspired to create his espresso machine to reduce the amount of time required to brew coffee. He wanted to create a device that could quickly extract the flavours and concentrate the coffee, making it more efficient and convenient to prepare.

3. Commercialization:

Despite being granted a patent for his invention in 1889, Moriondo did not commercialize his espresso machine successfully. The machine was still clunky, difficult to use, and expensive for most people. It was only with the introduction of Bezzera’s machine in 1901, followed by other improvements, that espresso machines became more widely used.

4. Cultural impact:

The introduction of espresso machines marked a turning point in the coffee industry’s history. Espresso-based drinks quickly gained popularity, and coffeehouses around the world began to adopt the method. The concentration of flavour and caffeine in espresso created a new coffee culture, with various social rituals and customs surrounding it. From this culture emerged the barista profession, which requires specific training and knowledge of brewing techniques.

5. Legacy:

Moriondo’s invention contributed to the foundation of the espresso machine, which subsequently transformed the coffee-drinking experience. His creation simplified the brewing process, allowing for faster, more efficient preparation and prompting further experimentation with coffee-based drinks.

Today, espresso remains one of the world’s most popular coffee drinks, and the espresso machine is a staple in cafes and homes worldwide.


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