Who Invented the Espresso?

Coffee brewing has improved over time from waiting for over five minutes to instant coffee you can enjoy today courtesy of the espresso machine. The underlying mechanism of operation being the passing of a jet of hot water under pressure through ground coffee to give highly concentrated coffee has been maintained over the years. But who invented the Espresso we use today?

Who Made The First Machine?

Many people have over time contributed to the development of the best espresso machine but the man to receive most of the credit is Angelo Moriondo of Turin who in 1884 was granted the patent for a new machine for the instantaneous and economic confection of coffee beverage. He is the father of the core operation concept of the espresso which used water, steam and ground coffee.

He is however not so popular in the history of the machine because of the amateur design that would be nowhere had the machine not been picked up by more ambitious and enthusiastic businessmen. His input, however, has remained key in even the latest design you will find at Starbuck hotels. The pressure used in the machine only reached about 1.5 bars.

Two Men Who Changed Everything

The espresso got a major boost when two masterminds enthusiastic about it took it up. Luigi Bezzerra a man with the know how about the operation of the machine and how to improve it and Desiderio Pavoni, the one with the money and marketing power. Bezzera made the single shot espresso of the 20th century with a design allowing lower temperatures. The only problem was that it used an open flame making it difficult to control the temperature.

In 1905, Pavoni bought the patent and improved many of its aspects for instance addition of the pressure release valve. He had more money to market the machine than Bezzera. In 1906, they launched the espresso machine as “Cafee espresso’ that referred to the instantaneous operating power in brewing coffee. It could amazingly make about 1000 cups of coffee per hour, and the community in Milan was the only market.

Who Took the Machine beyond Milan?

Although Pavoni dominated the production of espresso machines for about a decade, there was one man who was working day and night to advance the machine and form a competition. Pier Teresio Arduino wanted to solve the problem with steam which resulted in imbuing of the coffee when the pressure was increased. He, however, did not succeed but contributed to the espresso machine in quite a different way.

The famous espresso poster made by Pier marked the entry of a game changer in the marketing dimension of the espresso. He was a better marketer than Pavoni and thus took the machine beyond Milan to nearby areas and the rest of Europe. It is unfair to talk about the espresso without mentioning the efforts of this man who changed coffee brewing for the most of Europe.

The Connection between Then and Now

The story about invention and history of the espresso is completed by one man who made the transformative improvement on the design. By then, the pressure of the machine could only reach to 2 bars which were not adequate to create the incredible test you can enjoy today. Achille increased the pressure to 8-10bars which is the pressure used up to this day from the low maximum of about 2bars of atmospheric pressure. This success was after integration of several physics principles about boilers and other machines.

The developments Achille put into this machine changed a lot about the espresso. The lever machines allowed for the advancement of the size to the standard size of the espresso today. His dedication to the improvement of the espresso saw the machine into the future that is enjoyed today. With the resulting modification, the espresso gained a lot of popularity and became a standard coffee making machine in most places with a need of economical and instantaneous coffee brewing.


The espresso machine is thus a brain child of several ambitious men who put in a lot of effort, taking it from a simple need to an idea before actualising the dream. It was powered by scientific research and marketing power that aimed at making use of the vast popularity of coffee brewing. The widespread popularity of the espresso and presence in every corner of the world is owed to the above names who changed history.

About bio: My name is Ann Hills and I am a food blogger, nutrition advisor, and a yoga teacher. My mom always says to me that: “Kitchen is the heart of any home”. I strongly believe in her saying that’s reason why I prefer spending my money to make my home better than other stuff.