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The History of Espresso

In 1884 Angelo Moriondo from Turin Italy invented the first espresso machine, and did not share his invention with the world, keeping it only for his own cafe's.

However, in 1901 the brilliant Milanese inventor by the name of Luigi Bezzera, was credit with the invention of the first espresso maker. He coupled his passion for steam with a love of coffee and came up with the brilliant, yet simple idea of making coffee with steam pressure. This revolutionized the concept of making coffee with a pot of boiling water.

Though revolutionary for its time, the original version of the espresso machine has little resemblance to modern espresso machines. It reached an average temperature of 140 degrees and a 1.5-bar pressure compared to today’s 9-bar pressure machines. The result was more similar to filter coffee than what we would describe as an espresso today.

The new method provided a quick way to make a single, powerful cup of coffee. The word espresso means pressed coffee in Italian but it also carries with it the connotation of speed.

However, a new modern coffee culture started to develop in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1920, the word “espresso” entered the official Italian lexicon described in Alfredo Panzini’s Italian dictionary as: “caffe espresso, made using a pressurized machine or a filter, now commonplace.”


Italian Espresso Cups


Biordi offers the finest collection of Italian espresso cups available outside of Italy. Shop our collection of handmade, hand painted espresso cups today.