Coffee was formerly the most popular drink in 19th century Italy. Customers had to wait more than five minutes for their drink due to brewing methods. The man who patented the first known espresso machine is Angelo Moriondo. The Doodle of the Day is 171 years old today.
Moriondo was born in Turin, Italy, on June 6, 1851, into a family of businessmen that were constantly brewing new ideas and enterprises. His grandfather established a liquor manufacturing business, which was passed down to his son (Angelo’s father), who went on to build the well-known chocolate company “Moriondo and Gariglio” with his brother and cousin.
Moriondo purchased two places, the Grand-Hotel Ligure in the city centre Piazza Carlo Felice and the American Bar in the Galleria Nazionale of Via Roma, following in his family’s footsteps. Despite the popularity of coffee in Italy, buyers found the time spent waiting for it to brew to be inconvenient. Moriondo reasoned that brewing numerous cups of coffee at once would allow him to serve more clients at a faster rate, providing him a competitive advantage.
Moriondo debuted his espresso machine at the General Expo of Turin in 1884, where it received a bronze medal, after closely supervising a mechanic he hired to make it.
The machine featured a massive boiler that forced heated water through a bed of coffee grinds, as well as a second boiler that produced steam to flash the bed of coffee and finish the brew. “New steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage, method ‘A. Moriondo,'” he acquired a patent for. In the years that followed, Moriondo continued to enhance and patent his idea.
Angelo Moriondo, happy 171st birthday! Today, coffee drinkers pay tribute to the inventor of the espresso machine.