A strong coffee prepared by forcing live steam under pressure, or boiling water, through ground dark-roast coffee beans.
Its origins can be found in Turin, Northern Italy, in the late nineteenth century, following the creation of the coffee machine by Angelo Moriondo in 1884, but it will start expanding throughout the country only at the beginning of the twentieth century.
But now let’s focus on the question: why did it take 20 years for the espresso to be recognised? The answer is quite simple: Moriondo developed a machine that completely changed the way baristas prepared their beverage, allowing them to produce several cups of coffee in a row.
The only thing that was missing was an entrepreneurial mindset: after developing it, he simply kept it for his shops without promoting it.
It’s only in 1901 that people start to be interested and patent several variations of the machine until, in 1938, the first pressure coffee machine is developed. This will be the first of a kind that is still in use nowadays.
Europe and the rest of the world The machine remained unknown outside of Italy for half a century, only after WWII its existence crossed the frontiers and, once that happened, its spreading around the world was unstoppable.
While in Italy the cafes were focusing more on developing their image and their tools in order to appear as close as possible to being perfect, the initial Italian way of thinking that consisted in transmitting the love and passion for the coffee through the beverage has spreading and taking over the rest of the world.