Espresso-style coffee is one of numerous methods for brewing the roasted coffee bean in which highly-pressurized hot water is forced over coffee grounds to produce a very concentrated coffee drink with a deep, robust flavor, and is unique for its dependence on modern technological advances. Before espresso, it could take up to five minutes for a cup of coffee to brew.
Espresso makes its debut at the 1906 World’s Fair in Milano. Luigi Bezzera and Desidero Pavoni have taken Moriondo’s idea and created a machine with a vertical boiler that brews a single cup of coffee in seconds. It is the first time people experience coffee made expressly for them: espresso. The espresso these early machines produce is very different from what we know today. The pressure in the portafilter is created by steam at 1.5 – 2 bars. The water is boiling when it comes in contact with the coffee bed. The shots are watery and bitter. Pavoni has some regional success with his Ideale machines, but they don’t gain wide acceptance.
Durring new Fascist regime, in 1926, the installation of the new espresso machines in bars was banned in an attempt to restrict imports of coffee and with the outbreak of the war, real coffee disappeared.
In 1935 Francesco Illy registered Illetta, a machine thatworked with compressed air but never bought it into production. In 1938, Achille Gaggia files patent No. 365726 for a steam-free coffee machine, heralding the modern age of espresso but the revolution in the history of espresso came in 1947 when Gaggia registered a newpatent, this time for a lever operated piston incorporating gearing and a spring. This was simple to operate by hand, and would force hot water, drawn directly from the boiler, through the coffee cake.
As coffee was one of the cheapest items available, it often served as the effective price for admission, particularly for women. Frequently these were known as „Bar Sport‟ – places in which the customers gathered to watch or listen to their favourite teams. Within these bars an Italian culture of coffee consumption developed, incorporating a new set of rules and rituals.
Espresso has been around for just over 100 years and in that time there have been an amazing amount of innovations. These have all led to the beverage that we enjoy today.