4) Espresso Technology

43 minutes

A good espresso is a sublime experience: rich, sweet, and wonderfully caffeinated.

But, who woke up one morning and thought to themselves, ‘I’m going to build a contraption that forces a tiny amount of super hot water with incredible pressure through a bed of very finely ground coffee’?

Well, the fact is, the first “espresso” machine built 150 years ago was awful in almost every way. Worst of all, if you gave that coffee to anybody on the street, nobody would say it’s even an espresso!

But, over the decades, problems begat solutions that begat more problems that culminated in espresso machines like Eversys that produce gorgeous espressos at just the push of a button.

And it’s got me wondering: what is the perfect espresso machine? How far can we go?

But, before clicking play, be warned: this story gets explosive and bloody!


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Learn more about how Eversys espresso machines (this episode’s sponsor) produce high quality espressos

Listen to my A History of Coffee podcast series with Prof. Jonathan Morris

Pictures of the espresso machines featured in this episode

Angelo Moriondo (1884, “Big water boiler with gnarly bits”)
La Pavoni Ideale (1905, "Fire hydrant")
Gaggia Tipo Classica (1947, “Lever”)
Faema E61 (1961, “Retro 60s toaster”)
Eversys (2022, “push button”)

Want to go deeper into espresso machine technology?

Coffee Technician Guild’s Educational Courses
Barista Hustle’s The Espresso Machine course
Read Prof. Jonathan Morris’ book ‘Coffee: A Global History

Do your own coffee museum tour in Italy!

MUMAC (Milan)
Rancilio Officina 1926 (Milan)
Accademia del Caffè Espresso (Florence)

Connect with my very knowledgeable guests

Jonathan Morris - Instagram
Hylan Joseph - LinkedIn
Giorgio Rancilio - LinkedIn
Anna Cento - LinkedIn
Carlos Gonzàlez - LinkedIn
Silvia Bartoloni - LinkedIn
Jonathan Besse - LinkedIn

The Science of Coffee is made possible by these leading coffee organisations

BWT Water and More
Marco Beverage Systems

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