Angelo Moriondo: The Unsung Pioneer of Espresso Machines

Angelo Moriondo, born in Turin, Italy, invented the first known espresso machine in 1884, revolutionizing coffee culture.

The Life of Angelo Moriondo

Angelo Moriondo was born on June 6, 1851, in the vibrant city of Turin, Italy.

He grew up in a family with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Italy, a country steeped in art and culture, provided a rich background for Moriondo’s ingenuity.

He is recognized primarily as the inventor of the earliest known espresso machine, patented in 1884.

Having been part of a family that operated a chocolate company, Moriondo was no stranger to the food and beverage industry.

This experience culminated in his innovation that would eventually transform the way coffee was consumed.

Moriondo’s invention was revolutionary, incorporating a combination of steam and boiling water to brew coffee efficiently.

His entrepreneurial ventures didn’t stop at the chocolate company.

Moriondo was also the owner of the Grand-Hotel Ligure in the heart of Turin and later the American Bar in the Galleria Nazionale of Via Roma.

Despite his significant contributions to coffee culture, not much is known about Moriondo’s personal life outside his inventions and business endeavors.

The city of Turin, now recognized for its rich coffee culture, is in part indebted to this forward-thinking Italian who laid the groundwork for the modern espresso machine.

Angelo Moriondo is a figure well worth remembering, not just in Italy but in the global history of coffee making.

In accordance with his contributions, the legacy of this pioneering inventor continues to impact the daily lives of millions who savor the art of the espresso, a testament to the enduring culture of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Invention of the Espresso Machine

Angelo Moriondo's workshop: steam rising from a metal contraption, coffee beans scattered, and a sense of excitement in the air

The espresso machine, a revolutionary appliance that changed coffee culture forever, began with Angelo Moriondo.

Recognized as the godfather of espresso machines, Moriondo was granted a patent for his invention on May 16, 1884.

His machine was a marvel of steam and pressure, a mechanism designed to brew a concentrated cup of coffee.

At the heart of the invention sat a large boiler that heated water to just the right temperature.

This water was then pushed through a bed of coffee grounds using steam pressure, resulting in a quick extraction that preserved the rich flavors and aromatic oils of the beans.

Unlike earlier brewing methods, Moriondo’s machine could produce multiple cups of coffee, paving the way for the busy bars and homes of the future.

The prototype made its debut at the General Expo of Turin in 1884, earning Moriondo a bronze medal for his innovation.

Inventors such as Desiderio Pavoni and Luigi Bezzera later built upon Moriondo’s creation, leading to the modern espresso machines that we know today, which feature portafilters, boilers, and steam machinery.

These enhancements have continued to transform the tech behind brewing concentrated coffee.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, espresso machines underwent significant evolution as science and technology progressed.

The combined efforts of ingenious mechanics and entrepreneurs—who tirelessly improved on Moriondo’s original creation—have afforded coffee lovers convenience, speed, and a multitude of flavors in their brews, cementing espresso’s revered place in coffee culture.