All You Need to Know About Italian Espresso Coffee History

Espresso Coffee
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As the origin of coffee, Italy has its own history especially when it comes to espresso. To look further into it, you should first understand how modern espresso was born. See how and why that became identity and culture of Italy.

The Story of Espresso Machine

Industrial Revolution in Europe in the year of 1901 made innovation that created the first version of espresso machine. While “espresso” means express, espresso itself was made originally with concept to be prepared quickly. It was Luigi Bezzara, a Milanese inventor, who did register patent for machine featured with recognisable groupheads onto which portafilters with compressed coffee could be clamped. It was also the first time of coffee being served expressly for customer.

Then, in 1905, Desidero Pavoni purchased the patent. He then made production for espresso machine for commercial, called the Ideale.

As the influence to modern machines, groupheads of the Ideale did reach temps of up to 140°C, at a 1.5 bar of pressure, much lower than the modern-day 9-bar machines. While it extracted the shots in 45 seconds, it consistently created taste similar to modern filter coffee rather than espresso.

Espresso Culture in Early Time

The new machines then created the term “espresso” around the year of 1920. It entered Italian lexicon for the first time and described in Alfredo Panzini’s dictionary of Italian as “Caffè espresso, made using a pressurised machine or a filter, now commonplace.”

As it was seen, Panzini realized that coffee houses in 19th century’s atmosphere was quiet. Then, by 1935, the places turned into workers bars. The brew grew popular, thus having its own taste to be favorited by working men, that they frequently came to sip the caffeine.

The term “barista” then first found in 1938. Before, the name was “barman”, and it was believed as a stylish word. But, Mussolini along with the Fascist movement successfully created campaign in using common words of “Italianise”. Considered as a word being too American, barman then was changed to barista, a word that did sound more Italian. Since then, espresso has been identified as Italian culture.

The Modern Espresso Machine

Italian coffee consumption then declined in the ‘30s and ‘40s. It was first due to importation’s restrictive policies, then because of wartime scarcity. However, there was certain improvements by famous coffee names, like Francisco Illy and Achille Gaggia, for Ideale espresso machine.

Later in 1947, a huge next innovation was born. It was Gaggia’s hand-pumped machine. The machines could exert way more pressure over the puck of coffee, thus squeezing essential oils and colloids through. It resulted crema that later became important part of modern espresso.

In 1948, Ernesto Valente bought Gaggia’s invention. Valente was the head of Faema, a company producing like-modern-café machines. But, there was strong disagreement between Valente and Gaggia about the machines’ market. Gaggia did see his high-pressure machines invention luxurious, only for high-end companies. Meanwhile, Valente was not on the same boat, he worked on more affordable machines. Later in 1961, Valente released the famous Faema E61.

The world knows Faema E61 as the father of modern espresso. The machine was semi-automatic, the very first one, without the need of elbow grease, but allowing the extraction parameters to be managed by the barista. It set the internal boiler not vertically but horizontally. It turned café and bar into social space, even when the barista pulled an espresso shot they could chat with customers. Then the concept of café and bar of espresso became huge.

Italian Modern Coffee Culture

Today, Italy still has it as their culture. The coffee culture that was first made in ‘40s, is still going strong. Even when the huge wave of globalisation sweeps the country. Local cafes in Italy are always full of people ordering espresso, even in their busy days.

An Italian Way to Drink A Cup of Espresso

Espresso Coffee Machine
Espresso Coffee from

Believe it or not, for Italians, drinking espresso is a way of life. Thus, they have their own coffee culture, and it is a serious one. Like a signature.

As it is said, to drink espresso one must know the right way and the wrong way. In order to learn the right way of drinking espresso, Luca Di Pietro, founder of Tarallucci e Vino in New York who also happens to be a coffee industry vet, gave insight of how to drink the shot like a real Italian.

1. Understanding Espresso

Coffee drinks is different one another because of the extraction process of the coffee. You can find espresso, brewed coffee, or French press.

To extract coffee, espresso machine uses pressure 132 pounds per square inch. While brewed coffee only uses gravity, so that is what makes them different. Traditionally, you need seven grams of coffee in one cup, and to make it is no longer than 25 seconds.

Espresso should not taste bitter, nor make you tremble, said Di Pietro.

2. Be original

Enjoy your coffee seriously like Italians do.

As Di Pietro said, when not treated properly, coffee would go stale so quickly. To drink it like a local, make sure the coffee taste good, each and every day of the year.

3. It has to be made expressly

Di Pietro said that espresso does mean express, and it is expressly made for you. So espresso should be made fast as ordered.

4. Order espresso at the bar

Italians rarely just sit down then order an espresso. So, go to the bar to order it.

5. Must be drunk quickly

Di Pietro said, "Espresso needs to be made expressly for you, but it also needs to be drunk very quickly." It means that you should drink it when the crema is still there on top. As the top layer covering espresso, the crema keeps the aroma in. Thus, it disappears quickly.

6. Not drinking espresso coffee without crema

It can be decaf or been sitting around for too long. That is why coffee enthusiast would never order espresso at the table, said Di Pietro. The crema is quick to disappear, it just thins out. So, it might get too late if you order it anywhere but in the counter.

7. Espresso can be drunk anytime, but cappuccino is absolutely not for after breakfast

Espresso can be drunk just any time. But, you should not drink cappuccino after 11am. Like Di Pietro said, people in Italy will think that you are strange to drink cappuccino after 11am. Italians love to have cappuccino after dinner, or also with a meal, since coffee with milk base is for the morning drink.

8. No milk added

When milk is added then it is turning to be espresso machiatto, then you should drink it before 11am. But, Di Pietro suggests you to add liquor so your espresso turn into a caffe corretto. Just remember that it is for the day but later.

9. It is actually a lifestyle, a way you live

Di Pietro said that you should have quick espresso coffee while enjoying some pastry and chat a little bit. You do it not for long. A morning with espresso is not just some moment in your days, it is actually one’s way of life.

Remidag MST-64P ENV: The Best Doserless Grinder

REMIDAG MST-64P ENV - Nero / Black
REMIDAG MST-64P ENV - Nero / Black

Coffee grinder is essential for one who likes to enjoy the taste of fresh ground coffee. Nowadays, you can get your very own coffee grinder as you need.

A cup of good coffee with special taste is made from fresh coffee, being ground and brewed only for a few minutes. The kind of coffee bean being used actually does not matter, it could be Italian coffee, French Vanilla, Columbian blend or exotic blend. Whole coffee bean can also be caffeinated or decaffeinated.

After it has been through coffee grinder, the coffee tastes way better for some reason. It is said by the experts that two minutes after that, the coffee beans oxidizes, or it can also be called ‘staling’ in coffee term, and that does make the flavor change. It’s believed by most experts that it’s better to brew coffee soon after being put through coffee grinder. That way, the coffee will taste better.

Grinding Coffee Using the Best Grinder

Do you have favorite way to grind coffee? The coffee grinders have their own different types. It can have a blade or a burr. For a coffee grinder with a blade, the price is less expensive than the other one. It has fan-shaped blade that spins for grinding the coffee beans.

But, using coffee grinder with blade produces inconsistent grains, unless the coffee is ground till the texture gets finer. That will be alright if you want to make an automatic drip coffee maker.

The best grinder is the one with burr. A burr coffee grinder consistently crushes coffee beans that it results uniform grind. The style of the grinder can be electric or hand-cranked. The two do work well, however if you want to take less time it is best to use electric coffee grinder.

Yet, if you like to grind it with the joy of handling coffee while savoring the aroma, the ideal grinder is the one with hand-cranked style. It as also ideal to take along when you go camping because hand-crank coffee grinder is portable.


MST-64P ENV: Super Fast Electronic Coffee Grinder /flat burrs Ø 64mm Black

Here is a coffee grinder, strong and compact, with 64mm flat burrs. The body is made from aluminum and steel, and it has powerful engine, making it dependable and enduring. The MST-64P ENV has on-demand system, it does only grind coffee with dose required, so the organoleptic qualities in the roasted coffee beans remain unchanged. With its micrometic adjustment system working continuously, MST-64P makes the grind perfectly uniform.

Advantage of Remidag MST 64P ENV:

Supplying single dose only in 2 seconds

Easy and responsive multilingual digital display

Capacity controls of LED backlit with 7 different colors

Single/double dose dispensing also by push-button

Capacity of coffee bean container: 600g or 1.2kg

With optional titanium or red speed burrs

Available in 4 colors: white, black, red, and metallic gray

Remidag MST-64P ENV is the best doserless grinder with 64mm flat burrs. It grinds 20gr of coffee beans in just 6 seconds.

Remidag is the best grinder every coffee drinker must have.

What Makes Espresso and Brewed Coffee Different?

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Many see espresso as the best way to drink coffee. That is, at least until recently. Especially when filter coffee became a thing again after the raised of pour-over coffee culture. Honestly speaking, there is no best method of brewing. But, there are certain differences between them.

What Makes Espresso Different from Brewed Coffee?

You may know the word “espresso” stated in coffee shop menu, or a bag package of coffee. Actually, it is not a certain coffee bean or even a type of roast. Espresso is a method used to prepare coffee.

Basically, when it comes to making coffee, there are some differences between brewing coffee and making espresso. First thing to know, an espresso machine is totally different from coffee machine. Espresso machine uses extraction method involving hot water with high pressure. Meanwhile, the grinding results in much finer coffee than how it is using pour-over method. Why coffee lovers prefer this is because the more intense drink made by the method.

You also find the extraction method taking much shorter time if you use it to brew coffee. It is because of the pressure and the water temperature, making it different from brewing coffee manually.

More About Espresso Crema

Espresso has one more thing you can only find on it, that is the crema. It is the foam layer on top of espresso. Actually, the foam of crema is similar with that in a pint of beer. If you want to learn more about crema, read book The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman.

Crema gives you things about espresso to learn. The most important one is knowing the freshness of the beans used in making espresso. During roasting process, the water is being under high pressure, making more carbon dioxide able to dissolve. Once the extracted coffee is poured into the cup, the liquid will come back with its normal pressure. So, the liquid will not be able to hold all the gasses. It then becomes small bubbles coming to the top, and this is what makes the crema. Now, freshly roasted coffee will certainly have more crema, since it produces more foam. If you find crema not so good-looking, it could be a sign of older coffee being used for your drink.

The strength of your coffee is also noticed from the crema. Darker crema means that the espresso is stronger.

Caffeine Contained in Espresso

Many questions about this: Between brewing and espresso, which method serves coffee that contains more caffeine? The answer actually depends on how you see the question. Commonly, your usual cup of coffee has more caffeine than espresso shot does. However, it is important for you to notice that it also depends on the size, in every ounce of espresso contained higher concentration of caffeine.

But then, at a time, people mostly drink one or two shots of espresso. That will be less caffeine for you still, than an eight-ounce mug of coffee.

Everything is About Personal Taste

Drinking espresso is about personal taste. Even it depends on your mood of coffee to drink at that time. Yet, you will taste completely different experience drinking brewed coffee and espresso shot.

Knowing the Difference between Coffee Machine vs. Espresso Machine

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One way to know coffee machine and espresso machine difference is by understanding the difference between coffee and espresso.

First, we know that the origin of coffee is always the same, which is coffee bean. However, every type of machine works differently creating various process and coffee experience. Each machine is designed to make the most excellent drink. But in the end, the personal taste does matter and plays big role.

Definition of Espresso

Espresso is an authentic Italian drink that has become popular and loved by coffee enthusiast all around the world.

To make it, barista expresses or forces out nearly boiling water, just small amount of it, then putting it under pressure through coffee beans already being ground finely.

The result is the end product called ‘shot’ with rich creamy flavor. You can drink espresso right away, or use it as basis of other coffee types, such as latte, cappuccino, macchiato, long black or ristretto.

Nespresso capsule machine is the easiest way in making espresso.

Texture wise, espresso is thicker than filter coffee. Espresso also contains caffeine with higher level. There are three layers consisting espresso, they are heart, body and crema. The heart is bottom layer, body is the middle one, and crema is golden layer with sweet taste on top of espresso.

The heart is bottom layer, body is the middle one, and crema is golden layer with sweet taste on top of espresso.

Espresso Machines and Coffee Makers

The two are different machines that can be classified based on its brewing method.


The roasting of filter coffee beans is done purposed for brewing method. Commonly, the beans will be way lighter so it maintains its acidity. On the other side, espresso is usually roasted resulting darker beans, with richer flavor. The strong flavor is what makes espresso famous. Espresso is also strong enough to be mixed with milk, creating lattes and cappuccinos.


The difference is indeed in the coffee texture. For espresso machine, the coffee is fine and powdery. Meanwhile, the coffee makers grind is thick and coarse.


Espresso machine does brew and pour less than 30 seconds, because espresso coffee has finer grind. As for coffee maker, it uses coarser grind of drip coffee, so the brewing time is longer as about ten minutes.


The pressure is high in espresso machine that it does force water through coffee only in seconds. On the other side, coffee maker depends on gravity power to pull water through filters gradually.


Because of its limited feature and simple function, coffee maker is commonly cheaper when it comes to price. But, if you like your coffee made in barista-style, it is good to invest in espresso machine with fine quality.

Caffeine Content

In 225ml cup by coffee maker, the caffeine contained is around 95mg and 165mg in between. You can make the coffee taste stronger by using darker roast or brewing longer.

Meanwhile, in 225ml cup by espresso machine, the caffeine contained is about 375mg and 520mg in between.

Then, Nespresso is for all tastes. There is 50mg to 120mg caffeine in original capsules, while Vertuo capsules have it as much as 70mg to 150mg for Espresso and Gran Lungo. For cup of Mug and Alto coffee size, the caffeine contained is about 170mg to 200mg.