In Italian, the term "espresso" means "made on the spot". This method was perfected as a way to reduce coffee preparation time in cafés and restaurants.
The first espresso coffeemaker prototype dates back to 1855 and was presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. A few years later, in 1901, the engineer Luigi Bezzera from Milan created the first steam espresso coffeemaker. Bezzera’s patent kick-started the research and technological advances made by many Italian companies, including La Pavoni and Victoria Arduino of Turin.
In 1948, Achille Gaggia introduced the high-pressure extraction system, which produced a more aromatic drink with a dense, compact crema: espresso as we know it today.
Between the 1940s and early 1950s, the manufacturers of espresso coffeemakers expanded their production to an industrial scale. In 1949, the well-known architect Giò Ponti designed the first espresso system with a horizontal boiler, which was then produced by La Pavoni. The invention marked a turning point in the aesthetics of coffeemakers.
Coffee preparation evolved even further with the launch of the E-61 coffee maker by Faema in 1961. Thanks to its thermosiphon system, water could be maintained at a constant temperature, even if the coffeemaker was left inactive for a long time.