THE IDEA of the espresso machine first came to light in the 19th century with Italian inventor Angelo Moriondo.
On Monday, June 6, 2022, Google Doodles pays tribute to Angelo for what would have been his 171st birthday.
Who was Angelo Moriondo?
Born on June 6, 1851, Angelo Moriondo was a native of Turin, Italy – then known as the Kingdom of Sardinia.
He is known as the “godfather of espresso,” as he is credited with creating the earliest recorded espresso machine.
As a child, Angelo grew up in a family of entrepreneurs.
His father, Giacomo, founded the chocolate company Moriondo and Gariglio alongside his brother and cousin.
Giacomo also ran the liquor company founded by his father, Angelo’s grandfather.
Once able, Angelo joined his patriarchs on the path of business – he purchased both a hotel and a bar in his home country.
Did Angelo Moriando invent the espresso machine?
In 1884, Angelo Moriando received a patent for “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage,” per the Smithsonian Magazine.
Angelo’s machine “pushed water through a large bed of coffee grounds on demand, with a second boiler producing steam that would flash the bed of coffee and complete the brew.”
He created the invention in honor of the Turin General Exposition, and his machine produced bulk amounts of coffee as opposed to the single-serve-sized espresso of today.
Although his patent exists and proves that he is one of the first to invent such a machine, Angelo’s name is not often thought of when it comes to espresso.
The Smithsonian seemingly credits the loss of the Moriondo name to “branding failure.”
Another Italian inventor – Luigi Bezzerra – worked off Angelo’s design to create the single-serve espresso machine, patented in 1901.
In 1903, Desiderio Pavoni purchased Luigi’s patents, and the two men worked together to create “cafeé espresso,” presented for the first time at the 1906 World Fair.
What happened to Angelo Moriondo?
On May 31, 1914, Angelo Moriondo died, aged 62.
He passed away in Marentino – just outside of his hometown, Turin.
Not much information about the rest of Angelo’s life post-espresso machine is known.
Still, he is believed to have remained well-off as the owner of Grand-Hotel Ligure in Piazza Carlo Felice and the American Bar in the former Galleria Nazionale on Via Roma, per IOTD.
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