Once upon a time , there lived a goat
herder named Kaldi. Kaldi was a sober and responsible goat herder. One
day, Kaldi's goats didn't come home so he went looking for them. He
found them hopping with glee acting in an eccentric behaviour around a
shiny dark-leafed shrub with red berries. Kaldi noted that the goats
were eating the red berries. So, he tried the berry. Kaldi was soon
dancing around the tree too.
A learned man from a local town named
Aucuba came by, he was sleepy, tired, and hungry. Aucuba saw Kaldi
acting wildly. He saw the goats acting wildly too. Because he was hungry
he tried the berries. He became wide awake and was instantly ready to
keep travelling. He took some berries back to his town and used it with
other foods. He mixed the berries with drinks at his monastery which
kept people awake during prayer. It then spread to other towns and
monasteries. Aucuba became a rich man. No one knows what happen to
Brewing and wine making are not new
concepts. It would be an easy connection to make between coffee berries
and grapes in the fermenting trade. They look the same on the plant,
they look the same when smashed, they both have seeds, and they act the
same when the same process is done to them. The word "qahwa" goes back
some 1000 years BC in mud tablets. It is a very strong probability that
coffee was first made as a wine and traded.
However the discovery occurred, the
fact remains that the coffee plant was born in Africa in an Ethiopian
region (Kaffa). From there it spread to Yemen, Arabia and Egypt and
Turkey where coffee beans were roasted for the first time over open
fires. The roasted beans were crushed, and then boiled in water,
creating a crude version of the beverage we enjoy today.
The history of espresso
coffee starts in 1901. An Italian named Luigi Bezzera, an owner of a
manufacturing company in Milan, sought out a way to reduce the coffee
break times of his employees. Bezzera had the idea to introduce pressure
to the coffee brewing process, reducing the time needed to brew. He
called his new machine the "Fast Coffee Machine". Espresso means "fast"
did Bezzera's espresso machine reduce brewing time it made a better cup
of coffee! A faster brewing time allows for the best qualities of the
coffee bean to be extracted, avoiding some of the unfavourable qualities
associated with over-extraction
Bezzera sold his espresso patent to Desidero Pavoni.
There were some disadvantages to Bezzera's original design. Espresso
tended to have a burnt flavor that was
caused by boiling water and steam being forced through the coffee during
the brewing process. This changed when in 1938 Cremonesi
developed a piston pump that forced hot (but not boiling) water through
It is first installed at
Achille Gaggia's coffee bar but World War II prevented further
development at that time.
In 1946 Gaggia begins
manufacturing a commercial piston machine. The resulting
coffee had a layer of foam on top, also known as, "crema."
Faema launches a pump
based machine. Instead of a hand operated piston the water is forced
through the coffee by an electric pump. Water is taken from the fresh
water supply and travels through a tube (exchanger) that is passed
through the boiler and then through the coffee. This allows the water to
be at the optimal temperature. All modern commercial machines are
essentially this design.