Eras & Testimonies

1980s - 1990s: new consumer boom

Coffee machines become a symbol of Italian production and the whole world drinks espresso “the Italian way”

Italy changes direction

The 1980s saw Italians begin to change direction. Change occurred at breakneck speed, with 30-year-olds in the driving seat. This new Italy, led by the young, was more colourful, more international. It might have taken some aspects from the British and Americans, but it soon adopted a clearly defined style all of its own. Fashion and design drove the economy forward, while Italian manufacturing triumphed in an increasingly globalised world. Coffee machine producers began to look to the international market, with almost immediate success. This was the era of electronic industry and the first computers. Italian companies conquered the Western markets first, before moving onto the Eastern markets with technologically advanced products. The coffee machine industry was no different - the latest creations had elegance, personality and unique style thanks to the input of leading international designers such as Giorgetto Giugiaro and Ettore Sottass.

Espresso around the world

Electronics made coffee machines even simpler to use. Faema Tronic was the first electronic coffee machine, with a button display that allowed the user to select the amount of coffee they wanted to produce. The first super-automatic machines were created, some featuring integrated grinders. They were easy to use and capable of maintaining a constant level of quality, meaning users could enjoy that quintessentially Italian espresso wherever they were in the world.


Testimonies from the time

Ettore Sottsass, an architect and intellectual, was one of the most brilliant industrial designers in history:


«You should always build with a sense of poetry»


Tronic (Faema, 1983)

Electronic coffee machine with automatic control and programmable dosage. Body in steel and Makrolon. Designed by Ettore Sottsass and Aldo Cibic to mark the inauguration of the new Faema production cycle.




E91 (Faema, 1991)

Updated electronic machine with micro-processors and fully programmable functions to optimise ease of use and output. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.