Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni

EARLY ESPRESSO After the important figures who laid the foundations of our history, we go on to meet the two faces that began to write the history of espresso coffee served fresh and quickly in the moment just for the customer. Two men from Milan, the inventor Luigi Bezzera and the industrialist Desiderio Pavoni, together […]

EARLY ESPRESSO

After the important figures who laid the foundations of our history, we go on to meet the two faces that began to write the history of espresso coffee served fresh and quickly in the moment just for the customer. Two men from Milan, the inventor Luigi Bezzera and the industrialist Desiderio Pavoni, together presented the first ‘espresso’ coffee machine in Milan: the Ideale.

 

BEZZERA: espresso coffee, made especially and quickly for the customer

Working with Moriondo’s intuition to exploit steam in coffee generation, Luigi Bezzera from Milan invented the brewing unit (very similar in appearance to the one we know today, with filter holder, handle and quick coupling) that dispenses a single coffee (as his patent mentions. Unlike other machines that can make large quantities of coffee, the coffee dispensed is fresh, made in the moment and not reheated). The brewing unit consists of a special tap, covered by a patent, which allows express brewing. Pressurised boiling water is pushed through first and then steam, which dries the coffee tablet. He also patented a burner to be placed under the boiler to feed the machine with gas in a more direct and powerful way than a wood burner. Documents show that Bezzera was a producer of liqueurs and sodas as well as the inventor of various designs and devices he patented and then often sold to others for commercial exploitation. He was probably on good terms with Desiderio Pavoni to whom he sold the rights to his espresso patent.

 

PAVONI: the Ideale machine is born and the term ‘espresso’ becomes established everywhere

Luigi Bezzera, having invented the patent in 1901 that allowed coffee to start being called ‘espresso’, granted the use of this patent to the entrepreneur from Milan, Desiderio Pavoni. In 1906 at the International Trade Fair in Milan, a large stand under the sign ‘Bezzera L. – Caffè Espresso – own patent’ held a poster explaining the new machines on display there: ‘Ideale – Bezzera patent… produced by Desiderio Pavoni – via Dante, corner of via Giulini’. In the photo, a proud Luigi Bezzera stands behind the counter, looking towards the camera with obvious pride, while two elegant baristas stand by the shiny, gleaming machines produced by expert hands especially for the occasion. If the term ‘espresso’, for coffee, had already been circulating for a few years, as an alternative to the expression ‘instant coffee’, it was certainly from this event onwards that the term began to spread everywhere.

 

Pages from the book “Senso Espresso. Coffee. Style. Emotions”

 

ALL THE ESPRESSO FACES