Confusion and error still plague the history of the espresso machine and its inventors. Coffee expert Ian Bersten has gone further than anyone else in getting to the true story in his book ‘Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks’. We publish the first of a three part piece comprising edited extracts from the chapter entitled: ‘The Espresso Coffee Machine Revolution’. From the first days of brewing coffee, inventors were confronted with the interplay of grind size, water temperature and brewing time, the interaction of which they never fully understood. These critical factors had to be just right for a complete extraction of the coffee flavour.
According to the National Coffee Association (NCA) a typical cup of drip coffee (8oz) contains approximately 65-120 mg of caffeine.
Why such the large variation in caffeine?
Well without getting overly technical, there are several factors including brew time, dwell time, water temperature, grind level, roast level, bean type, blend, etc. that all have a significant affect on the final extraction of caffeine. We'll discuss those a bit later.
For the project ‘The Naked Espresso’ that highlights the features of an espresso machine, Australian ad agency Reborn hacked a Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine to include: an Arduino, flow meters to access espresso flow rate, steam LED to indicate when the steamer was activated on the machine, NTC temperature sensors, and pressure transmitters. As an espresso gets brewed from the coffee machine, the science behind its making (temperature, flow rate, pressure and steam) gets collected and artistically visualized in a real-time animation. The speed of the animation is based on the pressure and flow rate of the espresso; its color palette, frequency and variety of shapes, based on the temperature and steam used to make the espresso—making each piece of art one-of-a-kind and a summary of the espresso. The artistic pieces were printed and attached to coffee cups, to give customers a unique coffee experience and create identifiable coffee cups—even if they all drank the same drink—as they were different based on the visualizations.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, Italy's Industrial Revolution was in full force, with big, cranking industries popping up faster than you can say "a-pizza pie." Before long, factory bosses noticed how much more productive their drones after a coffee break. But there was one big downside: The coffee break took too darned long.
Each coffee had to be brewed in smallish batches—usually as something similar to what we consider Turkish coffee, with pulverized coffee grounds boiled in water—which could take upwards of five minutes to make and even longer to sip.
What to do? Make it faster, of course.
One enterprising young Milanese man named Luigi Bezzerra did just what was needed to solve the productivity problem: he built a machine. Specifically, the world's first single-serving espresso machine, patented in 1901—capable of making very concentrated, gulpable drinks in as little as half a minute.
Most of the world begins the day with a fresh cup of coffee. What has become the most popular beverage today was literally unheard of several centuries ago. If it hadn’t been for a shepherd in Ethiopia, we may not know about coffee at all. The history of coffee is definitely an interesting one, with multiple stories weaving throughout history, right up until present day…
What do you know about - Caffeine, Water, 2-Ethylphenol, 3,5 Dicaffeoylquinic acid, Dimethyl, disulfide, Acetylmethylcarbinol, Putrescine, Trigonelline and Niacin ... because you will find them in your coffee.
Often at parties and special occasions I get asked to make people a coffee because well, I’m the barista. I’m often presented with a cheap $200 coffee machine or even worse a Nespresso. So what makes me feel uncomfortable at that time? What makes me feel like a surgeon given a rusty knife and no anesthesia and forced to operate on a poor victim? Well, there is to put it simple complexity in coffee. Here are the 5 main factors that contribute to a good espresso – or a bad one for that matter
Coffee often gets something of a bad rep – as a drink that makes you a bit hyper, something that you’re likely to get easily hooked on, or a treat that should be saved for special occasions because it’s not worth the calories. In actual fact, like everything else in life, if you drink too much coffee then, no, it’s not going to be good for you, but consumed in moderation – the way that it’s meant to be drunk – coffee is absolutely fine. In fact, more than that, it can actually be good for you. Whilst this may come as a bit of a shock to those who feel guilty about their daily caffeine hit, there are some pretty impressive health benefits of coffee.
The perfect shot of espresso is one of the greatest gifts you can enjoy in your day. It's hard to describe unless you taste it. However, in this video you find the steps to the perfect shot of espresso.
Peter John Baskerville's insight:
Beautifully presented video showing the steps to making that perfect shot of espresso.
In a crowded bar in downtown Milan, where the coffee grinder was going non-stop, spreading a haze of coffee aroma, and a spoonful of sugar was being stirred in the cup as if its sweetness grew with the stirring, a cup of espresso was really something ‘black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love’. We publish the second of our three part piece comprising edited extracts from Ian Bersten’s book ‘Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks’; the chapter entitled: ‘The Espresso Coffee Machine Revolution’.
Great visual and textual reference on the history of coffee from 850 to the present. The history of coffee... a simple timeline of events? I think not! No, the journey of coffee, my friends is so much more. It's a swashbuckling adventure spanning a thousand years, filled with death-defying escapes, international intrigue and - oh yes! - torrid romance. From distant, tropical islands to the power centers of international trade, it has been banned, berated, hailed and championed, generating as much fear as enjoyment. This is not just a drink, this is magic, infusing itself into our psyche, stirring conflict and controversy. Read on, friends, and enjoy the bold, robust voyage that is coffee.
Making espresso and the related drinks is an art—a balance of technique and timing, intuition and charisma. The barista not only creates a product, he is the product. Beyond crafting a beverage, he is curating an experience.
Bialetti created a prototype stove-top espresso makers that was manufactured out of aluminum. It was not until 1933, after going through several other prototypes that Bialetti was able to create the world’s first stove-top espresso maker—the Moka Express. With a distinctive design and octagonal shape, the Moka Express was based on a silver coffee service, popular at the time in many wealthy Italian homes. Bialetti boasted that now anyone could enjoy “in casa un espresso come al bar” (an espresso in the home just like in a coffeehouse).
If you can't get through your day without a coffee break or two, here's good news for you: What scientists know so far suggests coffee may help you stay healthy.As usual with medical research, the operative word is "may."
We talk about a lot of serious business around here, but sometimes it's fun to keep it light. After all, at the end of the day food and drinks are supposed to be something we enjoy, right? This infographic illustrates 17 lesser-known coffee facts!
It's the twenty-first century and Ethiopia, in the global consciousness, is fighting to shed its history of drought, famine, and war. It's doing so by embracing the heritage and potential of its defining crop: coffee, a plant first accounted for in legend more than three thousand years ago that now ranks among the world's ten most-valued commodities. Coffee Story: Ethiopia is the recounting of that process: a visual and narrative tale of opportunity, resources, education, and tradition.