The cafe espresso machine is born

Milanese cafe owner, Achille Gaggia, is known as the man who finally surpassed the two bar brewing barrier.

He transformed the traditional coffee making hood ornament into the lever driven, chrome counter top cafe coffee machines we see today.

Invented after World War II, the steam pressure in the cafe coffee machines boiler would force the water into another cylinder, where it will be further pressurised by a spring piston lever, operated by a barista.

These new processes not only removed the need for large boilers, but also increased the water pressure to up to 5X the original water pressure.

New cafe coffee machine jargon

Along with a new cafe coffee machines came some new barista jargon.

The term ‘pulling a shot’ of espresso was derived from the machines spring loaded levers.

The high pressure lever machine sought the discovery of ‘crema’, the foam that floats over the liquid coffee that helps to define quality espresso. Before Gaggia’s machine, consumers were sceptical of the ‘scum’ floating over their espressos, that is until Gaggia started to refer to it as ‘caffe creme’, suggesting that only espressos of such high quality could produce its own creme.

Hence, the high pressure and golden crema produced by Gaggia’s level machine symbolises the birth of the modern day espresso.

Certainly, there have been many improvements and developments long after the invention of Gaggia’s lever driven espresso machine. Developments such as the use of electrical components, portable pneumatics and computerised measurements.

But all technology aside, the act of making an espresso is still an art.

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