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The voodoo priest and all his powders were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself.

Mark Helprin

Rich and powerful, espresso is a fantastic boost to the day and a go-to for coffee drinkers who are looking for a way to get through those long hard days (and, perhaps, nights). A shot of espresso is a refinement of coffee, distilled down to its most potent elements and delivered in special cups that should have a warning label that reads “High Vibration and Caffeine Jitters Ahead”!

National Espresso Day is a delightful day to celebrate the history of this delicious and powerful solution to an otherwise dreary day.

Get ready for National Espresso Day!

History of National Espresso Day

In Turin, Italy, in 1884 an incredible new innovation was developed that would change the way work would be done for the rest of time and history. No more would tired laborers have to rely on pure willpower to get them through the day or lean on the watered-down attempt at caffeinating that was normal coffee and tea.

Instead, thanks to the innovative methods of Angelo Moriondo, coffee had seen a new age of enlightenment, as his new machine found a way to separately control the passing of steam and water through the coffee. Of course, there was coffee for many years prior to this, but this innovation made it possible to extract the fullest possible potential from the humble coffee bean.

National Espresso Day was created to honor this delightful and effective invention and the wonderful man who made it all possible. True, the machine has undergone multiple upgrades and innovations since that, including converting it to the use of electricity!

With homemade espresso machines now available, and the addition of steamed or foamed milk to the concoction, espresso has taken an even more important role. (In fact, the latte is now one of the most popular methods of imbibing espresso!) From Turin, Italy this beverage spread throughout the world, earning a place of prominence in Europe, the USA, and eventually the world at large.

National Espresso Day Timeline

1884

Espresso machine patent is submitted

Angelo Morindo, from Turin, Italy, patented his invention called the “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage”.[1]

1901

First espresso machine is improved upon

Luigi Bezzera and Desidero Pavoni work together to create an improved version of the espresso machine.

1905

La Pavoni espresso machine company starts

A couple of years later, Pavoni buys out Bezzera and starts his company, La Pavoni.[2]

1906

Espresso debuts at Milan World’s Fair

A huge boost to the growth in popularity of this coffee beverage in Italy and throughout Europe is its appearance at the World’s Fair in Milan, Italy.[3]

1920s

Espresso marketing campaign is released

In a genius move, Pier Arduino set out a marketing campaign after World War I that promoted drinking of espresso by well-dressed men and women of society. Europeans loved it and the trend grew as Arduino began exporting espresso machines out of Italy.[4]

1927

First espresso machine installed in the USA

This fantastic, fast coffee machine is placed in Reggio’s restaurant in New York City, New York. The brand of this new-fangled machine is La Pavoni.[5]

1938

Piston pump espresso machine is created

In an effort to avoid the burnt taste created by the steam machine, Cremonesi creates a piston pump machine that didn’t taint the flavor of the coffee. However, because of World War II, the machines doesn’t make much progress for a decade or so.[6]

1947

Gaggia espresso machine introduces crema

After the war, the piston machines pick up where they left off and Achille Gaggia patents his own. Some patrons complained that the top of the coffee contained a bit of film or foam (even calling it “scum”). In a clever move, Gaggie refers to this as “crema” which eventually becomes a selling point for his machines.[7]

1948

Gaggia introduces domestic espresso machine

For those who want to begin making their own “crema” drinks at home, Gaggia brings their first domestic machine.[8]

1961

Pump espresso machines are introduced

Ernesto Valente invents an espresso machine with a mechanical pump that creates 9 bars of pressure and a system for heat exchange. The machines are easier for baristas to use and is probably the most important advancement in espresso technology.[9]

1971

First Starbucks Coffee opens

In Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington, a coffee shop that would change the way the world sees coffee opens.[10]

1984

Starbucks begins serving espresso drinks

After a trip to Milan where a company executive experiences the Italian coffee culture, Starbucks begins serving espresso drinks.[11]

How To Celebrate National Espresso Day

Get on board with National Espresso Day using some of these ideas:

Drink Some Espresso

Celebrating National Espresso Day is as simple as skipping down to your local caffenation station, be it a Starbucks, Tim Hortons, or whatever the local flavor of coffee shop happens to be.

Those who are really feeling it can order up the strongest possible drink on the menu, a triple-shot of espresso (if they have them), and raise a small ceramic glass of high-powered octane to those in attendance. Toast Angelo Moriondo and his works, and let all who will listen know that it is he who drives the modern worker and increases production.

Try a Different Kind of Espresso Blend

Go beyond that generic cup of Starbucks and locate a third-wave coffee house that will offer small-batch roasted coffee beans where the origin of the beans is traceable to the individual farm. Even when blended together, these beans offer a distinct flavor that is often specific to the growing region of the coffee bean. The barista should be able to give information on what the flavors of the espresso should be and how they will manifest themselves in the cup.

Try Cooking with Espresso

Espresso goes well in more than just a tiny little cup! It can be used in a variety of recipes that are enjoyable at any time of day.

  • Mocha Mousse. This delicious pudding-like dessert is made from whipping cream, egg whites, sugar, dark chocolate, espresso and a few other ingredients. Whip together and serve with decadent cream on top.
  • Espresso Brownies. Just like regular brownies but, of course, better. These include shots of espresso that give the brownies mocha-like flavor.
  • Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies. Make regular chocolate chip cookie dough but substitute the chocolate chips with chocolate covered espresso beans. Yum!

Buy an Espresso Machine for Home Use

Once the celebration of getting an espresso at a coffee shop has commenced, it might be a good idea to stop on the way home and buy yourself your own personal espresso machine–because having coffee available anytime is the way to go. Consider these different brands of espresso machines for home use:

  • Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine. This high end machine will cost a pretty penny (upwards of $700 USD), but will also offer delicious espresso at the touch of a button! With a built-in burr grinder, steam nozzle with a 360 degree swivel, and a cup warming tray, this espresso machine is the perfect treat for celebrating National Espresso Day.
  • De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker. The most affordable version on the list, this $100-range espresso machine has all of the basic components and delivers a tasty espresso extraction every time.
  • De’Longhi Dinamica Automatic Espresso and Coffee Machine. On the highest end of the price range (around $1300 USD or so), this superautomatic espresso machine allows for 13 different settings just on the burr grinder, single or double brewing options, and even technology for making the best iced coffee.
  • Gevi 15 Bar Espresso Machine. With a stainless steel shell, the design of this machine will look sleek in any modern kitchen. It’s an easy fix, using pre-measured and pre-ground K-cup pods with fast extraction. It even has a carry case that fits in a backpack for hiking or picnicking.

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