Google is celebrating the 171st birthday of Angelo Moriondo, who is widely considered the inventor of espresso machines with a unique Google Doodle.
Angelo Moriondo was born on June 6, 1851 in Turin, Italy, into a family of entrepreneurs who never stopped brewing new ideas or new projects. His grandfather founded an alcohol production company which was passed on to his son (Angelo’s father), who himself would later build the popular chocolate business, “Moriodo and Gariglio” alongside his brother and cousin.
According to Google on its Google Doodle page, once upon a time, in 19th century Italy, coffee was the hottest item around. Unfortunately, the brewing methods required customers to wait over five minutes for their drink. Enter Angelo Moriondo, the man who patented the first known espresso machine. Today’s Doodle celebrates its 171st birthday.
Following in the footsteps of his family, Moriondo bought two establishments: the Grand-Hotel Ligure in the city center Piazza Carlo Felice and the American Bar in the Galleria Nazionale in Via Roma. Despite the popularity of coffee in Italy, the time spent waiting for coffee to be prepared has inconvenienced customers. Moriondo figured making multiple cups of coffee at once would allow him to serve more customers at a faster rate, giving him an edge over his competition.
After directly supervising a mechanic he hired to build his invention, Moriondo presented his espresso machine at the Turin General Expo in 1884, where it received the bronze medal. The machine consisted of a large boiler that pushed heated water through a bed of coffee grounds, with a second boiler that flashed the coffee bed and completed the brew. He received a patent titled “New Steam Machine for Economical and Instantaneous Making of Coffee Beverages, Method ‘A. Moriondo’. Moriondo continued to improve and patent his invention in the following years.