How Engineering Espresso Machines Became an Art in Italy

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How Engineering Espresso Machines Became an Art in Italy

If you think about coffee, you may come up with many different images. You'll likely think of a tasty brew that can come from any number of nations. But if you say espresso, your mind will immediately be drawn to a single nation. Italy is the home of espresso, latte, and cappuccino. It's also the home of the espresso machine. If you’re curious about which espresso machine brands can achieve the Italian standards, check them out here.

More than any other nation, Italy has been the consistent inventor of sleek, elegant, and very efficient espresso machines. Brands like Nuova Simonelli, La Spaziale, and La Pavoni have been at the forefront of the industry. These have been the visionary makers of some of the world's finest and most well respected espresso making machines.

How Does an Espresso Machine Function?

It has been the Italian espresso makers that have mastered the art of creating the perfect machine. The recipe for this noble invention goes back to the 19th century. Over the ensuing years, it has been perfected to a level that few other nations can match, much less exceed. For this reason, it bears taking a closer look at.

Most espresso machines employ a specially designed electric pump to force water through the finely ground coffee in the portafilter. At this point, the pressure of the water in the machine will be measured at an astonishing level of 135 PSI. Keep in mind that the PSI of the tires in your vehicle will be measured at about 30 to 35.

The temperature of the water used to make espresso in the machine will be another matter. This can be measured at about 93 to 100 degrees in Celsius or up to 212 degrees in Fahrenheit. The temperature of the water must be kept scalding hot and at a steady rate. This keeps the rate of extraction high so that the flavor is consistent.

The more consistent the temperature of the water, the more authentic espresso flavor can be gained from a single shot. Keeping the precision of the temperature at a high level is absolutely mandatory for this purpose. For this reason, many high level espresso machine makers will use digital temperature controls for the best results.

Once the water reaches the correct level of pressure, it then circulates through the coffee in the area of the group head. This is an area that also comprises a portafilter lock as well as a specially designed switch that regulates the pressure in the boiler. This is a high tech design that comes straight from the Italian genius.

What Changes Have Been Made in Machine Design?

Of course, it needs to be understood that the very first espresso machine wasn't quite like the ones that are in evidence today. The first machines to ever brew a hot, frothy cup of goodness were built at the end of the 19th century. However, it was at the dawn of the 20th that the first espresso machines as we know them today debuted.

The biggest switch to be made in the world of espresso machines occurred early in our own century. This was the time at which machines made in Italy ceased to rely on purely mechanical controls and made the move to digital. This was the point at which they gained a new level of precision, stability, cost effectiveness, and control.

The reason why is clear. Italian machines that are digitally controlled can be relied on to produce a consistently fine cup of espresso, cappuccino, and latte, each and every time.

The digital precision of the machine is expressly designed to eliminate the prospect of human error. The days of scalding hot overpour are long gone. You can even connect a modern Italian espresso machine to the world wide web. This sets up a whole new level of options.

Imagine being able to check the health of your machine using the cloud. You can also use it to download new recipes to give you fresh inspiration for your own "secret menu" offerings. The web has made Italian espresso machines even more efficient and reliable.

Espresso is the Fine Art of Italy

Companies like Nuova Simonelli, La Spaziale, and La Pavoni, among many others, have long been at the very forefront of espresso machine design. They have been building these very special and complex machines for over a century. Their popularity has held at a steady rate due to their dependable consistency and unique, flavorful results.

For this reason, even the humblest espresso cafes located seemingly in the middle of nowhere will continue to boast state of the art Italian machines. There is simply no substitute for the love and devotion that goes into the making of each new machine. It's an art form that only those born in the land of espresso can hope to carry on.

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