Coffee Maker Through The Decades

While drinking your morning coffee, do you ever wonder who first invented a coffee maker? Today making coffee is definitely easier and revolutionized. The history of the coffee maker, like many inventions, began long ago and took many turns. It began with the Turks who started brewing coffee back in 575 A.D. Much of the history after that is not recorded. The Europeans started drinking coffee around 1615 as a result of the exchange arrangements between Venetian and Ottoman traders. The equipment used in making coffee was much simpler at that time, and advancements began as technology grew and revolutionized. Here is a brief history of coffee makers through the decades to show you how coffee was made before the pods and electric coffee makers era.

Coffee Maker Through The Decades

The Turkish way of making coffee

Turks make their coffee pretty much the same way they have been making for centuries. They have a tiny copper pot in which ground coffee and sugar are added along with boiling water. A long handle is used to move the copper pot and pour coffee in cups. The grounds are settled at the bottom; you can feel them in the last sip. It’s not like espresso or the coffee we drink now, but it is still very popular in Turkey.

The first French coffee brewer in 1806

The French were the first ones to shift away from the traditional coffee-making process of Turks. It was realized that boiling water ruins the fragile essence of coffee, so a temperature less than boiling was agreed to be perfect for coffee. The first French press brews coffee by stirring it into the water, allowing the beverage to sit for a few minutes, before pressing a plunger with a metal disk at the bottom to trap coffee grounds. This French device captures more essential oils than typically gets filtered out through paper. And many coffee fans feel that it produces a much better taste than modern machines.

Percolators in 1889

Percolators were introduced in 1889 by an American inventor Hanson Goodrich. Percolators are brewing pots, which brew coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached. This also had a major drawback, and the pot exposed the grounds to excessively high temperatures, which ruined its flavor.   

The beginning of the 19th century and espresso

In the 19th century, people started using steam pressure to make their coffees. The water had to be put under atmospheric pressure higher than one to get a nicer flavor from the coffee. Luigi Bezzera in Italy is the one who built a machine that produced steam and boiling water at 1.5 atmospheres of pressure right through the ground coffee and straight into the cup. Before it would take 4-6 minutes to prepare coffee using steam pressure, Bizzare made it possible in just a couple of minutes. It is from here espresso got its name, which means “fast” in Italian.  

Unfortunately, Mr. Bezzera was only a skilled inventor and lacked the necessary marketing skills needed to sell his invention. He had to sell his patent to Pavoni, who spread the idea all over the world. Even though this type of machine would give a rich and complex cup of coffee, the machine was pretty difficult to operate and even gave a bitter flavor to the coffee if the steam or water were too hot. La Pavoni machine wasn’t able to create the generous cream that we have today in a good cup of coffee.

The 1930s to 1941 a slow start

In the late 1930s, sunbeam introduced its first coffee master electric version in 1938. 

The German chemist Peter Schlumbohm invented more than 3,000 items, including the Chemex Coffeemaker with a one-piece, hourglass-shaped flask made of heatproof, non-porous glass. The 1909-invention of Silex rises in popularity during World War II because it’s made with glass, rather than aluminum, which becomes scarce during wartime.

Magic in Milan 1947

In 1947 a coffee bar owner in Milan, Achilles Gaggia, developed a new style of espresso machine which features spring-loaded and lever-operation piston. One operator would pull down a bit lever, which would release hot (never boiling) water, but no steam. He would release the lever lightly, expanding the spring, which pressed down on the piston, forcing the hot water through the coffee at high pressure (3-4 atmospheres). The ability to control the pressure and temperature a lot better rendered the coffee to be richer and smoother.

coffee maker and coffee beans

The 1960s Expresso perfection

1960 was the year that brought the final change to the espresso machine. Ernesto Valente of the FAEMA Company developed a machine that used in fact an electric pump to pressurize the water and force it to go through the ground coffee. Even though baristas would still need some practice to get good results, the FAEMA’s E61 machine was easier to operate than the previous models. It was even able to give 9 atmospheres of pressure.

2003 the year of K-Cups

In 2003 Keurig, launched a kitchen countertop-size, ultimate-in-convenience machine to the home market through major retailers across the country. K-Cup packs help prevent coffee from going stale too quickly, while machines automatically set the temperature to 192 degrees. Among brewers, Keurig is the number one in terms of consumer expenditure and the most popular holiday gift. 

2012 the rise of Starbucks

In 2012 Starbucks debuted Verismo to produce “store-quality” lattes and espressos. Meanwhile, Keurig introduced its Vue series that lets users customize their cups by controlling strength, size (ranging from four to 18 ounces, depending on the model), and temperature (from 187 to 197 degrees). Unlike the traditional Keurig K-Cup packs, Vue packs are made from No. 5 recyclable plastic. The Vue brewer can also froth milk.

Today: Coffee revolution

The process of making coffee has revolutionized through decades, making coffee more delicious and easy to make. Most people now make coffee at their homes using the different varieties of coffee makers available in the market.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post on the history of the coffee maker. You may also like this post on the coffee machine in my first job.

rachel bustin
Thank you for sharing

3 thoughts on “Coffee Maker Through The Decades

  1. What an interesting post. Thank you. And thank you to those first traders who brought coffee to Europe around 1615. Life without a quality cup of coffee would be difficult.

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