Life Style

Angelo Moriondo: The Unsung Hero of Espresso

In the world of coffee, a few names stand out as pioneers, individuals who have shaped the way we enjoy our favorite beverage. Among these greats is Angelo Moriondo, an Italian inventor often overlooked yet deserving of recognition for his revolutionary contribution to the coffee industry.

A Brief Biography

Born in Turin, Italy, on June 6, 1851, Angelo Moriondo hailed from a family of entrepreneurs. His grandfather founded a liqueur-producing company, and his father, Giacomo, continued the legacy while also establishing the renowned chocolate company Moriondo and Gariglio, alongside his brother Agostino and cousin Gariglio.

The Inspiration for Espresso

Angelo Moriondo’s journey into coffee innovation began in the bustling city of Turin, where he owned several establishments, including the Grand-Hotel Ligure and the American Bar. As a keen observer of the coffee-making process, Moriondo was frustrated by the slow and inefficient methods of brewing coffee at the time. He envisioned a machine that could produce coffee quickly and consistently, catering to the demands of his patrons.

A Pioneer in Espresso Technology

In 1884, Moriondo’s vision materialized in the form of a steam-powered espresso machine. His invention utilized a combination of steam and boiling water to rapidly force hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, producing a rich, concentrated espresso. This groundbreaking design marked a significant leap forward in coffee brewing technology, paving the way for the modern espresso machines we use today.

A Legacy Unrecognized

Despite his groundbreaking invention, Angelo Moriondo’s name is not as widely known as other coffee pioneers like Luigi Bezzera or Desiderio Pavoni. This can be attributed to several factors, including Moriondo’s limited commercialization of his machine and the subsequent contributions of other inventors.

Nevertheless, Moriondo’s role in the history of espresso cannot be overstated. His machine laid the foundation for the espresso machines that have become ubiquitous in coffee shops and homes worldwide. His invention revolutionized the coffee industry, transforming the way we prepare and enjoy our daily cup of espresso.


Angelo Moriondo’s legacy is a testament to the power of innovation and the pursuit of a better way to do things. His invention, the espresso machine, has not only transformed the coffee industry but has also enriched our lives by providing us with a quick, flavorful, and convenient way to enjoy our favorite beverage. While his name may not be as well-known as others in the coffee world, Angelo Moriondo stands as an unsung hero, a pioneer who deserves recognition for his groundbreaking contribution to the world of coffee.

Additional Notes

  • Angelo Moriondo’s espresso machine was patented on May 16, 1884, and was presented at the General Exhibition in Turin’s Parco del Valentino, where it received a bronze medal.

  • Moriondo never mass-produced his espresso machine, instead opting to build a few machines for his own establishments.

  • The first person to bring Moriondo’s invention to light was coffee historian Ian Bersten, who discovered the patent in the late 1990s.

Angelo Moriondo’s story is a reminder that innovation often emerges from the desire to solve everyday problems. His ingenuity and dedication to improving the coffee-making process have left an enduring mark on the industry, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of coffee enthusiasts.

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