The Growth of Espresso in the United States


Most of us know espresso as that superbly strong cup of coffee we rely on to jump start our day. We need that extra jolt of caffeine to get our blood pumping, clear our minds, and prime our bodies for the work ahead of us. Every day, more Americans are discovering the addictive extract known as espresso. Amid a delayed domestic revolution, devoted coffee drinkers across the nation could soon switch to a more exotic brew, coffee capsules that are Nespresso compatible.

Europeans, Latin Americans, Australians, and even the tea-loving Asians have long ago succumbed to the luring Italian beverage. But US consumers have consistently avoided, or perhaps, dismissed, the idea of drinking espresso coffee. For good reasons, the early tasters of the Italian Caffe' in US homes may have been exposed to a different version, instead of the real thing, that was literally hard to swallow. That harsh first impression, alternatively, may have prejudiced them in favor of the milder brew known as American coffee. 

So what is it that severed generations of coffee loving Americans toward espresso beverages in the past? Let us look at the rise, detour and the recent embrace of the potent coffee beverage in this society.

Surprising to many of us, the proud American achievement of fast food was actually preceded by the development of quick coffee or espresso. Its roots go back to the time the industrial revolution was heating up. In Italy, in particular, industrialists had a problem with its workers wanting to take long coffee breaks. This ritual denied the plant boss significant productivity to boil coffee grinds in pots over a hot stove. The process was similar to how Turkish coffee is still made today minus the sediment. Out of necessity, one industrialist, named Luigi Bezzera, figured out a way to speed up break time. He built a large vessel in which the water would be heated to form steam. This upper vapor forced the water underneath through coffee grinds at dispensing points on the vessel. This gadget made a shot of concentrated coffee in seventeen seconds. Its taste was exceptional, and employees enjoyed it in one gulp. 

Neighboring industrialists soon noticed that workers at the Bezzera factory, while they were having coffee routinely, no longer disrupted plant operations. Curiously, they found out that Luigi built a contraption that made coffee almost in an instant and workers loved to drink it. Naturally, they too, wanted workflow in their plants to improve, so they asked the designer of espresso (the Italian word for "fast") to make the same coffee machine for them.

Luigi's idea of espresso spread quickly on the Italian landscape after 1901. La Pavoni purchased the Bezzera patents and distributed the invention to cafes which served the general public. Many Italians hooked on espresso were drawn to America for its promise of a better life and rumors of finding gold in the streets. For the most part, immigrants could not carry the imposing Bezzera machine with them overseas even if they could afford one. For convenience and affordability, they compromised and took the old stove top units to the new destination. Oddly, the old method was a far cry from Luigi's true espresso extraction. But loyal to their tradition, they settled on boiling a heavy dose of grinds and pretended the harsh beverage was just like espresso.

It is, perhaps, in their genes that Italians abroad like to share their culture and are persistent at it. So when they invited neighbors, friends, and others to their home for dinner, they capped the meal with a "Caffe'." It was often too strong and bitter for the undeveloped taste buds of the guests. Reactions were unassumingly critical.

But the missionary spirit of foreign hosts continued. Eventually, they learned to make modified "espresso" more palatable by including a lemon peel with each cup served. For the unaccustomed taster, the response was less reserved but still skeptical. This citrus peel reflex continues into today even when modern extraction exceeds the quality of Bezzera's classic process.

The resistance by the American public, however, is quickly fading. The reason is the convenience, affordability and vast choices in new generation brewers for home use. They are taking center stage at US retailers alongside conventional single cup brewers. Espresso machines that use the ESE 7-gram pod provide fuller and healthier extractions like Nespresso compatible capsules.

Acquiring a taste for espresso requires perseverance similar to when you develop a liking for beer or wine. Curiosity gets you started, and social forces advance the appeal. Marketing giants like Starbucks, Green Mountain, and Nestle are now espousing the virtues of espresso single cup in the final social frontier, the US market. You, too, can become a hardcore espresso drinker like me. Once you become a convert, you can never go back to drinking substitutes. There seems to be a spiritual bond between life and the rich nectar on the palate.

The Advancement of Espresso Machine

In 1884 in the city of Turin, Angelo Moriondo is said to have made the first functional espresso machine which was designed to produce bulk brews and not the single servings we have come to know and love at the cafe. The first patent of this type was filed in 1901 by Luigi Bezzera of Milan. He later sold the patent to Desiderio Pavoni in 1905, which started to 'mass produce,' 1 a day, through his company 'La Pavoni' situated in Milan. 

The urbanization of Italy resulted in espresso bars springing up as a place to socialize. There was a strange law that controlled the price of the coffee. It had to be drunk standing up. This, of course, led to another culture, the standing at a bar culture. The increase in tourism to Italy and the migration of Italians to America spread the coffee culture to the English speaking world. There they modified it to suit local tastes in England and in America. The addition of milk to the espresso resulted in the cappuccino becoming popular. In America, the latte became the favored drink with the American sweet tooth resulting in the addition of flavored syrups.

The Italian American Lino Meiorin of Caffe Mediterraneum in Berkeley, California is believed to be the inventor of the latte.

The migration of Italians to Germany resulted in the formation of Eiscafès. The opening up of Europe to migrations resulted in the exporting of various cultural and gastronomic traditions to their new homes.

Around the 1980s in America, the coffees made their appearance, and the espresso culture began to move 'upmarket,' from initially serving the down-market expatriate Italians to the indigenous more upmarket customers.

Until recently it was near impossible to get an espresso without going to a cafe. It takes a certain amount of skill to be a barista, a maker of espresso coffees. Barista means barkeeper in Italian. And the cost of the equipment prevented the home brewer from making his own espresso, so espressos have always been associated with cafes and have created the cafe culture, 'I will meet you for an espresso.' It had to be made correctly to generate the foam at the top called the crema.

Originally the espresso machines where hand operated requiring the barista to pull a lever to apply the pressure, now they all have an electric motor to pump the hot water through the coffee, which has led to the widespread adoption in the home kitchen. With the advent of the electric pump, it became possible to automate the brewing process allowing for automatic and semi-automatic Barista machines being manufactured. 

The beans need to be freshly ground, and many of the home machines now have a grind as well.

Espresso making machine such as the Breville Barista 800ESXL Espresso Machine and other Breville machines as well as other manufactures machines are now widely available to the home brewer.

The origin of the word espresso is open to debate but 'expressly, quickly is a better variant. The original espresso machine of 1905 produced one cup of 'coffee' in 45 minutes, 'espresso expressly for you.'

Why Espresso Is Better Than Brown Coffee

As stated earlier, conventional or simply "brown coffee" is a popular choice for coffee in America, however, in various other cultures, espresso reigns king as the leading preference for coffee fans. So what makes espresso different than coffee? And, exactly why should you ditch your normal coffee machine and begin making espresso each day? Let us deliberate on three reasons why you must prefer espresso:

  1. One of the best reasons to consume espresso is that it has more Caffeine!

The primary reason many drink coffees is to find a lift each morning, so they want their coffee to be strong. Why drink a huge pot of coffee when you get a similar morning supercharge with a swift shot of espresso? The fantastic thing about espresso is when you're seriously feeling exhausted, you can easily take a double or sometimes triple shot. One other alternative is to take cuban espresso or Nespresso compatible capsules.

  1. Espresso is more enjoyable

Some individuals may not agree, but many will opt for the taste of espresso in comparison to standard American coffee. The powerful flavor of espresso can never be compared to the “weak taste” of regular coffee. The fantastic thing about espresso is that if you actually want something more moderate to sip on, you can make a cafe latte effortlessly in your own kitchen.

  1. You can consume Espresso a lot quicker

To get the total caffeine effect of traditional American coffee, you need to consume a whole cup. A shot of espresso can go down in less than a minute, and you could even drink it in five seconds if necessary. This is undoubtedly beneficial because you would rather not have to gulp down a cup or 2 of coffee to get your morning started. You may be hurrying out the door, or you do not want to load up on liquids before your drive to work, a shot of espresso, Nespresso compatible capsules or any other similar coffee capsule is a much more efficient way of getting a caffeine fix and wake up.

For the reasons previously mentioned, you will agree never to drink regular coffee anymore. The only real benefit to consider for regular American coffee over espresso is that it is simpler to make, but once you make espresso once or twice with a range top espresso maker, you will realize that it's practically equally as simple as flipping on the coffee maker.

Well, its high time to forget the conventional coffee and take up the quality espresso coffee drink. Especially if traditional coffee smartening you anymore and you need something better. A shot of espresso has as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee which implies you can easily double or triple your caffeine consumption without consuming a huge pot of coffee.

If you think espresso is a unique drink that can only be created by baristas that have access to an espresso machine, then you have been misinformed. Espresso can be simply made at home and so can other limited edition nespresso compatible related beverages like the Cuban Espresso.


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