Over time, the coffee maker has evolved, with some innovations resulting in a much better coffee experience. Coffee and water were boiled together in front of the coffee machine. Filtering the ground beans was an option.
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The birth of coffee
Coffee’s origins date back to at least 800 A.D. in Ethiopia. According to legend, coffee was originally discovered by Ethiopian herdsmen who noticed the effects of the caffeine in coffee cherries on their goats. Her livestock seemed to have higher energy levels.
Later, the monks used coffee beans to stay awake longer during their prayer sessions. In the mid-15th century, the coffee plant and its use came into fashion.
The preparation of coffee
In the early days of coffee making, the process was very simple. The roasted and ground coffee beans were placed in a pot of boiling water and poured over. Making ground coffee in a pot of hot water was pretty easy.
Some authors date the Turks as early as 575 AD, others on the 15th century. Regardless of the date, everyone agrees that the story of the coffee pot begins there.
The Turkish coffee pot is known as an ibrik. Originally the term simply referred to a pot, but today it is known almost exclusively as a Turkish coffee pot around the world. In Turkey it is simply called Cezve.
How did the Turks make coffee?
This ibrik is a long-stemmed metal pot, usually made of copper. The ground coffee beans are mixed with sugar, spices and water before brewing. After mixing, the mixture was heated in the pot until almost boiling, then cooled and reheated several times. After that, the mixture was poured into a cup and was ready to drink.
European development: 17th century
Coffee became popular in Europe in the 17th century. Around 1615, Europeans started drinking coffee. This after Venetian traders got it from the Ottoman Turks.
Roast pots for coffee
The first metal device, reminiscent of today’s pots, appeared in 1650 when a custom cylindrical coffee roaster was developed out of copper.
In 1660 the Elford machine became popular. This white iron coffee pot has been rotated on a roaster to roast the coffee more evenly. It was developed for commercial and family use.
The Dutch also brought forth a bean roasting machine with a long handle that allowed the user to roast the beans over an open fire. This method became popular throughout Europe and the United States.
European development in the 18th century
At the beginning of the 18th century, coffee became popular in Europe. Bull’s roasting machine was patented in England in 1704 and marked the first use of charcoal for commercial coffee roasting.
The infusion process was introduced in France around 1710. The infusion consisted of enclosing the coffee beans in a burlap sack called a biggin. The Biggin was filled with coffee, sealed with string, and immersed in the hot water inside the jar. The coffee was steeped until it reached the desired strength. At that time, the coffee pot consisted of a metal container with a spout or spigot.
By 1714 the coffee pot had evolved again, and the handles were curved, less pointed, and no longer square.
The coffee pots were further developed in the 18th century. During this time, the inner and outer chambers were invented. These innovations made it possible to keep the coffee hot for a long time.
The French drip coffee machine was also developed in Europe at this time. With this method of coffee preparation, two chambers were stacked on top of each other, with a fabric filter between them. The ground coffee was placed in the upper chamber and boiling water was poured over it. As the coffee brewed, it slowly dripped into the lower chamber.
This brewing process took a long time and resulted in a weak cup of coffee.
Development of technology
Coffee houses were opened all over Europe, first in Italy. People began to see them as a social meeting place, more popular during the day and for those who didn’t want to spend all their time in bars.
A little historical fact is that real coffee filters first appeared when you put coffee beans in a sock and then poured hot water through the sock.
Although this is the closest thing to today’s coffee-making technique, people quickly switched to using cloth filters instead of socks. Paper filters, which were much more efficient and cheaper, came on the market 200 years later.
Mr. Biggin Coffee Makers
The Mr. Biggin coffee pot came onto the market in 1780. It is officially the first commercial coffee maker. This coffee machine has improved the weaknesses of the cloth filtering.
These coffee pots can make 3 or 4 cups of coffee at once. A tin filter or cloth bag is placed under the lid. The disadvantage of this design was that if the grinding was not done properly, the water would be passed through a grist that was too coarse or too fine.
Modernization in the 19th century
This is the moment when coffee takes off all over the world.
Percolation of coffee
Percolation means the water will drip through fine interstices of metal or porcelain, while filtration means it will drip through any porous substance. Cloth and paper were the most common.
The Du Belloy coffee pot arrived in Paris in 1800. This was the original French drip jug, first using pewter, then porcelain and silver. Du Belloy never patented his coffee pot, so many inventors followed his creativity and made their own coffee pots.
In 1802, the first French patent for a coffee pot was granted to a group of men for a “pharmacological-chemical device for preparing coffee by infusion”. In the same year, Charles Wyatt received his own patent for his coffee pot in London.
In 1806, Hadrot received a patent in France for the development of a coffee pot that “could filter coffee without boiling and bathed in air”. Ironically, the word didn’t really mean filtration, but rather percolation back then.
Both Hadrot and De Belloy invented percolation devices. Hadrot improved De Belloy’s device by replacing the tin filter with an iron filter and adding a perforated tamper with holes to evenly distribute the coffee.
He claimed that his mechanism prevented the flavor from being spoiled by pouring boiling water from too high a height.
Siphon coffee makers
Siphon or vacuum coffee pots were introduced in the 1830s and marketed by Marie Fanny Amelne Massot in the 1840s. In 1910 these came to America and sisters Bridges and Sutton patented their Pyrex coffee pot as the Flint.
These siphon vessels resemble hourglasses. The heat source at the bottom created pressure and forced the water through a siphon. This allowed it to mix with the ground coffee.
Once the beans were filtered, the coffee could be consumed. This coffee maker is still used today in artisanal coffee houses. She later served as the inspiration for the Italian Moka coffee maker.
Modern coffee preparation
Towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, modern methods of preparing coffee were invented. These methods are still very popular today. Although some of them have been improved, many are still perfectly functional.
The espresso machine was invented in 1884. It is still very popular in cafés today and brews one of the most popular ways of brewing coffee. Angelo Moriondo received the patent for this machine in Italy. The espresso machine uses pressurized water and steam to brew coffee very quickly and much more powerfully than other methods.
However, unlike modern versions, these espresso cups had a very bitter aftertaste. Modern versions were developed by the Gaggia company, which increased the water pressure, creating a smooth and rich cup of espresso that is very popular today.
One of the world’s most popular methods of brewing coffee is the French Press. It’s the most efficient way to brew a perfect cup of coffee as the aroma of the beans is preserved and the cup is very soft.
It is attributed to the French, but both the French and the Italians made a similar invention around the same time. France patented its 1852, while the model closest to modern design was patented in Italy in 1928.
The version we use today was invented in 1958. Known as Chambord, it was made in France by an Italian-Swiss man named Bondanini.
Instant coffee was invented in Britain. He came to the United States during the Civil War in the 1850s. Despite the simplicity of the method, it never became popular outside of wartime because the taste is so unappealing compared to traditionally brewed coffee.
The 20th century brought a revolution in commercial coffee makers. In 1915, Corning Glass Work’s introduced a Pyrex coffee pot. This ovenproof glass was marketed under the name “Flint”.
The rights to the design were acquired in 1909 by two sisters, Mrs. Ann Bridges and Mrs. Sutton of Salem, Massachusetts. The two sisters sold large numbers of their Flint coffee pots to hotels and shops, making their name synonymous with commercial coffee pots.
In the 1930s, coffee makers were further revolutionized by the introduction of electricity. One of the first electric coffee machines was made by Willy Brandl. The most innovative invention of the electric coffee maker was the switch that switched it off at the right time.
You can’t drink an espresso comfortably at home. For this reason, in 1933, Bialetti developed another model, the 1819 pump percolator.
This time it was aluminum and consisted of 3 parts. The lower part was for the water and the filter basket had a hose extending from the bottom that held the coffee above the water. The lower part had to be screwed into the empty upper container.
A rubber gasket is located below and a second metal filter is also located. The coffee pot was placed on the fire and heated until a gurgling sound was heard. This machine was called the Moka Express and delivered an espresso-like coffee.
In the 1940s, coffee machines developed by leaps and bounds. Sunbeam introduced its “Coffee Master” line of machines with a polished chrome finish and electric vacuum brewers with auto shut-off. General Electric introduced the “Automatic” model, which included a unique magnetic activation device to control the brewing process.
In 1947, Milanese coffee bar owner Achilles Gaggia developed a novel espresso machine using a spring-loaded, lever-operated piston. An operator pulled a lever that dispensed hot (never boiling) water but no steam.
He released the lever slightly, which caused the spring pushing the plunger to expand, forcing the hot water through the coffee at high pressure. Being able to better control pressure and temperature made the coffee richer and smoother.
The biggest breakthrough in coffee makers came in the 1960s when the modern drip coffee maker was developed.
Perhaps one of the best-known coffee maker brands is Mr. Coffee, who invented the automatic drip process in 1972 and then hired Joe DiMaggio (American baseball player for the New York Yankees and one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands) as his company’s spokesperson. With Mr. DiMaggio’s support, Mr. Coffee quickly became the best-selling coffee maker in the United States.
What types of coffee makers do we use today?
Today there are many options to try. Capsule coffee makers, espresso makers, drip coffee makers, and even percolators.
Let’s look at the main types of coffee makers that currently exist.
Coffee machines with capsules
A capsule coffee machine makes coffee from a capsule. It’s a small device with one or two buttons. A single type of bean or a combination of types of beans is used to prepare the coffee. Some machine models are compatible with Nespresso or K cups. In addition, there are single doses compatible with Dolce Vita or Dolce Gusto capsules.
Drip coffee machines
Despite the above developments, Edmund Abel Jr. is credited with inventing the automatic drip coffee maker as we know it today. In 1972 he developed the electric drip coffee maker, which was launched months later.
Instead of a manual slow drip coffee, it’s an automatic brew cycle. To get a more complex aroma, some drip coffee makers have a longer brewing time.
An espresso machine uses pressure and steam to create a cup of intensely concentrated ground coffee beans. Today, the espresso machine is a common device in both private households and companies.
The French press is a simple yet elegant method of brewing coffee. It’s considered one of the best ways to get a rich, bold flavor into your cup. When preparing coffee with a French press, first place the ground beans in the carafe, add hot water and let the coffee steep for a few minutes before pressing down with the tamper.
Percolators are no longer widely used as drip coffee makers, French presses, and espresso machines have taken their place.
A coffee maker is a device that brews coffee by continuously brewing water. The water in the lower chamber is heated by the heat source until it begins to boil. The water eventually reaches the bottom of the coffee chamber after passing through the ground beans.
Coffee has been around for a very long time, but its popularity has never stopped growing. Everyone seems to need their coffee these days, and it’s not uncommon to drink multiple cups a day.
With that in mind, coffee machines have become a staple in every home and in most offices.
Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur who prefers a specific roast and brewing method, or a coffee drinker who just needs a quick dose of caffeine, your coffee maker is part of a story that’s constantly evolving and innovative without neglecting tradition.
While we have come a long way with our brewing methods, the future in the world of coffee looks bright and many new machines and beverages are likely to continue to be developed.