Who, when and where the coffee maker was invented?

We all know that coffee has been a universal drink consumed worldwide for centuries. However, the traditional way of preparing coffee has nothing to do with today, as coffee machines are relatively recent devices. The classic and original way of preparing coffee was infusion, which was done by steeping coffee beans in boiling water and straining the resulting beverage.

Coffee did not begin to be consumed in Europe until the 17th century, and it was not until much later (mid-19th century) that we see the first devices worthy of being classified as coffee machines. Or at least, primitive designs of what we understand today as coffee machines.

The history of the coffee machine is diffuse because, during the second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century, there was a succession of inventions, patents and systems for preparing coffee. Not all sources agree on which was the first coffee machine invented, but we will try to be as rigorous as possible by providing documentation whenever possible.

Who was the inventor of the coffee maker?

The first device that could be considered a “coffee maker” was the work of the French chemist and pharmacist François-Antoine-Henri Descroizilles. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, he worked on various inventions related to beverages such as wine and vinegar. He then had the idea, in 1802, of joining two metal containers and separating them by a perforated container.

The coffee (tampered) would be placed on this container, which acted as a filter. The water would be added to the upper compartment, dropping by gravity into the lower chamber (through the coffee filter) from which the infused coffee drink would be served.

Cafeolette of François-Antoine-Henri Descroizilles
Cafeolette of François-Antoine-Henri Descroizilles

A few years later, Jean Baptiste de Belloy (Count of Belloy), based on Descroisilles’ original idea to create the “du de Belloy alembic“, was officially considered the first coffee maker invented.

Patent of the first coffee machine à la Belloy
Patent of the first coffee machine à la Belloy

Where was the first coffee maker invented?

It does not matter whether we consider François-Antoine-Henri Descroizilles or Jean-Baptiste de Belloy as the inventor of the first coffee pot, as both were French. Therefore, very soon after the French Revolution, the first coffee maker was invented in France.

Who invented the drip coffee maker?

We have just talked about the first coffee maker invented, and it turned out to be a drip coffee maker, so why are we asking again who created the first drip coffee maker? Well, today’s drip coffee machines are very different from that first Cafeolette, but they haven’t evolved much since more than 100 years ago.

In 1908, a German housewife named Melitta Bentz, tired of the classic drip coffee machines. The resulting beverage had to be strained before it could be drunk, decided to improve on these designs to obtain a cleaner coffee.

Melitta Bentz’s design was as revolutionary as it was simple. She worked on the previously flat filter area and replaced it with a conical brass surface with holes, on which a paper filter rested. This filter could be placed directly over the cup and instantly produce coffee without grounds.

Design of the Melitta Bentz coffee machine
Design of the Melitta Bentz coffee machine

Who invented the first espresso coffee machine?

One hundred years after creating the first (drip) coffee machine in France, an entrepreneur named Luigi Bezzera designed the first espresso machine for the hospitality industry in Italy in 1901.

First espresso machine - Luigi Bezzera’s patent
First espresso machine – Luigi Bezzera’s patent

Soon after, however, he sold the patent to the company “La Pavoni”, owned by Desiderio Pavoni. From 1905 onwards, La Pavoni perfected and improved the initial designs to worldwide success. Since then, Italy has been recognised as the espresso capital of the world.

Who invented the Italian coffee maker?

The first Moka coffee maker dates back to 1933, which curiously also acquires the name of “Italian coffee maker” for the country where it was born; Italy.

This adventure of inventions began in France with the first drip coffee maker, passing through Germany for its perfection. Still, it seems that we will remain in Italy forever with the inventions of the successive coffee makers. There are now two coffee machines originating in Italy with the espresso machine and now the Moka.

Based on the operation of the first washing machines, the engineer Alfonso Bialetti designed a coffee maker that followed the same operating principle. Those washing machines had a cauldron in which water with soap was boiled to rise through a tube and end up falling on the clothes. Thus was born the first design of the Italian coffee maker.

Moka pot patented by Alfonso Bialetti
Moka pot patented by Alfonso Bialetti

Who Invented the vacuum (siphon) coffee maker?

It was created in the 19th century in Germany. An inventor named Loeff of Berlin presented it in 1830, but Madame Marie-Fanny-Ameline Vassieux perfected it in 1841 (France). It was popular in Europe and the United States until the beginning of the 20th century, after which it fell into oblivion.

patent of the siphon coffee maker of Madame Marie-Fanny-Ameline VASSIEUX
patent of the siphon coffee maker of Madame Marie-Fanny-Ameline VASSIEUX

It is also known as the Japanese siphon coffee maker. This is because the Japanese baristas recovered this way of making coffee and popularised it once again throughout the world.

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Who invented the AeroPress coffee maker?

The AeroPress is the work of a contemporary genius, Alan Adler, an engineer and professor at Stanford University in the United States. In 2006, Adler invented a coffee maker that quickly made coffee without plugs or electric pumps. And he did it!

Aeropress Patent by Alan Adler
Aeropress Patent by Alan Adler