Who, when and where the coffee maker was invented?

For a long time, whenever I made a cup of hot coffee, I wondered who invented the coffee maker and which type was the first. Have you ever wondered the same?

We have all the answers about coffee: It was Sir Benjamin Thompson – Count Rumford, in 1780 in France. He built the first known drip coffee maker and from which the different methods of making coffee were born. If you want to know all the details, read on.

coffee maker origin

We all know that coffee is a universal beverage and has been consumed all over the world since time immemorial. However, the traditional way of preparing coffee was infusions. That is: the coffee beans were left to rest in boiling water for a while, and then brewed.

Specially designed pots with different filters were also used to trap the beans that sank or those that floated, preventing them from reaching the cup when the coffee was served. These pots cannot be considered coffee machines as they were simple pots adapted to infuse coffee. To this infused coffee, a little ground coffee used to be added to give it more body.

In this way, we will define the coffee machine as that device used in the kitchen to prepare coffee. The principles of the elaboration of the coffee through the coffee machines are very varied, being one of the most common and the first to appear, the system of dripping. In this type of coffee machines, there is a funnel covered by a metallic or paper filter, where the ground coffee beans are placed. In a separate compartment, cold water is heated to boiling point and directed in the form of drops towards the funnel.

When was the coffee machine invented?

Coffee did not begin to be consumed in Europe until the seventeenth century, but this coffee was taken in the form of an infusion.

At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century in France, the idea spread that to obtain an excellent coffee; the beans should not be boiled. And that was when the first gadgets arose to get coffee using systems where the hot water passed through ground coffee.

So we have to wait until the end of the eighteenth century to know the first gadgets worthy of being catalogued as coffee machines. Or at least, early embryos of what we understand today as a coffee pot.

Sir Benjamin Thompson - Count Rumford
Sir Benjamin Thompson – Count Rumford

In 1780 “the first” coffee machine called The biggin appeared, which consisted of two levels. In the upper level, the ground coffee was deposited in a small cotton sack or a sock through which the hot water passed from the lower level. However, this method altered the flavour of the coffee, and it wasn’t prevalent.

Seeing the shortcomings of this first coffee maker, an American inventor (Sir Benjamin Thompson – Count Rumford) based in Paris created the “pumping percolator”. With this coffee maker, the water boiled from the bottom and climbed up a tube where it dripped through the ground coffee, returning to the lower chamber turned into coffee.

The history of the coffee maker is diffuse, because during the second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century a mixture of inventions, patents, and systems followed one another. We will try to be rigorous in the exhibition, because not all sources agree in considering which was the first coffee machine in the world.

Who was the Inventor of the Coffeemaker?

The inventor of the coffee maker, of which we spoke earlier, is Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753 – 1814), better known as Count of Rumford. A British inventor and physicist, who was born in the United States, spent much of his life in Europe. He invented and improved many machines, chimneys, industrial ovens, kitchen utensils and, of course, the drip coffee maker at the end of the 18th century. As we said before, this first coffee maker was a drip pot with thermal insulation that kept the coffee warm.

Where Was the Coffee maker Invented?

As we mentioned in the previous point, the inventor of the coffeemaker, Benjamin Thompson spent much of his life as an inventor between France, Germany and England. For this reason, it is not known with certainty in which of the three countries the coffee pot was invented.

Who invented the Drip coffee maker?

But the coffee maker that took all the success and recognition would be invented in the early nineteenth century by the pharmacist of Rouen (France) François Antoine Descroisilles, in 1802.

The invention received the name of cafeolette: it consisted of two superimposed containers separated by a filter, through which a purer coffee was obtained, free of sediments. It was the first drip coffee maker.

Cafeolette coffee maker
Cafeolette coffee maker

However, it was the woman Melitta Benz who gave birth to the current drip coffee machines, modifying or perfecting the original idea of the caféolette.

The German hornet used a woollen cloth as a filter, replacing the original metal strainer. In this way, the textile material, dense but very porous, let pass the water converted into coffee and retained a large part of the coffee grounds.

Later, he realized that the fabric ended up wearing out and breaking. So it was more efficient to use a very porous piece of paper in each preparation (what today are the paper filters).

As you might have guessed, Melitta Benz ended up founding a company that today, a century later, is still an absolute reference in the coffee industry: Melitta.

Who invented the first espresso coffee maker?

To find the origins of the first espresso coffee machine patented, we have to go back to 1884 in Turin. The engineer Angelo Moriondo built it and showed its operation to the world.

Almost 20 years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, Luigi Bezzera made improvements to the machine patented by Moriondo. Five years later sold the patent to Desiderio Pavoni who began to produce units for Italian homes.

Already in 1933, Francesco Illy, created the first espresso coffee machine that used steam pressure to make coffee. Thus, the Illetta is the origin of today’s espresso machines.

Who invented the Italian coffee maker?

In 1933 the Italian Alfonso Bialetti, although it was Luigi de Ponti who patented the invention of the first Italian coffee maker, carefully observed a washing machine called “lisciveuse” in which clothes and water were heated together in a large pot. The liquid rose through a conduit when boiling and fell back onto the clothes. 

Bialetti decided to apply this technique to coffee to simplify the process of preparing it. There would no longer be a need for expensive equipment that would subject the beans to almost 10 bars of pressure.

italian coffee maker scheme
Italian Coffee Maker Scheme

With an octagonal metal base (A) (where the water will be heated), a filter (B) in which the ground coffee will be deposited and which works as a pipette through which the liquid will rise when boiling and a hexagonal top (C) which will store the freshly made drink, the Moka still have a privileged place in our homes.

Who Invented the Siphon Coffee Maker?

Loeff of Berlin invented the siphon or vacuum coffee maker in 1830, although it began to become popular a little later, in 1840, when it was patented and marketed by Madame de Vassieux of Lyon.

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 set out to invent a coffee maker that would make coffee quickly, without the need for plugs or electric pumps. And he did it!

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AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker - Quickly Makes Delicious Coffee Without Bitterness - 1 to 3...
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