Today’s coffee-stained Google Doodle is in honor of Angelo Moriondo, the Italian innovator who created the espresso machine.
While mankind has enjoyed coffee for centuries, our predecessors didn’t have the wealth of options available for making coffee like we do today. One of the best known and most dynamic options is to brew one or more shots of espresso.
“Espresso” is rooted in the word “express,” and is a drink well-suited to all three definitions of the word. By comparison to other brewing styles common in the 19th century, brewing espresso was significantly faster, typically taking under two minutes. A second meaning is that each serving of espresso is often made expressly for a customer.
The third meaning behind espresso has to do with the actual technique used to brew the coffee. The mechanical method of brewing espresso is credited to Angelo Moriondo — born in Turin on June 6, 1851 — who patented and showcased the first ever espresso machine in 1884.
Brewing espresso involves near-boiling, pressurized water being pushed through coffee grounds to “express” the flavors. The original design patent involved two boilers, one that pushed hot water against the coffee grounds and another that used steam to finish the brewing process.
After building the first machine — working in conjunction with a mechanic — Angelo Moriondo steadily refined his design. As Il Globo tells the story, Moriondo came from a family of entrepreneurs, and as such, each additional machine he built was used to help market one of his businesses. In addition to the novelty of the machine itself, Moriondo’s machines were intended to speed up brewing time for customers.
With time, other inventors followed in the footsteps of Angelo Moriondo but with a mind for mass production, making espresso a mainstay for European coffee drinkers. The next time you order an espresso from your local cafe and it arrives in less than five minutes, thank Angelo Moriondo.
To honor Moriondo’s contributions to our coffee-drinking habits on what would be his 171st birthday, Googler Olivia When has crafted an animated Doodle. What really sets this Doodle apart is that it was painted using only coffee, a technique you can get a taste of thanks to a behind-the-scenes timelapse recording.
The Doodle itself is broken down into three panels, in the first of which you can see an artistic reimagining of Moriondo’s original patent artwork for the espresso machine. The other two panels show an example of Moriondo’s design in use, followed by a more modern espresso machine. As is often the case, across these three panels you can see the letters of “Google” hiding in plain sight.
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