|Born||6 June 1851
|Died||31 May 1914 (aged 62)
|Known for||Inventor of the espresso coffee machine|
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Angelo Moriondo came from an entrepreneurial family. His grandfather founded a liqueur producing company that was continued by his father Giacomo, who later founded the well-known chocolate company "Moriondo and Gariglio" along with his brother Ettore and cousin Gariglio. Angelo purchased the Grand-Hotel Ligure in the city-centre Piazza Carlo Felice and the American Bar in the Galleria Nazionale of Via Roma.[page needed]
First espresso machine
Moriondo presented his invention at the General Expo of Turin in 1884, where it was awarded the bronze medal. The patent was awarded for a period of six years on May 16, 1884 under the title of "New steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage, method ‘A. Moriondo’." The machine was actually built by a mechanic named Martina, working under the direct supervision of the inventor.
It was successively updated with a patent on November 20, 1884, Vol 34, No, 381. The invention was then confirmed by international patent after being registered in Paris on October 23, 1885. In the following years, Moriondo continued to improve his invention drastically, each improvement being patented.
Angelo Moriondo never took the invention to industrial-scale production. He limited himself to the construction of a few hand-built, machines which he jealously conserved in his establishments, convinced that this was a significant advertisement for them.
Ian Bersten, a historian chronicling the history of coffee, claims to be the first researcher to ever discover Moriondo’s patent. Bersten describes the device as "the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee" and Moriondo as "one of the earliest discoverers of the expresso [sic] machine." Unlike true espresso machines, it was a bulk brewer, and did not brew coffee "expressly" for the individual customer.