Origins of ordinary things: Coffee maker

The evolution of coffee makers can be dated back as 575 A.D. Net photo.

Coffee has been around a really long time. In fact, before it was a beverage it was crushed and held into a food ball. Over time, the coffee maker has evolved, with some evolutions resulting in much better coffee experiences and others sacrificing a bit of flavour for the convenience of quickly made coffee with very little preparation.

The history of the coffee maker really begins way back in 575 A.D. with the Turks known to brew coffee. Until this very day they’re still using the same methods as back in the 1645. You only need to boil together some finely ground coffee with water and sugar in a tiny copper pot with a long handle. This is according to Coffee Corner.

According to informic.org, the French then started to put the ground coffee in a linen bag and infuse it in the water (smart way to get rid of the gritty sip). It was some many centuries ago when the coffee aficionados discovered that boiling water is actually ruining the fragile essence of coffee. Therefore, a temperature just below boiling is going to work a lot better.

The availability of glass and the improvements in the manufacture only prepared the next innovations in terms of coffee maker technologies. It was Mme Jeanne Richard, a Frenchwoman, who developed a new design right before 1840. She may have created the new design with the help of an existing German pot. In 1841, Mme. Vassieux of Lyons created what we all know now as the “French Balloon”. These new pots were also for display, not only for their main function, allowing everyone to enjoy the real spectacle of coffee making.

In 1960 the final change to the espresso machine began to emerge. Ernesto Valente of the FAEMA Company developed a machine that used an electric pump to pressurise the water and force it to go through the ground coffee. Even though baristas would still need some practice to get good results, the FAEMA’s E61 machine was easier to operate than the previous models. 

Today there are many coffee machines to choose from. From Pod machines, espresso machines, drip coffee makers and even percolators — you name it.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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