Who was Angelo Moriondo? Google Doodle celebrates the godfather of espresso machines

THE IDEA of the espresso machine first came to light in the 19th century with the Italian inventor Angelo Moriondo.

On Monday, June 6, 2022, Google Doodles will pay tribute to Angelo for what would have been his 171st birthday.


Many remember Angelo Moriondo as the “godfather of espresso”Credit: mr. Angelo Moriondo

Who was Angelo Moriondo?

Angelo Moriondo, born on June 6, 1851, was a native of Turin, Italy – then known as the Kingdom of Sardinia.

He is known as the ‘godfather of espresso’, as he created the oldest recorded espresso machine.

As a child, Angelo grew up in an entrepreneurial family.

His father, Giacomo, founded the chocolate company Moriondo and Gariglio with his brother and cousin.

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Giacomo also ran the liquor company founded by his father, Angelo’s grandfather.

Once he was able, Angelo joined his patriarchs in the path of business – buying both a hotel and a bar in his homeland.

Did Angelo Moriando Invent the Espresso Machine?

In 1884, Angelo Moriando received a patent for “new steam engines for the economical and instant confection of coffee drink,” according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

Angelo’s machine “pushed water through a large bed of coffee grounds on demand, with a second boiler producing steam that would flash the coffee bed and complete the brew.”

He created the invention in honor of the General Exposition of Turin, and his machine produced large quantities of coffee unlike today’s espresso.

Although his patent exists and proves that he is one of the first to invented such a machine, Angelo’s name is not often mentioned when it comes to espresso.

The Smithsonian apparently attributes the loss of the Moriondo name to “branding failure.”

Another Italian inventor – Luigi Bezzerra – worked on Angelo’s design to create the single-serving espresso machine, patented in 1901.

In 1903, Desiderio Pavoni bought Luigi’s patents and the two men teamed up to create ‘cafee espresso’, which was first presented at the 1906 World’s Fair.

Angelo Moriondo's first invention led to today's espresso machines


Angelo Moriondo’s first invention led to today’s espresso machinesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

What happened to Angelo Moriondo?

Angelo Moriondo died on May 31, 1914, aged 62.

He died in Marentino – just outside his hometown of Turin.

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Not much information is known about the rest of Angelo’s post espresso machine.

Still, he is believed to have remained prosperous as the owner of Grand-Hotel Ligure in Piazza Carlo Felice and the American Bar in the former Galleria Nazionale on Via Roma, per IOTD.

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