The first invention of what is now "La Pavoni" was patented by Luigi Bezzera in 1902, and was registered at the Milan State office in 1903. The patent gave life to the first espresso machine specially designed for bars, called "Ideale." In 1905, Desiderio Pavoni founded "La Pavoni Spa," a little workshop located on Via Parini in Milan, to produce these machines.
Ideale was a vertical machine. The boiler was kept at a constant pressure, either by a gas-ring or by using electricity. On the side of the machine were the brewing groups (spigots) with filters for ground coffee. The machine worked at only 1.5 bars of pressure. By opening a knob at that pressure, water and steam were forced through the ground coffee in the filter to brew espresso. The brew time at 1.5 bars was about 1 minute.
Ideale was the first espresso machine on the market, and it started the fashion of drinking Italian "espresso" coffee in Europe, and then spread all around the world. The basic technology remained the same until after the Second World War, even though Ideale created a "burnt" taste because the brewing process took relatively long (1 minute) for espresso, since the pressure was relatively low. (See our article "Brewing Perfect Espresso.")
In 1948, the first piston espresso machine was introduced. In a piston machine, the water is taken from the boiler once it achieves a steaming state (e.g., 1.5 bars), but then it is forced through the coffee grounds at a much higher pressure using a piston pushed by a spring. By using this much higher-pressure system, the brewing process was faster, and the espresso no longer acquired a "burnt" taste (by the standards back then).
In the same year (1948), La Pavoni introduced the first espresso machine with a horizontal boiler. Gio Ponti, Alberto Rosselli, and Antonio Fornaroli developed this new espresso machine, and called it "La Cornuta" (The Horn).
In 1956, La Pavoni began manufacturing the "Concorso" series. The project was developed by Enzo Mari and Bruno Munari. This new series enabled the building of espresso machines having multiple independent brewing stations. A derivative model was introduced to the market in 1961. In that machine, the water first went through a water softener, and then passed into the boiler. When sufficient pressure was built, the water was forced through separate brewing groups, making either one or two cups of creamy espresso.
The "Brasilia" machine began its life in 1961 as a result of the collaboration between Angelo Tito Anselmi and Alberto Rosselli. In the same year, the first electrical machine designed for domestic use was created. It could brew espresso and other hot drinks. This machine is what has always been known as "Europiccola."
The "LP" model was introduced in 1972, having improved better reliability and other technical features. In 1974, the design of the "Europiccola" was coupled with features of the "LP" to create the "Professional" model. These new espresso machines could brew up to 16 cups of espresso simultaneously.
Beside the traditional models, lever and semiautomatic machines, new models have since been introduced. The latest one is a fully automatic modular machine that can prepare espresso in a few seconds.
The same principals were applied to the domestic line of espresso machines as well. Today, the "Europiccola" and "Professional" models are elegant and reliable, and we sell them on our website. They will never be outdated. In fact, the "Professional" is considered to be such a fine example of outstanding design that one of them is actually on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
(In 1999 La Pavoni obtained the UNI EN ISO 9001 certification and IQ Net issued by Certification Institutes in conformity to the norms ISO 9001:2000 of 14 November 2003.)
...written by your friends at The Coffee Brewers