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The coffee story: ongoing innovation in espresso coffee machines

MILAN, Italy – It all started with Angelo Moriondo, the Turin entrepreneur and inventor who in 1884 patented a strange coffee machine with a water boiler, which you could only operate if you held a stoker’s licence. The espresso coffee machine then underwent many developments that went hand in hand with technological innovation.

Now we have digital displays, interfaces and remote controls, and there have been ergonomic improvements and reductions in consumption.

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Efforts to introduce innovations at Nuova Simonelli move in three directions, explains Marketing & Communication Director Maurizio Giuli: “The first concerns performance, especially regarding quality i.e. making improvements to the beverage by optimising the extraction method for each type of coffee.

The second concerns ergonomics and the user interface, where the aim is to make the work of baristas easier and safeguard their health. The third area is sustainability, which essentially means saving energy and the environmental impact at the end of the product’s life-cycle.

The use of low-impact and more easily recyclable materials is becoming increasingly important on some markets and in 2015 Simonelli Group carried out its first LCA (Lifecycle Assessment) on some models of machine, following which changes were made to the design process for new machines.”

The Italian coffee market is certainly evolving, with more attention now being paid to product quality, as demonstrated by the large number of barista training courses now being held every year in the various professional schools.

“From the first espresso coffee machine to the present day there have been huge leaps forward. Sanremo has made a significant contribution to this process with some quite revolutionary new ideas in recent years. Sanremo is very much used to thinking outside the box and this aptitude for researching new ideas will bring even more innovations in the future,” adds Carlo de Sordi, sales and marketing manager for Sanremo Coffee Machines.

“The Italian scene is changing – it’s evolving and being modified. There is much more attention to the things you buy and the things you drink, consumers are much more involved, the sales network is growing, thanks also to on-line shopping. The large-scale roasters, but also the micro-roasters want to get across the idea not just of a product but of a sensorial beverage experience, and all this is changing not just the communication process but the actual sales of the product. There again, in today’s globalised world, the individual experiences of the various countries are coming closer and closer together, and this means a more widely shared coffee culture at a global level.”