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Coffee: from Africa to Switzerland, from bean picking to capsule thermoforming

The evolution of coffee is a process that took hundreds of years and crossed many countries

 

The origins of coffee date back to the 10th Century and take place in Ethiopia, North Africa. There are many legends and stories  about its first uses.

In the 15th century, it is a fact that in the monasteries of Yemen coffee trees were known, and coffee was already used  as a beverage.

During the 16th century, it spread through the rest of the Middle East, South India, Turkey, Persia, South and North Africa, then to the Balkans, Italy, the rest of Europe, South East Asia and America.

Brazil has then played a fundamental role in coffee expansion.

Since 1840’s it has been world’s largest producer, when Italian immigrants came to work in Brazilian plantations, and this expansion reached its peak in the 1920’s when the country supplied 100% of world’s coffee.

Today Brazil alone covers about one third of world coffee production, especially in the harvesting areas  of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Parana, which have the best climatic conditions for growing good quality coffee plants.

As a next stage, in Northern Italy in 1884 Mr. Angelo Moriondo invented the first Espresso machine, which introduced a new way of brewing coffee by means of steam pressure, in order to make a more concentrated and stronger coffee, the “espresso”.

His machine was then improved and patented by Luigi Bezzera in the early 1900’s, then the patent was acquired in 1905 by Desidero Pavoni, founder of La Pavoni, the company which introduced the espresso machine to the Italian market and started the transformation of drinking coffee into a habit.

The latest innovation in coffee evolution takes place in Switzerland, where the engineer Eric Favre has invented and patented the coffee capsule in 1976, thus launching Nespresso in 1986.

The coffee capsule has gained a huge popularity, and since 2011, due to the fact that several patents expired, many competitors have been able to produce capsules and machines compatible with Nespresso system, and even to make new capsule varieties.

Nowadays “espresso” is still acknowledged as quintessential Italian coffee, and is considered one of the most appreciated ways to drink this beverage. The name is associated with several meanings: “pressed-out”, “quick”, “made to the order”.
Due to its increasing popularity many coffeemakers are playing with the four basic elements – water, temperature, pressure and coffee – to create their own special blends and achieve new tastes and aromas. In order to protect the unique features and the quality of the product, also the packaging, the capsule, must follow complex and severe requirements.

Thermoforming technology during the last decades has paid close attention to the evolution in the coffee industry, and has faced new challenges in order to keep up with the new shapes and technical/qualitative requirements for capsules.

WM Thermoforming Machines will attend SINGLE-SERVE CAPSULES 2017 Conference in Berlin, 4/5 October 2017, and our Sales Director Mr. Luca Oliverio will update the attendees about the complete range of WM Thermoforming Machines equipment and its recent innovations in this field.