Viale Premuda, Milan, 1930. Achille Gaggia works as a barista in his family’s coffee shop, named “Caffè Achille”.
He is a tireless and committed worker, trying to satisfy his demanding clients. At that time, coffee was made by “column-style” machines that produced a bitter, dark, and burnt beverage, that was not highly appreciated by people. Achille, who has always been fascinated by the engineering and functioning of the machines, decided to study a way to improve the taste and texture of coffee, experimenting in his family’s coffee shop.
With the support of Antonio Cremonese, an engineer, Achille could perfection his idea to enhance the process of making coffee.
He developed a prototype of espresso machine that used the pressure of hot water instead of steam, that was used back at that time. With that system, hot water passed through ground coffee at a high pressure, extracting coffee oils and making a drink with a rich aromatic body and a delicious taste, with a layer of hazelnut-colored cream on top. Achille deposits the patent n.365726 on Sept. 5, 1938 for what he called “Sistema Lampo” (Lampo System).
It was thanks to that invention that the famous and beloved Italian espresso with “crema naturale” (natural cream) was born. It is called “natural” because it naturally originated from the passage of hot water under pressure through ground coffee.
To promote the new coffee extraction system, Lampo was exhibited in 1939 at the Trade Fair in Milan. Achille’s aim was to sell these new groups to bar owners, to substitute the ones already present on their espresso machines. Unfortunately, his idea was not easy to realize, and the only solution was to produce espresso machines that already carried the innovative system.
In 1947, Achille registered a second patent, for a lever-piston mechanism. The new patent implied a spring, loaded by a lever, that pushed the piston through the filter. In this way, hot water at high pressure passed through ground coffee and extracted all its marvelous aromas. The mass production of the patent was close…
85 years after the deposit of the patent that revolutionized the world of coffee, Gaggia wants to retrace and talk about the milestones of its surprising heritage with an engaging logo and illustration. The right artist to do this is Andrea De Santis, an Italian illustrator, known for his unconventional, narrative and surrealist drawing style. With great ability, through chromatic contrasts and meaningful pictures, he describes the most important years of a unique brand, guiding us, floor after floor, into the history of Gaggia until nowadays…and beyond.