Espresso Machine Engineering

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When you’re thinking of buying something nice for your kitchen and you’re going through websites reading things like espresso machine reviews, the last thing on your mind is probably the amount of precision engineering and math that goes into designing and building these complex beasts.

There are more cups of coffee drunk each day in the USA than the leading brand of cola. But these days a lot of people are taking the wise move of buying a home espresso machine to reduce the cost of their daily coffee.

The very first espresso machine was invented by Luigi Bezzera in 1901 but since then, the technology, engineering and math involved in designing an espresso maker has advanced significantly.

Espresso machines work by forcing hot water through compacted coffee at very high pressure. In particular, super-automatic espresso makers are complex systems which deal with every function from the grinding of the beans to the production of the final espresso. So what things does the engineer have to consider when designing one?

  • Managing the temperature
  • Timing
  • The flow of water in the machine
  • The physical portafilter design

As you can imagine a good knowledge of math would be essential in designing a system that does all of these things simultaneously.   It’s certainly a good bet to guess you’re going to need some high level design and mathematical modelling experience. So if you’re interested in going into the world of kitchen appliance design then remember it’s not all about the looks. The engineering of these modern appliances is impressive so stick in at your math class if you want to be the next Luigi Bezzera.