A little history !

If you’re a reader of the Occasion Café blog, we imagine that coffee is one of your favorite beverages…

This month, we’d like to share a little history with you about some caffeinated beverages, as a follow-up to our article on the history of latte art 😉

So let’s all take a step back in time and discover the essence of beverages like espresso, cappuccino and americano!


It’s said that the americano was invented thanks to (or because of, depending on how you look at it 😂) the American soldiers who stayed in Italy during the Second World War. Quite simply, because Italian coffee was too strong for them, they decided to dilute it with water. Beyond the taste, they also wanted to dilute their coffee so they could have more of it, and keep it longer.


For those who don’t know, an americano contains a little more water than an elongated coffee (it will have a ratio of about 1/3 coffee and 2/3 water, while the elongated will be more like 50/50).


Let’s stay on topic with the history of the latte ahah! The latte was created in Italy for American tourists at the beginning of the 20th century. They weren’t happy because they didn’t like the taste of the coffee…

So Italian baristas decided to add a dollop of milk to meet their customers’ demands and soften the taste of the coffee. Those Americans… 🫠


Espresso was created in Turin in 1884. Angelo Moriondo, an Italian inventor, patented the first modern espresso machine. In fact, he was also the owner of the Grand-Hotel and the American Bar in Turin, two historic establishments that were very popular and well-known.

The invention of this machine was a response to the needs of his customers, who were in too much of a hurry to order a coffee (which at the time was made with a moka pot). The espresso machine was a revolution for customers who didn’t have the time, but still wanted a good cup of coffee ! 😋


A cortado is a coffee with milk, with a roughly equal amount of coffee and milk. It was first conceived in Spain by baristas who wanted something sweeter than a pure coffee, but without making a cappuccino. So the idea was to combine a “hazelnut” of milk with their espresso to make it sweeter and silkier. 😌


Around 65 degrees, the milk’s sweetness will develop, without eliminating the milk proteins. Beyond that, you’ll burn your milk and get a more acidic result. To all those who ask for a piping hot latte, you now know the mistake you’re making 😉


Historically, cappuccino is said to have been invented in Vienna in the 18th century. The drink is said to be a derivative of Viennese coffee, as it consists of mixing coffee with whipped cream.

But what would cappuccino be without the invention of the steam nozzle machine? As we saw in the article on the history of latte art, the cappuccino was born at the beginning of the 20th century. The first machine with a steam nozzle was patented in 1901, but it was not until 1905 that it was marketed by M.Pavoni in Italy. It was then that cappuccinos could be served on Italian streets. 🇮🇹


There’s a second date to remember in the history of most milk drinks. It was only in 1950 that these drinks were imported worldwide. Why was this? Because that’s when the fridge was democratized, and everyone could own one, making it easy to store bottles of milk.


It’s worth noting that there’s a big debate surrounding the country of origin of flat white. Indeed, Australians and New Zealanders are vying for the title, so let’s assume that it’s a drink that comes straight from Oceania. It was born a little by chance, the Australians tell us, because of a milk shortage in the 80s.

In fact, during the winter of 1985, cow’s milk didn’t contain enough fat to produce a rich, creamy foam. It was then that flat white was first served in Australia, a café au lait with very little foam.

We hope we’ve been able to teach you a bit about the history of coffee, which is a drink we love so much 🥰

With all this, you’ve also been able to get some information about the country and sometimes even the city of origin of these different drinks. The ones we’ve featured here mostly come from Italy, but you should know that coffee culture extends all over the world!

For your information, the V60 for example (which we’ve already talked about in this article) comes from Japan, while the Chemex is German.

See you soon at Occasion Café! ✅

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