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An espresso machine brews coffee by forcing pressurized water near boiling point through a small cylinder of ground coffee with a stainless steel filter producing a thick, concentrated coffee known as espresso. The first apparatus for producing espresso was constructed and patented by Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy circa 1884. An enhanced draft was later patented and bought by the founder of  La Pavoni  who began manufacturing their own commercial espresso machines in limited quantities by 1905, in Milan.
A lot of different models of espresso machines share common aspects, like groupheads (where you attach the portafilters) and also the location where hot water is released through the diffusion plates and over the ground coffee; portafilters as well (the metal cups attatched to handles where you place the ground coffee). An espresso machine can have a steam wand used to steam and froth milk, but it’s not a requirement. Espresso machines can be manual or automatic-(which self regulate the amount of water released per shot) steam, piston, pump, or air-pump driven.
Moka pots, aka stove top espresso makers, are like espresso machines in that they brew under pressure with the ensuing liquid of a thicker consistency and stronger taste than regular coffee. Unfortunately it lacks the pressure to produce the sweet intense layer of crema, or foamed coffee oil elixir on top. Critics will say moka pots don’t make real espresso due to the lack of pressure, however, it does compare to the espresso machines prior to 1938, when Gaggia brought about the first piston operated modern espresso machine able to pull a 15 second shot.

http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/it/~bob/Coffee/timeline.html