The Faema E61 is a legendary – and revolutionary – coffee machine. Launched by the Milanese company in 1961, the “E” in its name stands for “eclipse”, in honor of the total solar eclipse that on February 15, from 8.35 to 8.40 AM, darkened the sky over Italy, and was seen from the Bay of Biscay to the Central Siberian Plateau. The E61 was a technological innovation that remains unsurpassed to this day in its specific industrial field.
As Maurizio Giuli and Federica Pascucci explain in their book, “Il ritorno alla competitività dell’espresso italiano” (Franco Angeli, Milan 2014), the E61 was innovative in technical terms “because it offered continual supply […] using an electric pump to compress hot water”, thus aiding “baristas in using it (especially compared to lever machines that were very tiring instead).”
Furthermore, water was in contact with coffee for a few seconds before the drink was dispensed: a slight “hesitation” that was a breakthrough at the time, and revealed one of the secrets to good Italian coffee.
The two experts also explain that “Another important feature was its price positioning: the E61 was considerably cheaper than other coffee machines on the market, and this allowed for a swift penetration of the espresso machine in bars, making espresso coffee a national standard”.
A real Italian revolution.