A Short History of Espresso Perfection
The origin of Vibiemme is intimately connected to the espresso machinery company – Faema, located in Italy. The founder of both companies was Carlo Ernesto Valente.
Carlo Valente opened a laboratory in Milan in 1945 to produce espresso coffee machines called Faema. The 1950’s saw Faema growing quickly and contributing significantly in developing espresso machine technology.
The turning point came in 1961 when the company introduced to the Italian market the E61 model. The principle of the E61 head (water charge-infusion-discharge) is still used today on the majority of machines. It is user friendly with excellent heat characteristics resulting in superb quality coffee.
Opinion in the mid 1970’s was that Faema was considered by all to make the very best espresso machines. By this time the Faema Company had become quite diversified in its operations, the result being financial difficulties began to appear. The company was hindered by strikes, a common feature of the time, and this in turn affected production output and sales. By 1976 the company was declared insolvent, Ernesto being forced to hand the company over to the Italian state.
As Ernesto was still very committed to producing quality coffee machines he created a new company – the name of which has become synonymous with quality machines of today. Vibiemme heritage was drawn from three key individuals – V for Valente, B for Biancolini and M for Meroni. These three individuals formed part of the senior management team for Faema before it became insolvent. Hence the three experts of the industry at the time became involved with one focussed espresso machinery company
Many new pioneering innovations were introduced from the formation of Valente & these can be listed as follows:
The first electronic machine with a timer
The first patented infusion system on the automatic group (1978)
The first fresh water system for tea and long blacks using a third heat exchanger so that water is at a lower temperature than boiling point
The Domobar developed in 1983 for the home domestic market
Vibiemme is currently managed by Cristiano Osnato the son of Pietro Osanto, who had become a major shareholder during the late 1980s. Pietro had kept the focus of the company on quality and innovation.
The focus of the company remains on providing excellent machines that are simple to use and provide excellence in delivery. For the New Zealand market the machines have been adapted to local conditions and the different coffee requirements of this customer base.
Although the product range is narrow, all machines target clear segments of the market. The key being simplicity, coupled with excellent design and delivery of the perfect espresso.