The roast and blend are fundamental factors in preparing a perfect Italian espresso, but the most important variables at the bar are the espresso machines and the ability of the barman in using it. The world market for professional espresso machines – obviously we mean those that can make cappuccinos too – is worth some 650 million euros. Italy’s Cimbali Group is the leader in sales. The company, which started in Milan in 1912 in a workshop for repairing copper, owns the brands Faema, Casadio and Hemerson. Additionally it exports roughly 70% of its production to over 100 countries with Germany and the UK expressing the highest level of demand. The first patent for a professional espresso machine dates back to 1884, but the industry itself did not develop until the early 1900s. The years after the Second World War is when it really took off, taking over bars across the Italian peninsula during the consumer expansion of the economic boom. Faema was founded in 1945, and is the symbol of this era, compeìting heavily with Cimbali in the domestic market until 1995 when they decided to combine forces to bring their art to the international stage.