The pod: history and curiosities

The American Cyrus Melikian invented the first coffee pod in paper. A story that started in the 1940s, when Melikian and his engineer friend Lloyd Rudd initially decided to create an automatic machine to make coffee. It was a dramatic change for the popular drink because it meant adapting coffee to the infusion process of tea and to the type of packaging in filter paper.
After the war the partners founded “Rudd-Melikian Inc”, the company that created “Kwik-Kafe”, i.e., the automatic coffee vending machine.
The vending machine used frozen concentrated liquid coffee and therefore paved the way for automation in coffee making. Success was quick to come, and as early as 1948 a franchising chain was created: 50 outlets were able to sell 250,000 cups of coffee a day.
The successful partnership of Rudd and Melikian did not last, and it was Melikian to continue producing single portion coffee. In 1959 with his children he founded ABCD, Automatic Brewers & Coffee Devices, the company that created pods and the relative coffee machines. They designed a method of sandwiching finely ground roasted coffee between two long strips of filter paper which were then cut into single portions.
The coffee was purchased already roasted and ground, while the machine made up the single pods.
From the vending sector to the Ho.Re.Ca. and to the home: coffee in pods has responded to the need to prepare coffee quickly and one cup at a time, without the help of a professional barista.
From the 1960s on, the machines were improved and perfected with cutting-edge models, until the 1980s brought a new product: the Pod perfect espresso.

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