In the early hours of 22 March, the global coffee community lost an icon and industry treasure, La Marzocco Honorary President Piero Bambi.
Son of La Marzocco Founder Giuseppe Bambi, Piero was part of the company’s history throughout his own life, driven by his great passion for coffee, beautiful mechanics, craftsmanship, and design.
“For more than 40 years, Piero Bambi has been my friend, my inspiration, my mentor, my partner, and my teacher. Not only about espresso coffee machines and ‘caffè espresso’, but also life and culture,” says La Marzocco Chairman Kent Bakke.
“His contributions to the world of espresso coffee and to the lives of so many people will be remembered and appreciated. He will be missed but not forgotten. Thank you, Piero, for the gift of your spirit and the legacy that you have left for all of us to enjoy.”
His love for espresso, and the technical expertise that he inherited from his father, led him to achieving significant technological innovations in an aim for the best result in the cup.
Founded in 1927 by Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi, La Marzocco had its beginnings in Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and home to such geniuses as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, who created some of the most celebrated works of art in the world. La Marzocco joined that world renown reputation for making beautiful, high quality, and uniquely designed espresso machines, with great attention to detail.
In 1939, it was La Marzocco that developed and patented the first coffee machine with a horizontal boiler and group heads arranged in a linear fashion, now an industry standard. This was the first of a series of important innovations, later to include the dual-boiler system with saturated brewing groups.
The 1950s were characterised by lever machines, the 1970s presented the GS series with independent boilers and paved the way for the GS-2, the Linea and FB70, followed by the GB5 in 2005, FB/80 in 2006, and one-group GS3 in 2007 with PID temperature control.
While deeply tied to Italian tradition and ingenuity, Piero was open to any culture that could instil new concepts concerning espresso coffee, a beverage which he considered to be magical.
Intuitive and generous, he embraced the values of cultural and generational diversity, creating a deep bond with the global community as well as with his “skilled workers”, his master craftsmen.
Although he sold the majority of the company in 1994, as Honorary President he continued to work every day, with steadfastness and devotion towards projects, and the daily life of the company.
Piero oversaw the introduction of the Strada machine in 2009 with ground-breaking technology in the form of pressure profiling. And in Spring 2013, the Linea PB, named for and after Piero Bambi who designed the Linea Classic and Linea PB, was released.
Then came the expansion of models such as the Strada AV, the revised Leva X and Leva S, and Straight-In portafilter machine, the KB90.
La Marzocco has announced that once the Covid-19 pandemic crisis is over, a commemoration event will be organised to ensure Piero’s wife Giovanna and the extended family have an opportunity to honour him.
La Marzocco CEO Guido Bernardinelli farewells his eternal friend and mentor with a quote by poet Piero Chiara from his native land: “Even the great deeds of great men come to an end, an end inscribed within their own vital spirit, and long prepared, even when it seems sudden.”
“Thank you, Piero, we will miss you.”