Today we wish Piero Bambi a very happy 80th birthday! For those of you who work on La Marzocco espresso machines, Piero has had a hand in the design of every machine currently in production. At 80, he still goes to the office at the factory in Scarperia daily, and relishes making coffee for guests who visit from around the world.

In his honor, we’d like to share his acceptance speech, which was shared on his behalf by Kent Bakke when he was awarded the Alfred Peet “Passionate Cup” award at the SCAA Expo in Boston in 2013.

“Mr. Alfred Peet was born in Holland and moved to California immediately after WWII. He opened his first coffee shop in Berkeley and from the onset introduced a new concept about fine coffee. First of all, he dedicated himself to the accurate choice of quality raw material: the coffee beans. At the same time, he changed the roasting method of the beans in order to increase the intensity of the color from chestnut to dark brown. Thus began his incredible success in the “world” of coffee. His shop became a meeting place for true coffee lovers, so much so they were called “Peetniks”.

His passion lead to the expansion of a “real palate” for good coffee and was so contagious that a series of micro-roasters that set up shop gradually developed into national and global enterprises, which, in parallel, lead to the development of espresso coffee machines as well.

I too am rather passionate about quality coffee, a passion which took off the moment I began collaborating as a young man with La Marzocco, which was founded by my father, Giuseppe. Such passion continues to mature within me still today. For this reason, I am privileged to have been chosen to receive this award, the ALFRED PEET PASSIONATE CUP. I am deeply touched by the honor reserved for me, and so very sorry that I am not able to receive it in person.

Thank you so much and warm greetings to each of you who is present today.” –Piero Bambi