The international coffee community mourns together the passing of Piero Bambi, a giant of the espresso manufacturing industry and lifelong leader at La Marzocco. His passing, on Sunday, March 22nd 2020, comes after a lengthy battle with cancer, while holding the title of Honorary President.
Piero Bambi was an engineer, designer, author and master craftsman who personally oversaw the development of La Marzocco—founded in 1927 by his father, Giuseppe Bambi, and uncle, Bruno Bambi—into an international manufacturer and distributor of handbuilt espresso machines. Piero worked first as a technician, then as a designer, helping to create and manage La Marzocco’s iconic factory hub in the hills of Florence, established in 1960.
As a designer, his masterwork is the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine, introduced in 1990 with technology patented by Piero Bambi. In 1994 he authored the book “Coffee Machines for Use in Bars”, a pocket history of La Marzocco accompanied by technical advice for espresso machine used around the world. In the late 20th century Piero helped oversee La Marzocco’s expansion into an international brand with machines in over a hundred countries, including the establishment of a La Marzocco hub in Seattle, Washington.
This story is told in part at the Accademia del Caffe Espresso, La Marzocco’s international espresso technology and coffee culture museum, housed in the very same factory above Florence. Piero Bambi attended opening day at the Accademia, profiled here on Sprudge.
Today Piero Bambi’s legacy is remembered by the international coffee community, and by his colleagues at La Marzocco.
“I would like to say farewell to our eternal friend Piero, our mentor and the ultimate example of a keen commitment and passion for life, with a quote by a poet from my 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.” (Piero Chiara)
… Thank you, Piero, we will miss you.” – Guido Bernardinelli, La Marzocco CEO
“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. 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.” – Kent Bakke, founder of La Marzocco USA.
“While a funeral will not take place in light of the restrictions in Italy for Covid-19,” writes La Marzocco Global Communications Manager Giada Bondi, “the company has announced that once the pandemic crisis is over, a commemoration event will be organized to ensure that Giovanna and the extended family have an opportunity to honor Piero.”
On behalf of all of us at Sprudge—grazie mille, Piero.
Disclosure: La Marzocco is an advertising partner on Sprudge Media Network.