Melitta Bentz – filter coffee heiress
Melitta Bentz was a German entrepreneur who revolutionised the way coffee is brewed with her invention of the coffee filter system. Tired of the bitter taste of coffee made in percolators, she decided to experiment with different materials to filter coffee. In 1908, she punched holes in a tin cup and lined it with blotting paper, which became the humble beginning of one of the most popular brewing methods in history.
Together with her husband Hugo, Melitta had 100 cartons of filter paper and 50 filters made. They then started to visit shops and present their invention. In 1909, the filters were presented at the Leipzig Trade Fair, and they proved to be a success, with more than 1,200 units sold.
Melitta’s invention of the coffee filter system has become an indispensable part of coffee culture. Her method involved using a cone-shaped paper filter that sits inside a filter holder. Ground coffee is placed in the filter, and hot water is poured over it, allowing it to drip through the filter into a carafe or cup. The result is a smooth, rich, and flavoursome cup of coffee that is free from the bitterness that often results from other brewing methods.
While other inventors had made strides in coffee brewing methods before Melitta, it was her invention of the disposable paper filter that truly revolutionised the industry. Prior to her invention, coffee filters were often made of cloth or metal, making them difficult to clean and reuse. Melitta’s paper filter allowed for a convenient and hygienic way to brew coffee, and her brand quickly became synonymous with high-quality coffee filters.
Today, Melitta’s legacy lives on through the Melitta Group, a company that continues to produce coffee filters and other coffee-related products. Her invention of the coffee filter system has had a significant impact on the way we brew coffee, and it has paved the way for new developments in the coffee industry.
In conclusion, Melitta Bentz was a pioneering inventor whose coffee filter system has had a profound impact on the way we brew coffee. Her innovative use of blotting paper as a filter material paved the way for a convenient and hygienic way to make coffee, and her legacy continues to shape the coffee industry today.