German housewife Melitta Bentz from Dresden thought there was a better way. And in 1908 it occurred to her one day, “Why not use paper to filter out what I don’t want in my coffee?”
Inspired, she took a brass coffee pot and poked a few holes in the bottom and lined it with blotting paper from her son’s notebook and voila the Melitta coffee filter was born.
The result was a filtered cup of coffee minus the grounds and the bitterness. She knew her invention was brilliant and applied for a patent in Berlin which was granted on July 8, 1908. It was called “Filter Top Device lined with Filter Paper”. Not too catchy but the 35-year old created the Melitta Bentz Company knowing she was on to something.
Consequent improvements came onto the market. The cone-shape developed in the 1930’s which had a larger filtration area and ribbed lining. With environmental issues at hand the natural brown filter was born in 1989. The white filter remained popular and in 1992 a new bleaching method was developed using an oxygen-cleansed filter paper.
In 1997 Flavor Pores™ was developed with microfine pores offering a tastier cup of coffee and released in 1999 to North America. The Safety Crimp was added for extra durability in 2002 insuring easy disposal and no breakage during brewing.
Bamboo filters were released in 2007 for the Natural Food client base made of 60 percent bamboo fiber. This same year the patented Flavor Enhancing Micro Perforations improved upon Flavor Pores with a more efficient extraction technique.
Just goes to show how a woman brewing a cup of coffee in 1908 could become the leader in coffee filters today with a little imagination and a desire to make a better cup of coffee.