Melitta Bentz: The Woman Who Invented Modern Day Filter Coffee

In 1908, German homemaker Melitta Bentz invented her one-of-a-kind filter coffee system, and the Melitta Company was born. The common brewing method of her time was to wrap loose coffee grounds in a cloth and boil them in water. However, this produced an over-brewed and therefore bitter cup of coffee. It also left a great amount of residual grounds in the bottom of the cup, making it unpleasant to drink. Fed up with the poor taste, she decided to try another method and revolutionised how we drink coffee today.

Melitta Bentz

Bentz punched holes into the bottom of a brass cup and fitted a piece of blotting paper from her son’s school notebook inside. She took her fresh ground coffee and placed it in the paper, filling the cup and covering the grounds with hot water, and letting it drip through the holes into another cup below. It was from this moment of curiosity that Bentz discovered she’d made a sweet and clean cup of coffee.

Melitta Bentz and coffee

She patented her filter system and began producing copies of her original design to sell to the those also tired of bad coffee. Although commercial production was brought to a halt during both the first and second world wars, Bentz is noted to have worked continually on her filtration method throughout, making the necessary improvements to her design in order to perfect it. The cone filter brewing method is still one of the most popular brewing methods today. Thanks to Bentz, the Melitta Company was born, and to this day it’s her grandchildren, Thomas and Stephen, that control the company.

Bentz’s passion for great coffee is something that Melitta is still incredibly proud of. Melitta aim to honour her lifelong work by producing new products and greater versions of her original filter cone system.

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How To: Filter Coffee Using Melitta Aromafilter 

  1. Place the filter cone over your mug, or serving jug
  2. Fold the paper filter along the edges and place inside the cone
  3. Douse the filter paper with hot water – this will get rid of any ‘paper’ flavour and preheat the filter cone
  4. Add 30 grams of coffee grounds to the centre of the filter paper
  5. Gently and evenly cover your coffee grounds with approx 60 grams of hot water and leave to ‘bloom’ for 30 seconds
  6. Repeat the pouring process 4 times until you have a total of 350 grams of water
  7. Enjoy your fresh brew!
Melitta Filter Paper
Making filter coffee
Pouring filter coffee

Remember you can reuse your coffee grounds by putting them in the soil in your garden!