Posted in Kafevend Blog
In 1908, Dresden-born Melitta Bentz hit upon a new, convenient way to produce coffee. The method was quite simple: blotting paper from her son's school exercise book laid across the bottom of a brass pot, into which she punched holes for the coffee to get through. Choices before this discovery were percolators, which would often over brew the coffee; espresso machines, which let coffee grounds through into the cup; and linen filters which, whilst reusable were difficult to clean, no doubt affecting the taste of drinks over time. Bentz' new filter paper led to coffee that was less bitter, and the cheap and disposable nature of the paper meant less cleaning up to do.
Soon after, Melitta Bentz along with her husband Hugo and sons Horst and Willi, created a successful company based on the filter paper and accompanying pots, patenting the design a couple of years later and selling thousands of coffee filters. The company survives to this day as the Melitta Group KG, led by her grandchildren. These days, filter paper is typically made using crêpe paper. An advantage of filter coffee is that oils are filtered out which contain diterpene, which is thought to affect cholesterol. Whilst using disposable coffee filters may seem wasteful, they are of course paper and can be recycled or composted.