Who invented the paper coffee filter?

by Frank D.
(Richmond, BC)

Conical Paper Coffee Filter

Conical Paper Coffee Filter


QUESTION:


I don’t know if you have the answer to this question, and I know it’s not much to do with actually making coffee. But each time I pick up a new pack of paper coffee filters, I find myself wondering who first came up with the idea. It’s such a simple idea, and coffee filters seem to have been around for ever.


ANSWER:

Frank, hi. Thanks for the question.

As it happens, I do know the answer to your question. And it’s an interesting answer too!

The paper coffee filter was invented by a German housewife. Until then the coffee grinds and the hot water remained in a pot and, as a result, the coffee soon became bitter. That’s what happens when you leave the grinds in the water for too long.

So she tinkered around a bit and came up with the idea of creating a filter that would hold the coffee...and to then pour the hot water over the ground coffee and through the filter.

Today, this idea seems blindingly obvious to us. But back then, nobody had thought beyond just mixing the water and the coffee grinds together. To just pour hot water over the coffee grinds was a revolutionary concept.

And yes, as we know, the result is a great coffee taste without the bitterness.

Her idea – the conical filter paper - was patented on July 8th, 1908. Six months later she and her husband started a company and began to manufacture and market the filters.

Now for the fun part...her name.

Her name was Melitta Benz. And yes, her Melitta conical coffee filters are still selling well, under the Melitta brand name.

That’s pretty amazing. She sold her first conical filters over 100 years ago. And you can still go to your local store and buy Melitta filters today.

Comments for Who invented the paper coffee filter?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 24, 2011
needless to say........
by: pistachio

.............Melitta was obviously not Turkish !! [ LoL ]

Jun 24, 2011
The car, too
by: Tom WElsh

Leave us not forget her next invention was the Melitta Benz automobile,until she renamed the company after her first daughter, Mercedes. (Or am I getting this mixed up with Henry and Edsel Ford?)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions about Coffee.

health benefits of coffee

This 9-page report tells you about some of the surprising, and important health benefits of drinking coffee.

This report is yours FREE when you sign up for the Coffee Detective Newsletter

"The Health Benefits of
Drinking Coffee"

Sign up below and we'll provide a link where you can download your report immediately.

Email

Name

Then

Your e-mail address is totally secure, and will be used only to send you The Coffee Detective Newsletter.



What's new...

  1. How can I cool my coffee down quickly?

    QUESTION: I make myself a cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes don’t have time to drink it all before I have to run ut the door to catch my bus.

    Read More

  2. Has McDonalds McCafe coffee changed?

    QUESTION: My wife and I used Folgers for years then the taste changed. We tried several other with the same results and we're always less than satisfied.

    Read More

  3. Coffee accessories – travel mugs, coffee scoops and more.

    Enjoy your gourmet coffee more with a range of coffee accessories like travel mugs, coffee scoops and more.

    Read More

  4. The story of a mom, two young children, an airplane and an excellent travel mug.

    The great thing about the Contigo travel mug is that it not only keeps coffee hot for hours, but is also spill-proof.

    Read More




The Best Coffee Blogs of 2016 by Market Inspector