Who Invented the Coffee Filter? Melitta Bentz’s Game-Changing Creation

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on March 30th, 2023

There’s no denying that the coffee world is full of innovation. With new brewing gadgets and trends popping up every year, it’s a caffeinated playground for coffee enthusiasts. But there’s one invention that stands out as a true game-changer: the paper coffee filter.


The mastermind behind this ingenious creation was Melitta Bentz, a German housewife whose simple idea revolutionized the way we brew coffee. Let’s dive into the story behind Melitta’s invention and its impact on the coffee industry.

Coffee Filter

The Spark of Genius: Melitta Bentz’s Invention

Born on January 31st, 1873, Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz (née Liebscher) was a Dresden resident with a mission to make a better cup of coffee. Unsatisfied with the bitter and grainy coffee produced by percolators and linen filters, Melitta embarked on a series of experiments.

Her “eureka” moment came when she punched holes in a brass pot and lined it with blotting paper from her son’s school notebook. The result? A smooth, delicious cup of coffee, free from grounds and bitterness. On June 20th, 1908, Melitta filed a patent to protect her paper filter, making history as one of the first women to successfully file a patent in Germany.

Key Innovations of Melitta’s Paper Coffee Filter:

  • Smooth and delicious coffee without grounds
  • Use of blotting paper as a filter medium
  • Punched holes in a brass pot for filtration
  • Patent filed in 1908, paving the way for mass production

Melitta’s Legacy: A Family Business and Beyond

After securing the patent, Melitta and her family wasted no time in launching a business named Melitta. The coffee filters were an instant hit, and the company grew exponentially. Today, Melitta is still a family-run business, led by Bentz’s grandsons.

The coffee filters we use today have evolved since Melitta’s time, with creped paper replacing blotting paper as the go-to material. The principle, however, remains the same. And thanks to modern research, we know that paper-filtered coffee has health benefits, too—like lower levels of cafestol, a compound that can raise cholesterol levels.

Timeline of Melitta Bentz’s Achievements:

YearAchievement
1873Melitta Bentz is born in Dresden, Germany.
1908Melitta files a patent for her paper coffee filter.
1908The Melitta company is founded.
PresentThe Melitta company is still family-run and continues to produce coffee filters.

A Toast to Melitta Bentz: Innovator and Trailblazer

Melitta Bentz’s contribution to the coffee world goes beyond her brilliant invention. She paved the way for other female inventors and entrepreneurs, proving that a great idea can come from anyone, regardless of their background.

So the next time you brew a pot of coffee, take a moment to appreciate the humble paper filter. Raise your mug to Melitta Bentz—an ingenious inventor who made our coffee-drinking experience all the more delightful.

Did You Know?

  • The original Melitta coffee filters were made using blotting paper from a school notebook.
  • Melitta Bentz’s company, Melitta, remains a family-run business and is currently led by her grandsons.
  • Creped paper, which is now the standard material for coffee filters, was introduced after Melitta’s original invention.
  • Melitta Bentz’s invention made her one of the first women in Germany to successfully file a patent.
  • The concept of the paper coffee filter has remained largely unchanged for over a century, and it continues to be a popular method of brewing coffee around the world.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.