Coffee History: The Coffee Filter

Today, Serious Eats explores the history of one of The Roasterie’s most favorite inventions: the coffee filter!

And the credit for such a wonderful invention goes to a housewife from Dresden, Germany. As Serious Eats’ Erin Meister explains:

“…perhaps the person the vast majority of us owe the most gratitude to is a rather unlikely candidate: A housewife from Dresden, Germany. Specifically, the very enterprising (if maybe a little frumpy), apfelstrudel-baking mother of two Melitta Bentz, inventor of the paper filter.

As with most so-simple-it’s-brilliant innovations, Bentz’s invention was born out of irritation and annoyance. Fed up with the alternatives—such as having to constantly wring out stain-ridden cloth filters, or scrape coffee sludge off the bottom of unfiltered coffee pots—Bentz devised a simple (and, hallelujah, easily disposable!) filtration system by laying a regular old piece of paper over the perforated bottom of a brass pot. The result was a clean cup—and a relatively clean brewer, which of course would please any overextended housewife.”

While you certainly don’t need a coffee filter to have a great cup of coffee (see: How to French Press Coffee), it’s made brewing a grounds-free cup of coffee easy for just about anyone. Thanks, Mrs. Bentz!

[Serious Eats: Coffee History: Melitta Bentz, Inventor of the Paper Filter]