THE HISTORY OF FILTER COFFEE
Filter coffee is one of the oldest and simplest methods for preparing coffee. However, it was only quite recently that the process was perfected, in Germany.
It was at the beginning of the 20th century that Melitta Bentz, a German housewife from Dresden, began to experiment with a new way of brewing coffee which, within the space of a decade, would enable her to become the most accomplished businesswoman in this field.
At the start of the 1900s, coffee drinking had become a widespread practice, despite the rather outdated methods for preparing it. It was usually obtained using either old-fashioned percolators – a sort of moka pot – that tended to leave a considerable quantity of grounds at the bottom of the cup, making it difficult to fully enjoy the brew. And though linen bag filters were commercially available, the result was overly bitter and therefore quite unpleasant to drink.
Melitta therefore decided that her time would be better spent trying to find and experiment new means. The inspiration came thanks to her sense of observation and foresight: the blotting paper from her son’s school notebook became the ideal solution, as its use enhanced the flavour of the drink. And she didn’t stop there. In what way? Melitta also created a filter coffee machine, very simply by perforating the bottom of a small copper pot, which she then lined with the blotting paper that was able to almost perfectly filter the coffee, thus eliminating the grounds.