Melitta Bentz

written on 21/09/2020
by Jutta Thielen-del Pozo

Did you know that Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz may be the reason why Germans do not have a tradition in coffee readings as a way of fortune telling?

Born near Dresden on 31. Januar 1873, Melitta first became what one would call a typical housewife: married, three children, household chores and duties.

She enjoyed a good cup of coffee to start the day, but the messy brewing at the time irritated her as well as the ground coffee staying in the cups and in the pots. 

As a woman with an inventive and practical mind, she started looking for solutions and experimented with different options.

The blotting paper in her son’s school bag finally gave her the idea that the porous paper may let the water through whilst keeping the grounded coffee out of the cups. 

She put holes into a brass cup and covered the holes with the blotting paper - the idea of the paper coffee filter was born!  

Sensing the potential of her invention, she got it patented in 1908 and became a successful entrepreneur – of the Melitta coffee filter.

Her husband and two sons became the first employees of her family business and in 1910 the company won a gold medal at the International Health Exhibition and a silver medal at the Saxon Innkeepers' Association. 

To date, the principle of filtered coffee has not changed much and Melitta coffee filters are known far beyond Germany.

When Melitta died 70 years ago, in 1950, she could look back at a simple yet effective invention for coffee drinkers, an exceptional enterpreneurship and successful global business.

I wonder if she did foretell her fortune in the coffee? Before inventing the filters... obviously.