Women of Interest – Melitta Bentz

Melitta Bentz was born January 31, 1879, in Dresden, Germany and died June 29, 1950, in Porta Westfalica, West Germany. She is credited with inventing the coffee filter, in 1908.

Bentz was unhappy with the coffee makers of her day, which included percolators and expresso-type apparatuses, that always left grounds in the coffee. After testing a variety of papers, Bentz ended up using blotting paper from her son’s school workbook, which she punctured with small nails. She then inserted the paper in a brass pot and poured the coffee through it, thus creating ground free coffee. Melitta was granted a patent on June 20, 1908, and along with her husband and two sons, began mass production of the Melitta coffee filter soon after. In 1910 her company won a gold medal at the International Health Foundation and then a silver medal at the Saxon Innkeeper’s Association. The Melitta Group continues to be a successful business and is managed by Bentz’s two grandsons.

Additional information about Melitta Bentz and her sucessful business can be found at the following websites: