It’s amazing how am getting to write about yet another inspiring woman in a little space of time without actually intending to. This woman is behind the fast evolution of the coffee machine. We really can’t say she started the idea all by herself since all great ideas have started with the start of civilization and have been materialised and brought to life by great personalities who have taken time to study and commercialise all great ideas.
It all started in 1908 when Melitta created the first drip coffee maker using a filter she made out of blotting paper. This Since has given birth to the modern coffee machines that brew the amazing coffee we live so much.
Actually the drip coffee maker is what people usually think of when they hear of coffee maker, and she is the quick and easy answer to that.
Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz was born in 1873 and died in 1950,a German entrepreneur who invented the paper coffee filter brewing system in 1908. She then founded the company named Melitta, which still operates today under her family control and this is so amazing right?
It seems her biggest inspiration could have come from the fact that her grandparents owned a brewery even though her father was a book sales man.
In her prior innovative time as a housewife, Bentz realised that percolators usually led to the over-brewing of the coffee. At the time, these espresso-type machines tended to leave grounds in the drink, and linen bag filters were tiresome to clean, so she experimented with many means but ended up using blotting paper from her son Willy’s school exercise book and a brass pot punctured using a nail. When the free, less bitter coffee was met with general enthusiasm from her machine, Bentz decided to make a great business out of it.
When her machine was ready to market, the Kaiserliche Patentamt Imperial Patent Office granted her a patent on 20 June 1908, and on 15 December the company was entered into the commercial register with 73 pfennig as “M. Bentz”. After contracting a tinsmith to manufacture the devices, they sold 1,200 coffee filters at the 1909 Leipzig fair.
In 1910, the company won a gold medal at the International Health Exhibition and a silver medal at the Saxon Innkeepers’ Association. When the First World War erupted, metals were requisitioned for use in Zeppelin construction, her husband was conscripted to Romania, where paper was rationed, and coffee beans were impossible to import due to the British blockade, disrupting normal business.
However in spite of all the hardships we can see in this story and the fact that she was just a woman, Bentz manages to make it to the history books with the support of her family. We enjoy our coffee better because of her!
Live The Joy Life!