If you've ever wondered what genius invented the coffee filter as you sip a freshly brewed cup, allow this brief introduction to make you appreciate your daily dose of caffeine even more. Melitta Bentz, a German housewife, invented the coffee filter based on her desire for a smoother blend without the presence of grainy grinds or the bitterness caused by overbrewing.
Melitta, who brewed coffee every day, wasn't pleased with the ineffective ceramic and metal filtering devices that were available, so she tried a softer, thinner material: a sheet of blotting paper from her son's school notebook. Melitta used nails to poke holes in the bottom of a brass cup and then lined it with the paper before filling it with coffee. And voila! No more grind-infused, overly bitter coffee.
In 1908, Melitta patented the paper coffee filter and started the Melitta Bentz Company with her husband — and demand for the new filters spiked. Melitta went on to receive awards for her invention, and the rest is history. The next time you prep your morning coffee with a fresh filter, you'll know whom to thank for such a small but appreciated part of your morning routine.