foto: clam lo von pexels
foto: clam lo von pexels
Even today, coffee crumbs between your teeth, on your tongue, and in your cup can really spoil the fun. But about 150 years ago, this was common practice. Ground coffee beans were poured over with hot water, you waited until the powder had settled, and then poured the brew through a sieve. However, this mostly lukewarm brew was not really enjoyable. The French press had not yet arrived in households (it was not officially patented until 1929 in Italy). And mocha was not a long-term solution either.
Amalie Auguste Melitta Liebscher, meanwhile married to the businessman Emil Hugo Bentz and mother of two sons, apparently saw this and looked for a better solution. She experimented with a perforated brass cup as a sieve and then used one of her son’s blotting papers to see what would happen. It happened: The invention of the coffee filter. In 1908, at the age of 35, she registered her ingenious idea with the Imperial Patent Office as a utility model: “Coffee filter with a domed underside, recessed bottom and inclined flow holes”. She thus laid the foundation for a family empire and revolutionized the coffee market “just like that”.
Her husband supported her with sales – he was probably also quite innovative when it came to new ways of doing things (he apparently invented the demonstration lady concept at small private events, a system that came back to Germany much later from the USA as the Tupper Party). In 1936, the time had come: The famous conical porcelain filter and matching filter bags were patented. And history took its course.
Filter coffee is still the most popular way of making coffee today (despite the existence of capsules and the like). And it seems as if the “hand filter” or “pour over” is becoming increasingly popular. Even if there are now a whole lot of competitors for the porcelain filter, the basic principle is actually always the same. This also applies to the Chemex, an invention by chemist Peter Schlumbohm from 1941, whose design is so successful that it is exhibited in the MOMA in New York (the M-porcelain filter is not, by the way) and is much hyped among coffee fans.
We tested whether the coffee tastes much different when prepared with the Chemex. Check out the article “The Chemex – worth the hype? Or not?”. There, you also find some very practical tips on filter coffee and how to prepare it best. And which filter you should use: Paper? Gold? The coffee sock?
For us, of course, something else is essential: The coffee itself. Really good coffee means (at least for us) that it comes 100% from organic or Demeter cultivation. It is 100% traded fairly. And it is refined very gently, carefully, and slowly in a drum roaster. Because only then it can fully develop its opulent aromas. Currently, our favorite coffee is the Peru coffee: A single origin (actually even a single estate) from La Chacra d D’ago in Peru, from 100% Demeter cultivation. Grinding it in the morning and brewing it by hand is a feast for all the senses. Want to try for yourself?