The Filter Coffee: An Old Tradition And Its Comeback

An old tradition and its comeback

In 1908 Mrs. Melitta Bentz, a German housewife from Dresden, invented the first paper filter for coffee. She was simply tired of preparing coffee not very efficient und in an unpractical way. On 20th June 1908 her patent was granted by the “Kaiserliche Patentamt” in Berlin and on 15th December in the same year her own company “M.Bentz” was registered. That was the start of product we appreciate its value until today. 

This method of brewing coffee requires a stable filter, maybe made out of metal or porcelain, which is lined up with a paper filter. No matter if you prefer a black coffee or you enjoy your coffee with milk and/or sugar. The simple paper filter method gives us some advantages. Our filter coffee will have fewer bitter substances dissolve and on the other hand the variability of aromas can develop.

For the preparation of a hand-made filter coffee you need just few things:

fresh black filter coffee

  • Filter* and the filter paper
  • Coffee pot
  • Kettle
  • Your favorite coffee

*(Old school hand brewers swear by the porcelain filter, like in the picture)

Let the water cool down after boiling for about 1,5 minutes. We want our water to have a final temperature between 91 and 93 degrees Celsius before pouring it over our coffee, since we don`t want our filter coffee to be bitter in the end.

While the water cools, use the time to grind your favourite coffee. We recommend a medium degree of grind, simply because the shorter the water will have contact with the coffee, the finer the grind should be.

Briefly wet the filter paper with some hot water, this will remove the characteristic taste of paper, which we don`t want in our coffee, and the paper will sticks on the filter smoothly.

The quantity of ground coffee depends on your preference. My mother used to add a final extra spoon of ground coffee after she counted everything very precisely, just to receive a nice string coffee in the end. But for a good filter coffee we recommend around 10 grams of ground coffee, which is almost a good teaspoon per cup. Add the desired amount into the filter and moisten the ground coffee with a small amount of hot water and wait about 30 seconds, until it rises a little. This way the roasted oils, fats and bitter substances are solved.

Now you can start to pour the rest of the water, about 125 ml per cup of filter coffee. For the perfect filter coffee, this should be done according to a certain principle. You start with the first jet of water, which should flow in a large round motion over the ground coffee, after that the hot water is poured only in small amounts and in an interval of around 10 seconds. This entire process should only take about 5 minutes time, just because the coffee flavours under 4 minutes cannot develop ideally and after more than 6 minutes already lose their flavour.

Of course, the result can be varied and matched to your personal taste. Over time you will find out how you like the filter coffee best and which amount of ground coffee you prefer.

Overall this is a nice and relatively simple method to brew a good full-bodied coffee.