150 years of Melitta Bentz – 150 years of Inventor's Heart

Filterpapier, Filterkörper und Portrait Melitta Bentz
Image image of coffee enjoyment

On January 31, 2023, Melitta Bentz, the inventor of the coffee filter, would have celebrated her 150th birthday. Even today, she remains a role model and a source of inspiration for the Melitta Group, the company she Founded.

Melitta Bentz's love of coffee made her world famous: in 1908, she invented the coffee filter – with four simple utensils: a brass cup, a sheet of blotting paper, a hammer and a nail. She perforated the bottom of the brass cup and then placed a blotting sheet from her son's exercise book in it. When she carefully ran the coffee through the brass cup, it became clear to her that this simple idea would succeed in banishing the annoying coffee grounds and bitter taste from the coffee cup – and significantly increasing the enjoyment of coffee.


This simple but ingenious invention led to the founding of a small business in Dresden and was to revolutionize coffee preparation around the world in the following years. The small business has now grown into an internationally active family business – with around 6,000 employees worldwide and an extensive range of products for the preparation of coffee and tea as well as for freshness, cleanliness and hygiene.


"My great-grandmother not only laid the foundation for today's Melitta Group," says Jero Bentz, Member of the Executive Board of the Melitta Group. "Her pioneering spirit, her high level of innovation and her consistent focus on customer needs continue to shape our company today and are the benchmark and driving force behind our thoughts and actions."

Mann schenkt Kaffee zum Probieren ein.
Melitta Filtertüten in Produktion
Coffee beans in hands
Kaffeefarmer in Brasilien auf Feld mit Harke
Harke auf einem Kaffeefeld in Brasilien

Role model of her time


With her wealth of ideas, courage and perseverance, Melitta Bentz was not only a successful inventor and entrepreneur. She was also a pioneer of her time. She combined her role as a mother of three and housewife with that of a successful businesswoman – and therefore still serves as a role model for reconciling work and family life.


For her, entrepreneurial activity has always been inextricably linked to responsibility. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to the question of how to improve the existing and shape the future. "With her inventions, Melitta Bentz wanted to create very special moments in people's everyday lives," says Volker Stühmeier, Member of the Executive Board of the Melitta Group. "This has not changed to this day: enjoyment, security, trust and safety are still the focus of our products today – whether at home, on the road or in the catering industry."

Mrs. Peixoto
Mr. Peixoto
Standort Melitta Brasilien Sao Paulo
Kaffeeröster lässt Kaffeebohnen durch Hände gleiten
Produktion MPCS

Joint Impact


It was important to Melitta Bentz that those around her were also doing well. She had a strong sense of family and a big heart for the well-being of employees and their families. Therefore, it pushed for above-average salaries, a number of vacation days beyond the industry standard, and perks for employees. It implemented numerous additional social benefits that provided financial support to people during special events and in challenging life situations.

"The high level of appreciation for every employee is still the foundation of our corporate culture today. Cohesion, this "joint impact" between employees, is one of the key success factors – especially in challenging times," says Jero Bentz.