How Are Coffee Filters Made

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How coffee filters are made is a lesson in history and the creative power of the mind. Originally made from a child's blotting paper and a nail-holed brass pot, this first rudimentary coffee filter went on to become the design basis for future and present day coffee filters. How coffee filters are made goes hand in hand with why they are necessary.


Before coffee filters were made people had to make coffee using other brewing methods that didn't use filters, such as a percolator. These brewing methods often left coffee grounds in the bottom of the coffee cup which contaminated the taste of the coffee. This was changed in the early 1900's by a German housewifes simple discovery. Melitta Bentz was most likely tired of having to constantly replace the linen type material that was used in percolators and still having coffee grounds wind up in her coffee. She decided to make a coffee strainer using the bottom of a brass pot and her son's blotting paper from school. She poked holes in the bottom of the pot and put the blotting paper over the holes. She had created the first coffee filter without realizing how popular they would become. They way coffee filters are made today are similar to the way they were made in the early German days when blotting paper was used to filter coffee. The main properties that the paper used to make a coffee filter need are porosity. Softwood is used to make coffee filters, wood like pine which has a latticework type structure that allows the coffee to flow through the grinds. The other aspect in how coffee filter are made, particularly coffee filters is the creped sides. These crepes or pleats allow the coffee to have a smoother flow from the funnel to the coffee pot. Not all coffee filters have pleats; there are some cone shaped filters that provide the same flow simply because they are angled for a downward flow. Coffee filters can be white, neutral or brown and made of either recycled materials or natural materials.

They are usually graded by size as each coffee maker requires its own sized coffee filter. Strength and capacity are other factors that are part of the coffee filter choosing process. A weak filter may tear or rupture causing the coffee grounds to wind up in the bottom of the coffee pot. The capacity measurement refers to how much coffee the filter can hold and still allows coffee to flow through. Coffee filters are also being made that are considered to be permanent filters. These filters are a mesh type material that prevents the coffee grounds from passing through to the brewed coffee and yet they don't have to be replaced and won't tear under the weight of the coffee. Many people are choosing to use these types of filters to prevent having to purchase coffee filters. The downside is the messy, wet coffee grounds having to be cleaned out after every use. Another way to make coffee filters is to use stainless steel filters or other metal filters. These filters have perforated bottoms that the grounds are pressed tightly onto until they form a disc on the bottom of the filter. The coffee made by these types of filters is stronger than other types of coffee and is often served with steamed milk. Learning how coffee filters are made is a brief look into the ever-progressing history of coffee. Before the invention of coffee filters coffee drinkers had to contend with bitter coffee grounds in the bottom of their coffee cup. Coffee filters were a great advancement in the pleasure of coffee drinking.