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Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TIP OF THE DAY: 5 Other Uses For Coffee Filters

We recently retired several coffee makers, from cup-tops to oldies that no longer make the coffee as hot as we’d like. We found ourselves left with several boxes of filters that don’t fit our remaining machine.

Fortunately, as we were searching through old emails, we found one from our friends at the Coffee And Tea Show, suggesting alternative uses for coffee filters.

1. Strain Wine. If an old bottle has sediment or the cork breaks, put a filter inside a funnel and decant the wine into a carafe or decanter. The coffee filter will trap the sediment or cork pieces.

2. Protect Good China. Coffee filters placed between plates and cups that are stacked for storage will protect them from chips and scratches.

3. Make An Ice Pop “Napkin.” Slide the wooden stick of an ice pop through a coffee filter to catch drips and keep kids from getting sticky.

4. Clean Windows & Glass. Use coffee filters as an emergency substitute for paper towels. They leave no lint or residue and can fit on your hand like a mitt.

5. Line Flowerpots. When planting or repotting, first put a coffee filter over the drainage hole in the flowerpot; then, add the soil. The filter will prevent the soil from spilling from the bottom of the pot, yet permits proper water drainage.


We don’t need this size filter anymore. So we’re
using the remainder as paper towels.
Photo courtesy Melitta.


The History Of The Coffee Filter
Prior to the invention of the coffee filter, ground coffee was boiled in water, and the brew was strained through linen. Compared to today’s coffee, the brewing technique turned out coffee that was bitter, gritty and murky.

In the summer of 1908, Melitta Bentz, a German housewife, posited that if she could pour boiling water over the grounds, instead of boiling the grounds with the water, the bitterness might be reduced.

She punched holes into the bottom of a brass cup and lined it with blotting paper from her son’s school books—thus inventing the first coffee filter and the drip method. The ground coffee was placed into the paper-lined cup (today it’s a ceramic or plastic cone); water was poured over the coffee and it dripped into a pot below.

The Imperial Patent Office in Berlin issued a patent to Melitta, and in 1912, after some fine-tuning, a company was established to sell the paper filters, and later, filter bags. The company is still in the family: Melitta’s grandchildren market not just filters, but coffee beans and coffee makers.


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