Blot and Drink
It has been one of those weeks. Actually it has been just one day and some would say it was a typical Monday but it was so fraught with detours and delays that it really seemed like an entire week had passed in the span of about eight hours.
We’ve all had those kinds of days and for me, they always seem to fall on Monday. Once a very popular hit, the song “Manic Monday” was written by the musical genius and artist known as Prince, the very same one who passed away late last week. Today my Monday was very manic.
In anticipation of Tuesday, I made certain I had coffee because it was almost a certainty that I was going to need some. While there have been many advancements in coffee pots and makers in the past one hundred and fifty years, they all feature a filter of some kind.
Today’s female inventor led a somewhat traditional lifestyle and yet, thanks to her, we all drink coffee and don’t have to worry about getting coffee grounds in our teeth or stuck in our throat. In fact, we don’t have to spend hours getting coffee stains out of the linen bags that were used for decades to make coffee.
In 1908 Melitta Bentz obtained a patent for her coffee filter, a filter made from her son’s school blotting paper. Her paper filters were placed in cups with grounds in them. Hot water was then poured over the grounds, steeped, grounds in filters removed, and people could enjoy a cup of hot coffee without having to make a pot or worry about errant coffee grounds.
The company expanded quickly and in 1932 offered workers a five-day work week and health benefits, something quote uncommon at the time. Today her grandchildren operate her company, the Melitta Group KG with over three thousand workers in fifty companies.
This may not seem like a very important invention but after a day like today, even a non-coffee addict like me can appreciate the need for a good cup of hot coffee…without the grounds becoming part of the liquid. Clearly the success of Melitta Bentz’s idea shows its value. More importantly, it illustrates the importance of letting women achieve their potential.
When we allow young girls to be educated and follow their curiosity, then we all benefit and the world becomes a better place. “No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.” This quote from Sheik Abd-al-Kadir illustrates the international following coffee has and one way a person in Germany can affect one living on the other side of the world.
We are all in this life together and we need each other. The importance of allowing individuals to thrive and excel cannot be overstated. Michelle Obama once stated: ‘Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make it people’s lives.” The First Lady of the United States might have been discussing Melitta Bentz. Her paper filters have made a world of difference for the people of the world. After all, behind every successful woman is herself.