Women in Coffee

History of Women in Coffee

Did you know: the first paper coffee filter was invented by a woman in 1908? Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz, a German mother of three born into a family of entrepreneurs, was tasked with making coffee each morning. Frustrated with brewing methods that left grounds in her coffee, she decided
to come up with a new technique. Using a brass pot and a piece of blotting paper from her son's notebook, she invented what would become the first paper coffee filter. After filing for a patent, she founded her company, "Melitta," and forever transformed the coffee brewing experience.

Throughout history, women have played an integral role in the world of coffee and continue to forge paths in this field. In 17th and 18th century England, women were not allowed to consume coffee publicly, and often weren't even allowed to enter coffee shops. Coffee houses, frequently used as a meeting place for men to discuss politics and other controversial topics, were seen as "unfit" for the respectable woman. Despite this, many women not only worked in coffee houses, but even ran their own coffee establishments. These individuals, aptly known as "coffee-women," broke barriers for women and redefined the meaning of coffee.

Linda Mugaruka, Queen of Beans

Today, innovative women continue to transform the coffee industry. Linda Mugaruka, pictured above, co-founded Mighty Peace Coffee in the Democratic Republic of Congo specifically to support women. She conducts educational workshops for coffee producers, using her extensive experience and knowledge of coffee farming to help others. Affectionately known as the "Queen of Beans," her mission is to improve coffee quality by highlighting how the actions we take today affect how the coffee tastes in the future. She focuses on topics such as soil health, and other seemingly small details that have a huge impact on the final product.

To learn more about Linda, watch her interview on our YouTube Channel.

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