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Bodum Bistro coffee press (1974)

European Plastics News staff
Posted 27 January 2011
Bodum is a European design company, specialising kitchen equipment, which came up with one of the most popular coffee pots of the 20th century – the Bistro French coffee press.

Bodum was founded in 1944 in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Peter Bodum, who began wholesaling houseware products made by Danish manufacturers. He began developing his coffee products in the 1950s. He decided to improve the vacuum method of filtering coffee, which could be expensive, and teamed up with Kaas Klaeson, a Danish architect and designer to come up with the Santos.

However, in 1974, Bodum’s 26-year-old son, Jørgen Bodum decided to create his own coffee press and, together with the designer Carsten Jorgensen, came up with the model that became a part of every nearly household in Europe – the Bistro. The Bistro is made of stainless steel, plastics and borosilicate glass and to make coffee, the user simply pours in coarse ground coffee, adds water, waits for four minutes then presses.

The design was so successful that Jørgen moved the company’s headquarters to Switzerland and set up offices in cities all over the world, including Paris, Zurich, Tokyo, New York, Sydney and Okinawa.

Since then, the company has produced more than 100 million French coffee presses.

Bodum is still a family business and is today owned by Jørgen and Pia Bodum. It has around 500 employees and had an annual turnover of CHF200m (€155m) in 2001.

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