Title:
Coffee pod and holder therefor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A coffee pod has similar upper and lower filter sheets having outer peripheries that are directly bonded together. At least one of the sheets is formed with a central recess, An annular mass of infusable particles between the sheets lies inward of the outer peripheries and surrounds the central recess. A holder for such a pod has an upwardly concave cup-shaped body centered on an upright axis and having an annular rim spaced radially outward of the axis and dimensioned to support the outer peripheries of the sheets with the annular mass suspended inward of the rim. The body is formed at the axis with a central downwardly open hole. An axially upwardly directed centering formation extending upward along the axis is fixed on the body and engages into the recess.



Inventors:
Gerke, Hans-josef (Sundern, DE)
Application Number:
11/502164
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
08/10/2006
Assignee:
SEVERIN ELEKTROGERÄTE GmbH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
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Primary Examiner:
WEINSTEIN, STEVEN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KF ROSS PC (Savannah, GA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A coffee pod comprising: similar upper and lower filter sheets having outer peripheries that are directly bonded together, one of the sheets being formed with a central recess; and an annular mass of infusable particles between the sheets, inward of the outer peripheries and surrounding the central recess.

2. The coffee pod defined in claim 1 wherein both of the sheets are formed with such a central recess and the sheets are bonded directly together at the recess.

3. The coffee pod defined in claim 2 wherein the sheets are formed in the recess with a throughgoing hole.

4. The coffee pod defined in claim 3 wherein the filter sheets are symmetrical to a center axis passing through the hole.

5. The coffee pod defined in claim 4 wherein the filter sheets are circular.

6. The coffee pod defined in claim 3 wherein the filter sheets are stellate and have rounded points.

7. In combination, a coffee pod comprising: similar upper and lower filter sheets having outer peripheries that are directly bonded together, one of the sheets being formed with a central recess; and an annular mass of infusable particles between the sheets, inward of the outer peripheries and surrounding the central recess; and a holder comprising: an upwardly concave cup-shaped body centered on an upright axis and having an annular rim spaced radially outward of the axis and dimensioned to support the outer peripheries of the pod with the annular mass suspended inward of the rim, the body being formed at the axis with a central downwardly open hole; and an axially upwardly directed centering formation extending upward along the axis, fixed on the body, and engaging into the recess.

8. The combination defined in claim 7 wherein the formation is formed as a blunt cylinder.

9. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the formation has a rounded upper end.

10. The combination defined in claim 7 wherein the body is formed with a central depression, the holder further comprising a foraminous element fitted in the depression and carrying the formation.

11. The combination defined in claim 10 wherein the a foraminous element is perforated.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a coffee pod. More particularly this invention concerns such a pod and a holder for it.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A typical pod for coffee or other infusable substances, e.g. tea, has an upper as well as a lower sheet of filter material that is permeable to water, for example a microporous filter cloth and a mass consisting of ground coffee or the like that is provided between the filter sheets and that can be extracted with water. The outer peripheries or edges of the material of the upper and lower filter sheet project past the mass and are connected to each other.

Such pods are known in the prior art and recently have become quite popular, as they allow an infusion to be made with very little mess using an accurately controlled portion of the infusable substance. In general, such pods have the shape of a circular disk. Pods of different basic shapes are known as well, for example those having the shape of a disk-shaped trapezoid having rounded edges. These pods are formed by two sheets of filter material, and, between the sheets, the brewing material, for example ground coffee or the like. The sheets are peripherally connected to each other at their outer edges so that the material that is comprised between the sheets cannot leak out, as a primary purpose of such pods is to avoid the handling of messy grounds. Such pods are usually sold in vacuum packages that are opened to remove the pods so they can be inserted into holders of coffee machines or the like.

It is normally not possible for the user to handle the pods only by the edge so as to avoid contact with the particle-holding part of the pod when inserting the pods into the corresponding holders or otherwise handling them.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved beverage pod.

Another object is the provision of such an improved beverage pod that overcomes the above-given disadvantages, in particular that allows the pod to be handled without contact with its particle-holding portions, while allowing it to be set accurately in position in the appropriate filter- or coffee-machine holder.

SUMMAY OF THE INVENTION

A coffee pod has according to the invention similar upper and lower filter sheets having outer peripheries that are directly bonded together. At least one of the sheets is formed with a central recess. An annular mass of infusable particles lies between the sheets inward of the outer peripheries and surrounds the central recess.

A holder for such a pod has an upwardly concave cup-shaped body centered on an upright axis and having an annular rim spaced radially outward of the axis and dimensioned to support the outer peripheries of the sheets with the annular mass suspended inward of the rim. The body is formed at the axis with a central downwardly open hole. An axially upwardly directed centering formation extending upward along the axis is fixed on the body and engages into the recess.

Due to the recess on the upper and/or lower filter sheet, the user has a contact point for holding the pods when they have to be handled. The recess for example has the dimensions of a finger tip so that the user can take the pod at the recess and handle it without danger of touching the edge of the pod and possibly destroying the connection at the edge between the material sheets, so that the filling of the pods could fall out during the handling of the pods.

Preferably, the upper filter sheet and the lower filter sheet are directly connected, e.g. adhesively bonded or welded, to each other in the area of the recess. This way, the possibility of handling such a pod is improved.

Furthermore, the recess is formed with a throughgoing central hole. The upper and lower filter sheets are connected to each other in the area surrounding the punched hole.

By means of such a punched hole, not only the handling is facilitated but also the positioning, because the user can control and determine the desired positioning of the respective pods in a respective holder in an easy manner. To avoid the filler of the pod in the area of the punched hole falling out, the filter sheets in the area surrounding the punched hole are directly attached to each other, for example, they are pressed or sealed so that the filling of the pod is not lost.

Preferably, it is furthermore provided that the recess is formed by a circular area that is formed by the upper and lower filter sheets that closely abut each other. The circular area is punched at its center.

The pod can have the shape of a circular disk. Alternately the pod is has a shape that is different from circular, in particular oval, polygonal, stellate, or asymmetrical. In the case of an angular basic shape, the outer edges or corners can be rounded.

Since as described above the holder has a centering formation or a centering pin, it is possible for the user to place the pod with the punched hole or with the recess on the respective centering formation or the centering pin, so that the pod is forced to orient itself in the holder. Mistakes made while placing the pod on the holder are thus excluded or avoided to a large extent.

For avoiding damage to the pod when placing it, the centering formation, in particular the centering pin, is shaped as a blunt cylinder. Alternatively or additionally, the free end of the centering formation, in particular of the centering pin, is rounded or part spherical.

In order that the central centering pin does not impair the permeability of the holder for the filtrate, the centering formation or pin is attached to or formed on a supporting part of the holder that covers a recess of the holder, is designed foraminous or permeable to liquids, and is positioned at a spacing above the lower central discharge opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is an axial section through a pod according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is an axial section with the pod fitted to a holder;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the pod and holder of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a small-scale top view of another pod according to the invention.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION

As seen in FIG. 1 a pod 1 for making coffee has an upper filter sheet 1′ and an identical lower filter sheet 1″ both made of water-permeable filter material, for example a micro-porous filter cloth made of cellulose or the like, and holding an annular mass C of coffee, although any other infusable particular material could be used. Outer edges of the upper filter sheet 1′ and lower filter sheet 1″ that project outwardly from a central axis A past the mass C are firmly attached to each other, for example, pressed or glued together to form a radially projecting annular and planar rim 2.

According to the invention, the pod 1 has a central recess 3 on both its upper filter sheet 1′ and lower filter sheet 1″, the upper recess 3 being concave upward, the lower recess 3 being concave downwa. The upper filter sheet 1′ and lower filter sheet 1″ are directly connected or bonded together at this recess 3. In the axial center of the recess 3 there is a punched hole 4 and the upper and lower filter sheets 1′ and 1″ are directly attached to each other in the area surrounding the punched hole 4. Thus, a circularly annular area is formed by the recess 3 that is approximately adapted to a fingertip and that is limited by the upper and lower filter sheets 1′ and 1″ that closely abut each other. The are of the hole 4 is of course much smaller than the area of the recess 3.

In the illustrated embodiment, the pod 1 is shaped as a circular disk. However, any other shape of the pod 1 is possible without impairing the purpose of the invention. For instance, FIG. 4 shows a stellate pod 1a with rounded corners, a stellate rim 2a, and a round central recess 3a.

In FIGS. 2 and 3, a holder 5 for such pod 1 filled with material that can be brewed is shown. In the illustrated embodiment, a holder 5 is shown that can be inserted in a removable manner into the brewing chamber of a coffee machine or the like. Alternatively, such a holder 5 can also be an integral component of such a machine. The holder 5 is designed as a flat cup 10 having a support rim or flange 11 that serves for effecting seal in the coffee machine, for sealing the holder 5 relative to the outside. In its bottom, the holder 5 has a discharge opening 6 for filtrate. According to the invention, the holder 5 has an axially upstanding centering formation or pin 7 in the center of the surface where the pod 1 is contained that projects upward away from the holder on its upper side and on which the pod 1 with the recess 3 and in particular the punched hole 4 can be placed and attached. The centering pin 7 is designed as a blunt cylinder, with a free end that is part spherical so that it can be forced easily through the hole 4. The hole 4 is dimensioned to engage tightly around the pin 7 so that there will be no significant leakage of liquid past the pod 1 at the pin 7.

The centering formation 7 is attached to or formed on a support part 8 of the holder 5 that covers an upwardly open central depression or recess 9 of the holder 5. The opening 6 is in the bottom center of the recess 9 and the support part 8 has radially oriented spokes and a cover made of a perforated material or mesh so that the part 8 is foraminous, that is permeable to liquid. The part 8 is spaced above the discharge opening 6 so as not to impair discharge of filtrate.

The invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiment but has multiple variants within the scope of the disclosure. All individual and combined features that have been disclosed in the description and/or the drawing are considered as substantial to the invention.