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Publication numberUS3719306 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 6, 1973
Filing dateJan 11, 1971
Priority dateJan 11, 1971
Publication numberUS 3719306 A, US 3719306A, US-A-3719306, US3719306 A, US3719306A
InventorsHoltzman T
Original AssigneeHoltzman T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cover for maintaining freshness of coffee
US 3719306 A
Abstract
A cover is provided for use in combination with a receptacle for coffee. The cover is utilizable in a receptacle having a circular, horizontal cross-section and rests on the top of the surface of the coffee in the receptacle. The cover comprises a circular disc having a radially extending slit which extends from the center of the disc to the periphery thereof to enable an overlapping of the portions of the disc on opposite sides of the slit but adjacent thereto. The disc has a larger diameter than the diameter of the bore of the bottle so that the periphery of the disc bears against the inner surface of the receptacle to protect the coffee from exposure to air.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Holtzman 1 March 6, 1973 COVER FOR MAINTAINING FRESHNESS OF COFFEE 22 Filed: Jan. 11,1971

211 Appl.No.: 105,194

2,190,203 2/1940 Barnard... ..220/93 2,828,886 4/1958 Thomas ..220/93 3,037,653 6/1962 Morisette ..220/93 X 3,578,467 5/1971 Huber ..220/93 X Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Michael Mar Attorney-Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein & Cohen [57] ABSTRACT A cover is provided for use in combination with a receptacle for coffee. The cover is utilizable in a receptacle having a circular, horizontal cross-section and rests on the top of the surface of the coffee in the receptacle. The cover comprises a circular disc having a radially extending slit which extends from the center of the disc to the periphery thereof to enable an overlapping of the portions of the disc on opposite sides of the slit but adjacent thereto. The disc has a larger diameter than the diameter of the bore of the bottle so that the periphery of the disc bears against the inner surface of the receptacle to protect the coffee from exposure to air.

3 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR 6 m5 sum 1 or 2 TOBIAS G. HOLT M BY PATENTEDHAR 6 ms SHEET 2 BF 2 mam/me v TOBIAS G. HOLTZMAN A from 5m,

COVER FOR MAINTAINING FRESHNESS OF COFFEE This invention relates generally to an internal cover for a receptacle and more particularly to a cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee in a receptacle.

A problem that has existed since the advent of dry roasted coffee is that as soon as the coffee container is open for the first cup of coffee, air is permitted to enter the receptacle and, accordingly, the constant exposure of more and more air in the coffee container causes the ultimate weakening of the flavor, strength, aroma and other desireable characteristics of the coffee in the container. That is, the more coffee that is removed from the container, the more air that is enabled to enter the container for contact with the coffee after the lid of the container has been replaced.

Although this problem has existed since the advent of dry ground roasted coffee, the problem has now been amplified by the advent of freeze-dried coffee which is even more vulnerable to exposure to the atmosphere. Accordingly, while the first cup of coffee made from a container of freeze-dried coffee is comparable to the best perculated coffee, by the time the end of the container has been reached, the freeze-dried coffee has normally gone flat.

Various attempts have been made to overcome the problem. For example, Barnard in US. Pat. No. 2,190,203 issued Feb. 13, 1940, disclosed a plate which follows the coffee in a container to prevent air from being exposed to the coffee. A handle is provided on the Barnard plate to enable removal of the plate each time it is desired to remove a portion of the coffee from the container.

In Jensen US. Pat. No. 2,726,012 issued Dec. 6, 1955, a cover is disclosed which is also designed to maintain the freshness of coffee and which includes a peripheral skirt which enables air to escape out of the coffee but provides a tighter seal against the air entering into the coffee. A handle is also provided on the Jensen cover to enable removal of the cover for dispensing the contents of the receptacle.

The problem still exists as indicated in the Lincoln et al. US. Pat. No. 3,380,624 issued Apr. 30, 1968 which shows a container cover assembly which has an integrally formed following cover provided in the cap of the container. The cover is utilized similarly to the covers shown in the Barnard and Jensen patents hereinabove cited. The problems of the prior art covers are that they must be removed in order to enable dispensing of the contents of the receptacle. Moreover, the covers work only where the receptacles are substantially perfectly cylindrical. That is, the covers cannot be inserted where the neck of the bottle is smaller in diameter than the remainder of the container. Also, where the diameter is not constant throughout the length of the bottle, the air can bypass the outer periphery of the cover.

It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a new and improved cover which overcomes the aforementioned disadvantages.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee which enables removal of the contents of the container without removal of the cover.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee which conforms to various sizes of diameter of a bottle.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee which tightly seals the coffee from exposure to the atmosphere.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved by providing a cover for use in combination with a receptacle for coffee which comprises a circular disc having a radially extending slit which extends from the center of the disc to the periphery thereof. The slit enables an overlapping of the portions of the disc on opposite sides of the slit but adjacent thereto. The disc rests on the surface of the coffee and is of a larger diameter than the diameter of the bore of the bottle. The disc is comprised of a resilient material so that the periphery of the disc bears against the inner surface of the receptacle to protect the coffee from exposure to air.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of said cover with said cover placed in the operative position for use in a container of coffee;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of said cover in said operative position;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the cover in use in a receptacle for freeze-dried coffee after only a small portion of the contents have been removed from the container;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the cover embodying the invention in use in the receptacle of coffee after a substantial amount of the coffee has been removed;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6',

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the cover in the receptacle for coffee to show how the contents of the receptacle can be removed to enable making a cup of coffee;

FIG. 9 is a plan view taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of an alternate cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee embodying the invention having a tab on the upper surface thereof to facilitate removal thereof;

FIG. I 1 is a side elevational view taken along the line 11-11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the alternate cover embodying the invention in an operative position for use in a receptacle for coffee; and

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view taken along the line 13-13 in FIG. 12.

Referring now in greater detail to the various figures of the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts, a cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee is shown generally at 20 in FIG. 1. Cover 20 is basically comprised of a planar circular disc which is preferably made of a thermoplastic such as polypropylene, polyethylene or acetal resin or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

The cover includes a radially extending slit 22 which emanates from the center of the disc and extends to the periphery 24 of the cover. As best seen in FIG. 2, the slit 22 forms a pair of radially extending edges 26 and 28 which are formed on opposite sides of the slit and adjacent thereto. Edges 26 and 28 are, thus, free to overlap the adjacent surfaces of the disc on opposing sides of the slit as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to enable a conical-like form as best seen in FIG. 3. Because the disc or cover 20 is made of a resilient material which attempts to return to its original flat form as shown in FIG. 1, the reduced periphery 24 of the cover 20, as shown in FIG. 3, is normally urged to its largest periphery as shown in FIG. 1.

Thus, as seen in FIG. 4, after a small portion of the contents of a receptacle having coffee 32 therein has been removed, the cover 20 is inserted as shown in FIG. 4. It should be understood that since the edges 26 and 28 are free, the amount of overlap between the opposing edges of the cover can be varied to form either a very narrow cone or a very wide cone or sizes intermediate thereof. The narrow cone is, thus, utilizable to pass through the reduced neck 34 of the receptacle 20. After the cover 20 is in place within the receptacle, the lid 35 can be placed on the neck.

The receptacle 30 shown in FIG. 4 is a receptacle which is presently being used on a very popular brand of coffee. That is, the receptacle 30 has a circular cross-section taken horizontally from top to bottom. However, as seen in FIG. 4, the diameter of the bore of the bottle expands as the cross-section of the bottle is taken from top to bottom.

Because the diameter of the bore of receptacle 30 is smallest at the upper end thereof, the angle between the radially extending edges 26 and 28 is greatest at the top of the bottle. Since the cover 20 is resilient and is attempting to return to its normally flat shape, as shown in FIG. 1, the periphery of the cover 20 is urged against the inner surface of the receptacle 30. This provides a very tight seal therebetween. Moreover, the resiliency of the material comprising the cover 20 also provides a very tight seal between the overlapping portions between edges 26 and 28.

As more and more coffee is removed from the receptacle 30, the cover 20 continues to rest on the upper surface of the coffee and is, thus, moved downwardly as shown in FIG. 6. As seen in FIG. 7, the edges 26 and 28 have come closer together angularly. Thus, the periphery 24 of the cover 20 has expanded to conform to the wider opening at the lower portion of receptacle 30. Thus, the periphery of the cover still bears against the inner surface of the receptacle and thereby prevents air from being exposed to the contents of the coffee.

In order to remove the coffee, it is not necessary to remove cover 20 from the interior of the receptacle. That is, since the cover 20 is resilient, the upper edge 26 can be lifted to enable a spoon 36 to be inserted between the flaps which overlap between edges 26 and 28.

The resiliency of the material comprising cover 20 also has the resultant advantage that the teaspoon 36 is levelled as it is removed in the direction of arrow 38 as seen in FIG. 9. That is, only a level teaspoon or less is used when making a cup of freeze-dried coffee. Accordingly, since the upper flap which overlaps between edges 26 and 28 is resilient, as it brushes along the top of the teaspoon 36, the freeze-dried coffee in the teaspoon 36 is levelled.

An alternate cover embodying the invention is shown in FIG. 10. Basically, the cover 120 is similar in all respects to cover 20 with the exception that a tab is provided. Cover 120 also includes a radially extending slit 122 which enables the overlapping of edges to form a conically shaped structure as shown in FIG. 12. As best seen in FIG. 12, the tab 140 is flexible that it can bend with cover 120 when edges 126 and 128 formed around slit 122 are allowed to overlap as shown in FIG. 12. The alternate cover 120 otherwise operates similarly to the cover 20. The tab 140 facilitates removal of the cover where a large amount of the contents of the coffee is to be removed or at the end of a bottle wherein the cover is to be removed so that it can be reused within another bottle of coffee.

It can, therefore, be seen that a new and improved cover for maintaining the freshness of coffee has been provided. The cover is comprised of a flexible resilient material which enables the conforming of the cover to the inner surface of the coffee container. That is, spe' cial receptacles need not be provided for the coffee since the cover member can be utilized to conform to varying diameters of the inner surface of a receptacle. Moreover, the cover need not be removed each time a cup of coffee is made since the slit in the cover enables a spoon to be inserted therethrough for the withdrawal of a teaspoon of coffee each time it is desired.

Without further elaboration, the foregoing will so fully illustrate my invention that others may be applying current or future knowledge readily adapt the same for use under various conditions of service.

What is claimed as the invention is:

1. In combination a receptacle having coffee in dry granular form therein, said receptacle having a circular-cross-section, and a cover for resting on the top surface of said coffee, said cover comprising a circular disc having a radially extending straight edge slit which extends from the center of said disc to the periphery thereof, said slit enabling an overlapping of the portions of said disc on opposite sides of said slit but adjacent thereto, said disc being of a larger diameter than the diameter of the bore of said recepticle, said disc being comprised of relatively flexible resilient material so that said disc (is conically shaped) assumes a conical shape whose apex points towards the coffee in said receptacle when said periphery of said disc bears against the inner surface of said receptacle to thereby protect said coffee from exposure to air, said flexibility of said disc and said straight edged slit together enabling the entry of a teaspoon in order to remove a level teaspoon of granulated coffee at a time from said receptacle without removing said cover.

2. The cover of claim 1 wherein said receptacle has a gradually varying cross-section along the height of the receptacle.

3. The cover of claim 1 wherein said cover includes an integral tab to facilitate removal thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1429624 *Feb 15, 1921Sep 19, 1922Perkins Bert BSilage cover
US2190203 *Aug 5, 1937Feb 13, 1940Barnard Walter ECoffee container
US2227172 *Jul 22, 1939Dec 31, 1940Raymond BaintonCover for sealing liquid surfaces
US2828886 *Jan 30, 1956Apr 1, 1958Thomas Robert WLiquid container auxiliary closure
US3037653 *Nov 16, 1960Jun 5, 1962American Can CoFood package
US3578467 *Sep 5, 1968May 11, 1971Huber Richard RVariable volume coffee container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4938377 *Nov 2, 1989Jul 3, 1990Jarvis Robert BDevice for preserving aroma and flavor of potable liquid including a buoyant lid
US5402908 *Dec 20, 1993Apr 4, 1995Letica CorporationDivided container
US5422129 *Apr 11, 1994Jun 6, 1995Draddy; John G.Dispensing display container and particulate coffee therein
US5993096 *Jul 25, 1997Nov 30, 1999Martelli; John D.Receptacle and applicator for printers' ink
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/578, 426/124, 426/115
International ClassificationB65D77/24, B65D81/24, B65D77/26
Cooperative ClassificationB65D77/26, B65D81/24
European ClassificationB65D77/26, B65D81/24