There has been a steady rise in the variety of new (old) brew methods being used in the last few years. While the hardcore have always played with multiple methods, the average coffee fan generally doesn’t wander far from the French press, percolator, or Mr. Coffee™. Recently, a sexier and less violent, Italian cousin to the french press was introduced to the world.
Meet the SoftBrew, designed by George Sowden, who has a distinguished career as an industrial designer for Olivetti, Alessi, and Pyrex. He knows his coffee and believes that making a good cup of it seems to have become complicated and violent. Now designing for himself for the first time, Sowden has created a line of housewares, this beautiful porcelain coffee maker being the first product.
The way the SoftBrew works is straightforward, but it’s Sowden’s application of a new technology that’s makes the method unique. Inside the porcelain pot, a stainless steel cylinder with half a million photo-etched holes contain the coffee grounds, while the hot water softly extracts the flavors of the bean. Let steep for 4-8 minutes and enjoy.
The only retailer in the US right now is Oren’s Daily Roast in NY and he seems to be sold out already. When the time comes, I’d love to try one out. And if it doesn’t brew the greatest cup I’ve ever had, at least it will look great on my kitchen counter.
Check out the interview with George Sowden in the New York Times