cerridwyn Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2010 Posts: 511 Location: Inland Empire California Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 5:41pm Subject: Sowden Soft Brew
I saw one of these for the first time today. My favorite little almost local place is now using them instead of a french press for what goes in their AirPot (they toss after 20 minutes). I asked their opinion and they thought it was just not very full bodied. One of the regulars says he has one and likes it better than french pressed for that very reason.
Any one else have an opinion? (And go ahead and link me if there is already a thread, I admit to not hunting to hard.)
Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:07pm Subject: Re: Sowden Soft Brew
Susan, I have the mid 20oz one. I'm not particularly fond of the coffee, as I don't like the somewhat oily quality, and it lacks acidity. The filter is an amazing accomplishment, but is fairly fragile, and a bear to clean. You MUST use a fragrance free liquid soap, as the oil needs to be romoved.
All that said, if you're a french press fan, it might be worth trying a pot made fresh. This brew method (IMO) does not age well, even for 20 minutes, though the tiny bit of "silt" will settle to the bottom of the storage vessel. There is very little sediment, a plus.
In one of those Home Goods stores yesterday, passing a coffee display and there sat an Oskar SoftBrew 2 cup for $14.99 (marked down of course)---I was very suspious. Was in box w/scoop and same brochure that's featured on their site. Checked it out, no damage BUT the filter micro screen area was smaller in depth than currently pictured online---measures 13/16" in depth, looking apprx 1/2 the depth of what's current. Curious to try the Sowden and for $15 vs $45 reg price?! Kinda like Carol Burnett in her Gone With The Wind 'curtain dress', I just couldn't resist.
The screen has the trademark Sowden stamp (says 'patent pending') and is entirely screened on the bottom. Also, the Sowden label on the box includes the Jamaica Blue Mountain trademark with 'Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Service' just below. The fact this Sowden was for sale in this store, the filter possibly being an earlier prototype (?) and the JB trademark on the label---was this an item marketed early on before really hitting 'the shelf', so to speak? Anyone know???
While my preference is for filtered coffee, I do enjoy FP at times. I've read reviews that the filter was 'a snap' to clean as well as, like IMAWriter states, 'a bear to clean'.
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