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Sowden SoftBrew Coffee Maker with Scoop

SKU# CPO137A0080

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Quick Overview

Using the most basic materials (a porcelain pitcher, stainless steel micro-thin filter and hot water), the Sowden SoftBrew Coffee Maker takes a low tech approach to making coffee. A micro-thin filter with more than half a million microscopic holes gives this coffee maker the filtering ability to produce what Sowden refers to as SoftBrew Coffee.
Sowden Soft Brew Coffee Maker with Scoop

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Using the most basic materials (a porcelain pitcher, stainless steel micro-thin filter and hot water), the Sowden SoftBrew Coffee Maker takes a low tech approach to making coffee. A micro-thin filter with more than half a million microscopic holes gives this coffee maker the filtering ability to produce what Sowden refers to as SoftBrew Coffee. Measure out your preferred amount of coffee grounds in the filter, pour in boiled hot water, let it brew for four to eight minutes and your coffee is ready. The SoftBrew can also be used as a cold brew pitcher for your favorite refreshing ice tea and coffee drinks.

The Sowden SoftBrew Coffee Maker comes in 27, 44 and 61 ounce pitchers with handy scoop.

Easy to clean and all parts are dishwasher safe.

Material Porcelain
Manufacturer Sowden

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Sowden SoftBrew Coffee Maker with Scoop
Already Asked: 9 Questions, 21 Answers
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A shopper asked: Please, does this pot keep the coffee hot for any length of time? I am concerned it will cool off just as fast as my French press. thank you Apr 29, 2013
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Lynette I: I have owned a french press as well as this SoftBrew pot. The ceramic material may be slightly better at holding heat than the french press, but not significantly. One thing that does help in the heat retention is that I temper the pot previous to adding the hot water for the coffee. Once the coffee is brewed, I immediately transfer it to a thermos that keeps it warm. One trick that I have discovered is to use a large kettle (and a little extra water) when I am heating up the water for the coffee. As long as the kettle has a large enough base, I will put the ceramic coffee maker immersed in the water and keep it on the stove on low heat while it brews. I am very happy with this coffee maker. I find cleaning significantly easier with this system than with the french press. The sleeve that holds the coffee beans is very easy to clean with running water.

Hope this info helps.
Apr 29, 2013
Reply to Lynette Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Laureen H: This keeps coffee warm just as a teapot keeps tea warm. The temperature dissipates within the hour. Because it's porcelain, it is an improvement over a glass french press, however. I have the small coffee brewer and we drink it all before it really has a chance to get cold anyway. If you want to keep your coffee hot for any length of time, my suggestion would be to use a thermal carafe. Apr 30, 2013
Reply to Laureen Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Pandora P: Great question! The Soft Brew definitely will keep your coffee warmer than a French Press. For one thing, the ceramic is thicker than a run-of-the-mill glass French Press. I use this as my preferred method for my morning coffee; always have two cups & the second is still plenty hot. Apr 29, 2013
Reply to Pandora Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Jonathan C: It is un-insulated ceramic, so it cools off pretty quickly. I would guess it cools about as fast as a french press. You could put a tea cozy on it... May 31, 2013
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LOIS A: I only use this coffee maker for cold brew. Makes great iced coffee and that is what I bought it for. Apr 29, 2013
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Luis V: If u preheat the ceramic it will keep it hot for 40-45 mins give or take 10 Apr 29, 2013
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A shopper asked: Does the SoftBrew work well for making hot tea, by putting loose tea instead of coffee inside the filter? Any suggestions about how much tea to use or how long to steep? (I ordered the 61 oz version) Oct 7, 2013
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Cecilia C: I have used the Sowden to make tea. I use 1 teaspoon for 6-8 ounces of water (you'll have to experiment to see what your taste buds like). I like it for the long tea leaves so I don't have to crush them to get them to fit inside a tea ball.
If brewing a black tea I will steep for 3 minutes. If I'm brewing an herbal tea I brew 7minutes.
Oct 7, 2013
Reply to Cecilia Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
L A: I have done it in mine a couple of times and it works fine there tends to be some very fine particulates that will make their way through the metal filter. I am not bothered by this though. I have never formally measured the amount of tea I put in mine I just tend to eyeball it Oct 7, 2013
Reply to L Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
LOIS A: I have never used the SoftBrew for tea, only for cold brew of coffee. It makes terrific cold brew coffee. The filter has very tiny holes, maybe too small for tea? Only think you can do to know for sure is try it out and see if you like it. Oct 9, 2013
Reply to LOIS Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Julie S: I have only made coffee in my Sowden, however I think it should be fine for making tea. The filter is very fine and does an excellent job keeping the grounds out of my coffee. Oct 7, 2013
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Sophie Y asked: I crushed the inner filter, can I buy a replacement filter? Feb 23, 2012
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Lynette I: Sophie,
I had the same thing happen to my filter for my 12 cup Sowden. It got crushed in the dish rack. I just sent an email to the company, and the representative emailed me and informed me that the price of the filter is $15 not including shipping which should be $7.95. Hopefully you haven't tossed your carafe, as it has been two years since first inquired about a replacement filter.
Apr 1, 2014
Reply to Lynette I Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Sophie Y: Thank you Lynette I, I called Sowden USA, too, right after Kaylie told me that Seattle Gear doesn't carried it. Anyhow, I bought two and still happily using the caffee maker. Apr 1, 2014
Lynette I: :) Yeah! Now if anyone else is looking for a replacement filter, they will know where to go and not give up on their Sowden! Thanks!! Apr 1, 2014
Kaylie KStaff: Unfortunately, Sowden Soft Brew filters are not sold independently of the product. Feb 24, 2012
Reply to Kaylie Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
A shopper asked: I love my 2 cup sowden and am thinking of getting the 12 cup brewer for when I have company. I'm wondering if there are markers inside the the 12 cup filter if I should want to make less than 12 cups...say 8 cups for instance? Apr 5, 2014
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Teri KStaff: The Sowdens are great brewers! There are no markings to indicate the different portions, unfortunately other than a max water line. You might consider using a measuring cup or scale to portion smaller batches. Apr 5, 2014
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jude a asked: Which glass teakettle are you using to heat your water? Thanks. Mar 3, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Around here, we like the kettles from Bonavita, like the Variable Temperature Gooseneck. For a glass option, I might suggest looking at the Breville Crystal Clear Kettle. I've included two links below for you to check these out!
Mar 3, 2014
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A shopper asked: This model comes in 2 cup, 4 cup, 8 cup and 12 cup. How does 27 oz and 44 oz translate to cup size issued by Sowden? Feb 11, 2014
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Teri KStaff: That depends on if you are using your Sowden for a concentrate or not, and so there is not a direct translation for this one, unfortunately! I like the size of the 44oz myself, and find that it is neither too large or too small for a good amount of cold brew coffee! Feb 13, 2014
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Lisa M asked: Could someone tell me where these coffee pots are manufactured? Jan 4, 2014
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Teri KStaff: The Sowden products are designed in Milan and manufactured in China. More information from my inquiry with Sowden is below:

All of Sowden?s product range is designed at Sowden?s design center in Milan and manufactured for us in China. Perhaps surprisingly, after research taking about 18 months we found certain Chinese manufacturers produced the best quality in both the porcelain elements of our products and the stainless steel filters. The latter especially required high precision capabilities on the part of the manufacturer.
Jan 6, 2014
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Anna A asked: How does the Sowden SoftBrew compare to the Chemex or Hario Drip Pot as far as taste goes? You used to have a reusable/gold filter for the chemex, do you still carry that one? Thanks much. Jul 4, 2012
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Kaylie KStaff: The Sowden SoftBrew has a much richer taste than the Chemex and Hario Drip Pot. This is because it is an immersion brew (the water sits with the coffee for a longer period of time, creating a more concentrated flavor) and the metal filter allows more oils through than paper filters.

If you are making a hot brew, the flavor will be similar to a French press. If you are making a cold brew, the flavor will be similar to other cold brewers.

Unfortunately we no longer carry the reusable filter for the Chemex.
Jul 6, 2012
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Sunny asked: How much coffee does the (4)four cup size actually brew?
Sunny D.
Jul 6, 2013
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Lynette I: The carafe will actually hold the equivalent of 1 qt of liquid, but that doesn't leave any room for the screen and coffee. It will make about 28 ounces of coffee, give or take an ounce or two, depending now careful you are with the coffee beans and filter. I usually only make about 3 cups with it, otherwise it will overfill and spill. So to answer your question, any where between 3 and 3.5 (8 ounce) cups. Jul 6, 2013
Reply to Lynette Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Sunny: Thanks Lynette. That is exactly the answer I was looking for.
Do you use 2TB of grounds per cup.? That is what I use when doing the drip over method. With the Keurig I can only get in.1TB in the reuse able filter.
I am now leaning towards getting this coffee brewer.
I take it you really like it? Jul 7, 2013
Lynette I: Sunny, I am actually not the coffee drinker in the house, my husband is, but the amount you suggested sounds right. We own two of the Sowden models. We have the 4 cup, as well as the largest size - the 61 ounce. My husband uses the large size when he wants to make a thermos to take to work, and the smaller 4 cup size when he is in the mood for less. We switched from the french press - because I was the one stuck cleaning it - and got fed up with breaking and replacing the clear glass carafe for the french press. This ceramic carafe is still breakable, but I don't think that it is as fragile as the carafe on the french press. Also, My husband says that the coffee from the Sowden tastes better. I like the Sowden because it is easier to clean than the french press. The coffee grounds are easy to wash out of the screen and the carafe is easy to clean. Enjoy! :) Jul 7, 2013
Sunny: HI Lynette,
You have been most helpful. Thank you.
I agree with you about the french press. So hard to clean. I have taken to doing it the melitta way. Boil th water and pour over the grounds in the melitta filter right into the cup. So easy to clean. But I am still leaning towards this new Soft Brew.
Will let you know when I get it.
My husband and I both drink it. But he seems to like his Brookstone coffee for one. Most often in the AM. At night we do like the Keurig as nothing to clean. Especially after he has done all the dishes!
Cup into the dishwasher and that's it. Jul 8, 2013
Ron C: I have the 8 cup version and have not brewed to capacity.

Usually I brew four cups at a time. Based on my experience I don't think you would have a problem filling it to capacity.

Having said that I use this for iced coffee. Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Have no experience with hot coffee.

Hope this helps some...
Jul 7, 2013
Reply to Ron Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
LOIS A: Hi. I believe I have the eight cup version. I put in eight scoops of coffee and let sit overnight in the frig. I only use it for cold coffee. Jul 6, 2013
Reply to LOIS Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Sunny: Thanks Lois. But I was referring to how much coffee after brewing the four cups does it actually make. Most coffee makers show 4 cups but in acutuality it is only enough for two mugs.
Perhaps the next time you make 8, could you measure what you finally end up with? Then I can figure that half that will be for the four cups. Thanks
Sunny Jul 6, 2013
Harold K: 6 Jul 6, 2013
Reply to Harold Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Sunny: Thanks Harold. But is that six very small cups or mug size cups? I can't believe that four cups would make six cups.
Sunny Jul 6, 2013

Looking for warranty, care information, or videos of this product? You're in the right place!


Caring for the Sowden Penrose SoftBrew Coffee Maker

For detailed care instructions, please refer to the user manual. We recommend that you also incorporate the following into your cleaning routine:

  • Clean the filter and pot after every use with a soft cloth or clean sponge, soap and water.

Absolutely the smoothest, richest cup of coffee I've ever made

Review by

I love presses rather than filters, and I heard that the micropore=metal basket in the Soft Brew was even better than a French press. I'm in love with it - the most amazing cup of coffee I've ever made. One caveat - get the size that's most suited to your needs. If you get one that's too large, the coffee will tend to cool. I'm getting a second, smaller one and keeping the big one for when company comes.

(Posted on 3/11/14)

Good immersion brewer

Review by

I recently purchased the Sowden Softbrew from SCG and have only brewed a few batches of coffee so far. Overall I am happy with the results. It produces a nice cup with a lot less sediment compared to the typical french press. One coffee expert was quoted in saying that the Sowden produces a cup somewhere in between a french press and a drip brewer. I know there is a little learning curve with getting the grind/steep time just right. I don't use the enclosed coffee scoop because I measure my coffee using a digital scale. I don't feel you should steep any longer than four minutes though (coffee would tend to become overextracted). How long you steep does depend on your grind size (finer the grind, the shorter the steep time). My preference is to grind medium coarse for a four minute steep time. I agree with the previous review to take out the filter before pouring the coffee. I tried this and it does leave a lot less sediment from the brew. My only dislike is that the pot looses heat very quickly after you pour the water in contact with the coffee. It can be a challenge to keep the water at the proper temp of 195-205F for proper extraction. I have heard that you could microwave the water in the pot to proper temperature and then place the filter with coffee already in it into the heated water. This may retain more of the heat in the brewer to produce an optimal cup of coffee.

Easy no-nonsense approach to immersion brewing, better taste than french press, option to use the brewer for cold brew coffee.

Loss of heat in brewer during steep times.

(Posted on 12/9/13)

Great for the cube!

Review by

My preferred brewer is the Eva Solo CafeSolo. I've been able to achieve a smooth, flavorful, and quite strong result after refining my technique over the years. Like the CafeSolo, the Sowden SoftBrew is a full-immersion style brewer, with a fine metal filter. Also like the CafeSolo, the SoftBrew retains the grounds in contact with the water so you have to separate them when the brewing is done (some people claim you can leave the grounds in contact for quite a while because the temperature is so low it doesn't adversely affect the result--we'll deal with that misinformation later). Unlike the CafeSolo, which sports an effective neoprene jacket, the SoftBrew lacks any thermal insulation. But in its favor, the SoftBrew's presentation is irresistible, with the proper look of white porcelain, the delicate clink of the porcelain lid, and in this case, the perfect small proportions of the 4 cup model. I took one look, and I had to have it.

Step 1: Rationalizing why I should prefer this over the CafeSolo for my cubicle

I wanted to make coffee in the cube at work. But I always felt the CafeSolo would be a bit too much to clean, as it has a narrow neck and you have to use a brush to get inside. The SoftBrew, on the other hand, has a large opening that makes it quite easy to clean with soap and water. Also, for either apparatus, you have to preheat the brewer. I wanted to avoid having to buy an electric water kettle for my cube, so I decided I would use the office microwave. From my cube it's a long trip to the kitchen sink, so pouring out that first batch of water is not a convenient option. I elected to accomplish preheating the apparatus by simply nuking it with the right amount of water. But there's this little metal zipper on the CafeSolo's neoprene jacket, so...

Congratulations! You've just rationalized buying the Sowden SoftBrew for your cubicle! Take a break and have a scooby snack, you've worked hard to get to this point.

Actually, the nuking part is essential in order for the SoftBrew to perform well. Because it loses heat so quickly, you really do need to boil water in it to max out the temperature of the porcelain at the start. Otherwise, you'll find your coffee may taste a little sour. I used really excellent coffee from my local roaster and found this to be the case--not every time, but often enough to be a problem. It wasn't until I tried boiling the water in the brewer itself that I was able to overcome this effect. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Step 2: Overcoming bitterness and silt

Important: Remove the filter before pouring!

The first few times I made coffee in the SoftBrew, my results were very inconsistent. Typically, I would notice the first pour was the best, followed by rapidly increasing bitterness. I concluded that the grinds had to be separated from the brew as soon as the brewing cycle had ended. I've read elsewhere that some reviewers of this product claimed that the brew temperature after 4 minutes was so low they didn't perceive a big difference in bitterness if they left the grounds in contact with the liquid. But if you are able to produce a high quality result like I have, you will not be happy with how the brew behaves if the grounds are left in. So I took to removing the metal filter basket once the brew cycle was complete. If you read my review of the Eva Solo CafeSolo, you'll see that I praise that brewer for how it avoids flushing liquid through the grounds at the end of the brew cycle. The SoftBrew requires a bit of care so you don't agitate the grounds too much as you lift the filter basket out of the brewer. But it is necessary to remove the filter basket, otherwise you won't be able to stir the brew before the first pour without stirring up all the fines and bitterness in those grounds.

Important: Refine your grinding technique!

The other point I want to make here is that most people are pretty complacent or simply ignorant about the importance of getting the right grind. If you use a blade grinder, you need to upgrade to a decent burr grinder. No, not that one--I said decent. I see too many people complain from time to time about the presence of fines and the accompanying bitterness in their coffee. If you can't control the fines produced by your grinder, then you should switch to a coffee brewing technique that uses a paper filter. The SoftBrew, and the CafeSolo for that matter, are excellent only if you can manage to grind at the right size without too many fines. Or are completely oblivious to the difference. I learned about better grind quality as I tried to improve my results with the CafeSolo, and the SoftBrew is even more revealing of flaws in this area. Today, I use a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso set to a medium-coarse output and then I sift the results using a fine powder separator. You won't do as well, so trust me: pay attention to how you're grinding and try to refine your grind size and overall technique as best you can until you achieve the smoothest brew possible.

Step 3: Office dry run

I bring the Sowden SoftBrew into the office, along with a digital scale, a grinds jar, some stirring implements, a pastry brush, a little plastic tray to hold the wet filter after I remove it when brewing, a sugar container, some half and half in a small cooler packed with ice, a bottle of Fiji water, and a brand new Intelligentsia/Notneutral Black Cat Project small latte sized porcelain cup and saucer. Time to get busy! I have some coffee that I ground at home and wrapped tightly in a plastic bag before taking it to work, so hopefully the grounds are still out-gassing CO2 and staying fresh in the bag. I put water in the porcelain pot, leaving out the filter, place it in the microwave, and try nuking it for 2 1/2 minutes. Hmmm... didn't boil. Try another minute. Nope. Another 1 1/2 minutes. Uh uh. Ok, another frikkin' 2 minutes. Come on, this thing's gotta boil sometime-- oh wait, was that a bubble? Yeah, it's gotta be ready by now. I think I saw a few bubbles. I take the pot--jeez it's hot!--back to my desk, and I count to 30 and place the stainless steel filter with the pre-measured grinds into the pot.

I didn't think it was possible with a porcelain surface, but apparently the water was superheated. It started gushing out the top and foaming at the same time as it hit the beans, emptying approx. half its contents all over my desk. Lesson learned: don't overnuke your water. I needed to practice more.

Step 4: Perfection

It's Tuesday, my day for trying out a new batch of beans from Brazil. I measure out 54 grams of beans and grind them in the Preciso, then shake out the fines in my fine powder separator. This removes approx. 10% of the grounds and I place the remainder in a plastic bag and roll it up tightly. I leave for work.

At work, two of my coworkers ask if I'm making coffee and is this the "chocolate bomb"? The Brazil has flavor highlights of orange zest and almond, but mostly rich milk chocolate, and I answer in the affirmative. Last week it was a coffee with a distinct peach nectar taste. My coworkers queue-up for coffee each week, taking turns each day as I only make it once a day and can share with two other people. Last week, one of them told me it was the best cup of coffee she'd ever tasted.

I remove the SoftBrew's metal filter and set it aside. I place the porcelain pot on my digital scale and zero-out the display. Then I pour 200 ml. of bottled water and another 400 ml. of purified (zero ppm.) water from my desktop water filter jug (ZeroWater--good for coffee, but you need to add some minerals back in). I nuke the 600 ml. of water for 4 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, I place the glass grounds container on my scale and add exactly 42 grams of grounds, then pour that into the stainless steel filter. The filter has zillions of laser-etched holes so tiny they don't leak any grounds. The microwave chimes, and I carefully take the pot by its porcelain handle to my desk, counting to 30 seconds for the water to cool after boiling. I slowly insert the metal filter, and the grounds start to foam. I take my coffee paddle and stir the grounds, which will still float and foam after stirring. I place the lid on the pot and start my timer for 4 minutes. After only 30 seconds have passed, I give the grounds another stir. They're done foaming now and will submerge into the water. After 4 minutes, I slowly lift the metal filter out of the pot and set it on my plastic tray. I take a spoon and stir the coffee to mix it evenly. It's ready for serving.

My coworkers like the Brazil even better than last week's selection. At $18.50 per 12 oz., this coffee's not cheap. But they gladly donate the cost so we can all enjoy a truly extraordinary cup once a day.

Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Quiet

Poor Heat Retention

(Posted on 2/11/12)

A charming little brewer

Review by

The Sowden is the Romance and the Coffee is the Passion. Where they meet, how sweet it is.

Great Taste, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Nice Quality


(Posted on 12/30/11)

Wonderful little coffee pot!

Review by

Great coffee, easy to make, and now I can drink it black again!

I love this little pot. I have been using it for almost a month and it makes great coffee. I find I use about seven of the little scoops (included with the pot) of whole bean coffee. I didn't measure after I ground it, but I imagine it does compress to about 6 measures. The instructions say use 3-5, but I like my coffee really strong, and usually I am too impatient to wait for a full 8 minutes.

I waited until the 4 cup was in stock. I did fall in love with the compact design, especially in that size. I am the only coffee drinker in my house, so it is more than enough for my daily brew. In the afternoon, I switch to tea, and the pot is wonderful for that, too. When I use bags, obviously I don't need the filter, but the filter does great with loose tea even though the holes are microscopic in comparison to the Sowden teapot.

I do try to preheat the pot before I brew the coffee. And just rinsing the filter as suggested is not enough, I wash mine with a soft, soapy sponge and rinse thoroughly. I used to use a press pot, but no matter what I did, including adding a paper filter, the acidity was killing me and I needed some milk to cut it. Now I am back to my preferred black brew.

It is lovely, simple design that is very easy to use. What could be better?

Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, Great Taste


(Posted on 3/7/11)

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