Italian caffee/teaware brand ‘Sowden’ by designer George J. Sowden

Italian caffee/teaware brand ‘Sowden’ by designer George J. SowdenGeorge Sowden, an internationally acclaimed British designer with his own studio in Milan, has launched an own-brand range of home ware. Featured are coffee and tea pots with new filter technology that are attracting the attention of coffee and tea buffs, both for the taste of the brew that results, but also for their waste-saving qualities.

It is the first time that Sowden, a co-founder of the Memphis Group that was so influential on design in the 1980s and an industrial designer of international repute with his own studio over the past 30 years, has put his name on any product range.

The new range draws on all his past experience with some of the biggest names in housewares, including Alessi and Guzzini, through Moulinex to Pyrex and Tefal. It is also the result of over seven years’ experience in working with Chinese manufacturers to implement new design ideas combining old and new technologies.

The most immediately appealing of Sowden’s new designs is an innovative stainless steel filter incorporated in stylish new porcelain coffee and tea pots. Up to 160,000 microscopic holes – so small that they are not discernible with the naked eye – are etched into the filters, allowing ground coffee, or loose tea leaves to brew naturally within the pots.

Complicated and expensive ways of making coffee has been a trend for several years, but George Sowden has gone in the opposite direction with SoftBrew; an old fashioned approach, using a pot and hot water.

Italian caffee/teaware brand ‘Sowden’ by designer George J. SowdenThe resulting cup of coffee is as good as the beans from which it is brewed. In the same way, the quality of the loose tea determines the taste of a SoftBrew cuppa, replacing an undue reliance on teabags in brewing tea.

Other innovative features of the new Sowden range include the extensive use made of porcelain for products that are normally produced in other materials. For example, a porcelain juice squeezer is now ready for market to be followed by a porcelain toaster and a porcelain electric kettle. And in a move that will appeal to the ecologically-minded, little use is made of oil-based plastic.

Similarly, now in development, flame-proof ceramic cookware with delicate heat distribution properties will be used for a range of stove-top cooking pans, whilst porcelain will again be used for ovenware. The word cooking does not say enough, according to Sowden. It’s the way of cooking that defines the results, leading Sowden to coin the term SoftCooking. Ceramic gives a softness to food such as coq au vin that needs to be cooked slowly in the pan. On the other hand, an iron pan is best for frying eggs, or, if all you want to do is boil potatoes, stainless steel will do the job.

Italian caffee/teaware brand ‘Sowden’ by designer George J. SowdenThe range is rounded out with plates, cups and saucers, mugs and accessories, all predominantly in hand-crafted white porcelain and precision machine-made stainless steel and all carrying the distinctive Sowden design stamp.

Sowden SoftBrew Coffee
Coffee made by infusion, as is the Sowden SoftBrew system, is the perfect, simplest way, to get a cup of great tasting coffee. A method so flexible you really can make coffee just the way you prefer! Based on a totally new concept, SoftBrew uses a stainless steel filter, etched with thousands of holes, small enough to keep the coffee grounds out of your cup, whilst letting through all the precious taste; no more paper filters to spoil the flavour or forcing and pressing to squeeze out unwanted bitterness. Add to this the choice of having nothing to throw away except the used beans.

 Italian caffee/teaware brand ‘Sowden’ by designer George J. SowdenNeed real tea?
Forget about teabags – there is no way they can compete with the quality of real tea leaves and they do not match the functionality of the Sowden SoftBrew; a large and spacious filter which gives the tealeaves room to breathe and infuse fully releasing all the taste; add to this the convenience with which the leaves can be removed from the pot by simply taking out the filter whenever you want.

About George Sowden
George Sowden grew up in Leeds, England, in the immediate post-war years and went on to Gloucestershire College of Art in Cheltenham in the 1960s where he studied architecture.

After college, and determined to be a designer, he set off for Milan, the Mecca of contemporary design. It was here that he got his break working on the design of early computer products with the renowned Italian company, Olivetti. This experience taught him the complexities involved in handling industrial processes and where design fitted into it all, and Milan has been his home and inspiration ever since.

 He came to the attention of the wider world of design in the 1980s with the Memphis Group and since then has picked up numerous design awards, including the prestigious ADI Compasso D’Oro award for design excellence. 2011 saw the thirtieth anniversary of SowdenDesign, the studio he set up in 1981. For more information please visit