It’s Friday evening, and the pre-industrial (organic) chicken — prepared modified Greek-style with oregano-lemon-melted-butter-paprika-salt-pepper with slight dashes of crushed rosemary and thyme — is about an hour into roasting in the oven. I have three books to my left, including Michael Mann’s The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (Cambridge, 2005); Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (Yale, 2007); and Greg Smithers, Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780s-1890s (Routledge, 2009). And I’m close to getting into those. But I’ve been meaning first to talk about coffee for almost a month now.
This last month of March, Molly gifted me a Sowden Softbrew coffee pot. It is outstanding. I first came across it in an Atlantic Monthly article linked here. Before Sowden (or BS, as we call it around the apartment), Molly and I had fixed our morning coffee with a ceramic funnel and paper filter. It worked well for two, but we discovered that when we had small gatherings at our place, we spent more time making individual coffees instead of hanging out and conversing with our guests. So it was fantastic to find the Sowden. In The Atlantic article, Corby Kummer notes that it has “the comforting sturdiness of an English teapot.”
Out here west of the Mississippi (or what we call the Great Plains and the American West), however, we notice different things. For example, I noticed that the Sowden produces a cup of coffee you’d expect from a fusion of the French press with the methods of making cowboy coffee. By this I mean the coffee grounds (after you grind them) are allowed to sit in a metal steeping cylinder laser-blasted through with a billion 21st-century microscopic holes. So the grounds just sit in this cylinder and steep, contained, so you don’t need a French coffee plunger. And you don’t need to be as careful pouring from the Sowden as you would pouring a cup of cowboy coffee: again, the grounds are contained. The coffee by the way is extra ordinary.
I’m going to go back to checking up on the Greek-style chicken, now, and I’ll get back to these books in the morning with a cup of coffee prepped in a Sowden that Molly gifted me. Huzzah.