I first discovered the Moleskin Wine Journal while perusing my local Barnes & Nobles, however, I didn’t buy it then because of two reasons. First, this was the week before Christmas and the lines were crazy long. Second, it was $20 and I was SURE that I could find a better deal on Amazon. It’s a good thing I waited. Not only did I skip the insane Christmas line but I also was able to score an amazing deal on this Moleskine Journal on Amazon ($13).
Don’t get me wrong, my knowledge of vino is no were near that of a sommelier or wine steward. I’m your occasional wine drinker. And that’s why I thought that this was perfect gift for me. I’ve always wanted to improve my knowledge of wine, develop a better nose and be able to know what types of wines should be paired with certain types of foods.
So I declare 2011 the year of the wine. If 2010 was about exploring different types of loose leaf tea and brewing methods then 2011 will be about exploring the world of wine. This should be a fun year and one that I plan to share with you (my notes that is).
Buy the Moleskine Passions Wine Journal from Amazon for $13.
Forget your typical paper coffee filter, The Kone, designed by Coava Coffee Roasters is made of USA grade stainless steel. The goal for The Kone was to create a sustainable coffee filter that could also brew excellent coffee. It is designed for pour over style coffee makers like the Chemex and Hario. Here’s what Oliver Strand from the New York Times had to say about The Kone:
“The Kone is a beautiful object, simple and stark. More to the point of the design, the coffee it makes is rich and full. The filter is cleaner than a mesh basket, and the photochemically machined holes let oils that would be absorbed by a standard paper filter flow through. It gives you the control of a Chemex and the tannic cup you get from a French press: a Frenchmex. Whether you like it is a matter of taste. For most of my adult life, I was a French-press partisan. But in the last few years I’ve been experimenting with different filter methods, and now I’m accustomed to drinking coffee with bright, floral flavors. When I started using the Kone last week, it was strange to find such an aggressive coffee sitting in my Chemex. It was like pulling the top off a bamboo steam basket and encountering a piece of grilled meat.”
Buy The Kone from Coava Coffee Roasters for $50.
I’ve posted about other ball makers before, namely the MUJI Ice Ball Maker, but nothing comes close to the Ice Ball Mold by Taisin. First of all, there’s a major price difference between the $12 MUJI model and the $200 Taisin Model. Secondly, the cheaper one is made of plastic, while the Taisin is made of aluminum.
The Ice Ball Mold features:
- Ice ball-creator, ideal for both bars and home-use
- Creates spheres of ice which melt slowly, keeping drinks cool
- Available in 30, 55, 65, 70,75, 80mm sizes (please see pull-down menu for prices)
- Made of aluminum
- Cold-proof wooden grip on top (except 30mm version)
- Ball release at bottom (except 30mm & 80mm version)
- Creates 30-40 ice balls per hour
- 55, 65, 70, 75,80mm size Molds include ice-maker blocks (2 pcs.)
Why use spheres? The logic is that since the surface area of a sphere is smaller than a cube, it melts slower. A slower melt means a less diluted drink over time.
Plus, this device simply looks badass. Imagine it sitting alongside your home bar.
Buy the Ice Ball Mold from Japan Trend Shop for $201.
There’s nothing worse than watered down whisky, especially if you like a stiff, strong tasting drink. Of course, nothing waters down whiskey faster than a few cubes of ice – this is something that Don Draper knows all too well. The solution? Whisky Stones of course.
“A few great soapstone workers in Perkinsville, Vermont have created Whiskey Stones. These little ice-imitators are specially designed to put a slight chill in your Whiskey. All you do is put them in the freezer for a few hours and then pop a couple into a glass of single malt. Once you’re done, rinse, dry and do it all over again! And no need to worry about a watery drink, because these stones don’t dilute (that’s the best part).”
Buy a set of Whisky Stones from ThinkGeek for $34.95.
One of the most successful spirits and most recognizable names is, of course, Jack Daniel’s. In celebration of his 160th birthday, the famous Tennessee distillery has released a special limited edition black bottle. One thing that has got me confused, is that, according to Jack Daniel’s (the man) Wikipedia page, he was born on September 5, 1846. Based on this, Jack would have just celebrated his 164th birthday. Now, the 160 could not possibly be in reference to the founding of the brand, since Jack Daniel’s (the brand) wasn’t founded until 1875.
So are all of the blogs (Cool Material, Notcot, Vodka & Co.) that are posting about the special 160th Birthday Bottle four years too late? Or, is the brand just using the 160 because it’s a nice round number?
On closer inspection, the Jack Daniels website posts that no one really knows exactly when Jack was born:
“No one really knows exactly when Jack Daniel was born. A town fire destroyed the courthouse records, and conflicting dates on Mr. Jack’s and his mother’s headstones have left his date of birth in question. It’s customary to celebrate Mr. Jack’s birthday in September – so he gets a whole month. But for a man as unique as Jack Daniel, one day just wouldn’t seem proper, anyway.”
So there you go, there should be an asterisk next to Jack’s birthday on Wikipedia.
As for the limited edition 750ml bottle, it’s sexy as hell. Jack would be proud.
Design firm Pearlfisher was tasked with the job of redesigning the brand identity of Swedish urban smoothie brand Froosh “to solve the ’smoothie confusion’ in the Nordic regions and communicate pure fruit health benefits.” I think that the new look is far improved from the current look and feel (see below for the current bottle packaging design). The old look was a bit childish and ambiguous. The new branding features bold colors with a modern and sophisticated look. Whereas the old look gave off a childlike vibe, the new design grabs at the health conscious adult.
The only negative is that you need to live in one of the Nordic regions that carry Froosh in order to have a taste of this seemingly refreshing and healthy drink.
And for comparison purposes, you’ll find a photo of the current Froosh bottle branding below.
Dexter is one of my favorite televisions shows and so when I saw these Dexter themed coasters I began craving new episodes featuring my favorite serial killer. It’s a good thing that I don’t have to wait too long. The 5th season of Dexter beings on September 26th!
“With a drop of blood from each victim placed between two glass slides, Dexter creates a morbid memento or ”Trophy” of each kill. These Dexter inspired coasters come packaged in a beautifully-crafted wooden box with golden hardware and a slotted interior to display each coaster. These clear acrylic coasters feature an iconic ‘blood spatter’ and have rubberized feet to protect your table. Each coaster is also imprinted with the Dexter logo in red. The storage box has the Dexter logo carved on top and the Showtime logo carved on two sides.”
Buy the Dexter Costers from Showtime for $34.95.
Question: Why does this product not exist? Alas, the Cookie Dipping Mug is just a concept from designer ENTLO.1A and the inner child in me can’t stop gawking at this marvelous idea. Having said that, I see a few problems with this conceptual mug. First off all, cookies come in different sizes, from Chips Ahoy small to the monster sized cookies they charge an arm and a leg for at Starbucks. I’m sure that once you start increasing the size of your cookie, you’ll run into the same problem as you would if you were using a regular mug (only be able to dip a 5th of the cookie tip). Secondly, the cup is pretty darn ugly. Thirdly, there’s no handle so holding this thing will be pretty awkward.
So Cookie Dipping Mug, I say great idea but poor execution. I needed a Cookie Dipping Mug that 1. has a handle bar (so that I don’t look a 2 year old fumbling with his first cup), 2. is aesthetically pleasing, and 3. expands (somehow, not sure how) with the size of my cookie. Deliver a product that fulfills those three criteria and then we’ll talk.
I rarely drink out of public water fountains these days, and it’s not just because they tend to be nasty filthy but also because they are increasingly becoming rare to find. Tap water at home, on the other hand, is something that I do still drink. Maybe it’s because I live in Hawaii and we have great water here. Or maybe it’s because tap water is free (sort of) and it’s not as wasteful (those darn plastic bottles). Needless to day, the Tapi is a nifty device from the wonderful inventors at Dreamfarm that turns any plain sink faucet into a fun home water fountain.
The Tapi is made out of rubber and won’t affect the taste of your water and it fits into any faucet with a straight spout. Pretty nifty, I think, especially for those times when you need a quick drink or want to do a quick rinse minus the need for a cup.
Buy the Tapi from Dreamfarm for $4.95.
According to the official Beer Savers website, Beer Savers are good for 10 reasons:
- Durable, stretchy molded bottle cap charms
- Designed to help keep beer fresh and safe
- Dishwasher safe and reusable
- Made of food-safe silicone
- Come in multi-colored sets of 6 – the perfect party pack.
- Make a great housewarming or hostess gift for any beer lover.
- Fits most standard beer bottles
- Make for a great talking point at any dinner party or beer tasting party.
- Help homebrewers keep their beer bottles clean and sterile before bottling.
- Helps keep your beer safely identified when in clubs, bars and restaurants
I’m not sure about you, but I would feel a little weird carrying around little silicone bottle caps when going bar hopping. It should be law that if you open a bottle of beer then you should finish it!
With that said, Beer Savers, send me a few caps and I’d be more than happy to test out your product. I’ll start off in the comforts of my own home and then work my way out!
Buy a 6-Pack of Beer Savers from Beer Savers for the sale price of $7.99 (Retail: $12.99).
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