Browsing Category

Gift Guides

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Can You Do Cold Brew Coffee at Home?

September 22, 2016

Randy and Cold Brew

Abstract:

Coffee is good. Hot coffee when it’s still hot out is not so good. Will the Cold Brew Coffee Maker save me?

Background:

I am one of about 2/3 of adult Americans who will have a cup of coffee today at work. But in the dog days of summer, hot drinks aren’t really what I’m thirsting for. Unfortunately, every time I’ve tried to make iced coffee it came out bitter. It usually just sits in my fridge as a testament to my failure for a few days before I toss it.

Maybe I’ve just found 1,000 ways not to make iced coffee.

With that in mind, I set off with the Cold Brew Coffee Maker to try one more time.

Before I picked up this coffee maker I had no idea what “cold brew” meant. As I learned from the instructions, it’s a method of brewing where cold water is slowly percolated over ground coffee. The cold water prevents the bitterness of the beans from flowing into the retaining jar, and the slow pace allows plenty of flavor to end up in the final product. It takes a while, and the longer you allow it to take, the more flavor will end up in your cup.

Hypothesis:

My null hypothesis: I can’t make a decent cup of iced coffee.

My alternative hypothesis: I can (if I use the right tools).

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Guide: Care Packages for Every College Student

September 7, 2016

They passed their SATs and they wrote their college essays. They packed their bags, picked their majors, and they even chose their dorms! Moving away to college is an exciting time in anybody’s life—and this fall’s batch of college-bound kids are in for four of the best years of theirs. So, what should you include in care packages to your star student to help ensure they get the most from their experience?

Here’s the thing: Starting college can be stressful. Not only do new students need to learn the way around campus, memorize their course schedules, and make new friends, they also need to buy a lot of stuff. They need textbooks and bed sheets, pencils, notebooks, closet organizers, shower caddies, alarm clocks, travel mugs, dorm room slippers—and more. That’s a lot of gear for one person’s first year at school! Even the most overachieving scholar is bound to forget something.

Any student will appreciate a care package in their first semester or two away from home. That’s why we’ve compiled some college care package ideas for every kind of college kid. Your competitive athlete, class president, young doctor-in-the-making, or little Steve Jobs might be scrambling to hit the ground running, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them ring in the new school year with some fun gift items too.

Here are a few ideas to send that special champion in your life out into the world with a bang.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Roll Out Ravioli Like a Pro

September 1, 2016

Marisa | UncommonGoods

Product

Ravioli Rolling Pin

Ravioli Rolling Pin | UncommonGoods

 

Dumpling statue

Me, next to a statue honoring the dumplings of the world, in the Fine Arts Center at the Minnesota State Fair

I’m a known dumpling lover. I’ve always wanted to make ravioli, because 1) it’s a form of dumplings, 1a) dumplings are the best, 2) it’s delicious, and 3) pre-made ravioli seems too expensive for what it is, and 4) the one time I did I buy store-bought ravioli, it was suuuuper suboptimally subpar. As my mom says, “The dough gets leather-y.”

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Is Homemade Butter
Really Better?

August 15, 2016

Ken Tests the Butter Churner from UncommonGoods

Research:

I was initially skeptical when I first saw the butter churner in our collection. I’ve baked bread, brewed beer, and made yogurt, so it’s not as if I’m against making things at home. I just didn’t see what was to be gained by churning butter myself instead of buying it. I’d almost forgotten it when the churner turned up in the top ten selling items for several days straight. And that was during the busy holiday season, when making it to the top means elbowing through serious competition. What did all of these people see in homemade butter? Did they know something I didn’t? Had all my favorite food writers failed to share the wonders of fresh butter straight from the churn?

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Wrinkle-Free Clothes to Go

August 10, 2016

Keisha_giftlab

Product:

Collar Perfect Compact Travel and Touch-up Iron

Research:

I tend to do a lot of long weekend getaways throughout the year. But firstly before I go any further let me just state that I HATE ironing and tend to mostly pack clothes that don’t require any ironing. However, since I have not yet mastered the art of packing by rolling my clothes up some things still end up getting wrinkled while en route to my destination.

Additionally – I am a bit of a germaphobe, so the idea of using random irons in hotels and/or rented homes/condos for the weekend does not appeal to me AT ALL! I’ve been the victim a number of times to burnt blouses and the ever-so-hated stained clothes as a result of the rusty water coming out of the provided irons.

After watching the video on our product page for this compact iron I was eager to try it out since it can be used for much more than just the collar. The bonus here for me was that it doesn’t require the use of water. It was also like nothing I’ve personally seen before, so I was even more excited to get my hands on it.

Hypothesis:

I predict that the Collar Perfect-Compact Travel and Touch-up Iron will be added to my list of traveling must-haves!

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: These Grilling Goods Turn Camping into Glamping

August 1, 2016

Laura Tests Grilling Goods

Research

I may not be the most glamorous glamping girl, but I do like to get out of Brooklyn once in a while to see some open, green spaces. Recently, my guy and I packed up a rental car, dropped the cats off with a sitter, and headed for the Catskills. Due to the joys of city traffic we made it to Mongaup Pond Campgrounds 5 hours later (just a couple hours later than expected).

I have been stocking up on fun camping gear all winter long, including some things for the grill from UncommonGoods. I already had the Grilled Cheese Maker, the Kabob Grilling Baskets, and both Coffee and Pine Firestarters ready to go.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Unforgettable Birthday Gifts For Everyone

July 29, 2016


Whether you’ve just recently met a new friend, or you’ve known them all your life, odds are they probably have a birthday. For as long as birthdays have existed – Claudia Severa sent the first documented birthday invitation around 100 AD – so too has the pressure to find the perfect gift. Yet birthdays themselves actually aren’t all that distinguished; just today, 15 million people will celebrate their special day. How can any birthday gift giver hope to stand out?

Fear not! We’ve put together a list of our current favorite birthday gifts that are sure to make the other 14,999,999 wish that they, too, had received Uncommon gifts.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab:
Can Combining Scents Create the Perfect Perfume?

July 15, 2016

Tanya | UncommonGoods

Product:

Mixologie Blendable Perfume Collection

Research:

I have a habit of switching perfumes pretty frequently. I can’t seem to be satisfied with the same aromas for too long because, well, I just get bored. I have never repurchased a scent for myself. I always wonder how some people have that one fragrance that they’ve worn for 15 years. I am always in search of the best scent that describes my mood and my life which is forever changing. I’ve dabbled in perfumed oils, luxury fragrance brands, body mists, and even heavily perfumed lotions. My nose immediately perked up when the Mixologie Perfume Collection joined the UncommonGoods assortment. Some features that got my attention were that the individual bottles are travel friendly and upon first sniff, I was enthralled with the 8 scents on their own. I jumped at the chance to experiment with the different cocktails that this kit suggests and make up a few dozen scents for myself!

Continue Reading…

Pin It on Pinterest