Browsing Tag

coffee

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration:
Meet Debbie Mullin

November 30, 2017

If you’ve never tasted the glory that is Vietnamese coffee, we encourage you to locate your nearest bánh mì place and order one immediately. The delectable combo of Vietnamese-grown coffee and sweetened condensed milk may seem simple, but trust us: It’s genius, just like maker Debbie Mullin’s new-to-UG Vietnamese Coffee Portable Pour Overs, which allow you to indulge in the drink’s sweet, creamy, caffeinated goodness wherever you go, so long as “wherever” has hot water.

We first saw Debbie’s pour overs in the kitchen here at our Brooklyn office, and with one sip of her tasty, tasty coffee (and an extra indulgent lick of any sweetened condensed milk that didn’t make it all the way into the mug), we knew we had to get the inside scoop on her product—what it is, where it comes from, and how she decided to make it. Read on for more on the birth of Debbie’s business, complete with an account of her recent visit to Saigon and a brief summary of what it’s like to grow up in a Vietnamese-Chinese-Jewish-American household… food-wise, anyway.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

11 Creative Combos to Craft
DIY Gift Baskets

November 20, 2017

We know it’s the little things that count, but sometimes you want to show someone you care big. Putting together a DIY gift basket is a great way to combine an assortment of cool little gifts with a whole lot of love. Creating that gift basket around someone’s hobby, favorite food, or most-loved mythical creature adds another level of personalized charm. We even included gift basket ideas for kids and teens, because we know they can be even harder to shop for than that unicorn lover on your list.

 

Taco Lover

Whether they have a soft spot for soft shells or prefer a crispy crunch, they’ll love these taco-themed goodies.

Tricerataco Holder – $12 | Salsa Grow Kit – $12 | Taco and Hot Pepper Stamp Kit – $12.00 | Trio of Travel-Sized Hot Sauces – $15.00 | Seedsheet Taco Kit – $35.00Taco Socks – $10.00

Continue Reading…

Design

Coffee Brake: The Manual Three-in-One Coffeemaker

October 21, 2017

*Editor’s note: The Manual Three-in-One Coffeemaker is coming soon to our assortment. Get it first by pre-ordering here.

Coffee can be a complicated thing. Unless you’re drinking decaf, it signals speed and gulp-and-go morning motivation. It’s no accident that many American offices provide a steady stream of java, as if to say coffee equals productivity. But the slow food movement has put the brakes on preparing this fast-lane beverage. “Slow coffee is really asking folks to consider coffee as something more than just a caffeine jolt,” says Manual Three-in-One Coffeemaker designer Craighton Berman. Brewing methods like pour-over and French press that predate auto drip and K-cup coffeemakers have made a comeback. You could easily end up with a cabinet full of coffee paraphernalia, but Chicagoans and slow-coffee devotees Craighton and his wife and design partner, Emily, have a solution: a brewer that combines two manual methods with an insulating double-walled design.

Continue Reading…

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…

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Laura Cabrera

January 12, 2016

Laura Cabrera | UncommonGoodsLaura Cabrera, Recruiter

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY; however, I reside in Queens, NY.

I’m inspired by…
A mother’s strength, when they have a child battling cancer.

If I could learn to do one thing perfectly, it would be…
Making lasagna.

My guilty pleasure is…
Cheese of any kind, and coffee.

Within the next 10 years, I hope to be…
Able to volunteer a chunk of my time at any children’s hospital and help parents, children, and siblings get through their tough days.

If my 6th grade teacher could see me now, he or she would say…
“Your English has improved, and do you remember the preposition song?”

My favorite food of all time is…
That’s a hard question…because I like food.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’m an identical twin.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Rebekah Krikke

October 22, 2015

RebekahKrikke

Rebekah Krikke, Assistant Production Manager, Product Development

My hometown…
A hybrid of central Illinois and Kobe, Japan.

I’m inspired by…
Long walks, new perspectives, gratitude, and the color orange.

What I love about Product Development is…
Seeing a product take form as it moves from concept to reality.

When I’m not at work, I’m usually….
Exploring random neighborhoods in New York, relaxing at home with my husband, or being “productive” at a local coffee shop.

My favorite place to bring out-of-towners is…
Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I’m most looking forward to _______ this summer.
Going to my first Indian Wedding in Bangkok.

An uncommon fact about me is….
I studied Japanese tea ceremony for a few years in high school. I love green tea, so much so that my family named our Boston Terrier “Matcha.”

If I could put my desk anywhere in the world it would be…
An ocean view office where you can hear the waves from your desk and go on occasional swim breaks for inspiration.

My favorite uncommon good is…
Our Personalized New York City subway signs.

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kimberly Hadlock

September 7, 2015

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Kimberly Hadlock, maker of the Coffee Lover and Edible Flower Lollipop Sets.

PicMonkey Collage

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I always kind of have been. When I was little I would design jewelry on rubber bands, going around door to door. I studied music from an early age along with dance. Later came photography. I have always had something going that requires design & creativity.

salted caramel

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Seeing my ideas reach thousands of people. Having a simple idea of a flavor profile enter my mind, calibrating till I think I have it just right. Then releasing it to the world. Knowing that my hard work is paying off and people are enjoying what I do.

1341 (3)

What does your typical day in the kitchen look like?
Up at 6am and packing up the car with my supplies for the day. Heading off to whatever share kitchen I am using for that day. I work solid for 5-6 hours making orders, then play with flavors for about 30 min. Package everything up and head back to my office where I will set and design custom labels for our wedding / corporate orders for 3-4 hours. The last 6 hours I will either tweet the website, or photography. Head off to bed then in 6 hours do it all over again.

herb shot

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Huh. Never really thought about it. Does coffee count? It can be inspirational and keeps me going.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
give me give me give me

birthday cake lollie

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Wisdom begins in wonder – Socrates : If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would be making lollipops for a living I would have laughed. One Christmas holiday I wondered how to make lollipops for a Christmas gift. I played around a bit to figure some things out. My friends loved them, suggested I start a shop. I have never looked back.

izzie lollipops 111

What are your most essential tools?
My mind. All the recipes are up there. I have never written any of them down.

PicMonkey Collage

Gift Guides

It’s Coffee Time: 8 Uncommon Facts About the World’s Favorite Bean

June 23, 2015

Summer is a telling time for coffee drinkers; the heat naturally flushes out the untrustworthy fair-weather “It’s too hot for coffee” types from their ruse and lets us know who we can really trust. I started drinking coffee as a kid – funny given a popular myth regarding the discovery of the bean’s stimulating properties. Coffee originates from Ethiopia, allegedly first noticed by a goat herder named Kaldi whose goats began acting jumpy after eating several wild coffee cherries. The bean has since grown to become an essential part of global food culture – the second most widely traded commodity after crude oil – and the basis of millions of people’s livelihoods (and others’ mornings).

In honor of one of the world’s favorite beverages, we’ve compiled 8 coffee facts about our favorite gifts that will have coffee lovers buzzing no matter how they take it.

Coffee Cold Brew Gift Set

1.) Cooler than you think: It’s never too hot for coffee, but for those who are after a refreshing and revitalizing afternoon drink, cold brew is for you! Plus, cold brew coffee may actually be more flavorful! When coffee grounds are exposed to hot water, acidic oils are extruded that don’t dissolve at lower temperatures. This gives coffee its bitter kick, but masks some of the fruity, aromatic flavor retained by cold brew. Check out our gift lab to see the Cold Brew Set in action!

 

 

The Coffee Towel

2.) Mornings on tap: Here in North America, one third of tap water used for drinking is used to brew coffee! Soak up a little extra with this towel – perfect to hang nearby your coffee station to dry mugs between mornings.

 

 

 

Coffee Explorer Set

3.) Sadly, you can’t wear the Coffee Belt: Though the most coffee is consumed by the global north, coffee can only be grown in a region straddling the equator known as the ‘Coffee Belt’ (or Bean Belt). The Coffee Explorer Set takes you on a tour of the belt with four varieties from Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras without having to board an airplane. That could get expensive quickly; the only U.S. state in which coffee can be successfully grown for commercial purposes is Hawaii, which explains why backyard bean growing hasn’t quite taken off.

 

  

 

Coffee Liqueur Making Kit

4.) Before on-plane temperature control: This DIY take on coffee liqueur promises a different kind of buzz than your morning cup of Joe. Coffee Liqueur’s distant, freckle-faced cousin, Irish coffee, was conceived in the 1940s by the head chef at now-Shannon International Airport to warm American passengers on cold winter flights. When asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, the chef labeled it ‘Irish Coffee.’

 

 

Le Café Personalized Art

5.) Stimulating more than your mornings: Turn your kitchen or dining room into your own café – maybe you’ll spark an important intellectual movement! European coffee houses, precursor to modern cafés, are often credited with helping to spark the Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries for their role as public places for discussion. Plus, coffee benefits short term memory recall!

 

 

Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup

6.) Classic CoffΣΣ: Immortalized in ceramic, the classic Greek motif coffee cup is an iconic symbol of the New York City morning rush. Makes a perfect gift for a coffee loving New Yorker, who drinks (on average) close to a whopping seven times more coffee than inhabitants of other major cities!

 

 

Café Collection Soaps Set

7.) Caffeine Vaccine: With these soaps active in the shower and caffeine active in the bloodstream, you’ll be extra safe from unwanted microbes! Long credited speculatively with antiseptic properties, a 2011 study indicated that caffeine may be more effective than ampicillin at inhibiting bacteria like staphylococcus, salmonella and E. coli.

 

 

Espresso Pop Chart

8.) Who needs unions when the boss has a bean machine?: Depicting 23 different kinds of espresso, the Pop Chart serves as an aesthetic reference for any espresso lover! Just don’t spend too much time staring at it with mouth-watering daydreams of bold, Italian goodness – espresso was first invented in the early 1900s as a means to decrease the time laborers took on their coffee breaks. Get back to work!

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest