This year, April showered us with a plethora of home and design releases — and oddly, only one of those releases had to do with 4/20.
Besides grow-your-own-weed kits, we got a plunger (yes, a plunger) that actually doubles as home decor, new bakeware from Made In courtesy of Nancy Silverton and a standing desk that actually fits in tight quarters.
My favorite release, though? The new knife brand Steelport. It's a pricey kitchen toy, but it was the sharpest thing I saw all month.
Steelport 8-Inch Carbon Steel Chef Knife
Most American kitchens are tricked out with stainless steel knives. Here's a thought: go high-carbon steel. It's sharp as hell, and it's what most of the pros use in their day to day. Since 2007, Eytan Zias has been running The Knife House in Portland, Oregon. Now he's getting into the knife-making world with his new brand Steelport, which launched in March with a $400 8-inch chef knife.
What's with the high price tag? It's a full-tang knife with 65 HRC carbon steel, which means it's extra sharp and durable. The knife's design is meant to encourage a pinch grip, the best way to hold a knife. As a sign of respect to the state it's made in, the handle is made of Oregon bigleaf maple. And remember, this is not stainless steel, so don't let this knife stay wet for long and always dry by hand. Bob Kramer, looks like you've got some competition.
New Belgium Piano Keys Stout
Atlantans are a lucky bunch of folks — they're the only people who can grab New Belgium's latest beer, Piano Keys Stout. Made in collaboration with craft beer enthusiast Ale Sharpton (real name: Dennis Malcolm Byron), the 10-percent ABV imperial stout is brewed with cocoa nibs, and the whole endeavor is meant to increase diversity in the craft beer industry.
Two dollars from every purchase of a case of Piano Keys will go to BrewGether, which uplifts Black people in the beer industry; and $1 from every beer purchase from New Belgium tasting rooms will go to local non-profits in Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina.
As much as wireless chargers are meant to make your life easier by minimizing how many wires you have, wireless chargers themselves take up precious desk real estate. Humanscale's answer to this is the NeatCharge, a wireless charger that attaches to the bottom of a surface that can charge your device on the surface. And just so you're not sliding your phone around the table like a madman looking for a charge, you can affix a sticker on the surface so you know where the charger is located.
Brightland Digestif Kitchen Candle
Our favorite cult-ish olive oil brand, Brightland, loves a good digestif (what you drink after a meal to help you digest). Unusually, though, Brightland's stab at a digestif isn't an alcoholic beverage — it's a candle. Meant to be lit after a meal to refresh your kitchen and not your stomach, Digestif is aromatherapy at its finest, especially for the company's founder.
"The Brightland Digestif kitchen candle is extra special to me because of its fragrance notes and what they mean to me: Vetiver is a plant native to South India, and so Digestif's vetiver and black pepper notes immediately take me to my grandparents’ home in South India," Brightland founder and CEO Aishwarya Iyer says. "The orange blossom and neroli notes remind me of California’s gorgeous natural bounty, so I feel like a part of my heritage, history and personal story is poured into each candle."
The candles are made in collaboration with Los Angeles-based sustainable candle company Flores Lane, and it's made with Brightland's very own olive oil.
Humblemaker Coffee TACA Blend
For Autism Awareness Month, California-based coffee roaster made a blend for The Autism Community in Action, a non-profit that supports families raising children with autism. All proceeds from sales of the TACA blend go to the organization, one that has a special place in the heart of Humblemaker co-founder Bryan Marseilles, who has two children on the autism spectrum. This coffee isn't just all about doing good — it's a good coffee in and of itself with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla bean and caramel.
Since 1948, Heath Ceramics in California has been making exceptional hand-crafted tableware and tiles. For its summer 2021 collection, the ceramics brand is focusing on the color blue, or more specifically moonstone. According to the brand's principal designer, Rosalie Wild, the moonstone glaze has been around since 1971, and its use in this season's collection is a celebration of its 50th anniversary.
Five Two Carbon Steel Wok
We're constantly raving about carbon steel as a better alternative to cast iron. Carbon steel is lighter and more maneuverable than its heavy counterpart, and it's just as naturally non-stick, with the ability to reach screaming hot temperatures. Millennial favorite brand Five Two, the in-house cooking brand of food publication Food52, just made its new carbon steel wok available for pre-order.
The pan comes with a lid and steamer rack, which also doubles as a deep-fried food ledge to let excess grease drip. Now you can finally nail those stir-fries that never seemed to taste like what you get from takeout.
No one wants to own a plunger, but you sure as hell need one for those unexpected clogs. And there's also no way to hide your plunger, so you might as well buy a better-looking option. Staff, a new Brooklyn-based home goods brand, wants to give you that better-looking plunger, and it also pays homage to founder Charlie Weisman's grandfather who was a plumber.
The brand's take on the tool is made with a brightly colored acrylic handle adorned with a smiley face and an inoffensive matte black rubber cup. It's weird to be hyping up a plunger, but I'll take whatever joy I can get this year.
Miller High Life x Junk Food
Bros donning beer apparel has rarely been cool, but with Miller High Life's new collection with Junk Food is changing that. Miller High Life has a long history with auto racing, and the collection emulates that perfect vintage clothing vibe, adorned with classic logos and imagery from the brand. A couple highlights include the Racing Pit Flea Market Pit, the Racing Team Muscle Tank and Racing Pit Crew Vintage Revival Jacket. It's like buying the perfect vintage clothes without the vintage price tags.
Gantri Tray Light
The latest lamp from San Francisco-based design brand Gantri is the Tray light, made to provide light without taking up precious nightstand real estate. Designed by the direct-to-consumer bedding brand Silvon, Tray features a (you guessed it) tray perched atop the cubed lamp.
The surface area around the lamp features a rippled effect, influenced by the same design of paper lanterns, which emit a similar mood-enhancing glow. Like all of Gantri's lights, Tray has a dimmable switch so you can set the brightness for any occasion.
Casa Firelli is a new hot sauce brand inspired by the flavors of Italy. Its main heat source is the Calabrian chili pepper, which brings just as much fruitiness and savoriness as it does spiciness. It won't send your tongue to the depths of fiery hell, but it will give you a subtle similiar to a dash of red chili flakes. Rounding out Casa Firelli is the umami of porcini mushrooms and balsamic vinegar, with some bright acidity from lemon juice and garlic powder.
Made In Bakeware
Made In has come a long way since its All-Clad-competing stainless steel pots and pans. Now it's in the bakeware game, and the DTC brand tapped a very big chef in coming up with the new products. James Beard-award-winning chef Nancy Silverton, who basically made sourdough bread what it is today, helped in the design of Made In's new French-made porcelain bakeware, comprising square, rectangular and oval baking dishes. Not only will they be your new favorite thing to cook in, but they just look damn good, too.
Humanscale eFloat One
For some reason, finding a sit-stand desk that fits small homes has been a true struggle. There are a number of crappy ones from Amazon, but Humanscale's eFloat One is the first we've seen from a legendary home office brand.
The desk eschews the two-column stand that most standing desks use, instead opting for a single column base that accommodates the smaller tabletop. It's just 36 inches wide, and the tabletop is made of bamboo, which is sustainable and beautiful. Control the sit-stand desk with an easy-to-use touchpad, which brings the table up as high as 49 inches.
Canopy x The Sill Humidifer
Canopy is the humidifier for millennials. While most humidifiers look like hospital equipment, Canopy somehow made its unit actually kind of cute. Cute enough to sit alongside your plants, too. Teaming up with online plant retailer The Sill, Canopy released three essential oil blends for some aromatherapy. The fragrances evoke the scents of the places where you can find plants: the forest, a greenhouse and a forest market. Your indoor plants, as well as yourself, could surely use more humidity, and Canopy will provide just that.
Bombay Sapphire Ready-to-Drink Gin & Tonic
We already trust Bombay Sapphire to be the backbone of a great gin and tonic. Throw in Bill Nye saying Bombay Sapphire and tonic are the perfect pair, and we're doubly sold. With the brand's new canned gin and tonics, you can have a delicious G&T on demand. While it's not hard to one up yourself, it's undeniably satisfying to just crack open a can and
Dogfish Head Lemon Quest
For a quarter of a century, Dogfish Head has been keeping it weird in the craft beer business. The legendary brewery has since truly gone off the rails in the best possible way with its Dogfish Head Distillery and canned cocktails. But not everyone's looking to get buzzed nowadays, and Lemon Quest is for those looking to keep their blood alcohol content at zero.
The non-alcoholic beer is made with lemon puree, blueberry juice blueberry juice, acai berries, monk fruit and sea salt. The special ingredient is the addition of Hopsteiner Polyphenol-Rich Hop Pellets, which make this feel like your regular ol' beer. At just 90 calories and full of sour hoppy flavor, this could keep you going from morning to 5 p.m, when the full-booze beer starts flowing.
Wiggle Room Tables
Keep your square, rectangular, circular or whatever-shape tables you have — I'm going wiggly. The Brooklyn-based furniture manufacturer Wiggle Room recently launched and its trio of tables are quite a fun sight to behold. Opt for a laminate top to add a pop of color, and these Wiggle Room tables will be even more fun.
Amass Hard Seltzer
Amass has entered the hard seltzer chat. The botanics brand, which makes an exceptional vodka, gin and non-alcoholic spirit, brought its botanics-first mindset to the hard seltzers with a trio of bright and thirst-quenching drinks perfect for the summer. The hard seltzers include the hibiscus-forward Surfer Rosso, the delicate floral Faerie Fizz and the juicy citrus Sun Sign. Sadly these are only available in California, Florida and New York so far, but Amass has plans to expand distribution.
Old Pal Grow Kits
Your indoor plant set up may start to look something like this: snake plants, ZZ plants and now cannabis. Old Pal, a cannbis brand from California, is celebrating 4/20 by offering customers the ability to grow their own grass. Partnering with Ladybug Farms, Old Pal's Grow Kits include half-grown Tri-Cross hybrid plant in a one-gallon pot. Give it about nine hours of sun a day, keep them warm to get buds in about 30 to 45 days, ythen smoke away, my friend.
Athletic Brewing Nature Nut Porter
Leading non-alcoholic beer brand Athletic Brewing is going nutty with its latest release, a Porter made with Justin's, a popular nut butter brand. The two settled on a peanut butter-inspired porter, which essentially tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup, a Justin's specialty.
Athletic will also be donating two percent of its sales to the brand's Two For The Trails initiative, which helps to maintain and rebuild nature trails, walking paths and outdoor green spaces — plus, Justin's will make a matching contribution.
Dad Grass' CBD joints helped me alleviate my post-Election Day anxiety, and now the brand is ready to bring in Mom Grass. Mom Grass joints are made with CBG, an alternative to CBD, but still non-psychoactive so you won't end up being conked out.
Studies on CBG, which stands for cannabigerol, are still in its early stages, but the supposed benefits — staving off inflammation, pain and nausea — may have you reaching for your lighter and ashtray.
Truff Truffle Oil
A drop of truffle oil on your French fries is guaranteed to add a 300 percent upcharge. Don't fact-check me on it, but you have to admit it sounds about right. Truff, our favorite truffle-adjacent brand, is now selling truffle oil after "only" selling truffle hot sauce, truffle pasta sauce and truffle mayo. Its oil is an infusion of real black winter truffles with olive oils, so you can buy an order of large fries from McDonald's and douse it in truffle flavor.
Balmuda The Lantern
You may know Balmuda for its infamous $329 toaster, which is basically for the bread lover in all of us. Its new release is a lantern, which is meant for outdoor and at-home use. With three adjustable settings — candle, amber and warm white — the light sets itself up for whatever environment you put it in. Whether you're trying to set the mood at the dinner table or you just need a light source for a camping trip, the lantern is a little ray of light.
Bearaby Weighted Blanket
You need a weighted blanket, and we found Bearaby's Tree Napper to be one of the nicest. On Earth Day, the brand brought back its popular weighted blanket, and it's now available in three new colors: Dayflower, Amber and Elderberry.
The blankets are naturally moisture-wicking and cooling because they're made of TENCEL, which is derived from eucalyptus. The return of the Tree Napper also marks the start of Bearaby's partnership with EcoMatcher, which is helping to plant a forest in Uganda.
Blue Bottle Coffee x HUMAN MADE Future Blend
Nigo is the brains behind two cult-favorite streetwear brands, Human Made and A Bathing Ape. He'd previously done collaborations with Adidas and Louis Vuitton, and now he's getting in on some coffee. The designer is a fan of lighter-bodied, fruitier coffees, which informed his decisions in collaborating with Blue Bottle. The Future blend is a mix of natural-processed Ethiopian coffees, which bring those fruity flavors Nigo loves, as well as some funky berry flavors. Try this in a pour over to get the full flavor of the coffee, but a drip coffee maker or French press can also do the trick.