I know that it is hard to remember now that summer has come and gone, but the NY Gift Fair took place near the end of August at the Jacob Javits Center. Hundreds of exhibitors filled the mammoth space and the leaders of retail picked over the offerings to whittle down their choices of what will be big on the shelves next year.
I am not a big shopper but I do enjoy seeing the innovations for food and beverage creation and display before they are widely available.
Some notables included:
EK Inter from Sweden with their slick digital mini-timers and scales.
Nuance brand Wine Finer – The wine is filtered through stainless a steel filter to allow air to enter and instantly mix with the wine. This accomplishes in seconds what takes a decanter minutes and space. A decanter is great at home but the Wine Finer could be a big help behind the bar as you’re trying to open up the wines bouquet in quick-time.
Eva Solo which has been around for over a decade but looks as slick as the day it came out. Minimum wholesale order is a bit too huge for most retailers. The Café Solo produces a coffee closest to French press but without the chewy sediment. Those of you that don’t like grinds between your teeth, but love strong, full bodied coffee will love this.
It is an elegant way to serve coffee in a café and an attractive item to hold on your shelves. Intelligentsia is the first major coffee roaster to back these but Groundwork’s in LA has been selling them since early 2000.
Ad Hoc – for the tea drinkers, Ad Hoc had some clever and creative tea infusers. My favorite is the Tea Stick. Fine permeated grate with a slick design; it actually works without having tea soup and cleans up easily. They also have a variety of kitsch infusers for fun but when it comes to your café, keep it simple. Another notable was there tea squeezer, which has a simple design for the bag user. It covers your cup to hold in all the anti-oxidants you might otherwise lose to the steam and then folds up to squeeze the last drops form your saturated tea bag.
What caught my eye was their new Abbesses ceramics collection – great for café or restaurant service with a high end, hand-made look combined with practical application and durability. Specifically, I enjoyed the creamers and oblong plates for small bites.
Gold coffee spoons add a punch to a ceramic set. Instead of buying a bunch of faux-fancy spoons from the Bowery, these come in a brushed gold finish and simple modern lines. They are also dishwasher safe!