Last-minute holiday gifts, we're here for it. We've put together a list of affordable picks spanning multiple personal interests to inspire your purchasing decisions or to create your own list.
We have no affiliation, sponsorship, nor any partnerships with any of the listed brands, these are simply some of the products that we noticed, researched, bought, used and loved this past year.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a Dutch colonial administrator stole the first mocha java arabica coffee plants from coffee plantations in Mokha, Yemen, and brought them back to Amsterdam. Wrong move, as he could've guessed that our climate is unsuitable for commercial-scale coffee growing. Instead, he and his colonial homies exported this arabica coffee plant to the island of Java, in what was then known as the Dutch East Indies. The region’s terrain, rich volcanic soils and favourable climate proved to be a great coffee-growing environment, resulting in unique beans with delicate taste, low acidity and complex flavour profile. TL;DR: Indonesia’s coffee industry has been around since the 17th century and developed well into the 21th century, catapulting the best Indonesian coffees to great prominence in the world market right alongside Latin America. Amsterdam-based micro roastery Friedhats has brought things full circle with one of their recent finds, the aromatic and tasty Kamala Bener Meriah. This yeast-fermented coffee is made up of the varietals Bourbon, Ateng, and Abyssinia 3 and grown at an altitude of 1300-1700masl. Processed by the amazing people at Central Sumatra Coffee. Get yours at friedhats.com while supplies last, or try out their other amazing beans.
Fellow was founded with a vision of bringing the cafe experience home, but has since also expanded with beautifully functional and fully intuitive products for travellers. Be it a short commute or long haul, they have a wide range of mugs and tumblers for hot and cold drinks, available in various colours and sizes (235 to 590ml) to fit your travel needs. One of our favourites is their Carter Slide Mug which features a convenient angled lid for one-handed operation, keeping one hand free and your drink hot between sips while on the move. Available at local retailers and fellowproducts.com.
Listening to music has become more convenient than ever. Today we have phones, streaming services, wireless speakers, bluetooth earbuds, and usually the sound quality is alright for the average listener, but it's not great. Something we've come to accept as a trade-off for ease of use. And there is something to be said about the way we consume music as well. Busy lives and hyper convenience have diminished the sensual and tactile senses, often relegating music to background sound. Hence the current renaissance where enthusiasts have come to the ultimate realisation that there is value in immersive listening and deeper musical connection. Sales of vinyl records have recently hit a 30-year high, and analog technologies are providing the kind of extraordinary audio experiences that our increasingly digital world has started to remove. Technology has come a long way, and to be able to enjoy high fidelity audio no longer has to cost a lot. IEMs (In-Ear Monitors) are a great entry point to revisit and rediscover your music library without having to break the bank.
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero: Reds are dual driver in-ear monitors that come with smooth neutral tuning and a subtle bass boost courtesy of acclaimed audiophile expert Crinacle, providing a clear and vibrant listening experience across most genres. The package includes a detachable 0.78mm 2-pin cable, 7 sets of ear tips, impedance adapter, spare mesh filters and a carrying pouch. Outstanding value at just €50,00. Available at shenzhenaudio.com. Great alternatives in the sub €100,00 category include the Truthear Hexa and Moondrop Aria 2.
Amsterdam-based Marie-Stella-Maris is known for their range of mineral water, natural body care and luxury home fragrances. What some people might not know however, is that for every purchase made, they donate a share of the revenue to sustainable clean water projects across the world. So that's a big win-win. Objets d'Amsterdam is one of their most iconic scents and is also one of our favourites. Sparkling notes of bergamot and green tea provide freshness, where musk and amber offer welcoming warmth. You can get it in scented candle form, but also as fragrance sticks, room spray, body cream, hand soap and much more. Check out their collection at marie-stella-maris.com.
Rick Rubin has often referred to himself as a reducer, instead of a producer. During his long, successful and storied career he has mastered breaking art down to its pure, core, essential elements, removing all the fluff that can distract from the message the artist is trying to convey. The Creative Act: A Way of Being aimed to share his decades of musical wisdom, learnings and insights, but in the process became more than that: “I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.” — Rick Rubin. The book delves into the depths of what it means to be truly creative, exploring the boundless possibilities that await us when we embrace our inner artists. A great and inspiring read that sparks creative and spiritual thinking. Get your essential read on via abc.nl.
For generations, pocket knives have been an essential tool. And at the same time, for generations, pocket knives have had a stigma around them. Both are true. Use it for what it's intended for and you should be golden. Societal issues and stereotypical thinking aside, knives are one of the most useful tools for common everyday tasks. You wished you had a knife at hand when you were trying to open that Amazon package with your house key and got nasty tape residue all over it, or those times when you stop the blood flow in your fingers because you try to brute force the tags off new clothes. Now one could argue why spend money on a knife when you can buy a cheap plastic boxcutter? Well, the same reason why you'd rather wear a Rolex instead of a Timex, or drive a Mercedes C-Class instead of a Kia Picanto. Both will take you to your destination, but the journey matters. A good knife has well-considered design, great engineering and uses high quality materials that can last for decades.
Long story short, this is the Vision FG (Field Grade) from the creative mind of knife maker and designer Snecx, produced by Civivi. It features Snecx' innovative Superlock mechanism for unique opening and closing, as well as thumb stud deployment. The blade comes in a satin finish Nitro-V steel, and has a versatile reverse tanto shape. The handles are natural jade green G10, but there are also options for micarta, ultem or more high end, titanium on the original Vision R version produced by sister company We Knife Co. You can get yours at messerundco.de.
The Miyoo Mini Plus was one of the biggest hits in the handheld gaming community this year. This retro game emulator packs the charm of the original Game Boy into a smaller form factor, and is able to run all the classic games from the Pong era all the way up to Playstation. It features a crispy 3,5-inch IPS colour display at 640x480 pixels running on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and comes pre-loaded with a whopping 5000+ games. It has Wi-Fi capabilities, USB-C charging and takes swappable micro SD cards to hold your game libraries. What makes this device even more interesting are the customisation options. Third party D-pads, buttons and triggers are widely available, and the stock Linux OS can be overhauled with Onion OS, which unlocks even more features to elevate the gaming experience. The Mini Plus is available in 4 case colour variations: transparent black, transparent purple, retro grey and white, and sets you back around €75,00 via the Miyoo Official Store or Amazon.
In today’s fast-paced digital world where many people have a high-resolution camera in their pocket, it might seem counterintuitive that analog film photography is experiencing a revival. Yet against all odds, film photography has been making a remarkable comeback the past few years, driven by a combination of nostalgia, artistic appeal, and a desire for a more immersive and deliberate kind of photographic experience. For those who are interested to try out film photography without selling a kidney the Kodak Ektar H35 is an ideal entry level film camera. This half frame film camera will allow you to reduce film costs by doubling up on a standard 35mm film roll and yield about double the photos. The camera sports a fixed 22mm f/9.5 lens, features built-in flash and comes in four colours (black, brown, sand and sage). It's compact and lightweight form factor makes it ideal for travel or social occasions. Grab it in a bundle including film to get started right away. Available at select camera stores and Amazon.
Not every rice cooker is built the same. A great rice cooker looks good and is easy to use: just set it and forget it, freeing up your time and attention to spend on other aspects of preparing a meal while giving you consistent results. The Lauben Rice Cooker is simple yet versatile: It can also slow cook, steam, make claypot rice, porridge, soup and oatmeal, all through an intuitive and self-explanatory user interface atop the lid. The low sugar function separates out carbohydrates, making it especially suitable for people with diabetes and nutrition-conscious users. And this thing makes healthy cuisine look good too. Its rounded tableware-inspired design and matte black exterior gives it an elegant appearance, earning it a Red Dot Design Award. Available at lauben.com.