My first thought about the black + blum kitchenware is that my lifestyle is not green enough and that I am not fancy enough for this product. I, the guy who shows up for work with a sack full of last night’s spaghetti or a can of beans. The stainless steel kitchenware is a stark contrast to my doggy-bag eating habits. Having said that, it is really pretty to look at.
A colorful silicone band encircles the mouth of each water bottle and connects the corresponding lid with an artificial leather band. The bamboo cutting board of the sandwich box is similarly held in place with a larger silicone band (think pretty giant rubber band). And the food flask–which is the coolest thing to call a thing to put food in–is topped with a natural cork which helps keep the food inside the right temperature.
In this set of on-the-go kitchenware, I tested:
-Sandwich box w/bamboo cutting board
-Thermo Pot w/magnetic spoon
-Large Insulated Water Bottle
-Insulated Water Bottle
-Steel Water Bottle
Each product in the series comes with a set of instructions on proper care and handling. Initially, instructions for a food container seemed unnecessarily complicated. I like to just put food in stuff and be done with it. But the instructions were essential when it came to keeping food or water hot or cold for the advertised time.
The product that I got the most use out of was the large water bottle. I am a heavy drinker, which is to say that I love to always be drinking something. And when it’s not Coke Zero, it’s typically water. One thing I’ve noticed with other water bottles is that they have a tendency to leak. And that is a BIG problem for me. If I am on the go, I need a bottle that can roll around the floor of my car or be thrown in a bag without spilling. The last thing I want to discover when I am out and about is that my car is now covered in water or that my bag has a big wet spot (especially if I am also carrying electronics).
The black + blum water bottles advertise a vacuum-sealed, leak-proof design. I wanted to know how “leak-proof” their design actually is. To test this claim, I filled the smaller of the three water bottles with hot water and suspended it over my sink for a period of 12 hours and counting.
As of the writing of this post, the bottle has not leaked, although, after 12 hours, the water is no longer hot. I tried this same experiment with a stainless steel cup that I purchased from a local gas station. As you can tell from the image, the lid is cracked and only held in place with a rubber seal. This damage happened before the test so I was not hopeful about the results. And as you can imagine, the cup did not perform as well as the black + blum bottle.
You want to put good food in a good container. There’s nothing so frustrating as a food container that won’t keep your food at a proper temperature. What I normally see is a container that absorbs the heat and passes it on to the person who picks it up. This phenomenon has caused me to burn my hands many times as I’ve tried to pack lunch for the next day. The black + blum Thermo pot does not do that.
The Thermo pot is well insulated and does a good job keeping the temperature of the food unchanged. As you can see from the image, I used instant oatmeal (with fresh strawberries on top, for good measure). This is three packets of store-brand oatmeal cooked in 1.5 cups of water for two and a half minutes. Note: this was cooked in a separate bowl and then transferred to the Thermo Pot. Normally, this type of oatmeal comes out of the microwave hot enough to destroy anyone’s mouth, but then cools equally as fast and makes the dish considerably less desirable (even with fresh strawberries).
The black + blum Thermo Pot not only helped my oatmeal reach the correct temperature, but it also helped maintain that temperature for almost an hour after cooking. What makes this container even more effective is the outer sides of the pot didn’t heat up to the point that I needed to seek medical attention.
-The stainless steel design of the bottles, lunchbox, and pots are really pretty (just drinking from the water bottles made me feel fancy).
-Leak-proof products make for a worry-free experience. No puddles in this man’s computer bag
-Hot food stays hot: cold food stays cold
-There’s a cutting board on the sandwich box!
-Uninsulated water bottles DON’T insulate (which is obvious but if not stated, you could burn your hand…like this guy).
-Not everything is dishwasher safe.
-The rubber strap on the water bottles is easy to break
-There’s no way to interconnect different pieces of the kitchenware
-There’s a cutting board on the sandwich box? (Why?)
Appearance: 5/5 Stars
Performance: 5/5 Stars
Complexity: 2/5 Stars (too complex)
Who Would Love this gift
As I mentioned earlier, I am NOT black + blum’s target demographic. But each of these products performed much better than I had ever expected. And I have kind of fallen in love with the largest of the insulated water bottles (the others were just too small for my needs). But if am not the target demographic, who is? Who WOULD love these products? Here’s a list of people who might truly enjoy the offerings from black + blum:
-People who like their food to be the correct temperature
-Someone who appreciates the aesthetic look of things
-Young business professionals who travel
-New mothers and those with children
-People who love quality products
black + blum products would make a great gift for the right person. They offer a wide range of quality kitchenware products that most people can enjoy.