10 Couple's Gifts That You Can Both Enjoy This Valentine's Day

iStock.com/pixelfit
iStock.com/pixelfit

This Valentine’s Day, don’t just do the standard flowers and chocolates. Instead, get your sweetheart something that you can enjoy together. From ravioli-making kits to date-night games, here are 10 couple's gifts that you will both love.

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1. Urban Cheesecraft Deluxe Cheese Kit

Urban Cheesecraft's cheese-making kit will fix up to 30 batches of five different kinds of cheese—mozzarella, ricotta, paneer, queso blanco, and chevre—all with easy-to-follow instructions that take just an hour. You just need is milk (either fresh or store-bought) and a little effort, and you and yours can be eating fresh, homemade cheese together in no time.

Get it at The Grommet for $55.

2. Repast Ravioli Making Gift Box

For an at-home date that rivals your favorite Italian joint, try out Repast Supply Co.'s easy ravioli-making kit. Repast provides all the necessary tools to get you started, including a special ravioli rolling pin, a ravioli cutter, olive oil, and semolina flour. Pasta night has never been so romantic.

Get it at The Grommet for $135.

3. Olympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club

Get the gift that keeps on giving: a cured meat subscription. The Olympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club sends out a new variety of sausage each month along with information about where each link is from and what it’s best paired with, so you can put together a perfectly curated appetizer plate for you and your significant other to enjoy. (If meat doesn’t fit your fancy, we also recommend the Pickle of the Month Club.)

Get it at Food52 for $160 for 12 months.

4. Marital Bliss Couple’s Card Game

Despite the name, the Marital Bliss card game is for couples of all kinds. The game is designed to inspire a full week of romantic gestures between two partners, sending both players on "secret missions" to carry groceries, cook dinner, and otherwise pamper each other while earning points. The person who has the most points at the end of the game can choose between a variety of rewards from their partner—like breakfast in bed or a romantic ice cream outing—but really, everybody wins.

Get it at UncommonGoods for $15.

5. Long Distance Friendship Lamp

If you’re far from your partner this Valentine’s Day, try out these lamps designed for long-distance pairs. Each of the two WiFi lamps alternates through an array of different colors when the other is touched, so you can wordlessly let your loved one know that you’re thinking of them, no matter how many miles separate the two of you.

Get them at UncommonGoods for $85 each.

6. Framed New York Times Crossword Puzzle

Show your partner how much a particular date in your relationship means with a framed copy of that day’s crossword puzzle from The New York Times. Signed by legendary crossword writer Will Shortz, the print comes with an extra copy of the puzzle so that you can solve it together without marking up your keepsake.

Get it at The New York Times Store for $150.

7. Omaha Steaks Valentine’s Day Dinner and Diamonds

Skip the steakhouse and cook up a romantic dinner for two at home with a Valentine's special from Omaha Steaks that includes everything you need to turn your kitchen into a fancy restaurant at a fraction of the price. This decadent surf ‘n’ turf dinner is specifically designed with date night in mind, and comes with a pair of free lab-made-diamond accent earrings—as if filet mignon and two chocolate lava cakes weren't romantic enough. (Even you already have plans for February 14, steak dinners are timeless—check out Omaha Steaks's other options for non-holiday feasts here.)

Get it at Omaha Steaks for $70 ($35 a person).

8. King Arthur Flour Bread Intensive

A baker rolls bread dough
iStock.com/ZoranZeremski

Homemade sourdough bread is all over Instagram these days, but whipping up a loaf yourself isn’t easy. If you or your loved one has recently gotten into baking bread, there’s no place to sharpen your skills quite like King Arthur Flour’s baking school. The trek to King Arthur’s locations in Vermont and Washington state might be a splurge, but for many amateur bakers, it’s worth it for the expert tutelage. Intensive workshops on bready topics like sourdough, whole grain, and pastry typically run between three and five days and cost between $375 and $700, depending on length and skill level. Sure, it sounds pricey, but think of the money you’ll save on store-bought bread once you’re both expert bakers.

Sign up at King Arthur Flour.

9. Wine & Design Paint-and-Sip Art Classes

A painter dips a brush into a palette that sits next to a glass of red wine
iStock.com/MarijaRadovic

Just because cooking isn't your thing doesn't mean you and your partner can't enjoy making something together. Show off your creative side at a boozy art class, where amateurs can learn how to paint in a low-key environment, usually with a little wine to loosen up your paintbrush. It's perfect for those who like a little Pinot with their Picasso, but even if you don't imbibe, it's a great way to get the creative juices flowing while meeting new people and learning from local artists.

There are plenty of local studios that specialize in these “paint and sip” classes, but one of the biggest chains is Wine & Design, which offers classes at 82 locations throughout the country.

Check out Wine & Design for locations, dates, and pricing. Prices vary by location.

10. Wine Down Box

If your main squeeze is a wine snob or a cheese lover, a Wine Down Box subscription is the perfect treat. Each month, the company sends out a curated gift box that contains a bottle of limited-production California wine, a cheese, a charcuterie pick, and crackers, with a sheet that explains ideal pairings for those specific items. It’s hard to skip out on date night when it’s delivered straight to your door every four weeks.

Get it from Wine Down Box for $70 per month for one month or $63 per month for 12 months. Shipping is included.

Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System Is the Only Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Update: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System is on sale for $120 ($40 off) for Sam's Club members until May 19.

For people who just want a cup of joe to help them get out the door in the morning, the French presses, Chemexes, Aeropresses, Moka pots, and other specialized devices that coffee aficionados swear by probably seem more overwhelming than appealing. Ditto the fancy cappuccino machines at local cafes. That’s where Ninja’s new Hot & Cold Brewed System comes in: It was created to give coffee addicts a myriad of options with minimal fuss, not to mention minimal equipment. And it makes tea, too!

“Coffeehouses are known for having an endless selection, but current at-home brewers haven't given users the vast variety of choice we thought possible, and certainly not all in one product," Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, said in a press release. "The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System changes the category entirely. This innovative system is more than just a machine you use in the morning; it's your all-day brewing partner.”

The Hot & Cold Brewed System comes with two baskets: one for coffee and one for tea. It knows what you're making to make based on the basket you insert, and the available options for that basket will light up. The machine allows the user to make six different sizes of coffee or tea, from a single cup all the way up to a full 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe.

And of course, as the name suggests, the system can make both hot and iced beverages. For coffee, it has five brew options: classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty (a concentrated brew for milky drinks like cappuccinos). If you’re making tea, you can choose between hot and cold brews optimized for herbal, black, oolong, white, or green tea.

When you select an over ice or cold brew, the machine automatically doubles the strength of your beverage so it doesn't get overly diluted by the ice cubes in the carafe. Even better, the Ninja can make cold brew in just 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other systems and methods typically take hours. (Hot coffee is brewed at 205°F, while the cold brew is made at 101°F.) And the system has a hot and cold frother that folds into the side so you can make barista-level lattes, too.

These bells and whistles sound impressive on paper, but how do they perform in real life? Ninja sent me Hot & Cold Brewed System to test for myself.

Ease of Use

Though it might look like something developed by NASA, the Hot & Cold Brewed System is designed to easily work with the twist of a dial and the push of a button, and it delivers. From loading in the correct amount of grounds with the system’s “smart scoop” to picking what type of brew you’d like, it’s simple enough to use even while bleary-eyed in the morning. It’s also easy to schedule a delayed brew so you can do the rest of your morning routine while your coffee brews. (Here’s the only drawback I can think of about this machine: When it starts brewing, it’s kind of noisy—loud enough to make my cats jump. It’s not a dealbreaker, but if you live in a small apartment and plan to brew coffee so that it’s ready right when you wake up, it might be something to consider.)

The system even tells you when it needs to be descaled. The “clean” button will light up, at which point you simply fill the water reservoir with descaling solution and water and press the clean button. A countdown lets you know how much longer the clean cycle will last.

Taste and Flavor

I swapped out an old, cheap coffee maker for the Hot & Cold Brewed System, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Whether hot or cold, the coffee made by the H&CBS was a better, smoother cup of joe. That’s due to what Ninja has dubbed Thermal Flavor Extraction automated brewing technology, which, according to a press release, “knows the precise temperatures, correct bloom times, and proper levels of saturation for every possible beverage combination to ensure a great taste every time.”

Whatever tech they use, it works. The coffee I make in this machine is consistently tasty. The rich brew setting works exactly as advertised, too, providing a richer, bolder flavor than the classic brew.

Features and Accessories

One of the best things about the H&CBS is the fact that it cuts down on waste significantly. Unlike other machines, it doesn't require any plastic pods or paper filters. Instead, it comes with two permanent filters, one for coffee and one for tea.

And the cold brew function is a game changer if you prefer iced coffee to hot. Not only does it brew quickly, but it eliminates the messy cleanup that comes with making cold brew yourself.

Typically priced at $230 for the thermal carafe version (or $200 for the glass carafe), the Hot & Cold Brewed System is significantly more expensive than a simpler drip coffee machine. But if you’re a cold brew addict looking to treat yourself, it’s worth it. Consider springing for the slightly more expensive thermal carafe model, which will keep your java hot or cold for hours. (I’ve left ice in it overnight and found cubes the next morning.)

You can get the Hot & Cold Brewed System on Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Sam's Club, or directly on Ninja’s website starting at $160.

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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