Gifts for Grads

By Jason Takahashi
Published on: May 25, 2018

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As another school year winds down, a new generation of graduates prepares to join the 21st century workforce. If you’ve got a recent graduate in your life that needs a gift commemorating their efforts, here are some simple suggestions that will make any newcomer to the daily grind better equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.

  1. Pour Over Coffee Setup

For some, there’s no better way to start the day than with a fresh cup of joe. For others, there is literally no other option. Despite the many advances we’ve made in coffee brewing technology, the consensus surrounding the superiority of a single pour-over cup has begun to solidify in recent years. Unlike most electric percolators, a pour-over cup allows you to customize the brewing process for optimum levels of flavor and temperature. Similarly, coffee connoisseurs are not limited to the various pods associated with Nespresso and Keurig setups, and are free to sample from the vast array of beans available today, which for a young grad might be a small batch roast from their local coffee shop. With many different options available, I recommend a glass or ceramic dripper for the best possible taste. If you want to go all out, find them a gooseneck electric kettle with custom temperature settings for optimal pours. The practice of pouring-over is a meditative morning ritual and a simple, but enjoyable way to accomplish a common task, especially for a single person. Lastly, cleaning up couldn’t be easier as your filter can simply be tossed or composted, leaving no unnecessary trash or mess to clean up later.

  1. Audible Gift Subscription

As Amazon continues its take-over of virtually every consumer marketplace, one if its lesser talked about services is their wide selection of audiobooks via Audible. While recent graduates might want a little bit of a break from reading, it’s good to keep them interested in the written word and Audible is a great way to do that. With a gift subscription, users will get access to one book per month, but can return it for any reason and substitute that credit for another.  Audible has a sprawling selection, from classics to new releases, as well as foreign language courses and other academic offerings through producers like The Great Courses. Whether traveling, commuting, or taking care of things around their new apartment, Audible is the perfect way for anyone to continue their education and comes with convenient features like the ability to add bookmarks and set sleep timers.

  1. Smart Plugs

See how smart your new grad is by challenging them to find a use for one of the many new smart plugs available. Smart plugs, like Belkin’s WeMo line, enable users to control ‘dumb’ devices that are plugged into ‘smart’ plugs via their mobile device. From wherever you have a data connection, you can control the plug remotely, as well as schedule events like the turning on and off of lamps in the morning or before you come home from work. WeMo is also compatible with virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home, so you can access it via voice command if you have an accompanying Google Home or Amazon Echo.  While they might not be moving into an official smart home or apartment right out of school, smart plugs like WeMo might inspire them strive towards some smart custom integration of their own someday.

Wherever your new grad decides to take their hard earned knowledge and talents, they will delight in being reminded of your support thanks to one of these simple gifts that can be used throughout their new daily routines. Best of luck to them!

Jason Takahashi

Jason Takahashi

Jason is a contributing editor for Technology Designer Magazine and the Technology Insider Group. After five years in live concert production specializing in visual design and motion graphics for large-scale video setups, Jason has since taken up working with Denver’s youth to help kick-start the next generation of creative technologists.

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