I first encountered this elegant and unique way of purifying water at a dinner party hosted by my friend Jeff. Suspicious initially, I asked him why there was a black log in his water pitcher, and with an amused look he explained: Kishu Binchotan—a kind charcoal from the Kishu region of Japan—absorbs chlorine and other chemicals from tap water while releasing natural minerals such as potassium and magnesium. In the Bincho water purifier set from Sort of Coal, the Japanese charcoal log is combined with a mouth-blown glass carafe for a water purifier with a clean, organic feel that makes a beautiful replacement for my old Brita pitcher. Now, whether I sit at my dinner table or my work desk, this Bincho bottle brings me crisp, fresh water and a sense of Zen.
Bincho Charcoal Water Purifier, $125 at sortofcoal.com