It’s a habit shift, it’s apartment progress, it’s baby proof in a family where the youngest baby is a walking, talking two-year-old calling her dad…Jimmy. It’s a stainless steel water dispenser, otherwise known as an Italian fusti, and so far, we love it!
These classic stainless steel vessels with a handy and handsome spigot are most commonly used commercially as olive oil and honey storage—but they can also be real charmers in the home hydration department. We found ours secondhand and it had clearly spent its previous life in its intended role as vegetable oil keeper. Taking pride of place on the top of the small rolling utility cart in our kitchen, it’s now part of an easy access one-stop shop for water procurement that even the smallest in the household is able to navigate (mostly solo but typically with the *very* eager assistance of her older siblings).
I’ve written before about the ease I try to find for myself and my kids by creating accessible spaces in our apartment. Art supplies and kids clothes and other everyday items are kept in places that kids can reach for themselves but until now, I didn’t have that ease or access fully cracked in the water department. Our cabinets and countertops are high, even for me, and I hadn’t fully committed to toddler-height open glass storage. Well, consider this a new chapter.
Here are more details about our set up should you want them:
+ We have a 15-liter Sansone Fusti. Somewhat randomly, I found ours secondhand on Poshmark for a small fraction of the original price, so even though I was hoping for a 5-10 liter fusti, it was cheaper to go bigger. (And it is big.) If you’re looking to purchase new in the US, many olive oil and Italian goods importers sell the Sansone Fustis in a range of sizes from 2 liters all the way up to practically bathtub size. CB2 is currently selling the 15-Liter Fusti on their site. (As an added bonus for my label averse brethren, their version comes without the signature comic-sans style branding.)
+ We’ve been using Kishu Binchotan charcoal sticks to purify our tap water for the last ten years and love them. Putting them into the Fusti couldn’t be easier and it’s been so nice to have a break from the constant clank of the charocal sticks in our glass pitchers. (Here’s a full Simple Stuff: Water Filters post from the archive if you’d like a deep dive on why we put sticks in our water and what other water filtration options are out there! Berkey enthusiasts, I know you’ll be pleased.)
+ I made a butcher’s twine potholder in the right dimensions to serve as a crash pad for two stacks of the glass cups we’re keeping within easy reach of the spigot.
+ After experiments in other glassware, I’m firmly back on the 5.75 ounce Duralex Picardie for the kids in the family. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it is broke, replace it with a Duralex Picardie.
+ The fusti isn’t insulated so it doesn’t keep the water inside truly chilled, but even these former fridge-cold only water drinkers haven’t been bothered. I’ve just been adding a tray’s worth of ice cubes in the morning and everyone’s been happy. (This is our stainless steel ice cube tray. Only James can successfully crack it without cursing, but I’ll never admit defeat.) We’ve had minimal sweating and condensation on the outside of the fusti so far, though I’m sure there will be more in the higher humidity days of July and August. I’m not worried.
+ The whole operation is poised on top of our Yamazaki Home Utility Cart, which we’ve had for about a year now and which has been really great in this spot.
+ For good measure, I’ve been keeping the fusti from resting directly on the cart by employing a trusty trivet I made from a length of corded rope.
+ On a whim I decided to put our enamel (vintage! found locally!) bucket to use as a drip catcher in case of emergency. Yes, I have one child who revels in filling their glass to the absolute brim. I have another child who has twice walked away from an open spigot, cup sufficiently filled, head in the clouds. Preposterously, I have still another child.
+ If stainless steel is not what you’re after but the idea of a dispenser has your heart a-flutter, I’d also recommend the Canyon Crow Home Enamel Beverage Dispenser. This past weekend Rose and I escaped for a working weekend to The Rivertown Lodge in Hudson and they had one at the ready for guests. Also great and it comes with a simple stand for easy access.
Questions? Just ask!
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