The key ingredient in tea is water, specifically hot water, and the way to heat water is most often in a tea kettle. There are tea kettles galore and new ones being introduced every day, so it’s pretty easy to get into hot water. It’s a little trickier, though, to select the kettle that’s right for you.
A number of articles have appeared on this blog about tea kettles — about how to choose one and also reviews of several models. So, this article is more of a celebration of the diversity among tea kettles. Ever one to take joy and delight in being free to make personal choices, I want to share this information with you so that you can make choices to enhance your own tea time delight.
Rule #1 — Go for cute!!
Yes, I go for function over form mostly, but think about it. The kettle just sits there for hours between steepings. You either hide it under a kettle cozy (not sure there is such a thing — you might have to make your own) or get the cutest-looking yet most functional tea kettle available.
A few cuties:
- The Duck Tea Kettle — amusing yet functional, no need to hide it.
- Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle — stylish and in eye-catching red, plus it’s shiny!
- Cuisinart PerfecTemp Tea Kettle — very modern and sleek with a great water temperature control feature.
- Chemex Blown Glass Water Kettle — totally unique, no worries that your neighbor will have the same thing!
Rule #2 — Don’t forget functionality
- Heating method — I’m strictly a stovetop kinda gal. It’s a bit romantic. However, many swear that electric kettles heat faster and more efficiently.
- Capacity — Since hubby and I don’t mess around with steeping less than a 6-cupper (48 ounces) teapot full, we need a kettle that holds at least that much. Many kettles range from 1 liter/quart to 2 liters/quarts. In tea kettles, size does matter!
- Pouring spout — A spout that can stand up to being tossed at a stone walls is good. (Even drywall, though, can make a dent, especially if your aim is spot on and you hit a stud.) A spout that is slightly curled downward at the end is also good since pouring is smoother. Kettles with whistles tend to have spouts that are straight across, and they don’t pour as well (at least mine doesn’t).
- Whistle or not — I’m personally not a fan of the tea kettle whistle on most stovetop kettles. Other tea drinkers like them, saying they allow the user to wander off to some other task while the water is heating and then calls him or her back when the water is boiling; the drawback is that it only whistles when the water boils, meaning that you have to watch the kettle if you want water heated to less than boiling for more delicate teas.
- Settings — If you’re going with an electric kettle, look for various settings to assure that your water is heated just right for the tea you are preparing; they can also have automatic shut-offs that prevent an empty kettle from continuing to heat and other features.
- Cleaning — As I stated in a previous article, an unclean kettle is a horror to behold. A kettle with a wide opening that you can reach your whole hand in is best, therefore. Glass electric tea kettles make it easy for you to see when a good cleaning is needed.
A few functional kettle recommendations:
- Chefs Choice 681 Cordless Electric Kettle — electric kettle lovers, set yourselves free by going cordless!
- My own stovetop champ — simple but gets the job done, despite the stubby spout!
- Optimus Terra Kettle — A great camping kettle
Tea kettles for camping are in a class by themselves. They have to be lightweight and/or collapsible if you are the kind of camper that hikes to your campsite (intrepid hunter of all things gadgety to do with tea William I. Lengeman, III, found this one a while ago). Tea consultant May King Tsang prefers a simple kettle for heating the water for her camp tea enjoyment.
There you go, tea lovers. Time to get shopping!
Does a Watched Tea Kettle Really Boil?
The Old Copper Tea Kettle
Chef’s Choice Electric Glass Kettle 679
Kettle Spouts – Pouring Matters
Stove Top vs. Electric Kettles
The Benefits Of Electric Kettles
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