- Food and Cooking
The Essential Electric Kettle, Tea (and Coffee's) Best Friend
I normally do not review a product quite so early, this kettle hasn't even arrived yet, but I assure you I did indeed order two, one for my kitchen and one for my office. Then I made the mistake of telling my aunty I ordered one. This is where things got interesting. I had to explain, first of all what an electric kettle was. How on Earth, I thought, could she not know? And I realized that the real answer would not impress her so I told her it saved money over heating water on the stove and she grunted something like 'oh'.
And my heart broke in a million little pieces because well, that was so American an answer. Now I happen to be American as well but I make up for it by reading, and if you read anything set in Ireland or England or any of those wonderful places by native authors the characters will make tea by putting the kettle on. It just sounds so much more soothing, so much nicer than just about anything else in the world. Because moms make us tea, and well, it is like having your mom make it all over again, to read about these wondrous people and their apparently magical kettles.
There's an actual ritual to tea, and it revolves around the electric kettle, which outside of hotels in Toronto I thought were mythical beasts. Not even US tea houses have them. I've been to a quite few so I know whereof I speak. Did these miracles actually exist, and if so would they work in the US, or magically transport themselves to a country where they'd be appreciated like Ireland or England?
In case you didn't guess I was raised by a tea drinker (my mother) so perhaps that also swayed my purchase. I'd have loved to show mom an electric kettle, though I'm well aware the romance is somewhat lost if you don't have decades of seeing them in novels under your belt. But they are always there, always working as problems are solved. Right then, to the kettle. This model has a very generous capacity for 1.7 liters which translates into 57 ounces plus change.
That, if you drink normal American sized mugs is a little better than five to six mugs. And you don't have to make just tea of course. I drink coffee as well ( I am American) or coco or anything with a French press, or make anything that needs hot water like bowls of instant soup or oatmeal, or anything else you can think of. Which brings to mind the why of my getting this wonder. My microwave died and after only four years, and honestly, it was a glorified water heater.
I'm not saying I'd be a fool and refuse a new microwave if you gave me one, but for now at least I realize that to heat water an electric kettle is more economical, certainly more stylish, and it will save over me using the stove so far as I know. It is of course marked in liters, but I won't grouse. Soda comes in liters here, and yet I survive and almost any American can tell you exactly how many cups come out of a two liter bottle, so I already know how to work with liters if I think about it.
Besides, this is an electric kettle and it is made to boil water repeatedly throughout the day. Many reviewers used it multiple times a day and unlike my microwave it didn't expire in protest. A few reviewers complained when they poured too quickly that it would splash or leak, but anything will do that. That is gravity at work, nothing wrong with the kettle.
Trust me I remember using them in Toronto in hotels and they do truly work like a dream, perhaps not so fast as in Ireland where the electric voltage is higher, but this model has beat out microwaves and stove kettles in the US so I'm looking forward to my order arriving.
Oh, before I forget, this is often called a cordless model meaning the kettle comes off the heating element and you can pour freely. A corded model has to be unplugged. But feel free of course to browse Amazon where I got over four hundred results for 'electric kettle'. You can find models smaller or larger and the like and fancy high end ones if you so desire.
This one however does have automatic shut off, a generous 1.7 liter maximum capacity (0.5 minimum) and black matches just about any décor. And at these prices you can get several like I did, and a lot of reviewers did so as well. Trust me, buy them now, do not hope that any random American store will have an electric kettle.
The bright side to my story is that my friend who loathes microwaves did a dance of joy, and as she is smart as a whip she knew exactly what an electric kettle was and why it was so very special. Because it can be used to make tea, and tea is a ritual that means slowing down. Taking a breath. Sorting things out in a soothing manner.
Tea makes sense of the world and electric kettles are a great help in making tea. Therefore, electric kettles will help us sort out the world, I'm sure of it. I'm seriously tempted to buy these as gifts as well, because once people try an electric kettle they will be converted.
UPDATE: My kettles just arrived today! I simply had to boil water twice, then rinse to clean it. Now I'm having a simply lovely cup of tea. The background photo and photo below are mine of my tea kettles boxed, and one open respectively. Enjoy!
I've come across plenty of uses for my electric tea kettle and can't imagine how I lived without her. First, I did break down and buy a microwave online. It arrived as dead as a dodo. So all my piping hot water came from my kettle. Took the microwave to the store to return it, the replacement was defective too, again my kettle cheerily stepped in and served all my boiling water needs.
And I'm finding I need a lot of it. Not just for hot drinks like coffee or tea, but for oatmeal and instant soup as well. I put my instant oatmeal in a bowl or mug, add hot water and don't have the endless waiting the stove top would take to make oatmeal the long way. I don't have to wait for water to heat on the stove, either.
It is also coming in handy when it is time to wash dishes with stuck on stains like tea or coffee cups. A bit of soap, some boiling water, and my mugs come clean, works great for cutting oil or grease before putting the dishes in with the rest of the sink full too. And it even helps lift stubborn stains from cooking or anything else off my counter tops too, though I'm using only a tiny bit of boiling water and wipe it off quickly.
Never let your electric kettle boil dry. Although it does have an auto shutoff if this should happen, you can damage the coils this way.
You can boil as much or as little water as you need to. The minimum fill line is there to help protect the coil and should give you two nice cups of tea at least. The maximum should give you at least four to six depending on cup size.
The auto shutoff that operates once the water boils will not work if you've left the lid open.
The powerful 1500 watts the kettle runs at heats water quickly, saving you time and even with two going several times a day I haven't noticed an uptick on my electric bill.
Unplugging and draining your tea kettle at the end of the day helps prevent mineral deposits and save electricity. So you know, you can buy some lovely tea or another kettle.
Keep your manual! It will tell you how to clean off lime scale, give you important care tips, and more.
She is truly a dream to use and the first time she came to boil brought back a million memories. That soothing sound reminds me of vacations in Canada, both in Toronto and at the Falls, and the security of my family being nearby. But it is the SOUND of an electric kettle coming to boil that is priceless beyond words. It has been decades since I've heard that soothing roar, like the Falls in a kettle, come to think of it.
This kettle is loaded with features. Like shutting off when it comes to a boil and a sensor that helps prevent boiling dry which could damage the coils. I'm well pleased with this wonderful kettle and already enjoying a lovely cup of tea.
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Yes, there is music about tea. Wonderful, witty, lovely music. That for some reason isn't written by Americans. I'll get back to you on that bit. Honestly. Look it up on You Tube, nary a song about tea written with spunky American spirit. Ah, well.