My Kettle Story
My kettle or should I say our kettle? gets used an awful lot in our house. We’re constantly making tea and instant coffee. As we both work from home a lot of drinks get drunk, the kettle is on the go all the time.
Most of us never give much thought to the humble kettle, it just sits on the work top and boils the water – End of. But for me my kettles have always had little personalities, I consider them as friends. Just like old comfortable shoes. And it’s a sad day when they eventually break or come to the end of their useful life.
Well I’ve had four kettles in my life, after I left home many years ago and I’d like to tell you about them. Yes, I still remember them all, with some howlers along the way.
Kettle Number 1
I received this kettle as a birthday present from my grandmother, which coincided with me leaving home and moving into my very first apartment. I felt that I’d suddenly become an adult. As you can imagine this was a special kettle.
This kettle, as I remember it was a nice size and finished in metallic blue. It was very nice and small just what I needed.
My Sister’s Present
When my sister left home two years later, she came to visit. I remembered feeling that I had to give her a “moving into her first apartment gift” and thought that my kettle would be a splendid idea. So stupidly I gave, no insisted that she take it – which she did.
Kettle Number 2
Now without a kettle and being partial to tea, I had to act fast. That was a big mistake as I bought thinking that any kettle would do. I went for form over function. So I now had a kettle that was slow to boil the water and dangerously hot on the outside.
It had to go
I lived with my mistake for over two years as a penance for my rash decision but finally I decided it had to go.
Kettle Number 3
Lessons learnt, I did my homework this time round. Read reviews and bought quite an expensive model. This was the best kettle so far. Boiled over almost two pints of water in one go and it boiled water fast. And importantly, for me, was that it stayed fairly cool on the outside. I mean it was still quite hot but not scolding hot.
I had no plans to ever change this kettle, which sadly isn’t manufactured anymore but unfortunately circumstances meant that even this kettle lasted no more than two and a half years or maybe three years, I can’t be more precise than that but I can tell you what happened.
Mother’s Cooking for Us
I was having my family over for a dinner and my mother kindly volunteered to prepare the meal, with me as her assistant. She sent me off to get some additional ingredients while she made a start on the food for the evening.
In Kettle Heaven
When I returned a horrible smell was coming from the kitchen and my mother distraught. She’d put my electric kettle on the stove. That was the reason for the smell and my beautiful kettle was now deformed mass of plastic destined for the trash. She was so apologetic but told her not to worry as I was going to get rid of it anyway (I lied). Getting rid of the molten plastic from the stove was a bit more tricky.
Kettle Number 4
I began to switch from tea, as in English tea with milk and sugar to green tea, as in Jasmine and Oolong. This was an attempt at living a more healthy lifestyle and slowly but surely I stopped drinking tea with milk.
As my experience grew, so I learned that green teas are best when made with very hot but not boiling water. But this is quite hard to get right unless you check the temperature with a thermometer. That’s just too over the top for me. But a hit and miss approach is also not good as if you undershoot the ideal temperature then the tea leaves won’t brew properly.
Electric Kettle with Temperature Control
That’s when I made the important discovery of variable temperature kettles. These are fairly new but there are now a lot of models to choose from. And so I bought one and can now set the temperature exactly, which for Jasmine tea is 176F – I use the 175F setting.
Another a great feature which all variable temperature kettles have is a “stay hot” feature. This means that when the set temperature is reached it will stay at that temperature for 15 minutes or so. Some models can stay hotter for longer but quarter of an hour is fine for me.
My journey has been one of trial and error, family and trials and tribulations. I suppose I’m a bit unusual in that I get a bit more attached to my kettle than most people. That’s just me I suppose.
But now I’m at a kettle good place. The kettle looks good in the kitchen and does what all kettles are supposed to do but in addition I can now set it to whatever temperature I desire and keep it there for a while.
Always check before you buy. Now more than ever before it’s easier to do and every kettle seems to get reviewed on the internet. I always look for those models with the most reviews, that way you get a balanced opinion.
And don’t forget to leave a honest review, good or bad, it all helps and other buyers, who you’ll never meet, but will appreciate your effort.
For me personally the future is the variable temperature kettle. Boiling water is the core feature of any kettle but having a kettle where you can set any temperature you want precisely is an ideal bonus. And a must if you like teas of hot fruit drinks. Even instant coffee tastes better with hot, not boiling, water.