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Recent Tasting Notes
(I couldn’t remember how to add teaware to the right place – thanks to some help from looseTman, this is a repost in the correct location!)
I have been using this for a little over a week now. It is a great size for use at work and I like that the minimum amount of water isn’t more than a cup. (I picked up a bigger cheaper kettle before I got this one and the minimum amount of water you can use it with is more than 2 cups.) I also like that the heating element is not exposed to the water.
It heats up quickly. The auto shut off does function as indicated. I don’t get any plastic flavor from the lid like some of the Amazon reviewers noted but I also don’t fill it up when I use it so that may have something to do with it. Dunno.
My only complaint about it is that it is kind of loud for the couple of minutes it takes to heat to boiling. A coworker turned around this morning and said “I’ve never heard a crack pipe but that’s what I imagine it sounds like. Nice start for your morning.” He was joking and said it didn’t bother him at all but it’s something to be aware of, depending on where you are going to use it.
It’s also small enough that I could see very little problem taking it on trips where I am already taking at least a carry on suitcase.
By upgrading from this kettle http://steepster.com/teaware/revere-ware/46814-classic-2-1-slash-3-quart-whistling-tea-kettle to the Bonavita, I feel like a time traveler who has left the Stone Age behind and I’m now light-years ahead!
This variable-temperature kettle is such a joyful convenience. Gone are the days of boiling and using a thermometer, then waiting for it to cool to the needed temperature. That’s OK for one cup. However, it’s a real pain for the multiple infusions of Gong Fu and even worse if you want to temper (pre-heat) your gaiwan, yixing, or cup before brewing! Also, being able to select any temperature from 140 to 212F is rather rare among current competing electric kettles and more expensive water boilers. Most only offer a few preset temperatures. The Bonavita will also hold your selected temperature for one hour with a touch of the Hold button.
The Bonavita also boils water much faster than our old stove-top kettle. It boils so fast (8 oz. tap water in 2 min. 41 sec.), that timer operation for that all-important first cup of the morning, while convenient, is not a necessity.
The trigger handle is very comfortable to hold and the attractive gooseneck spout pot is well-balanced for pouring. The controls are simple and intuitive to use. The display is very bright & distinct and provides a continuous real-time temperature readout. This model appears to be well-construted. Unlike a hot stove-top kettle, a hot Bonavita can be placed directly on a table as it has an insulated base.
Since an electric kettle is only used to heat water, rather than for brewing, there’s no possibility of a strong tea residue affecting the next pot of tea.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this variable-temperature kettle – Highly recommended!
Many thanks to all the following people who have posted very helpful comments or reviews on this variable-temp. kettle: Ashley, Cheri, Chris Van Patten, Dinosara, Kat_Maria, Kevin, Kokabel, Lion Repshire, Sarsonator, Stephanie, Tealizzy, Terri HarpLady, and TinaCHammonds.
New model suggestions:
1. As others have suggested, an audible tone (something melodious rather than a harsh beep or an adrenaline-inducing alert) to inform the user when the desired temperature has been reached would be helpful for faster-paced multi-tasking mornings. A quick glance at the temperature display is all that’s currently needed for this purpose.
2. A built-in count-down timer with a pleasant audible tone such as: http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer. The current count-up timer is a nice touch if you have the ability to watch it – on your desk where you’re working.
3. A hybrid model that would combine all the features of this model with a vacuum insulated teapot. The Bonavita version of a water boiler: http://steepster.com/teaware/zojirushi/39783-ve-r-hybrid-water-boiler-and-warmer-cv-dsc40-4-liters. When I recently contacted Zojirushi, they had no plans for a variable-temperature model.
I hadn’t delved too deeply into the negative reviews before purchasing this kettle. Perhaps part of me stubbornly wanted to believe it would be as amazing and useful as it looks. Now that I have, I’m a little leery, but so far, so good.
The gooseneck spout is a godsend. It allows for a very precise pour and the speed at which the water comes out is just perfect. It takes about 4-5 seconds to fill it up the gaiwan and gives the tea leaves a nice swirl before leaving them to steep. Alternatively if I am brewing a very delicate tea that should not be agitated, the gooseneck allows for a very slow but steady pour that will not rustle the leaves much. In terms of pouring, this kettle is the best I have tried, hands down. The pistol grip is also very comfortable and the 1-liter size is perfect for what I’m using it for. I need a smaller kettle like this one so I can get a more controlled pour. It’s easier to maneuver since it is less heavy. It allows for more elegant motion of the wrists.
I am concerned, however, by the reviews I’ve read about potential electrical problems and rust after repeated use. These problems appear to be so frequent that I am already uneasy about the product and feel like I am using it with anticipation for something going wrong. Lucikly, there is a 1-year warranty so as long as you’re okay with having to wait on the company to replace it, in theory, you should be covered in the event something goes wrong. The 1-year warranty was a selling point for me because my last kettle from another company crapped out after 6 months of use and only had a 90 day warranty.
My biggest complaint from use is that the heating element makes a very noticeable sound, clicking on and off as it tries to reach the set temperature. Sometimes the element will click on and off every few seconds for a while, so the sound can be very frequent. If repetitive clicking sounds annoy you, this could be a bad investment for you. I was put off by this at first but learned to ignore it. I expect some noise from a kettle, and this one roars a lot less as the water heats than previous ones I’ve owned.
I don’t know if this is a real problem or not, but the LED screen flickers when the kettle is heating. I haven’t had this problem with my Pino Digital Kettle Pro, which has almost an identical temperature readout and base. However, as that was the kettle that quit working after 6 months of use, I can’t really compare whether this type of problem is worth fretting over or just a minor glitch. As long as it does not lead to the readout not functioning, I’m okay with it.
The included plastic screen to cover the base is a really nice accessory, though I’m not sure how necessary it is since the base doesn’t really appear to have many seams where water could leak into it anyway. The sticker included did say it is for commercial or frequent use. I guess it is meant to be used in an environment where the potential to spill something on it is high, or where there’s a bit of hustle and bustle or moving around of objects.
The plastic base of the kettle(not the control unit it sits on) is a bit wobbly on mine and does not sit flush with the stainless steel. While this doesn’t seem to affect the functionality or cause the kettle to wobble when seated, it feels like cheap manufacturing and I wonder if water dripping from the sides of the kettle (from condensation inside the lid when you remove it or put it back on) may get trapped in this seam and cause rust over time. In theory, it shouldn’t, since the product is supposed to be stainless steel.
The timer function is nice, but only operates when the kettle is not seated on the base, so prepare to sit the kettle down elsewhere if you want to run the timer. It counts upward from zero so you don’t have to set it, but you do have to pay attention to it as there is no beeper or anything to alert you when it reaches a certain time.
As for the preset temperatures, I feel somewhat misled by the product description. I thought it was possible to have user-defined presets, but it is not. The wording on that should be a little more clear. You can, however, cycle through the presets to get to a temperature close to where you want it and just dial from there to reach the desired temp. It saves time from having to dial all the way from a low temp to a high one or vice versa.
One other thing. I had this plugged into a power strip with some other appliances and it took substantially longer to heat up than when plugged into the wall outlet directly. It may be beneficial to only use this directly with an outlet. The cord is not as short as some reviews say. It is about 3 feet long and can be wound underneath the base to store it away, though this is more difficult than it should be and it can easily get stuck under there, so I’m not sure how useful the function really is or if I’ll be using it often.
It performs the core tasks I need it to: heat water to any specific temperature and hold it there, and offers a very controlled pour. Anything beyond that I would say is bells and whistles, but as far as the bells and whistles go, I’d say it’s important to deliver what you lead your customers to expect they’ll be getting, and not sacrifice quality or functionality for extra features. The preset and timer functions are a little half-assed to me, so not as great a selling point as I originally considered, but still they are handy to an extent. The missing points on the score I gave it are partly due to the features that could be better incorporated and partly due to the questionable manufacturing quality.
I would not really recommend ordering this kettle for the full price of 95 dollars, as I don’t think its quality or track record warrant anywhere near that price. It will occasionally drop in price on Amazon. When I ordered it it was 60 dollars, so keep an eye out. I think 60 dollars is worth the try, but 95 is putting too much burden on the buyer for the questionable quality.
I’ve had this kettle for almost exactly a year. I love it! The only complaint is that it doesn’t have any indicator sound to let you know it has arrived at your specified temperature. I love that it will hold it there for up to an hour though! I also really like that only metal touches the water, no plastic. Also the gooseneck makes it prettier than most electric kettles :)
I’m thrilled with this kettle. The temps are accurate and it’s fast to heat up. It also has a small profile; I keep it right on my desk so I can have tea at any time of the day.
One suggestion: it would be awesome if the kettle could emit a small chime when the water has reached the right temp. Sometimes I get distracted and forget I had water heating. This would probably need to be optional, but it would be a really nice option to have!
Very happy with this. I was looking for a basic electric kettle to heat up water for between one cup to four cups, so I could have a random glass of tea. Or both myself and my BF could take traveler mugs to work with tea in the morning.
With cold water, Filled to max-level, it took about 10 minutes to get to 212 (F). When I finally made a cup of tea with much less water, it took only a couple of minutes to get to 180 for me. It has a nice hold function which keeps your tea at the temp you need. As well as preset temperatures (just click the “temp” button and you rotate through the options).
And I did NOT know this when I purchased it, but after you pour your tea, you just press the + button and a timer starts up, counting down. So you can use that to watch how long your tea has been steeping. It isn’t a very useful timer for me because I want an alert to tell me my 3 minutes are over. But- it does let me know how long it steeped exactly. Helpful!
So far I really love this. It’s going to get tons of use. I was weary at first because reviews on Amazon spoke about rust. But apparently there was an old batch that wasn’t coated or treated properly that had rust issues. It seems they’ve been replacing the defective models (if you dig through amazon comments you’ll find some of these).
Perfect for what I need!
What’s not to like? This does not take up a lot of counter space and does exactly what it says. You can program any temperature you want to bring the water to. There are some standard presets but you can use the up/down arrows to set your own. It remembers your custom temperature, so no need to reset if you use the same one. The spout is perfect, allowing you to fill even a very small teapot. Lastly, there is a built in count up timer, so you can time your steep.