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Recent Tasting Notes
Yay!! My new kettle is here!! This is the first electric kettle I’ve ever bought and it is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I love that it’s simple and easy to use. It’s sleek and stylish. And most importantly, the pre-set brewing temperatures are exactly what I like to use to brew various types of tea.
I used to enjoy the laborious, time consuming ritual of boiling water on my stovetop, pouring it into a cup and adding a thermometer, waiting till the water reached just the right temperature and then adding the leaves, then waiting some more for the tea to steep, and finally FINALLY having a finished ready-to-drink cup of tea. Well, now that I have a baby…ain’t nobody got time for that!
Now with just the click of a button, I can have water that’s just the right temperature for my cup in no time at all. This thing boils water FAST! It also lets off a lot of steam so I don’t recommend putting it directly underneath your cabinetry. I do wish it kept the water warm longer than 20 minutes but that’s not a huge dealbreaker.
I’d say that’s my biggest critique of this kettle. The keep warm function isn’t entirely logical or intuitive to use. If you lift the kettle off the base, it automatically shuts off the keep warm function. You can press it again but it goes off within a couple minutes. So I guess you have to reselect the temperature each time you lift it off the base? That’s silly. Still, it’s better than what I’ve been doing. I’ll take pressing a button over my old routine any day. This kettle rocks! Now I just have to resist the urge to buy one for the office…
Love this kettle. I rarely use the pre-set features & brew according to the vendor’s recommendations. I have had no problems with water quality (filtered from fridge) nor hard water deposits (our water is soft here). When there is tannin build up (there will be with heavy use), the Breville organic tea cleaner works great. This unit is a must when I have company. I really LOVE having the ability to quickly brew water to an exact temperature when using my other teaware. I have had this unit for about 18 months.
I recently received this tea maker as a birthday gift. It works wonderfully and I love it even more if I am having some friends over and want a make a big pot of tea or want to have a big pot of tea to sip on all day (It’ll make about 5-6 cups). This tea maker does make good tea. However, I find if I just want to make one cup of tea, a tea kettle and a strainer is easier.
So, at the end of last year, I got out of the habit of making tea to take to work with me. I was tired and getting up twenty minutes earlier so I could get the kettle running and make up some travel mugs was just not happening. I mean, I could be sleeping during that time! As a result of this, I ended up drinking a lot of the free coffee my workplace provides. Which would be fine except that coffee turns me into an anxiety-riddled, panic-stricken, hyperactive nut who crashes within two hours and gets bad headaches.
My fiance bought this for me so I could make tea in the mornings without sacrificing a bit of sleep to do it. Also so that I’d stop drinking the coffee at work.
I love this thing so much. My only complaint is how time is set for the auto-start feature — I really hate that I had to scroll through to the correct time minute-by-minute, rather than just being able to set the hour and minute separately. Other than that, this is fantastic. Finer temperature control than my previous kettle, I wake up to fresh tea (even if I’m still having trouble adding enough leaf to the basket), and it’s so much fun to watch the water heat up! I really can’t recommend this enough!
Love this – only issue (and it’s a tiny one) is that the minimum you can do is 500ml which is a fair bit of loose product if you’re only wanting one cup. However, the fact that you can take the tea basket out and use it as a variable temp kettle means that you can brew in your own teapot too.
I have had this kettle for a month or two now and I’m a little conflicted. I love the preset temp buttons. I really like that the kettle has glass sides and no plastic that touches the water. For those of you who are concerned about plastics, let me explain this kettle a little further. The sides of the kettle are glass, but the bottom is metal. Where the glass meets the metal, there is a silicone ring that the water comes in contact with. At the top of the spout there is a mesh metal and plastic filter that can be removed, which is how I use it. The lid is plastic and the water heating does create condensation that will drip back into the pot.
The kettle has maximum fill line half way up the kettle. I’m assuming it is so low so the water doesn’t boil over and out. The kettle is a little heavier than the the metal version that I previously had, so I get a little more of a workout from this thing.
The part that I’m a little baffled by and disliking is the way the water smells. In my last Breville kettle, I would have to refill it without rinsing several times to get a mineral smell and taste in my water. With this kettle I’m finding I need to rinse it out almost every time to avoid that smell and I’m not sure what the difference is. I’m still using the same source tap water filtered through a Brita. I have tried rinsing it out with vinegar, but the smell comes right back. I’d suspect it was an issue with the water, but the change happened when I switched kettles. The mineral spot build up has also happened in this kettle and I only ever got it in my old kettle when I traveled with it (something I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing with a glass kettle) and used different water sources. So is it the kettle, or my water? I have no clue! I bought this kettle (and yes, so far it is only sold through Teavana – Breville confirmed) so I’d have an all glass no plastic touching my water kettle, but what good is that if the water still tastes odd? I’m guessing I will give this a little more time and then maybe think about returning it for the metal version I had. So verdict is out, there are both good and bad points to this!
This is a lovely kettle! It’s efficient, simple, and durable. Plus, you can’t beat the price for the quality you get! I particularly enjoy that it has different temperature settings.
For those who say they’re worried about the small amount of BPA plastic on the inside, I believe I read a statement from the company saying that it was in fact BPA free.
The only drawbacks I have for this kettle are that you need to heat at least two cups of water each time, (I’d prefer to only heat the amount I need so I don’t pour too much water in my pot for the amount of tea I’m using), and that I occasionally can’t hear the “ready” alarm go off. A longer cord would be nice as well, though I can see how on a countertop shorter cords are more pleasing to the eye.
Overall, this is a stout and useful kettle!
Easily the best teaware I’ve purchased. Its incredibly easy to use and makes perfect tea everytime. I love the keep warm feature. The only drawback is you basically have to make 1.5 cups of tea as the minimum. If I want less I usually just use it as a water heater and pour the water into my individual steeper. Upon taking it out of the box you can tell its well made and a high quality. Mine started to get a bit tea stained, but breville also makes a cleaning powder for the kettle that made it look brand new afterward. Absolutely love this product!
It’s here!!! Finally after all the looking at them and reading about them, i finally bought one! It was on eBay as a matter of fact, and i got it for about 25.00$ cheaper than everywhere else i’ve seen them, so needless to say i was extremely happy about that! I tried it tonight, absolutely amazing!! I thought i was making some great tasting tea, and just the difference between this morning and tonight was night and day difference! It does it all!! Its a hot water kettle, its a tea maker, it has the auto start, what more could you ask for?! I am just so in love with this thing!! Thanks to all my friends here that helped me and pushed me to take the leap, now i couldn’t think of drinking tea any other way!
I seriously considered getting this Kettle. It had all the bells and whistles, was exactly what I needed, etc. Until I learned that the plastic “water level” on the sides of this kettle are made with poly-carbonate – not BPA free. That’s very disheartening. How hard is it to use safer alternatives? I’m not usually one to fuss about BPA, but I do avoid warming/heating plastic with it. So on a kettle that will DAILY reach 212 degrees? Too much risk for me.
So DH hears me talking about this, and orders from Teavana, of all places. Would have liked it direct from Breville, i.e. any issues: Teavana put a very clearly worded note in the box, NOT to contact them if it needed to be returned, whatever… For me this was a splurge item and would not have purchased it on its merits on my own. It looked like an overpriced hot pot I had in college.
After a month of use I must say that I love it, and it is a pretty awesome appliance. I love tea and have for my entire life so to get to play with exact temps and times without much fussing is really nice. So except for the price, about $270 w shipping and taxes, I am very happy with it. Does what it says, and does it well. Only wish it would hold temp longer than 1 hr. esp. as I like to make a large amount and drink it thru the day.
When I first this I went yay, finally I can brew tea in the correct temp. I have a cat. she like to knock things off table, counter etc. I was afraid. she might knock down a tea pot and get hurt.
thought I wish the price is not that steep. hubby though I lost my marbles went I insist on getting the tea maker.
I will probably update/edit this as time goes on given I’ve only had my Breville less than a week (eeee!), but I’ve made a lot of tea for a lot of different situations now so I feel comfortable piecing together some thoughts. Keep in mind, this is hyper personalized in terms of my quirky tea making preferences and needs.
First off, I am as impressed as everyone else about how nice the quality of the parts are. The kettle does not feel flimsy or especially breakable despite being glass. I was a little nervous the magnet mechanism would seem overly delicate, fragile and fiddly, but it’s sturdy and straightforward. I also like that the countertop real estate this takes up feels pretty small but the kettle houses a surprising volume of water (1.5L, I think). The brew basket is even roomier than I expected, so I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about fluffy teas feeling cramped even when I’m putting in enough for 5 cups of tea.
As for all the programming stuff: it works as described, intuitive and easy with a straightforward interface (the “program the night before for fresh tea in the morning” has a few more steps, but if you don’t plan on unplugging your kettle much that shouldn’t be a big deal).
This is also the first glass kettle I’ve ever had, so I can watch the stages up to boiling (which hopefully will help me get better at eyeballing without tech/thermometers some day).
Now for some kinda-cons. The issue I’ve seen hinted at here and there but rarely explicitly described about the tea tasting differently—it seems pretty clear to me this is because of the design of the brew basket (it’s not a million little holes all around like mesh but solid metal with relatively few holes on the bottom, so the degree of direct contact between leaf and water isn’t what I’m used to) combined with the fact when the basket lowers into the tea and it’s steeping the temperature remains constant, at the prescribed brewing temp, as opposed to pouring leaves in an infuser basket or tea pot, pouring the water over them, and letting the tea steep in cooling water. (By the way, I know there’s a difference because I made a point to brew staple favorites the first few days I had it.) My quick fix for this is to adjust all the steeping parameters down from what I’d use if I was making tea traditionally—if I’d normally make a tea at 212F for 4 minutes, in the Breville I set it for 200F at 2 minutes. I’m going to do a side by side soon with all different types of teas to get my adjustment scale down for good; I’ve kind of been winging it so far with good if not always stellar results.
More problematic, the tea continues to intensify even after the basket lifts out of the water, and even if the keep warm setting is not used. I know this because you can see the tea get darker and darker in the kettle as it sits, and when you pour a second cup it’s noticeably darker (I can compare my cup when I go for seconds to my husband’s still-half-full first cup of tea) and tastes different, usually more bitter. There is an obvious solution to this—remove the basket from the tea maker completely once it’s done steeping—but that’s a little tricky given the hot steam, and also, the whole point of having it brew the tea for you is not having to do something like that, something akin to just using a finum or forlife in your cup in the first place. Ah well. My theory about it is that somehow just being amidst the hot steam in the kettle leads to condensation and dripping more tannin out of the tea. I will note that Breville admits this happens, too—I can’t remember if it’s in the manual or maybe the Amazon description or Breville website, but I know I’ve seen a one sentence mention from the horse’s mouth somewhere. So there’s that. I was prepared for it.
The other thing is, and this is understandable, the Keep Warm function is really only for tea; what I mean is, it works well if you’ve brewed tea and just want a pot of it to stay drinkably warm for a while (it will keep it warm for 1 hour; by the way, the count up as soon as it’s done making tea, so you know how long it’s been sitting, is a nice little touch). If you use the Breville as a variable temp kettle (something that was essential to me given the price tag since I knew the aforementioned cons would mean I’d still be doing things the usual way a lot of the time), the Keep Warm function won’t keep the water at the programmed temp for an hour or at all after the right temp is reached and it beeps (granted, this is a lot, probably too much, to ask of a kettle as opposed to a sealed water heater—I have a cheap variable temp kettle that does this hypothetically, but at higher temps it doesn’t take long at all for the water to completely steam away). I have had a desire for a while now to have a set up (probably in my living room) so I could sit on the couch reading or watching TV with a pot or gaiwan of green or oolong tea and just keep resteeping from a generous source of constantly maintained appropriate temp water without having to go to the kitchen; the more experience I get with tea gadgets the more I realize the two best options for that sort of thing are a variable temp kettle whose contents are then poured into a preheated vacuum sealed thermos (my current method) or one of those fancy Zojirushi variable temp water heaters (maybe someday—was really hoping the Breville and that, both biiiig ticket items, would overlap more in their uses but alas).
As for maintenance/cleaning/upkeep, I—knock on wood—foresee this being pretty great in that regard. Like any electric kettle you can’t immerse the base in water, but the mouth of it is much more open than most kettles I’ve had, and the glass means you can see what you’re doing inside it as you clean it. It definitely retains odors—I made Queen Catherine in it one morning and everything smelled like QC for the next couple days until I did a thorough baking soda clean—so you might want to watch out for that. The basket and lid can apparently go right into the dishwasher, though so far I’ve simply been rinsing them clean. The interface on the dock seems like it’d just need the occasional wipe down to stay clean (I hope).
So. I’m quite pleased with the design and quality of this thing, how much thought and care went into it. That said, I don’t feel this takes the place of other ways of making tea at all—I still find you get a better experience with appropriately hot water and a set-up that lets you smell the brewing process and all that. And it definitely doesn’t take the place of something like the Zojirushi heaters, which seem better suited if the majority of your tea drinking is gongfu style or generally Eastern (like using a kyusu and resteeping greens a zillion times) as opposed to “set it and forget it” big pots of tea Western style. But the “wake up to freshly brewed tea of any kind, nice and warm and ready” feature, and the freedom of knowing when I want to make tea for my husband and myself I no longer HAVE to do the whole “5 minutes to boil, then 5 more minutes steeping, and don’t walk away lest you forget it and it gets cold” hover-dance—I can set it up, walk away as long as I like (within an hour), and it’ll be ready for me—is super duper welcome. I think the Breville’s going to be go-to for teas I don’t think of as precious or finicky—first-thing-in-the-morning brisk blends, the flavored treats we share for afternoon tea, no-caf tisanes right before bed. And for everything else, it makes a good variable temp kettle. I’m definitely happy I’m lucky enough to have it now (best Christmas evar), I just don’t think it is the last word in tea making set ups, especially if you like resteeping/gongfu/Eastern style prep.
I adore this kettle! I was looking for something to heat my water for tea in my college dorm room since I wouldn’t have a stove. I got this as a gift from my grandmother and it’s been wonderful. Not only can I heat my water to the perfect temperature to make anything from white tea to oolong to black tea, but my roommates can also boil water for tea bags and all of us can use it for, of course, Ramen. It heats the water incredibly quickly and the hold temperature button can be really helpful if I’m steeping my leaves again. I use it all the time. The cord is very short, but I’m definitely able to overlook that. It’s truly very wonderful and well worth the money.
I asked my sweet husband for this for Christmas and he remembered!!! I’ve only used it a few times so far but I love it. I am still learning the correct amount of tea. So far each time the tea has been a little weak so I just need to keep experimenting. I love the “keep warm” feature so I can have a cup while I get ready for work and then take a to go cup.