Kettle's material and price
My electric kettle broke down about 1-2 months ago and I’m looking for a new one. I had a low quality plastic electric kettle that worked OK for 2 years, but for some crazy reason the water started tasting awful just after Christmas holidays…..
After searching to buy a new one here in Greece, I couldn’t find something cheap and acceptable, so I started searching online. After a while I moved from cr@p-quality plastic to stainless steel and I was amazed at the price you can get a SS-electric-kettle in China. Like this kettle
that costs a little more than 10 euros and even the cheap models of “Kamjove” cost around the same… Looking at those prices, I wish I lived in China (and for the obvious reason = tea).
Considering that I can’t order from China and the prices here are like 30euros(~40usd) for a poor quality electric kettle, I started cosidering the option of an iron cast “tetsubin” style kettle. I can get one from online for about the same money so I’m not really sure. Of course 30euros are too much for me but if I can save some money in the next 2 months maybe I could get one. What I can think of pros and cons are these:
Stainless Steel Electric kettle
+fast and easy
+no care (except maybe some acid once in a while)
+can boil big amount of water
+turnes itself off
-not very traditional or aesthetically beautiful
-not very nice functionallity for gong fu cha
-needs electricity :)
Iron Cast kettle
+traditional and aesthetically amazing
+just right for gong fu cha
-needs gas or hot coals
-needs care not to get rusty(not that it’s very bad…)
After my rumble, my actual queastions are: What type of kettle do you have? If you changed it for something better, what would it be? And finally, would you prefer SS electric kettle or iron cast “tetsubin” kettle?
I actually use a Zojirushi water boiler (made in japan) and then steep in a cup using an infuser or pour the water into my ceramic teapot for larger batches. I love mine so much that I have 3! One for the kitchen, one for travel and a backup. They run anywhere from $100-150. You can usually find some one ebay if you shop there.
I don’t know that I’d recommend a tetsubin as they do acquire the “taste” of the tea a bit so you really can’t mis too much.
We have two kettles, one at work and one here. Both have plusses and minuses.
The one I have at work is a Hamilton Beach a lot like this one:
Its a good size, it heats water quickly, no noticeable taste imparted on the water. The one I have at work actually has a slightly worse handle (perfectly round, annoying to hold steady). However, it has no temperature gauge. If you’re using boiling water, great… but if you’re making green or oolongs, it can be a little tricky with this one (I actually have an instant hot tap at work that spits water out at about 185 F, so I use that).
The one we have at home is this one:
It has a temperature gauge, but not a setting… so basically you just turn it off when it gets where you want it. The only complaint about this one is that there isn’t a “base” as such, so when you want to pour your water, you have to unplug it, and carry the cord around like a tail. I find it ridiculous, but Missy likes it, and she makes the tea most of the time.
Long story short, here’s what I would look for if I were buying a new one:
1) Detachable base
2) Handle that looks comfortable
3) Temperature gauge (or setting).
Oh, and regarding cast iron… yeah, no, especially not as my ‘only’ method of heating up water. Unless not having electricity was a serious concern.
I hope this helps!
I actually DID just change over from one electric to the other, so I suppose that answers one of your questions? I had a pretty basic SS kettle:
And I just upgraded to:
The detachable base is a big plus, as is the temperature setting. I also love that the max fill line was visible on the outside of the kettle – on the cheaper model, the max fill was on the inside, and was very difficult to see while filling the kettle with water. Its also a bit prettier than the cheaper pots – the curve is somewhat more stylish than the majority of electric kettles.
I wouldn’t choose cast iron, but especially since this kettle is being used in a room where there is no stove/fire source, electric is the way to go. The cheaper kettle still works, and there’s really nothing wrong with it, but I wanted the upgrade, and I’m very happy with the new one!
Thanks for your answers!
The this is, I’m unemployed for some time, so I’m trying to spend as little as possible hopping a little will go a long way… Prices over 30$ are a bit too much for me now so I need to search very good to get something decent.
If I get over 30$ I would go to max 50$ and then I would like to consider a tetsubin for the pros I have listed in the first post or maybe I’ll go for something like the kamjove tp-600(or something similar). I really only do gong fu cha so I need a small and nicely pouring teapot.