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.