Old vs. New Tea Kettle

I’ve had a trusty red tea kettle for years. It’s always been able to heat up water and chime when it’s ready. I’ve been seeing all of these fancy tea kettles with different settings for green, black, etc. I’m intrigued, but don’t have the funds to splurge on a kettle like that.
Am I not getting the full ‘tea experience’ by just boiling water in the kettle? I really don’t use varying temperatures for the different kinds of teas… when the kettle chimes, I’m ready to pour the water. I’m not really wanting to use a thermometer since I’d just like to put water in the kettle, pour over tea.. bam, done. What are your thoughts? Have you noticed a significant difference with the variable temperature kettle or do you use the classic, stove-top kettle?

2 Replies

I use an old stovetop kettle at home too – I think it’s at least a decade old if not older. But I do use a thermometer. I was reluctant at first too – but water temperature does make a huge difference and if you are not doing something to check temperature for oolongs, greens and whites, I would say you are not getting the full tea experience (unless you have temperature powers and just know :) I imagine people DID have some way to know because people drank green tea long before thermometers yet alone electric kettles were invented, but I digress!)!

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Cofftea said

It is my opinion that this method is fine, for certain teas. herbals, blacks and pu erhs take boiling water so if that’s all you drink then this method works perfectly w/o sacrificing flavor. Some people also use boiling for dark oolongs, although I prefer them at 180-200. Boiling water is way to harsh for whites and greens (except for a few Japanese greens). If you don’t want a variable kettle (although I personally like precision, then you just have to set it for the correct temp and then pour when ready- not much more work than what you do already), you can go the thermometer route or do research on low long to let boiling water sit for it to cool to (a rough estimate of) various temperatures. If you wish to stick w/ using boiling water, it is my opinion that you should stick to drinking teas that require such a temperature.

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