Dxniel said

Boiling too much water. I need a new electric kettle! Preferably with temperature settings.

Hello everyone.

I’ve been regularly drinking tea for 2 years now and have always used the same kettle that needs a minimum of 500ml to work properly. I like to use fresh water each time I want to boil water so that there is plenty of oxygen for the best brewing results. The teacups I like to use only hold 150ml and 200ml, so each time I have to either throw out the remaining water or reboil the water and get a weaker cup of tea than I would like.

So the last few days I have been browsing the internet searching for a kettle that holds up to what I am looking for. I noticed that there are very few electric kettles that can boil anything below 500ml, so I was hoping that people on steepster could help me out in my search for a kettle.

The type of kettle I am looking for can function with as little as 150ml of water (which seems unlikely to exist, so please also let me know of kettles that boil 200-250ml) and preferably one with temperature settings. Only once I started browsing for a new kettle I found out that there are actually electric kettles with temperature settings (Celsius if possible, but Fahrenheit would be fine as well). To me, this seems like a great feature that I would love my new future kettle to have.

So please, if you know of an electric kettle that matches the type of kettle I am looking for, please reply and let me know about it.


PS, I am a new member on Steepster :).

17 Replies
K S said

Hi Dxniel, welcome to Steepster. I searched high and low for a small kettle. You probably won’t find one. I also only want one mug of water at a time. I just ignore the warning and heat the one mug I’ll use. I’m pretty sure the warning is mostly to prevent a boil dry situation. One of my kettles has a clear plastic window. I used a permanent marker to note the water level of one mug so I don’t have to measure. My other kettle I fill the mug and pour into the kettle so I know I have the correct amount. I have never had a problem heating this way.

If you are afraid to try lesser amount of water, you might locate a Hot Shot. It heats one cup at a time to near boiling. I used one for years. Pretty neat little unit.

Dxniel said

I assume this only works for those hidden heating things, not the coils that show, right? Also, couldn’t there be a problem for the kettle to detect when the water is boiling, because the water is below the minimum? And do you think this would work with kettles that have temperature settings? Or could water below minimum throw it’s accuracy off somehow?

K S said

The coils in mine are hidden in the bottom. I do this with my variable temp kettle as well. It does throw off the temp a little if I don’t watch and grab it as soon as it hits the target. If I am not watching I will have to wait for the kettle to cool down a little but it is never too far off and hasn’t caused me any grief. It is far easier than carrying the kettle to the sink and pouring out half a kettles worth of unused water. I could just leave it in the kettle on stay warm mode but I prefer fresh each time.

Dxniel said

Do all electric kettles with hidden heating coils have them in the bottom of the kettle? Or do some also have them on the sides? If some of them also have heating coils on the sides, then I’d have to be a bit more picky about which kettle I’m getting.

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Uniquity said

This won’t help on the temp front, but a stovetop kettle (or even a clean pot) can boil pretty much any quantity you want as long as the bottom is covered. I use my electric kettle most of the time and always make sure the whole heating coil is covered if nothing else but the stovetop is nice in winter. The whistle feels cozy. For a second, at least. :)

Dxniel said

Appreciate the reply, but this wouldn’t be possible for me. Also, I personally prefer a kettle that I can place near me whenever I’m on the computer, reading or studying.

Thanks anyway.

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Kaylee said

I love my kettle: http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39087-hamilton-beach-programmable-kettle

It has variable temperature settings and can display either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The minimum water level is supposed to be 500 ml, but I haven’t had any trouble using less water.

K S said

Yep, that is the one I use as well.

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alice said

I don’t know if it is available outside of the UK but this looks like it could be suitable? No variable temperature settings though: http://uk.russellhobbs.com/collections/easy-breakfast/easy-kettle.html

Personally I use a breville tea maker as my kettle and usually make a full 500ml of tea in the kettle and reheat it using the keep warm button until I’ve drunk it all or pop the remaining in the fridge to try iced later. The keep warm feature isn’t suppose to be used when it is under 500ml but I feel like it isn’t as risky as bringing 250ml to a full boil.

Another thing I sometimes do is bring 500ml of water to temperature in the kettle and use my 350ml teapot. I then top the remaining 150ml back up to 500ml next time around. I feel like this gives me enough fresh water for a good pot.

Probably the only thing that would make the tea maker better for me is if it was half the size with a 250ml minimum.

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Dxniel said

Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Appreciate it.

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I use a .5 liter electric kettle that turns on and off
based on the weight of the water inside. To heat smaller amounts or just a cupful, I sit a lead plumbing pipe fitting on top that I bought it at Home Depot for about a dollar. The open bottom sits right over the knob of the lid of the kettle and the weight keeps it on until I take it off when I fill my teapot.

I also have a small traveling tea pot on the UK Amazon site. It’s .5 liter but heats any smaller amount of water.


I had to get a US adaptor and the cord is quite short but other than that, it works perfectly.

150 and 250 ml sounds like you may be brewing Oolong Gongfu style. If so, you can a larger pot and the water can be reheated (but not boiled) for the second and successive pots without adding or wasting water

Dxniel said

Yes, I do like to use a gaiwan. I used to like large cups of tea, but one time all the large cups were dirty, so I got a small cup and I noticed I enjoyed the tea a lot more than I did in large quantities. This is one of the reasons I got a gaiwan.

Are you saying the water barely loses any oxygen when reheated as long as it doesn’t reach to the boiling point? If so, would it be just as good to reheat to 80 celsius (green tea temperature, not sure what it is in Fahrenheit) as it would be to get fresh water?

Hope I’m not asking too many questions.

I can’t cite you any scientific proof for it but I believe it is essentially the case.

Actually I don’t honestly believe that boiling water depletes the oxygen in it in the first place. When water boils some of the water converts to a gaseous state (steam) but I don’t believe that either it or the remaining water changes its chemical or molecular composition. In fact, later when the escaped steam condenses it returns as water. So the oxygen can’t really have been depleted or lost.

Now, perhaps some dissolved oxygen and other gases in water escapes, if there was any. And when water is boiled and some escapes as steam, if there were minerals in the water (and there always are) those minerals will remain and the concentration of those minerals will necessarily increase in the water that’s left in the kettle. That might affect the taste. But that is a different story. The water is still water, just with a microscopically increased amount of mineral content (depending on how long it boiled and how much escaped as vapor).

If there is no chemical change the first time, there won’t be a second time. And certainly not if the water is not brought to a boil the second time, which it doesn’t need to be for green or oolong tea.

That said, I always keep a milk frother thermometer in my tea kettle and when brewing green or oolong tea, always take it off before the water reaches a boil (or try to, sometimes I may get distracted). The temperature I take it off on varies as to the tea I’m brewing and I only let water boil for black teas (and some Pu-erh). I usually don’t get or try to get more than one brewing out of my black teas and Pu-erh gives so many brewings and changes so much, I’ve never tried to use fresh water for each brew.

I’ve gone to a number of Chinese tea brewing classes and ceremonies and fine tea stores, and have never seen anyone deliberately throw out once boiled water. The remainder has always been reheated. Yes, they may use some of the water in the kettle to wash/heat the cups and tea pot, but not all of it. The rest is re-used and or mixed with some fresh water.

Dxniel said

But there is a noticeable difference in flavor when using reboiled water and fresh water.
I just thought of a theory of my own. I read on some blogs about people testing soft water and hard water for tea brewing. The guy mentioned that he expected the soft water to be better for tea brewing, but he noticed that the tea was flat when compared to the harder water. He concluded that the water needs a certain hardness for the tea to taste good.
A few days ago I also read something about certain kettles that are supposed to purify the water. They supposedly can make hard water into soft water by boiling it for a period of time (even though I don’t understand any of the sciences, I’m just simply connecting dots here). Could it not be that when boiling water over and over that the water hardness changes and also changes the flavor of the tea?
Regardless of what the case might be, there is a noticeable difference between boiling fresh water and reboiling water.

Also, you say you went to a few Chinese tea brewing classes and ceremonies. Did they bring the water to a full boil and reboil the leftover water afterwards?

Thanks for your reply :)

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I should add, this is all only my quasi- scientific opinion. By using a thermometer and never letting the water come to a boil in the first place, I avoid the whole question.

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darby select said

Check out Zojirushi….I’m addicted to mine!

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Dxniel said

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I took all advice into account and I think I found myself a good kettle. I ordered this one: http://www.neck.nl/product/search.mb1?sp=bestron+ddk2200
It costs about $44 and can have temperatures set between 25 degrees and 100 degrees Celsius (between 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit). It also has a keep-warm function.

Hopefully it will work fine with little amounts of water.

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