What variable temp kettle do you use and how long have you had it?

88 Replies
looseTman said

Have you seen: http://steepster.com/teaware?Kettle=on

I’ve been on the fence between these two:

1. http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle

2. http://steepster.com/teaware/zojirushi/39783-ve-r-hybrid-water-boiler-and-warmer-cv-dsc40-4-liters

#1. is less expensive and provides any temperature, but is not insulated and does not have a timer function for that all important morning wake up cup.

#2. is insulated thus much more energy-efficient, has a timer function, but only offers 4 temps: 175°F, 195°F, 208°F and Vacuum / Reboils to 212°F

I looked back at a lot of threads, but found that most of the posts didn’t specify how long the appliances had been in use, and that seems to be a key trend on the reviews on amazon. Things like, it was great for six months, then…

looseTman said

I have a Zo bread maker and love it.

LooseTman, the lack of different temperature settings is what’s keeping me on the fence about the Zojirushi. But I so love the concept of it for gongfu sessions.

looseTman said

“LooseTman, the lack of different temperature settings is what’s keeping me on the fence about the Zojirushi.”

Agreed. Last I e-mailed Zo, they didn’t have any plans for a new variable temp model.

I understand the gooseneck of the Bonavita provides a very controlled pour that’s helpful for gongfu sessions.

However, with the Zo, one could have 3 or 4 liters of the appropriate temp. water, which would certainly be convenient for gongfu sessions.

looseTman said

Does anyone have any additonal thougts abouts Bonavita vs. Zojirushi for both Western & Gongfu brewing? Thanks!

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Frolic select said

Breville tea maker for 3 years. Love it!

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I use mostly my Krups Tea Maker, I just use it to boil water though, not to make tea. It keeps my water hot for up to 1 hour. I love it! The only small problem is that it has preset temp, I can’t go lower than 80c. So I also use my Oster for green and some white tea. I think though it may not have the best reviews, the Oster is a great value, you can choose your own settings by increment of five degrees. Never had a problem with it and it’s probably one of the least expensive on the market.

I’ve had the Krups for one year and the Oster for two years. They’ve been used and abused and still work like brand new.



Any of you owning a Zojirushi? If so, is it worth it? I’m really thinking of getting one for Gongfu sessions.


looseTman said

Thanks looseTman, very informative. Despite the great reviews, I have decided not to buy one. I think it’d just be plain silly to end up with a third variable temp boiler!

This week end, I have installed an extension cord that reaches my coffee table in the living room. So I can now bring one of my variable kettle with me in the living room for my Gongfu sessions! Portability problem solved :-)

Now if I could just find a good thermos with a good pour for the bedroom…lol, you know you’re addicted when…?

looseTman said

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I’ve had my Breville One-Touch for over three years now, and I love it. LOVE it. There are not enough good words to describe my love for this machine. Worth every penny.

looseTman said

I’ve read many good reports about Breville quality and customer service.

In your Breville One-Touch review you said:
“I probably won’t brew a lot of Oolongs in this (or Yellow) because I prefer using the gaiwan and short steeps. For that matter, I probably won’t brew pu-erh in this for the same reason. But, since the majority of tea that I drink is black, green and white, this will get plenty of use as a tea maker, and for the other teas, it will get use as a kettle.”

What is your favorite kettle for use with a gaiwan or yixing?

I use the breville as my kettle at all times. For most blacks and greens, I brew the tea right in the tea maker.

For chais and other strongly flavored teas, I usually use a ceramic teapot for the brewing process, but I use the breville as a kettle for those. The reason for this is because I find that I need to run a brew cycle with some baking soda after I’ve brewed a really strongly flavored tea because a simple rinse isn’t going to eliminate the residual flavors in the kettle. It’s easy enough to run a baking soda brew cycle to clean the machine, but it does take time, so it’s just easier to go ahead and brew in a separate teapot most of the time. I still run a baking soda cleansing cycle at least once a week to keep the unit clean.

My Oolongs, Yellows, and Pu-erhs are brewed in gaiwans, but, I use the Breville as my kettle to heat the water. I love it.

For white teas I use a separate tea pot. The reason for this is because I generally use a little more leaf for white tea and I find that the tea leaves make better contact with the hot water in a tea pot than they do in the basket of the breville.

looseTman said

Thanks for your detailed reply!

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boychik said

I have breville variable for 1 year, Cuisinart for 3 months. pretty happy with both. Zojirushi sounds great except it has nonstick inside.

looseTman said

Non-stick interior answers from Amazon:
“The inner container of the water boiler is stainless steel with nonstick coating, the inner lid is stainless steel, and both are BPA-free. Some gaskets and the outer lid that may come into contact with water are silicone or plastic, and also do not contain BPA.”
Gioella answered on September 19, 2013

“The inside is steel, but the steel is coated with a nonstick material. The nonstick coating is Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a substance which is better known by it’s brand name, “Teflon.”
MerryGRound answered on March 12, 2014

“From Zojirushi:
Is there BPA in my Zojirushi water boiler?
All Zojirushi products are BPA-free. The inner container of the water boiler is stainless steel with nonstick coating, the inner lid is stainless steel, and both are BPA-free. Some gaskets and the outer lid that may come into contact with water are silicone or plastic, and also do not contain BPA.”
I.Smarius answered on November 15, 2013


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looseTman said


Variable-Temp Electric Kettles: Amazon Reviews % Satisfaction

% Satisfaction of Current Models as of 9/1/13:

Adagio Teas 3 UtiliTEA Variable-Temperature 30-Ounce
16 1&2-star reviews out of 258 reviews = 6% = 94% satisfied
“A few gripes though, the UtiliTEA’s temperature gauge is color coded rather than providing any kind of numeric indication and the manual. It’s easy to use, but if you needed precision (and I don’t), you won’t be able to get it.”

Adagio Teas Variable Temperature Kettle, 57-Ounce
5 1&2-star reviews out of 8 = 60% = 40% satisfied

Aroma AWK-290BD 6-Cup Digital Electric Water Kettle 30-Ounce
25 1&2-star reviews out of 75 reviews = 33% = 67% satisfied

Bodum – No current variable temp model on Amazon.

Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle:
11 1&2-star reviews out of 124 = 9% = 91% satisfied, 2-yr warranty.

Breville BTM800XL One-Touch 1.5-Liter Kettle:
28 1&2-star reviews out of 418 = 6.7% = 93.3% satisfied, 1 year warranty. http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BTM800XL-One-Touch-Tea-Maker/product-reviews/B003LNOPSG/ref=dpx_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature 1.8-Liter Kettle:
36 1&2-star reviews out of 147 = 24% = 76% satisfied, 1 year warranty.

Chef’s Choice 688 SmartKettle Cordless 1-3/4-Quart Electric Kettle:
16 1&2-star reviews out of 75 = 21% = 79% satisfied, 1-year limited warranty (see 1-star reviews).

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel:
162 1&2-star reviews out of 817 = ~20% = 80% satisfied, 3-yr warranty, must maintain proof of purchase. Customer must pay round-trip shipping to East Windsor, NJ 08520. $15.00 for return shipping and handling.

Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle, 1.7-Liter:
20 1&2-star reviews out of 95 = 21% = 79% satisfied, 30-day warranty.

12 1&2-star reviews out of 53 = 23% = 77% satisfied, 1-yr warranty. If replaced under warranty, “it will carry the remaining warranty of the original product.”

Panasonic Electric Thermo Hot Pot:
30 1&2-star reviews out of 302 = 9.9% = 90.1% satisfied

Zojirushi CV-DSC40 VE Hybrid Water Boiler and Warmer:
19 1&2-star reviews out of 202 = 9.5% = 90.5% satisfied, 1-yr warranty, see link for details: http://zojirushi.com/support/product_warranty.html.

Angrboda said

I believe the Bodum has gone out of production. We have one, but it was an enormouse hassle buying it. Husband had first ordered it for me for Christmas from a Danish site, but it was sold out then and they said he would be informed when it came back. Nothing happened because they stopped selling it in Denmark, so six months later (when it became urgent because the button on the old kettle snapped clean off) we ended up ordering it from a British site, delivered to Husband’s parents and then they could send it on to us. Only Husband’s father had to pay for it too, because they would only accept British cards, so we had to pay him back as well. And then it was shipped to their address. From a warehouse in Denmark! headdesk

All this hassle has falsely led Husband to believe that it was the only such thing on the market and he lives in fear of it breaking. (Mind you, it may well have been the only such thing on the Danish market back then)

Oh, and I forgot to say, we’ve had it about 2 years now and it still works fine. The only problem it has is that the lid has gone a bit dented, so you can’t pour too hard anymore or it’ll spill.

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SimplyJenW said

I have had the Utilitea from Adagio for about 3 years. Still going strong with heavy use, but there is some mineral scaling and buildup even though I use filtered water. I started with their Varietea when it was first introduced, but I had two of them die within 3 months. One of the main reasons the Utilitea works for me so well is that I am predominantly a black tea drinker.

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Dinosara said

I have a Adagio VarieTEA kettle (my office kettle) that I’ve had for… a while now. I don’t remember exactly how long, but probably 4 years. I got it as a gift. Still going strong. That said, if it broke I wouldn’t buy another because I don’t like how the temperature dial is so imprecise (no numbers on it, and no fine-scale control). At one point I thought it broke earlier this year (but it turns out it didn’t), and I was going to buy the Hamilton Beach linked above ($40 model) to replace it.

I’ve also had a BonaVita Gooseneck (my home kettle) that’s been linked above for a little over a year now, and I love it. Love that I can set the temperature to the degree, love that there is no plastic window in contact with the boiling water, love that it will hold the temp for an hour. My only wish is that it made some kind of sound when reaching temp.

looseTman said

“My only wish is that it made some kind of sound when reaching temp.”
At least it has an LED display for the water temperature.

looseTman said

From page 3 of this thread:
teaenvy said about 12 hours ago
“I dont mind the gooseneck look but its a slower pour. Apprearance aside pour speed might be an issue in temperature control.”

Have you noticed any temp issues due to the gooseneck spout?

Dinosara said

No, and I think it’s not an issue. The metal spout is just as hot as the rest of the metal pot (a fact that it will remind you of if you touch it). It’s really not that slow. I mostly use it for gongfu where a controlled pour is optimal anyway, but even when I’m filling a 16oz pot the pouring speed doesn’t bother me.

looseTman said

Thanks, that’s good to know especially since you’ve owned a Bonavita Gooseneck for more than a year.

looseTman said

It would be helpful if you could share your Bonavita experience here: http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle

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Uniquity said

Mine was a Sunbeam from Home Hardware for $40. I doubt they are made any more, but mine is 2.5 years old and used multiple times a day. It is all plastic which I will avoid when I replace it, but at the time it couldn’t be beat. It goes in 5 degree increments and I love it. I have noticed that the water at our new house has been HARD on it though. I need to do a thorough baking soda scrub down every couple weeks to keep it looking nice. The mineral buildup doesn’t seem to affect function or taste, it just looks yucky. One of the other drawbacks of white plastic. Sometimes I worry about boiling water in plastic but it’s how my family has heated water since electric kettles were invented and I am not the type to buy a new product until my old one has worn out. I really recommend that you get one with at least 5 degree increments though. The ones with 4 or 5 pre-set temps seem very limiting to me. I sometimes set mine to a lower number (say, 50) just to get some nice warm water to use to soak something in. Love it!

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Breville Easy Tea Maker – dead easy to use and the variable settings is great as is the keep warm option. Downside is that you need to make 500ml tea at least and the basket is a bit awkward to fill and clean out.

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