In 2006, I purchased my first electric tea kettle and never looked back. The kettle was a Breville SK500XL Ikon Cordless 1.7-Liter Stainless-Steel Electric Kettle, a fabulous basic kettle that heats water to 212 degrees, a rolling boil, and then shuts off automatically. Since I was mostly into black tea at the time, the kettle was more than sufficient. I have recommended that kettle to many a friend and family member.
Recently I have been branching out to oolong, green, and white teas, each of which is best if brewed at a specific temperature for a specific length of time. Very often the tea purveyor will indicate both the recommended temperature and length of time that is optimal for the tea you are purchasing.
- Green tea – 175 degrees
- White tea – 185 degrees
- Oolong tea – 190 degrees
- Black or Herbal – 212 degrees
Since I was also doing some tea tastings in my home, it was time to shop for a new kettle. My choice was the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle. It’s easy to use – simply select the temperature you want, push the button, and the water heats to the selected temperature and gently beeps when ready. This kettle has a ‘keep warm’ feature that automatically keeps your water at the selected (actually slightly under your temperature) for 30 minutes.
Either the Breville or the Cuisinart is a good choice depending on your needs. If you want an incredibly simple device that strictly boils water and shuts off, the Breville is a great way to go. If you need more gradation in water temperature, go for the Cuisinart. If you have an older parent or grandparent, these devices are particularly good as you simply cannot boil the kettle dry. For overall simplicity, go with the Breville.
My next really cool tea accoutrement is the FORLIFE Stump 18-Ounce Teapot with SLS Lid and Infuser, Red. This little 18-ounce pot is modern, makes about 3 teacups or 2 large mugs of tea, has its own infuser, and comes in a myriad of wonderful colors – white, red, marine, lime, carrot, turquoise, grey, black and yellow. Best of all the pots can stack on top of each other – saving space. I have gifted many of these little pots to friends. I always include one or two teas I think they will like and often some special tea treats like shortbread or tea chocolates. My bright red pot sits on my counter all the time and, although I only have the one, I would love to have at 3 or 4 of these little pots in varying colors. They are great for house guests, allowing you to make smallish pots of the tea. Your guests can choose the color of the pot and the type of tea for an extra touch of personal service and fun – decaf, green, black, herbal, oolong, etc. Your electric kettle will let you easily fill two or possibly even three of the little pots. FORLIFE stump teapots are readily available at Amazon, Peets Coffee and Tea, Harney and Sons and many other places.