Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whistling a new tune


If you're a tea drinker, you know that a good tea kettle is a crucial piece of kitchen equipment. I've had several of them in the past few years, but today I'm using the new Whistling Kettle I found at a local Kmart over the weekend for just $9.99.

I'd had a glass kettle before, but when it cracked after only about a year, I decided I was not going to purchase that type of kettle again. I did, however, miss the luxury of being able see the water start to bubble. When I got married and we bought a house with a red kitchen, I decided to furnish it with red appliances and even got the red tea kettle at back, a kettle from the famous Kitchenaid line.

Here's what I think of the famous Kitchenaid line, at least in tea kettles: not much. I'd had this tea kettle for just about a month when the enamel chipped near the top. I hadn't overboiled water or misused the kettle, and I was just flummoxed that it could chip so easily. I'd thrown away the receipt, foolishly thinking a kettle couldn't "break." (Lesson learned! Keep those kettle receipts!) There was no prayer the store where I'd purchased it would take it back, so I wrote Kitchenaid and explained my dilemma. I got the response all too typical in today's era of lackluster service, asking me to return the kettle with the receipt I'd just taken pains to explain I no longer had. So, I have suffered along with an ugly, damaged Kitchenaid kettle for the past two years, but I wasn't happy about it. (It's poorly designed, too. That skimpy bit of rubber padding up top does not keep the metal from burning your hand, so you have to handle it with much care.)

Of the tea kettles I've used in recent years, I would have to say my favorite was the Old Country Roses enamel tea kettle, followed by the glass tea kettle, until it cracked. But now I'm over that fear of glass, I think, and willing to give it a whirl again. I'd never buy Kitchenaid again, but I *would* be willing to try just about any other model of stovetop tea kettle. Recommendations, anyone? For today, I am just happy to have the clean, simple new Whistling Kettle, and ugly old Mr. Kitchenaid is headed to the yard sale bin!

7 comments:

Christa said...

Angela, our whole extended family of tea drinkers all used the glass teapots for so...... many years. We were all converted when we actually looked inside a metal one once and saw how it rusted. That made us want to SEE the water. We were happy until one of the family came home with an ELECTRIC teapot. Now we all have one of those on our counter. We love it and it has a reboil button (even though for tea, you should use fresh water all the time.) I even use my electric teapot for quick boiling water to get my cooking started, I transfer it to whatever I am cooking. I do have to tell you that I miss the whistle of the glass teapot. There is value in adding to the tea experience to be able to use as many senses as you can. My electric pot is just too convenient to switch back though. I even bring it with me when I host tea's at my church etc. So there is my two cents. :) Take care. Christa

parTea lady said...

I'm another electric kettle user. They are so much faster and I can tell when the water is boiled by the sound it makes. It shuts off automatically when boiled. I have had a Russell Hobbs kettle for several years now. It has outlasted all the others and I use it at least five or six times every day.

The latest models have temperature settings for different kinds of tea. I am seriously considering buying one of these. It would make preparing green tea so much easier - I always tend to get the water too hot. I'm trying very hard to drink more green and white tea (for the health benefits). I am enjoying some Silver Needle white tea right now.

I do have an enamel stove top kettle, but it is purely decorative. As Christa mentioned, you can also take the electric kettle with you and can plug it in anywhere (not like having to have a cooktop). Also, you can get electric models that whistle, if that is important to you.

Angela McRae said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on electric tea kettles! I've been toying with the idea of getting one of those. I guess, really, I just want to have the option of using *all* methods of boiling water!

Steph said...

Ah, I empathize with the tea kettle situation! With something used so frequently at such high temps, I find they are prone to troubles, too. I'm having luck with a very simple Copco version.

For Xmas I got a very nice Le Creuset one (and it's red!), but I haven't had it long enough to comment on the test of time.

Good luck with the glass!

I have an electric one (stainless steel, which I encouage over plastic). I use it for classes and larger groups at home, but for me during the day, I like the trusty stovetop kettle.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I bought the Kitchen Aid tea kettle and had the same problem. It started looking bad on the outside within a couple of months of purchasing it. I'm still using it as money must go to other things... like gas.

I had a Le Cruset tea kettle and loved it! The only problem was it didn't have a whistle on it and I forgot all about it and... it was not a pretty site.

Denise said...

Count me in as yet another pleased customer of the trusty electric kettle. I always used a whistling stovetop kettle until I moved to England - *everyone* there uses an electric kettle.

I use a small Bodum at the office. At home, I'm using a dodgy West Bend whistling electric kettle that desperately needs replacing...

...and THIS little gem is the one I plan to replace it with:
the Cuisinart Traditional Cordless Electric Kettle RK-17: http://tinyurl.com/5nsckx

The electric kettle: "Give it a go," Angela!

Makenna said...

It's great!! I too have nice tee kettle which got from Shop Kitchen Aid... I love to drink tea...