My wife and I are both big tea and coffee drinkers, but for as long as we’ve been together, we never saw the necessity in buying an electric kettle. After all, we have limited counter space, and the tea kettle on our stove worked well enough — and we liked the look of our Michael Graves-designed Alessi kettle.
But, after a recent trip to London — and a stop at Fortnam & Mason, where we loaded up on teas of all kinds — we decided to invest in an electric tea kettle, and it’s been well worth the investment.
I first consulted Tom’s Guide list of the best electric kettles, but after looking over all the choices, decided I wanted something that appealed to my technological and aesthetic sensibilities. Ultimately, I chose the Fellow Stagg Electric Gooseneck Kettle ($195, Amazon), which probably wasn’t the most practical — its 0.9 liter capacity is much less than our top pick, the Cuisinart PerfectTemp Cordless Electric Kettle (currently on sale for $67.50)— but since it’s just my wife and I brewing tea, we didn’t need to make a whole lot of hot water at once. Plus, the Stagg just looks cool, especially in copper.
The Stagg’s controls are simplicity itself: There’s a single dial which you turn to select the temperature you want, and then you just sit back and wait. You won’t have to wait long, though, as the Stagg heated up water in no time — much faster than our kettle on the stove, in fact.
The kettle also revealed another one of its benefits when it came time to make tea and coffee. When brewing a pot of coffee using my French press, I suddenly tasted many more flavors in my morning cup than I had before. That’s because I was no longer pouring 212-degree water over the grounds; by heating water to just 200 degrees, I was able to tease out more nuances from my coffee than ever before. It was an eye-opening revelation.
The same went for the various teas we purchased, which ranged from black teas to green teas to ones with other spices and flavors; being able to dial in a specific temperature for the water brought out the best in all of them.
The one thing about a gooseneck kettle is that it requires patience to pour; it’s been a few weeks, and I’m still tilting it too far, causing water to leak out the top. I also wish the kettle had a whistle, but it heats the water so fast there’s often not enough time to leave the room before it’s ready.
So, while we sacrificed a bit of counter space, we gained an appreciation for everything an electric kettle could do. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to boiling water on the stove.