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There’s nothing better than a hot cup of tea (especially on a cold or rainy day). Tea kettles and pots come in all shapes and sizes with various features. From classic cast iron kettles to fancy electric ones with all the bells and whistles (literally). Which kettle is your cup of tea?
- Why Drink Tea?
- Teapot Material Types
- Ideal Water Temperature
- Best Kettles (By Type)
- How To Clean Kettle
- Other Uses For Kettle
There are many benefits to drinking tea:
- Making tea is easy, affordable and more eco-friendly than drinking bottled water or cans of soda.
- Tea is a natural beverage made from dried plant material with limited chemical processing.
- The wide range of flavors and varieties make it easy to switch things up.
- You can drink it hot or cold.
- Tea is a natural way to get your caffeine fix.
- You can make it anywhere on the go, all you need is access to hot water.
When it comes time to choose a type of tea kettle, there are several options to consider. Each material and type has its share of benefits and weaknesses. We picked the best for each category, so there’s something to suit everyone’s needs.
We’ll also discuss shopping criteria and how to care for your kettle to ensure it lasts. Understanding the care instructions are essential for the long-term sustainability of your teapot.
Before we get into the reviews, we wanted to point out the types of tea kettles and a few things to consider for each.
- Stainless steel kettles have a contemporary look and blend in nicely with kitchens with stainless steel appliances. However, they are a bit slower to heat and tend to get dirty over time (nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix). Despite their flaws, they’re a great value and highly favored. Most of the kettles we review are made from this durable metal.
- Glass kettles allow you to see the water boil, and ones with infusers also enable you to see the color of the tea as it steeps. But they’re prone to cracking when cleaning or exploding when exposed to high heat quickly or dramatically (hence not recommended for gas stoves). Luckily, many of the stainless steel kettles are a hybrid of glass and steel or have a viewing window that allows you to see the amount and color.
- Cast iron kettles have been an integral part of the Japanese tea ceremony since the 17th century. Traditionally known as tetsubins, these kettles are typically ornate and decorated with unique patterns and eastern-influenced symbols. When heated, some of the iron is released into the water, which can enhance the flavor and also provides a source of iron (cast iron has many benefits, especially for those with iron deficiencies). They are a bit heavy and expensive but can last a lifetime (or more), making them well worth the up-front cost.
- Electric kettles use less electricity than a traditional stovetop range (electric or gas). Some even have energy-efficient features like auto-shutoff or Energy Star ratings. The pot attaches to the base, which plugs into the wall so that you can use it outside of the kitchen. The major downside is electric kettles typically have digital components and, therefore, are not dishwasher safe. And while all the bells and whistles do help you brew the perfect cup of tea, in the long run, they might not hold up as well as a good old fashioned tea kettle.
There are other materials for kettles, including ceramic and porcelain, but we didn’t find them to be as highly-rated and thus didn’t include any in our review.
Plastic electric kettles are cheap and poorly made (not to mention the bad aftertaste and the fact that they aren’t very environmentally-friendly). Some kettles have plastic components on them, but they should be BPA-free. If you are seeking a non-toxic option, avoid this one.
We selected each of our recommended products with the eco-friendly person in mind. And by making tea at home, you are already a steward of the earth.
Did you know that different teas should brew at different temperatures? White and green teas are best at 160-185°F, oolongs should be brewed slightly hotter at 180-205°F and black and herbal tea’s ideal temp should be 212°F. Coffee’s water temperature falls somewhere in between that range at around 200-205°F.
Thanks to technology, some electric tea kettles allow you to customize, view and even maintain the temperature for some time. While it’s not critical to gauge the exact degree, it’s important to understand the best temperatures to maximize the flavor of the teas. If you’re a serious tea drinker, you should consider one with this feature.
We’ve searched far and wide for the very best tea kettles in the following categories, so you can find the perfect kettle to meet your needs. Each tea kettle and teapot selected below was consistently highly-rated and raved about, so we are confident in our recommendations, and you can trust these are the best.
Our overall pick for the best electric tea kettle is the Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature Kettle. Breville is known for its top of the line appliances, and its electric stainless steel tea kettle is no exception.
The BKE820XL has five temperature presets, a “hold temp” option (to keep the water at your chosen temperature for 20 minutes), an easy-open push lid and an auto-shutoff feature.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one tea electric kettle that has all the functionality without the price tag, the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle is for you. This modern kettle has preset temperature controls and indicators built-into the stay-cool handle.
The lid-release button ensures there won’t be any splashing or spillage. There are other features like auto shut off, 30-minute keep warm, sleep mode and if it starts heating without enough water, the heater will turn off to avoid damage.
If noise is your concern, the Molla Púro Cordless Glass Electric Water Kettle, Ultra Premium SCHOTT Glass is super quiet. The German-engineered cordless kettle has a sleek design with a slow-opening lid. The carafe is made from a combination of heat-resistant, shock-resistant Duran glass, BPA free plastic and stainless steel.
One unique feature about the Púro (in addition to being quiet) is its removable anti-calcium filter that keeps hard minerals from spoiling your tea and other favorite hot drinks.
The Hario VKB-120HSVV60 Buono Pouring Kettle is our top pick for the best stovetop tea kettle. Its thin, long, low-mounted spout ensures control over the water flow and small and smooth stream of water for drip coffee. Also, it has an easy-grip handle for comfort and longer pours.
A little on the smaller side (3-4 cups) it’s a solid choice for making small to medium batches at a time. The kettle is reasonably priced and has a sleek and modern design making it the best stovetop kettle to keep out (or store away).
It doesn’t get more classic or simple than the Medelco 12-cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle. At an affordable price-point, it makes for a great starter pot. It has a large capacity and is made from thermal-shock-resistant borosilicate glass which makes it less prone to breaking under pressure.
The best part is that the plastic PBA-free lid whistles to signal your tea is ready. I have one of these and love hearing the traditional sound of the teapot from across our 2-bedroom condo.
When it comes to the best teapot for loose tea, you’ll need one that has a built-in infuser. Again, Breville comes out on top with their BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker. The built-in tea basket automatically lowers and lifts agitating the leaves to infuse the tea.
Its programmable pre-sets options boil the water to the perfect temperature based on the type of tea. It also has a timer to schedule tea to be brewed, so you can wake up to the smell of your favorite flavor and LCD timer to monitor freshness and time since brew.
Electric kettles can be used for pour-over coffee (the process of pouring water over the top of fresh coffee grounds in a filter into a pot or cup) or with a french press (a special pot that pushes grounds to the bottom with a plunger while you pour water on top).
Either way, your best bet for hot water is Bonavita’s BV382510V Electric Kettle, Gooseneck Variable Temperature, 1.0L. It features brushed stainless steel and a classic teapot design with a gooseneck spout for better pour control.
The 1000 watt heater quickly boils water to the most optimal temperature for coffee. It also features a real-time temperature display, which allows you to know when water is ready. Additionally, it has a ‘heat and hold’ feature, which maintains water temperature for up to one hour (so you can come back for a second cup later).
We’ve reviewed lots of kettles including the best stainless steel tea Kettle, but if you want a tea kettle that won’t rust, you should go with a cast iron teapot. While they’re a little bit on the pricier side, they are built to stand the test of time (with proper care). Of all the traditional tetsubins brands, we recommend Iwachu.
It’s an industry leader with more than 100 years of experience in handcrafting cast iron teapots and kettles (using a process that consists of nearly 70 steps). Its beautiful craftsmanship provides consistent heat throughout the interior (with a heat-resistant handle).
There are several designs and sizes to choose from, but this black hobnail pot is one of the oldest and most classic patterns, which holds 29-ounces and comes with a removable stainless steel mesh infuser basket.
Want tea in a flash? Not so fast! There was a product from 2013 by Tiger in Japan that claimed it could boil water in 45 seconds; however, it’s not available anywhere. We also found a Tefal Quick Cup in our research, but it’s no longer available either.
Since many of the electric kettles are not dishwasher safe or have a small opening making it difficult to clean inside, you might be wondering how to clean your kettle, as over time heat and limescale start to discolor it. The process is called descaling, and it’s super simple using a few natural ingredients. Watch this 30-second video on how to make your kettle sparkling clean in minutes.
Teapots and kettles aren’t just for your daily tea craving or the occasional afternoon tea party! Here are some additional uses for an appliance that is dedicated to heating water quickly (so you can get more bang for your buck).
- Drinking coffee, cocoa or other hot beverages
- Preparing instant soups and ramen noodles
- For eating cereal like oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat
- When cooking gelatin desserts and pudding
- Making kombucha (learn how to make kombucha at home)
- Sanitizing bottles and jars
By now, hopefully, you’re convinced that investing in a good tea kettle is an upgrade for your kitchen! But if you still need more inspiration, check out our series of tea articles, including the many benefits of certain types of teas. And, if you want to try new teas regularly delivered to your door, try a tea subscription service.
What’s your favorite way to brew tea?
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