Every good cup of tea starts with a good kettle. Most kettles, both stovetop and electric, could be great for making tea if you choose the one that fits your needs. These days, that’s not exactly a simple task. Find out what are the best kettles for making tea.
Best qualities to look for in a tea kettle
It’s difficult to make a good cup of tea without a kettle. But tea has been around for thousands of years, and without any doubt, it probably tasted as delicious as it tastes now. Before the invention of electric kettles, people were using stovetop whistling kettles for boiling water. Today, they are becoming more and more uncommon, but more and more popular among tea lovers too. Why? Because not only they look interesting and beautiful, but they are actually great for making that perfect cup too.
If you already own an electric tea kettle, you may not plan to invest into a new one. But a proper kettle may make brewing tea less time-consuming and simple. Many tea drinkers would agree, investing in a kettle may be better than investing in a teapot. Why? Because a perfect cup of tea starts always start with a kettle. (And fresh spring water too, but that’s another topic). We can divide common western kettles into three categories:
1. Stovetop kettles
Stovetop kettles don’t need electricity to boil water. You can use most modern stovetop kettles on gas stoves, electrical stoves and induction stoves. The other name for stovetop kettles is whistling kettles because they make a whistling sounds once the water is boiled. If you like the appearance of a whistling kettle but prefer the efficiency of an electric one, some electric kettles have a whistling kettle vintage look.
2. Electric kettles
Electric kettles need electricity to work. Today they are widely used in many homes. They can be made from different materials and come in different sizes. Electric kettles tend to be more efficient and require less effort to use. Travel electric kettles are available too.
3. Smart electric kettles
Smart kettles not only have different functions for boiling water or even brewing tea, but they usually come with a special app that lets you control your tea making process from your phone.
Whichever kettle you choose, use it only to heat water, and don’t steep tea leaves inside it unless it comes with an infusing basket. There are a few exceptions that were designed specifically for boiling and steeping, but most kettles should only be used for boiling water only.
If you decide to invest into a new kettle look for these qualities:
1. The best material
Kettles are made from different materials. Electric kettles are usually made from high grade stainless steel, ceramic, glass or plastic, and some may combine different materials such as stainless steel with glass, and even plastic parts. Stovetop kettles are made from carbon steel or stainless steel. Today, plastic kettles are not unsafe, but choose those without BPA. Stainless steel kettles are the safest and most durable options. Borosilicate glass and ceramic kettles may be visually appealing, but may break more easily. Ceramic kettles will be very heavy, while plastic ones are light, but often not as durable as stainless steel kettles.
2. The speed
Each kettle will boil water at a different speed. If you are impatient to drink your tea, you may want to choose a kettle that can boil water rapidly. More watts will mean your kettle will boil water faster. The speed of boiling water in stovetop tea kettle, for example, may depend on your stove and the shape of your kettle. For example, whistling kettles with a wider bottom may boil water faster and will use less energy than kettles with a narrow bottom.
3. The best basic options
Every electric kettle should have at least a few basic options to make boiling water easy and safe. First, look for those that have an auto switch off option. This means the kettle will automatically turn off once the water is boiled. Next, some kettles will have a sprout filter. This may or may not be important, depending on which water you are using. If you plan to make your tea with spring water and clean it regularly, you won’t be needing a filter. If your teapot has a filter, make sure it’s the removable type so you can clean it easily. However, if you are using only hard tap water and clean your kettle less regularly, a filter is a must.
4. The best advanced options
Advanced options may include different water boiling temperature settings, LED lights, removable infusing baskets and even steeping strengths for kettles that can be used for steeping tea too. You will usually be able to control these options on your mobile app, such as keep the water warm for an hour or longer, or even schedule the time for boiling. Do you need these options? It will depend on your personal preferences. However, option to heat water to different temperature will definitely help to make a perfect cup of green or oolong tea.
Most electric kettles have a similar design, with a few differences. First, unless you are buying a glass kettle, you may opt for a kettle with a little “window” that will allow you to see the amount of water in the kettle. This will help measure the exact amount you will need for your tea session. Next, some may have lids that are completely removable, while other may open on pressing a button. In any case, make sure it’s easy to open and clean.
6. Energy efficiency
Some kettles will spend more energy than the others. For example, stovetop kettle may actually waste more energy than a regular simple electric kettle. All electric kettles will automatically switch off once the water is boiled. However, not all kettles will switch off if there is not enough water to boil.
With so many options to choose from, the best kettle will ultimately be the one that will satisfy all your needs. For example, if you are drinking mostly black tea, you won’t be needing different temperature options. If you often forget about boiled water and need to re-boil it again, keep warm function may be a significant addition to your electric kettle. Keep in mind though, every electric kettle should be BPA free, heat resistant and safe to use, and offer at least automatic shut off function and protection from dry boiling. Every whistling kettle should be made from safe and durable material and should be safe to use on the type of stove you have.
Read more: How to make tea on the stove
What is the best tea kettle to buy
1. Best regular electric kettle
If you need only a simple kettle that will boil water fast, contains no BPA and is easy to clean, there are many options to choose from. Miroco double-wall electric kettle with stainless steel interior is just that – a simple yet effective kettle made to boil water quickly, protect you from getting burned, make cleaning easy and offer a protection from dry boil.
2. Best kettle with water temperature options
If you want more than just basic options, but don’t need a smart electric kettle, choose a kettle with water temperature options. They are great for teas that are made not with boiling, but hot water instead. They make brewing tea incredibly easy, and you will never need to worry about the right water temperature again. Most kettles will have 3-4 temperature settings starting at 158°F or 176°F, but with GREECHO kettle you can choose 7 different temperatures – and even choose the perfect temperature for brewing delicate gyokuro tea – 131°F. Besides, it has a 2 hour keep warm function and is BPA free.
3. Best smart electric kettle
When water options and LED lights are not enough, consider an even smarter kettle. You would give anything for a cup of hot tea waiting for you after work? No problem. Smartker iKettle will connect to your Wi-Fi. You can control it with voice or thought an app. App allows you to set different temperatures, set the date and time for boiling and keep your tea warm longer.
4. Best large volume stovetop kettle
If you need a regular, but effective whistling kettle that’s easy to use and will look good on a stove, check out this SUSTEAS kettle. It’s available in different colors, and it’s safe to use on any type of stove. This kettle has a stay cool handle that won’t get hot, a loud whistle that will alert you once the water boils, and a push-button to make pouring safe and easy. With the capacity of 3 liters, this kettle is as made for large family gatherings.
5. Best traditional whistling kettle
If you want a truly classic stovetop kettle, Le Creuset kettles not only resemble the traditional kettles, but will last for years too. They are made from carbon steel, have a wider base for an efficient heating and are available in many popping colors. Le Creuset kettles come with a 5 year warranty.
6. Best luxury stovetop kettle
If you feel like splurging and kettle is the most important utensil in your kitchen, check out this No 8 Beehive Whistling kettle by The Richmond Kettle company. Unlike regular whistling kettles, this one is made from copper and it looks not only vintage, but beautiful too. Definitely worthy of showing off at afternoon tea parties.
7. Best travel kettle
Technology didn’t only have a huge impact on regular kettles, but on travel ones as well. Today, travel kettle is not just a small kettle that allows you to boil one cup of water. Gourmia GK378 foldable kettle is more than just a simple collapsible kettle – it works on different voltages, has a keep warm function and protects from overboil and dry boil.
8. Best simple kettle with an infuser
If you want your kettle to be more than just a water boiling utensil, you may want to consider kettles with removable strainer baskets. SAGE smart tea infuser will allow you to set the right temperature for most green, white, oolong, black, dark and herbal teas and appropriate steeping time – from 1 to 5 minutes. Removable infusing basket is big enough to allow tea leaves to expand, and the kettle itself if enough for making 4 cups of tea at once. Once the tea is ready, all you need to do is remove the infusing basket and enjoy your tea.
9. Best smart kettle with an infuser
If you don’t want to a hassle of manually removing the tea infuser, Breville BTM700SHY Tea Maker has an automates basket that will automatically lift once your tea is ready. Besides having different water temperature options, and steeping time options, it has 3 brewing strength options too – mild, regular and strong.
10. Best electric kettle with a modern design
If you want a kettle that’s not only functional, but pretty too, BELLA ceramic kettles come in different designs and with different functions. They are heavier than regular plastic or saintless steep kettles, but there’s no doubt they will brighten up every kitchen.
11. Best gooseneck kettle
If you like the unusual design and want to a kettle that will allow you a more controlled slow pouring, gooseneck kettle is a great choice. This Diguo pour over coffee kettle not only looks great, but it comes with an entire set of options including temperature settings and offers a very precise pouring.