Tea is one of the most ceremonious drinks enjoyed globally.
For some, it’s another part of the daily ritual for starting, accentuating, or ending a day. Whether a cup of chai in the afternoon, chamomile before bed, or English breakfast in the morning, tea is important.
It’s a wonder why so many tea drinkers and “aficionados” spend extravagantly on their tea of choice yet cuts corners on how they make it.
The Fragility Of Tea Leaves & Why The Right Tea Kettle is Important
Many tea lovers understand the difficulty in brewing the perfect cup of tea. Just having the proper tools isn’t enough due to the fragility of tea leaves – you’ve got to use those correctly. Some are easier to master than others, and that’s essentially one of the differences in price points between electric tea kettles.
Still, some take shortcuts by simply using their microwave to heat up water. The issue lies in the uniqueness of each type of tea. Every tea has a specific temperature that maximizes flavor. Exceeding the aforementioned temperature results in a bitter taste that equals little more than a disappointed version of what could’ve been.
At the same time, using microwaves or non-quality kettles can result in the temperature of the water being too low. This can also limit the taste of the tea, resulting in the consumer being unable to experience the full-bodied flavor the tea leaves offer at their optimum temperature.
The Right Kettle & The Wrong Kettle
Finding the right tea kettle is a must for anyone that consumes tea regularly. Thankfully, there are an abundance of options to choose from with a variety of manufacturers that swear by their standards of tea making ability.
Whilst there is a certain nostalgia that accompanies using older kettles used by family members, friends, or purchase second hand, nostalgia doesn’t equal good tea. Taking the time to invest in a new quality kettle pays dividends.
The new generation of high-tech kettles that are available on the market have been designed to be water and energy efficient, whilst pinpointing the best temperature for brewing tea, without breaking your wallet. Not to mention, the new generation of tea kettles often feature a beautiful and simple design that can be as similar as old kettles to as unique as works of art.
Steel Kettles & Precise Necks
There are a few options for buying quality kettles, however, using an electric kettle is generally regarded as the best option. A majority of electric kettles are cordless and made with stainless steel, making them easily transportable or usable in a kitchen or room of any size without risk of damage. The stainless steel used in most electric kettles has the added benefit of holding in heat to ensure that water stays at the perfect temperature for long periods of time.
The diversity in tea kettle necks can vary to the user’s choice. The difference in kettle necks is due to the variations in pouring styles and precision from user to user. The other reason for variant kettle necks is that some are made to be multi usable for both tea and coffee. A precise neck is recommended for those that want to use a kettle for tea and coffee. A precise neck also assures a more controlled pour which can prevent the damaging of fragile tea leaves, whilst avoiding spillage for those with shaky hands.
The Range In Price
Tea kettles range from as low as $18 to $200+. It all comes down to what features, size, company and durability a consumer wants in their kettle. For some, a specific style of electric kettle is preferred whilst for others it’s whatever is cheapest. While in many things, price doesn’t equate to quality, when it comes to tea kettles, it does. The price differences is due to the reliability of the kettle to accurately reproduce the same exactly temperature level of tea every time.
The Best Value Kettle
Value can mean a lot of different things to different people. For instance, if your budget is only $20, finding the best kettle for that price is value. If your budget is $300, you can still get a great value kettle.
There are also $20 and $300 kettles that aren’t great value, maybe they’re over priced or they just underperform. In any case, here’s our top pick for if you’re on a tighter budget and not looking to spend a lot. Next up, we’ll take a peek at a higher-end model with more bells and whistles, and more precision.
For basic steeping, you really don’t need anything too crazy, there are plenty of excellent options for kettles under $50. However, as you increase your budget, you get all sorts of great features, better quality heaters that’ll last longer, some really great stylish designs, and more. We don’t know what your budget is or what you’re looking for exactly, so we’ve included our top pickets for the Budget Category, and for the Overall Category, and also put together a list of runners-up. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily playing second fiddle, but one thing they all have in common: They’re all among the best electric tea kettles, so find one that you can afford and meets your needs and you’re all set.
There are NO bad kettles on this list, they’re just good for different reasons.
Best Budget Option: Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel Electric Kettle, 1.7-Liter
This particular Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the standard basic kettle to use for boiling water for tea use. Used by everyone from college students to young professionals to your adorable grandmother, this price point makes it an extremely accessible whilst still offering a quality experience. The kettle is easily transportable, with a stainless steel exterior that is perfect for those that need something resilient and is difficult to scratch.
It’s as simple as putting in water, and flipping a switch. The switch mechanism acts as a timer and temperature control that automatically shuts off and ceases heating the water when the optimum level is reached. This doubles as a safety against fire hazard meaning most of the time it’s perfectly safe to turn it on and walk away without risk.
The cordless serving function means that there are two pieces here. There’s the base that the kettle connects to which plugs into the wall, and the kettle itself. Once your water is boiling, you can move the kettle into another room, the other side of the kitchen, or whatever, without having to unplug it and carry around the cord. If you’ve ever had an electric kettle with an annoying cord, this is a really welcome feature.
This Hamilton Beach kettle has the added benefit of having a neck/spout that is drip-free, to prevent any chance of spillage or damage to tabletop surfaces. The handle is balanced and fitted to ensure it’s easy use and control of the kettle by users of any size or strength.
The kettle can boil up to about 1.7 liters of water, and has 1500w of power to ensure your water gets heated quickly and effectively. It’s waster than boiling water in the microwave, and safer.
- The cordless functionality makes it safe and usable with ease.
- The electric usage is minimal.
- It boils water quicker and more accurately than a microwave.
- It can boil up to almost two liters of water at a time.
- There is plastic on the inside that comes into contact with the water, which can bother some consumers. It’s very difficult to find an electric kettle without at least some fraction of plastic or rubber. In this case, the small amount of plastic (For the little window so you can see the water level) is completely BPA-free and safe to use with food.
The Best Overall Electric Kettle for Tea
We’ve already looked at our budget pick, now it’s time for the top overall pick. It still has great value, it’s just more expensive with endlessly more useful features.
We’ve also gone over the important of steeping your tea at the correct temperatures for the correct amounts of time. If you’d rather have all of that taken care of automatically, this is the machine for you. It’s kind of like the Rolls-Royce of tea makers, but you get what you pay for (and then some.)
When you think about the cost of heading to Starbucks for a tea every morning, and being able to steep it with even more precision in your home (And to use higher quality, loose leaf teas), this machine pays for itself very quickly. Basically, if you love to drink tea every day, and aren’t connected to the ritual of boiling water more slowly in a pot on the stove or in an old-fashioned style kettle, this is seriously a product that’s worth considering, even if the sticker price catches you off guard.
It’s not for everyone, but let’s say you were to buy a nice tea at a cafe every day for a few bucks, this incredible machine is going to pay for itself in just about one month. Of course, most of us aren’t spending a few bucks a day on teas from cafes, so let’s say you drink a cup at home everyday.
What’s that worth to you? Let’s say $1, just for the sake of this demonstration. After a year, you’ll have gotten your money’s worth, and you’ll still have an elite-level tea steeping machine to use for years and years to come.
It does cost more initially, but you’ll be able to get the most out of your precious leaves, for the best experience possible.
Best Overall: Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker
Amongst the many choices available on the market, few reach the standard that the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker consistently hits. For many tea aficionados, the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker is the best kettle available on the market. With it’s sleek design, great price point (Consider how well it’s made and how great it works), and team of engineers that designed it specifically for tea, it’s a standout kettle.
The Breville One-Touch was designed with ease of use and quality in mind. Brewing the perfect cup of tea is as easy as the push of a button. The kettle features a one touch setting that automatically brews tea from start to finish.
The tea function VERY gently moves around the tea leaves so that every bit is absorbed whilst filtering the remnants to ensure a smooth cup. The kettle can take input on the type of tea that is being brewed to more easily hit the right temperature point to maximize flavor.
The kettle is essentially a tea robot more so than just a kettle, and expertly crafts each cup to the same standard reliably. It can take custom instructions by user input down to a timer so that tea can be ready at a predetermined time. You could wake up every morning to a perfectly steeped cup of tea.
The kettle has the added bonus of possessing German Schott glass, which makes it even longer lasting than other kettles of it’s quality.
- Customizable automated tea making
- The most reliable and practical tea maker available
- German Schott glass composition for long term usage
- The only real downside here is the price. If it’s in your budget, go for it.
Other honorable mentions…
Here are some other kettles that weren’t necessary the best or the cheapest, yet still offer great value if you’re looking for something somewhere in between. You may want a less basic kettle, but without the high price tag of something like Breville’s All-in-One, so here are some more great choices when you’re looking for the best electric kettle for your kitchen.
Epica 6-Temperature Variable Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
The name says it all with Epica’s Electric Kettle. For what it lacks in brand name recognition, it makes up for in it’s function. As mentioned several times before, every tea has it’s own specific temperature for brewing. The Epica has six variations for brewing tea to the exact temperature requirements that many teas have.
It has the added benefit of having additional functions other kettles of it’s type don’t possess such as the Keep Warm function. Essentially, it’s as simple as it sounds. The keep warm function keeps water at a usable level for tea making far longer for those that are making tea when they are busy or multitasking.
The handle of the kettle is designed to stay cool to avoid the issues some kettles have of accidentally burning the user’s hand or requiring a mitten to pour. Throwing in the “party” feature, which is the kettle’s ability to brew up to seven cups of tea at a time, and it’s clear why it’s a popular kettle that deserved it’s place on the list.
- Six options for specific tea brewing temperature
- Stainless steel design
- Ease of use due to a cooled handle
- 2 year warranty
Willow & Everett Electric Gooseneck Drip Kettle Tea Pot
Willow & Everett revolutionized tea brewing. It is one of the few electric kettles that offer complete precision due to their design team’s choice of adding a gooseneck drip feature to make pouring the perfect cup of tea a breeze. It prevents spillage, tabletop damage, and makes the act of pouring a cup of tea as graceful as it is easy.
The other benefit of a gooseneck tea kettle drip feature is its usefulness when creating teas that have fragile leaves. The control the gooseneck offers ensures a smooth and consistent pour that avoids the rush and dump more open spouts invariably cause.
The William & Everette kettle is produced to be childproof and chemical free, making it extremely safe for those with children/or pets.
- It’s spill proof
- There are no harmful chemicals used
- There is a 90 day window for refunds
Tea, like many foods and drinks that are enjoyed consistently, is something that required attention. Getting consistent quality tea can be a challenge when done in the home. Investing in a quality kettle is good for both saving money on going out to get a quality cup, as well as making it easy to experience the full flavor that tea has to offer.