Previous in series: Water Temperature
Any kettle that doesn’t leak will suffice, obviously, but the inveterate tea drinker will find a special electric kettle a great convenience. The most popular brand is the Russell Hobbes kettle, but this is not ideal if you need to know more than simply whether the water’s reached boiling. Because it has no lid, it’s difficult to judge to a nicety just how hot the water in a Hobbes kettle is. For this reason, I prefer a type of kettle manufactured in Taiwan. Like the Hobbes kettle, it has a thermostat that cuts off the power once the water boils, only to kick in again once it’s cooled to a certain point. Unlike the Hobbes, however, its spout allows you to pour with pinpoint accuracy and, best of all, you can open the hinged lid to inspect the contents. This way you can watch the fish eyes (small bubbles) form and the steam rise and learn to judge water temperature exactly by sight (with some practice); the saying, “a watched pot never boils” has more bearing here. Always allow the water to cool if it’s too hot and if the water’s come to boiling five or six times it should be replaced with fresh. Using water with all the oxygen boiled out of it makes tea taste flat and lifeless.