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I am thinking of getting a new kettle and just thought I would look on 'thinternet' to see if I could find a
site where people were talking about such things - thinking it was hopeless - how wrong I was (all this and biscuits too!)
Now I am an avid tea fan - but I do drink 'weak as *!*!* tea' that causes most people to baulk - however I say Ha! I have every right to be a tea lover, even if my tea is a nice fawn colour rather than sunbed dodgy antiques bloke orange!
Having weak tea means that I can taste water (although my boyfriend believes that this is an impossibility because water is just water - duh!) I had some lovely cups of tea in Somerset over christmas and then had to return to our putrid stuff. We live in Hitchin and the water is so hard that if you fill it from the tap for more than two days you end up drinking little hard bits (yeargh) so consequently I lug bottles of water home from work and use them (its only 3 miles away - I don't see how it can be so different but it is?) People say 'buy a water filter' but I hate those things as they use chemicals to remove chemicals and also you have to buy refills (I like to use being 'eco-friendly' as a disguise for being very mean).
Although my friend just got a brita kettle and thinks it is wonderful I was 'anti' for the preceding reasons and also because I hate those two smarmy *!*'s that advertise it!
As we are about to move to a very lovely house boat and I am finally getting a gas oven (joy!) I was thinking of an old fashioned type. But will this be bad for limescale? I was thinking of a le creuset as I thought it might be easier to clean ... incidentally, that is why I am having to buy a new kettle - tired of
paying too much from Mr Sainsbury for descaler (I need it for the shower as well) I went for a dodgy pound shop option. This has left a very dodgy perfume smell in my kettle and I think actually ate at the element - nothing can shift the smell of public loos from my beloved kettle = then some smart !* said that you can use vinegar to descale anyway... what an idiot!
happy dunking everyone
|Nicey replies: Yes you can use clear spirit vinegar which is just dilute Acetic (Ethanoic) Acid, the same stuff that is in most kettle descalers. The Non-fermented condiment variety that you see in some chip shops is synthetic vinegar which has been made chemically rather than by traditional means which involves the action of acetobacter type bacteria on the alcohol in a fermented malt liquor. The non fermented stuff is made primarily by reacting carbon monoxide with methanol in the presence of a catalyst (Monsanto invented that). As such it is well able to clean out your kettle.|
||Dear Nicey, Wifey and all|
Firstly, may I add my small voice to the huge numbers of congratulations you receive on the continuing magnificence of your website?
Secondly, I'm in a quandary about how to manage the tea and coffee drinking needs of my team. We currently use a 1.8 litre kettle which just fills up a round of six mugs, which is most handy as there are six people in the office who partake. However, we are shortly to gain two new staff and the capacity of the kettle will clearly not suffice to make one round in one go. I would be very grateful for your advice, or advice from any other reader, as to whether anyone is aware of any reasonably-priced kettles on the market which are large enough to fill up to eight mugs at a time? Is a "two kettle" solution appropriate here, as etiquette and common decency surely preclude making two people wait for a second boiling? Would anyone recommend an urn in this situation?
Do keep up the good work
With many thanks and kind regards to you all
|Nicey replies: Alasdair,
You may require a slight change to your work routines as the approach I've often used to this problem is to 'hang out' in the kitchen for a bit whilst making tea, possibly in the company of somebody agreeable. The most sensible approach is to make two cups for yourselves then make everybody else's. Whilst doing so you will be free to chat about the important issues of the day, possibly even work related if you are particularly driven individuals. Of course most kitchens don't offer seating so it's not going to be an ideal set up. You can use the lack of sit downs to counter accusations of slacking off in the kitchen. If however your new regime is gathering acceptance you might want to consider asking for a couple of bar stools. It is important to remember that time spent away from ones desk talking to others in your company is not wasted time, and provides valuable opportunities to exchange ideas over the kettle.
Other than that you may want to consider one of those water boiler things that go on the wall, but it seems a bit OTT for eight people.
||Thanks for the book, it was a splendid present to myself, and I've finished reading it now. I've just seen kettle survey - mine used to glow red and whistle, but it only whistles on a random basis now, and my favourite mug used to be a Coronation Street one that played the theme tune when you picked it up, but that bit fell out! My dad's kettle - you have to guage when you think it has boiled, and then switch it off, it's very annoying.|
As for things that go with tea, when I was a Sunday School teacher - ooh years' ago in the 1970's, we had to drag the kids on a trip each year on a bus to the seaside. Tea facilities would be booked in a church hall beforehand and made by kind ladies when we got there - made in an urn with water that had been boiled since 5 am probably as it was vile and never hot enough. Anyway, the kids would get what was called a "poke tea", that is, tea in a paper bag. Now before you start thinking how dangerous is that, what they got in a paper bag(poke is scots for bag - I know there are other connotations, but this is sunday school so no smut), would be an elderly sandwich or two, and a cake - either something like currant slice or cream iced fancy, and a chocolate biscuit- usually something like a Tunnocks caramel wafer. We'd take these with us on the coach, all made up ready from the local bakers the night before, so you can see how the sandwiches would be oldish. I have more tea related stuff to tell you, but I'm in the library typing this, and I want to go home for tea now.
hope its interesting, and the website is lovely.
|Nicey replies: Yes,
Nice Bag of Tea and A Sit Down, sounds a bit odd. Also surely if one were actually to drink tea from a paper bag that was its self made from a tea bag, you could get into some kind of fearsome tea related Mobius loop. I want somebody to do that and see if apart from getting their jumper wet as an amusing consequence they also fold reality in on itself. Terrific. Surely this is the plot of the next Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, "The bag of tea bag tea incident".
I feel sure Wifey is going to give me a talking to when she reads this..
||I actually one of these people who thinks quite a lot about the designs of things and it constantly amazes me how bad kettles and teapots can be. As far as kettles go, we've seen ones where the vents let the stream out onto your hand and ones which tend to slurp hot water everywhere when you pour from them. Teapots seem equally poorly designed most of the time, it's all style over function. Most of them are either far too small or have a spout that either dribbles horribly or is so narrow that if the teapot is full, you can't pour the tea without it coming out of the lid first.|
The best designed kettle I've come across is the Tefal Vitesse 1.7L. The flat element means no scale, it boils in about 1/2 the time of most kettles and it doesn't dribble at all. It has a simple auto-switch off feature when you lift it from the base and doesn't take ages to slot it back onto the connection. Quite simply 10/10 for proper functional design.
As for teapots, we currently have a £3.99 one from Woolworths (although whilst is doesn't drip, it slurps tea everywhere if you swish it around). We are still on the look out for a good teapot though.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, why not have a league table of best/worst teapots and/or kettles. Let people submit reviews and rate them. Maybe that way I'd eventually find a teapot that isn't naff!
Great site, keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: David,
I expect you're right. Of course a really well designed website would probably have a kettle/teapot voting and rating engine with dynamic kettle point allocation. Alas on ours you just have to trawl through stacks of seemingly random emails from people banging on about what they like and don't like. In fact you'll probably need two cuppas just to get through it all, and 3 or 4 biccys. Still, at least there is a kettle icon, we didn't even have one of those until recently.
Still come the new year maybe we'll kick off "Functional teapot" month.
||Hello Nicey, wifey, and the junior staff members.|
I'm having a bit of a mare with my kettle as it goes... can't remember what make it is, a new one c. 4 months old, chrome look, round base... but it's got a nasty habit of not turning itself off when filled to just below (or above) the fill line... it overflows into the stand which is pretty dangerous in itself and proceeds to turn my kitchen into something resembling a Finnish sauna... Needless to say, it will be replaced in the very near future!
Keep up the thirst-quenching work...
|Nicey replies: Thats all wrong isn't it.|