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||I have recently had the great pleasure of using a NEW kettle! Joy! The old kettle (a nice, sensible Philips cordless) was showing its age a bit, and cups of tea and sit downs weren’t all that nice since the tea seemed a bit weak and took ages to brew; we thought it might be the tea bags, but Ty-phoo are normally reliable, so we purchased (actually got it free with our Boots Advantage Card) a new kettle – a Morphy Richards Silver Style Mirror Jug Kettle - what a revelation! The kettle itself is a sort of brushed silver affair, is cordless and boils a litre of water (from cold) in less than thirty seconds, as a bonus, the outside walls stay cool (so you can cuddle it if you’re that way inclined) and it has a ‘keep the water hot’ button. Our tea is now made with water at the correct temperature and it brews really quickly and is no longer the insipid brew it once was. Our taste buds have been revitalised and we’re drinking more tea than we used to so a big ‘hurrah’ for a decent kettle.|
I liked your new kettle icon so much that I had to write in and tell you all about my kettle. It was given to me by a friend, who no longer needed it because "it's rubbish". It's one of these cordless jobbies and handily it's got a level indicator on both sides, thus catering for both normal people and kack-handed pourers like myself. My mum hates it though because it's an odd shape, all futuristic curves; she's happier with her traditional round effort with the scald-o-matic handle.
The main reason for its alleged rubbishness is the filter under a flap in the lid that you're supposed to fill it through, and which prevents you putting water in at more than half a pint an hour. Luckily, though, my sheer laziness found a solution; I don't even open the flap and simply fill it through the spout.
I propose that manufacturers should establish a standard minimum speed at which a kettle must be able to be filled. Then we could modulate our taps appropriately and avoid the embarrassing crotch-level splash back that happens when you try to get too much water through too small a spout.
Interestingly the friend who donated this kettle met his partner over a cup of tea at a party many years ago. They had both escaped the noise and drunken party shenanigans by heading to the kitchen for a nice cup of tea and a sit-down. Here they met and discovered their mutual interest in tea and sitting down, and their mutual disinterest in the general noise and drunkenness of parties. And people say romance is dead, whoever these people are they obviously aren't sitting down and drinking tea enough.
In response to Mrs Liveinabin's email regarding the two vital things to look for in a kettle, I would definately add a third: the power of the kettle. If it comes to a toss up between two or more kettles, always pick the one with the higher wattage rating - after all, all a kettle really has to do is boil the water, so the quicker the better, in my humble opinion.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I have just been reading Iain Kay's description of the beverage choices on offer at his place of work. This "place" sounds very much like a large financial based company in Northampton where I worked a few years ago. Shortly before my departure, the vending machines were replaced with new ones (this coincided with a price increase) which looked more impressive but produced even less palatable tea and coffee than their predecessors. Luckily I was in the habit of picking up a cup of cold water on the way to my desk in the morning. The first cup out of the new machine was a murky grey colour and went straight down the sink.
An engineer was called out to clean the machine and the water was still grey on his departure.
Several weeks and several visits from the engineer later, the problem was still not resolved although I was assured that the beverages issued by the machine were perfectly safe to drink.
It was at this point that I decided to bring a flask.
My advice is to avoid the machines and stick to the long walk past the football tables for a proper beverage.
Our work kettle is a round one on a round base (Tefal stainless steel jug-ish thing I think), which I thought was a good idea, because the handle can be placed at any degree of rotation, and it will still boil. Excellent for left-handers, who are probably poorly catered for by the rigid attachment of kettle to base on so many models.
However, the indicator light to show that the kettle is in fact on, is placed only on one side of the kettle, so it's no good for left handers anyway. Any other left handed kettles out there? Also any bi-directional mugs? So many mugs are designed with the logo/picture/slogan assuming right or left handedness.
Chris Thompson (right handed and interested in product design)
|Nicey replies: Splendid I'm glad you raised the whole 'is it on?' issue.