Apr 7th 16 8:33 am
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The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by TastetheTea.blog » Apr 7th 16 8:33 am

We all know that tea can be heavily effected by water type and temperature. As a general tea lover and someone with a tea blog I try to counter in these facts when doing reviews.

At the moment I’m currently looking for the ultimate kettle, but I just don’t think it exists! It has me crying out for someone to spot the gap in the market and create a kettle that caters to both temperature and water content.

I’ve browsed at kettles that contain water filtration systems, i.e Brita filter kettles etc. Great, that sorts the water type issue. And I’ve come so sooo close to buying a temperature control kettle such as the pretty swanky smart kettle from Sage by Heston Blumenthal (http://www.sageappliances.co.uk/the-smart-kettle.html). It looks so perfect, but it’s not, because there is no filtration system, meaning local water (London is moderate to hard) would still impact on taste.

Short of buying a water filter AND a temperature control kettle is anyone aware of the ultimate kettle that combines both of these innovations?

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Apr 7th 16 12:27 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by Rui » Apr 7th 16 12:27 pm

TastetheTea.blog wrote:We all know that tea can be heavily effected by water type and temperature. As a general tea lover and someone with a tea blog I try to counter in these facts when doing reviews.

At the moment I’m currently looking for the ultimate kettle, but I just don’t think it exists! It has me crying out for someone to spot the gap in the market and create a kettle that caters to both temperature and water content.

I’ve browsed at kettles that contain water filtration systems, i.e Brita filter kettles etc. Great, that sorts the water type issue. And I’ve come so sooo close to buying a temperature control kettle such as the pretty swanky smart kettle from Sage by Heston Blumenthal (http://www.sageappliances.co.uk/the-smart-kettle.html). It looks so perfect, but it’s not, because there is no filtration system, meaning local water (London is moderate to hard) would still impact on taste.

Short of buying a water filter AND a temperature control kettle is anyone aware of the ultimate kettle that combines both of these innovations?
First things first. I like your blog. It looks very neat and very well organised.

You are right water around London should be filtered before using it to steep some tea.

We also looked at different options, including changing our tap to one of the new ones that has an attached filter, but we settled for getting a Brita filter and then buy a Siemens kettle which allows water temperatures from 70 to 100 degrees C. The lower setting being very useful for fresh green teas and Japanese sencha. The model we chose was the Siemens Sensor for senses TW86103.

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Apr 7th 16 1:17 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by pedant » Apr 7th 16 1:17 pm

TastetheTea.blog wrote:water filtration systems... Brita filter ...
because there is no filtration system, meaning local water (London is moderate to hard) would still impact on taste.

Short of buying a water filter AND a temperature control kettle is anyone aware of the ultimate kettle that combines both of these innovations?
Brita does not treat water hardness....
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/hardness.html
The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals
https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/



i don't see the point in combining a kettle and a water treatment system.
combining everything into a single unit is rarely innovation.
i don't have a petrol refinery in my car.

Apr 7th 16 3:03 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by TastetheTea.blog » Apr 7th 16 3:03 pm

Thank you Rui, glad you like the blog :)

I think I'm going to do the same really and get a Brita and a temp kettle. I rent so I can't get a filtered tap fitted, although ultimate goals for the future maybe!? :wink:

Apr 7th 16 3:10 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by TastetheTea.blog » Apr 7th 16 3:10 pm

pedant wrote:
TastetheTea.blog wrote:water filtration systems... Brita filter ...
because there is no filtration system, meaning local water (London is moderate to hard) would still impact on taste.

Short of buying a water filter AND a temperature control kettle is anyone aware of the ultimate kettle that combines both of these innovations?
Brita does not treat water hardness....
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/hardness.html
The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals
https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/



i don't see the point in combining a kettle and a water treatment system.
combining everything into a single unit is rarely innovation.
i don't have a petrol refinery in my car.
Hey Pedant,

I looked it up just make DOUBLE sure,
You’ll be able to taste the way BRITA filters reduce water hardness!
https://www2.brita.net/teststripe-regis ... tripe-link

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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by ethan » Apr 7th 16 4:05 pm

There was a lot of discussion & arguments in teachat threads about water for tea.

Ignoring that & just relying on my experience I conclude:

Water that tastes good may not make good tea. Distilled water & reverse osmosis water is awful for tea. Where I am staying now, Brita makes awful-tasting water okay for drinking but not ideal for tea.

Stop & Shop supermarkets have spring water for 89 cents a gallon. I live on very little $ & don't have a car. Carrying water 3 blocks from the bus stop etc. is not so easy; yet, I find the expenditure of $ & energy & time worth it. If you are lucky enough to be able to have good water for tea from the tap or to be able to filter tap-water w/o losing minerals that make tea taste good --great. Otherwise, you may need to buy spring water to make good tea.

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Apr 7th 16 4:22 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by pedant » Apr 7th 16 4:22 pm

hm, i guess it reduces 'temporary hardness'.
i wonder why they don't specify that here https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/ :roll:

Apr 7th 16 4:39 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by .m. » Apr 7th 16 4:39 pm

TastetheTea.blog wrote: I looked it up just make DOUBLE sure,
You’ll be able to taste the way BRITA filters reduce water hardness!
https://www2.brita.net/teststripe-regis ... tripe-link
They talk about "carbonate hardness" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate_hardness, corresponding to presence carbonate and bicarbonate ions. A lot of these ions precipitate through boiling anyway, creating a scale in the water. So with the filtration your boiled water for tea might not be any softer than without, you'll simply have less scale in your kettle. In any case there will still be plenty of minerals left in the water. If it is too much, you can mix your filtered water with a soft bottled one to further lower the hardness (there was some talk somewhere in the sense that such mixed water should sit for some time to marry together, but i don't really understand the reasons for that).
Perhaps somebody with more background in chemistry can explain it better?

Apr 7th 16 4:46 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by .m. » Apr 7th 16 4:46 pm

pedant wrote:hm, i guess it reduces 'temporary hardness'.
i wonder why they don't specify that here https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/ :roll:
maybe because they care more about marketing than about water filtration 8)

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Apr 7th 16 7:18 pm
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by debunix » Apr 7th 16 7:18 pm

TastetheTea.blog wrote:Short of buying a water filter AND a temperature control kettle is anyone aware of the ultimate kettle that combines both of these innovations?
I have a water filtering pitcher that I use when brewing tea at home, filtering the water before I put it into the kettle. It's too hard to manage the extra item and liquid in an office setting, so here I do not use one. It definitely cuts down on the scale in the teapot, but I've never done a head-to-head comparison for effects on tea flavor. Our local water in LA varies a lot by where the water is coming from--more Sierra snowmelt one month, more ground water from other sources the next.

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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by Drax » Apr 8th 16 2:30 pm

Can't help, sorry. I filter my water and then store it in mizusashi (clay jars) usually along with bamboo charcoal. Then I pour that water into a kettle when I'm ready to brew.

May 16th 16 11:39 am
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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by teageek7920 » May 16th 16 11:39 am

Hmm... im not sure about the tap water quality from where you are, but i did an experiment before and it turns out the the 'softness' of tea is not always related to the scientific softness of the water (eg, the amount of minerals and compounds in the water).

I've been researching on what kind of water brews nice tea for a while now, (and i still am!) taking into account the amount of each specific minerals and compounds in different kinds of water, the permanent as well as temporary hardness of the water etc. And so far what i found was that the harder the water, the harder and heavy the tea is, but the softer the water, the less flavour is able to be brewed out of the tea (ie. i feel that the tea cannot be brewed to its fullest potential), and plus the water isn't exactly light and smooth either. So what i'm trying to say is, perhaps the 'softness' of tea that we tea drinkers look out for in the tea, isn't the same as the 'softness' characterized by scientists as the amount of minerals and compounds in the water.

I'm still experimenting with this, testing with water from around the world, but so far i have just come to the conclusion that how well the water brews tea is more than just the scientific 'hardness' or 'softness' and maybe there needs to be a specific balance of the amount of minerals. I am currently just sticking to a particular brand of water that i find brews the best teas until i have further info (:

However, if you are just focusing on kettles, i would highly recommend trying a Zisha (Purple Clay) Kettle. I feel that despite the initial quality of your water, water boiled through a Zisha kettle is always noticeably sweeter and softer. (the tea kind of softer ;) )

Just my two cents (:

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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by miig » May 16th 16 7:23 pm

Hmm, interesting. I think there is more than just good / bad in water. I got the impression that water with some more minerals is better for heavy-bodied teas like (aged) puerh and heavy-roast Oolong etc, since the minerals give a more 'rustic' taste and increase contrast. But this can affect the most tender notes, so for young and very green teas, I'd prefer water that is somewhat softer. Too soft or too hard will never be good though, that's fairly obvious I guess.

As for the kettle, I take it you are looking for something you won't need an extra hotplate for? In that case, it shouldn't be difficult. As long as you got decent quality stainless steel, different kettles will not bring drastic change. Some kettles will pour better, some will have temperature control, some of them will be more pleasing on an aesthetic level. Russell Hobbs has some beautiful kettles.

If you're willing to go hotplate though, this will open a door to a new world.. a Japanese Tetsubin, Clay kettles and so on will take things to a different level.

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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by NateHevens » May 17th 16 4:56 am

I can't help you with a variable temperature kettle that also filters water in a way that's good for tea. To be honest, I imagine something like that would, in fact, be a great innovation, but it's also probably something that's decades down the line.

Not to reignite the Water Wars here :D, but I actually experimented with one of the bottled waters recommended on this site (though I'm not really a fan of bottled water because the concept is so innately vulture-capitalist and I'm a socialist, but that's off-topic :twisted: :P), along with the water from our tap and from our fridge.

I live on Long Island (New York, USA), and if I'm being honest, I didn't notice too much of a difference between the three, except that I like using the water from our fridge...

The tea kettle I have is this one, but I've been eyeing this one for a long time now (though I cannot hope to afford it right now).

There's also this, but the price they're asking for it just makes me laugh...

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Re: The Ultimate Kettle; Does it Exist?

by ClaudeL » Feb 25th 18 6:36 pm

The Kamjove t22 is the most simple and best kettle i know. Cheap, very well built and nice.