; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Cwyn's Tea Kettle Problem ;

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cwyn's Tea Kettle Problem

It's time for a new tea kettle. Or new kettle set-up. Nothing brings out the Tea Ware OCD more than the idea of a new water boiling system. First we have the nightmare of actually shopping for something other than tea. I make my son eat whatever the Thrifty Mart behind the house has for sale because I am NOT getting in the car to actually go to a store. Once I get past the nightmare of shopping for something, I immediately nit pick potential purchases to the point of exhaustion and end up not buying anything.

Here's what happened. I had a Hamilton Beach stainless steel electric kettle which served me well for about 4 years. Last spring it developed a leak around the plastic water level. Now I hate anything plastic on a tea kettle but at the time this kettle was the least offensive of all those I considered. Tried everything in the house to re-seal that leak, but all solutions succumbed to either heat, expansion, or water exposure. So, I was forced to toss the kettle, still working perfectly well mind you.

My old tea kettle
Next, I tried a vintage Japanese ceramic hot pot I bought on Ebay. That kettle went down because of my next problem. Old Cwyn. Ever heard of her?? Right. This is an old lady who forgets she plugged in the tea kettle and lets it fry until the heating element explodes. She falls asleep. Her Hamilton Beach had an automatic shut off. My current tea kettle, just a stovetop enamel, has a perfect quarter-sized round burn with a pin size hole in the middle because this old biddy left it on the stove. She has a Safety Problem.

Current tea kettle replete with burn mark.
Really this is all an issue only because the kitchen is "out there" and I'm "in here" which usually means on or in the bed. I can't see the tea kettle out there and promptly forget I even put the kettle on. Even worse I sometimes dash out into the kitchen thinking I left the kettle on and nope, nothing burning. All this wasted effort and worry. The whole point here is I just can't see any reason why I need to get out of bed to get my tea. Why can't I just lie here and roll over and turn on the kettle any time? I don't need to interrupt my dreaming which lately has been about this guy I read about on Teachat called Henry, who supposedly is Selling his Red Mark. I keep dreaming about what Old Cwyn could be doing to get to Henry and his Red Mark. This sort of productive thinking goes out the window when I have to get out of bed and deal with problems in the kitchen. All I could accomplish will never happen unless I deal with my tea kettle soon.

So, I have these problems:

1. I hate boring shopping.
2. I might burn down the house.
3. I don't like plastic touching the water.
4. I nitpick any potential ideas to the point of death.
5. Older house wiring and non-grounded wall plugs, some of which tend to come out of the wall.
6. Hate spending money on anything except tea.
7. A son who can't be allowed to see Mother's depravity.
8. I'd be fine if I could quit reading tea forums, Influenced by Ideas.

Okay stop at lucky 8. I'm thinking of getting an electric portable burner to keep by the bed so I can use my virgin cast iron tetsubin gathering dust now in the cupboard. The tetsubin would stay hot longer, which might mean less energy spent heating water over and over. I could lower my gas bill by using electric instead and spend more money on tea. The downside to this plan is few burners have an automatic shut off. Here is one I'm thinking about.
Looks like it would play vinyl records too.
Will let you know whether I made any progress or if I've burned down the house in the meantime. I think I left the kettle on the kitchen.

Pacem in incendium domus.


  1. the bonavita gooseneck kettle is nice. it's what I use, since a hotplate isn't practical for my setup. it shuts off automatically when it's boiling, so that might be useful to you.

  2. I also use the Bonavita electric kettle, got introduced to the temp controllable one by way of being a coffee dork, but I use the regular old boil-away one for gongfu/grandpa purposes in my room. It's the best water setup I've had for tea (complete with Portland's totally acceptable tap water that I brita filter just for good measure and because I live in a big old house probably with shitty pipes). I'm definitely plannin on messing with charcoal come spring for special time-available occasions and want to buy a ceramic kettle once I get used to glass. But yeah, for everyday use the Bonavita is a winner. I've noticed a very slight metallic flavor when the water sits in it for more than about a half hour, but nobody's perfect.

    1. Ian, everything you wrote and the way you wrote it, I can completely relate. I am charcoaling my water which fortunately does not leave any scale. I get bamboo charcoal from Yunnan Sourcing, an inexpensive add-on to a tea order. The Bonvita has that tiny goose neck which I don't like. I need to clean in there in the summer, I'd have to buy a special brush to clean in that neck. A bit of a bother for such a high priced kettle. I don't really like the aesthetics either, a fat guy with a thin weinie, of course it is not size but how well it works but still you gotta want it for it to work out, after all. How is that for overthinking??

  3. Do you remember the Russell Hobbs K2 kettle? We had one for many years - a robust classic design that was produced for over 50 years. Sadly replaced by jug kettles that last five minutes now.

    1. Those were not common in the states because the electrical cord is not compatible here. People still don't drink much tea here. Over the years I've sold a lot of US vintage coffee percolators, still a healthy market for those.

  4. Cwyn, I noticed that a certain Deni hotplate had consistently poor ratings on Amazon,


    I am not sure if this was the hotplate you were thinking about getting, I wonder what it would look like to consider other options. Although it doesn't address your virgin tetsubin, I also noticed this recent thread on TeaChat:




  5. I have a Bonavita Gooseneck which I love for constant daily use, but what if the electricity goes out, lol?! i need a GOOD, high quality ceramic(?) one to heat water on my gas stove. Amazon has a joyce chen one but reviews are mixed with people saying chips literally fly off, 'projectiles' is how it was stated more than once! I saw something by Lin Studios in Taiwan, think they are, got to track it down. My husband says, 'I don't get it, you can heat water in one of our pots, right?' GEEZ. Total purist here. Much have the best possible solution! If you find one, let me know!

  6. This piece made me laugh out loud- I know what you mean about hating shopping for stuff, all that choice makes me start wishing there was just the one of everything. But I think when a list includes the words " I might burn down the house" then you've kind of got your answer haven't you really? Stay safe .

    Lisa @ Westinghouse Small Appliances