Tea...Reputedly the 'Best drink of the Day'™. According at least to the sages behind those Typhoo Tea telly commercials. Was it Typhoo? Could've been Tetley... Tea however, has never been for me. I pretty much loathed it as a child. Too much milk I think. That's a nightmare I'll never forget. So, pretty much I managed to avoid all sorts of hot drinks until I ran away from home and had to come up with something to keep me all night in the transport cafes. Horrible coffee, anyone can tell you, is somehow more palatable than horrible tea. So I going to some lengths to set aside my total tea aversion to acknowledge that at the heart of every cuppa is a kettle of boiling water.
Well, there are the infinite varieties of tea, it's true, but that's a detail each and every tea drinking reader could probably spend an eternity debating. So let's limit the tea sages input here to "You always have to warm the pot..."
A kettle is always handy to have around the house. In the UK, there a plenty of beautiful automatic shutoffs jobs with retro futuristic forms and materials, here in California, fewer I would say since tea of the iced-variety is tea du jour indeed rendering much of a kettle - a veritable kitchen pit pony elsewhere, virtually unemployed. But not unemployable - here's a not exhaustive list of why you should always equip a kitchen with a splendid kettle. Tea, probably exclusively for out of town guests, Jell-o, gravy, hot toddies, hot water bottles and in some instances as a blunt instrument with which to repel hordes of invading ants.
Having established a need... What to buy? Braun, Bosch, Krups and Alessi all offer reasonably priced auto off kettles. Braun boasts the ability to boil enough water for a cup of tea in 45 seconds. That's hot. We dig the matt graphite De Longhi artdecoretro cordless model too. Who doesn't?
In the end though, we're not even going with an electric kettle at all. We're recommending a stove top model, the All Clad Ltd. It boils two quarts and whistles at you when its ready. Since running from the TV to the kettle is about the extent of our daily exercise regimen - not having an auto shut off is a pretty important feature. There's a drawback of course - don't expect it to work with your induction stove top - that's a small price to pay for beauty and since we had our induction stove top installed, love this kettle though we do, it has become the prettiest ornament in the kitchen.
(For those of you who still have not experienced the unparalleled joy of an induction stove top - prices are tumbling about as fast as flat screens. The energy savings, safety, efficiency and convenience pay for themselves).