A question about "kettles"

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A question about "kettles"

Postby Disaffected.citizen » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:10 am

This is a rather odd topic, I know, but I want to understand whether, within some quarters of UK media, there is ignorance or if there is a factual base.

A radio presenter (Heart FM) today stated on air that few Americans own or use a plug in electric kettle; indeed the presenter suggested a lot don't know what one is.

So the question is...

Please answer from your own perspective wherever you may live worldwide.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby crfriend » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:23 pm

Well, when I was growing up we had an electric coffee percolator which is closely related to the "electric kettle" and my landlady has one she makes tea with, so at least some denizens of the US have a clue. Personally, I have a drip-type coffee maker and If I'm after tea boil some water on the stove to do the job. (There isn't any more room in the kitchen for extra gadgets thanks to the computers.)
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby FranTastic444 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:25 pm

I cannot speak for the whole of the USA, but I can say that we do not have a plug-in kettle - we use an "old fashioned" whistling kettle that sits atop the gas hob.

I'm a fairly prominent poster on a FaceBook Brit ex-pats in Boston page. The advice given there is to avoid leccie kettles. Reason number one is that they never seem to last very long (this also applies to toasters and irons). I don't know if it is the different voltage or lower specification standards or just the fact that they are built to a very low price point, but many people on the aforementioned site have warned newbies to Boston to avoid a kettle with a plug when they go shopping in Target for kitchen appliances upon moving to the US. A secondary reason for using a whistling kettle is that you are a lot more likely to lose electricity for hours / days in the US than in the UK because of the standard practice of running power lines to houses above ground rather than under.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby Fred in Skirts » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:18 pm

I have both an electric and a stove top kettle, I also have a ceramic tea kettle in which I brew my tea when making a cup or two. I use the electric kettle to boil water the most. If I am making tea in a large quantity (for Iced Tea) I use the electric coffee maker.

When I am making only a cup or two I first fill the ceramic kettle with boiling water and let it set, I then measure out the tea I prefer Oolong or Earl Grey teas. I then empty the ceramic kettle and put in the tea leaves and add fresh boiling water then place the tea cozy over the kettle and allow to brew. After a small while I use a very fine tea strainer and pour my self a cup of heaven.

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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby denimini » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:11 am

Here in Australia, I know what they are and have avoided them more successfully than snakes.
I have used the same stainless steel billy for 35 or more years, on the gas stove top and open fires. It does not have a whistle and has survived numerous "boil drys". I add the tea leaves to the boiling water and remove from heat before 4 seconds have elapsed. No, I don't swing it around my head.
Whistles should be mandatory for those who sit at the computer after putting the "kettle" on, as whistles become quite apoplectic if not promptly attended to.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby moonshadow » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:19 pm

I've never heard of an electric kettle. I do have a stove top one that I use when I want a cup of hot tea.
Its just a basic tea pot with a spout, no whistle.

I also add a little milk in my hot tea, which I understand is quite a sin in England... :wink:

I also have an actual tea "pot" (as in... a regular pot) that I use exclusively for boiling tea bags for brewing iced tea [0] by the gallon. I make it sweet, but not "southern sweet".

[0] it's not really "iced tea" as I generally don't add ice until serving it.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby shadowfax » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:31 pm

moonshadow wrote:.... I also add a little milk in my hot tea, which I understand is quite a sin in England... :wink:

You've heard wrong! Adding milk into hot tea is perfectly okay. I'm just making a mug of hot tea and am going to add milk to it. :)

AFAIK The Dutch take their tea with lemon but not milk. Mind you, their tea will have been blended so that it tastes right with lemon.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby beachlion » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:59 pm

shadowfax wrote:..... AFAIK The Dutch take their tea with lemon but not milk. Mind you, their tea will have been blended so that it tastes right with lemon.


In the 60+ years I lived in the Netherlands, I have seldom seen people adding lemon to their tea. But I have heard of it. And I am not aware that the Dutch tea was any different from the English version. Because of our connection with the far east we had quite a name in the field of tea. I have seen tea bags with all sorts of fruit flavorings.

Pickwick thee.jpg


When I grew up, tea was the warm drink of choice but when the economy went up after rebuilding the country after the war, coffee took over.

About 20 years ago I switched to massai or rooibos tea from South Africa. In tea bags and with water from an electric kettle. I'm lazy and try to dirty as less equipment as possible.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby shadowfax » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:53 pm

beachlion wrote:
shadowfax wrote:..... AFAIK The Dutch take their tea with lemon but not milk. Mind you, their tea will have been blended so that it tastes right with lemon.


In the 60+ years I lived in the Netherlands, I have seldom seen people adding lemon to their tea. But I have heard of it. And I am not aware that the Dutch tea was any different from the English version. Because of our connection with the far east we had quite a name in the field of tea. I have seen tea bags with all sorts of fruit flavorings.

Pickwick thee.jpg


When I grew up, tea was the warm drink of choice but when the economy went up after rebuilding the country after the war, coffee took over.

About 20 years ago I switched to massai or rooibos tea from South Africa. In tea bags and with water from an electric kettle. I'm lazy and try to dirty as less equipment as possible.

Can you recall whether, in general, Nederlanders took their tea without milk? :wink:
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby beachlion » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:17 pm

shadowfax wrote:...... Can you recall whether, in general, Nederlanders took their tea without milk? :wink:


Most drink their tea with some sugar but I believe some use milk to soften the taste of the tea. And I suspect some do it because the English are doing it. We have some snobbisch people in the Netherlands. ;)
Now most people in the Netherlands drink coffee, black or with milk or with sugar or with milk and sugar. On cold days some naughty Dutch may even spike their coffee with alcohol.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby shadowfax » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:30 pm

beachlion wrote:
shadowfax wrote:...... Can you recall whether, in general, Nederlanders took their tea without milk? :wink:


Most drink their tea with some sugar but I believe some use milk to soften the taste of the tea. And I suspect some do it because the English are doing it. We have some snobbisch people in the Netherlands. ;)
Now most people in the Netherlands drink coffee, black or with milk or with sugar or with milk and sugar. On cold days some naughty Dutch may even spike their coffee with alcohol.


Thanks for the information beachlion. :)

Coming back around to the OP's original question/subject, I've just bought a new electric kettle as the one that I was using to make tea, started to leak. :wink:
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby Big and Bashful » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:22 pm

Surprising question, even more surprising answers!
Yes, I am un Britisher and have an electric kettle, current one is at least ten years old, probably nearer 15. We don't have gas around here so that isn't an option unless you pay the premium for bottled gas a la propane. To me, the electric kettle has got to be one of the most efficient doohickies on the planet, you put a bunch of watts of electrickery into the heating elephant, any electrics that aren't used as heat to heat the water go to waste in the form of heat, erm, which is lost in the water, as heat, which is nice! doesn't that make an electric kettle 100% efficient?
A gas kettle, well sit it on flames and it catches some of the heat from the flame, the rest of the heat just passes the kettle and rises to give you a slightly warmer ceiling, which isn't quite as useful. The same applies to a pan.
Got to admit, I don't use a teapot, mug + teabags work for me.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby Disaffected.citizen » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:46 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. It appears that the radio presenter's assertion may have been correct.

Insofar as brewing and drinking tea, in the UK it is taken both with and without milk, or perhaps lemon, depending upon individual taste preferences and the tea blend involved. Most blends are ok with milk, but Earl Grey tastes soapy - it's better with lemon.
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby Happy-N-Skirts » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:11 am

We save the filter packs of coffee from hotels. We had a large supply of them when we visited Australia. They don’t have coffee in hotel rooms so I improvised a way to make coffee in a Sunbeam electric tea kettle. I boiled water, turned off the kettle, dropped a few fillter packs in and began smashing it up and down with a plastic water bottle. It worked and we had coffee every morning until we ran out of filter packs.

We bought a coffee press in a department store and we went to a grocery store to buy some coffee and were surprised to see shelves full of tea, but very few selections of coffee. It is way different from what we are used to and comes from Kenya and other parts of Africa. Oh well we managed to “rough it.”
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Re: A question about "kettles"

Postby Kirbstone » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:03 am

Of course we have an electric kettle! B&B summed up everything about them very succinctly. We also have a broad-based special one for the AGA which saves us lecky as it's nearly always on or near the boil.

I like good old-fashioned tea, which here in Ireland is a Fine Art and the available varieties outstrip even craft beers in number. MOH makes Kenya coffee a lot, which she drinks black. I have to admit to tossing a teaspoonful of instant into a mug to which I add milk....mostly to avoid burning my tongue !

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