Friday, November 22, 2013

Hamilton Beach Programmable Kettle, A Tea Gear Review

Way back, so far in the past (it was August) when I decided to mostly write about tea, I said I was also going to write about tea gear. Other than my post introducing my tea gear I have not done so, well time to change!

I needed an electric kettle, badly. It was not just the proper control of water temperature that I needed. Although not having to rely on the Chinese Boiling Technique was a huge plus. True I could have just bought a thermometer, but why stop there? The real reason is I am very introverted, I am not exaggerating when I say I am a recluse, and I live with other people. The kitchen is very much so a social area and of course that is where I needed to be to review teas. Now don't get me wrong, I like occasionally interacting with people, what I do not like is having to interact, especially when I am focusing on something else. I needed a way to be in the seclusion of my room while still having tea, for my emotional well being and all that. Not to mention the times when my Lupus flairs up and getting out of bed is a struggle, I want tea close at hand! My dear mother, knowing of my laments, got me a kettle for my birthday (very early I should say.)
The unboxing!

Hamilton Beach Programmable Kettle is great, I am just going to get that out of the way first. It holds 1.7 liters, is programmable and not just the usual settings for various types of tea, and has an automatic setting. Yes, you can program it to have your hot water ready when you wake up. It also keeps water at the temperature requested for an hour, which is very useful, especially when doing multiple steeps of a tea. I am much more willing to test multiple steeps now since I do not have to heat new water each time. As with all things there are pros and cons:
In its happy little home


  • Programmable, I like that it is not just the set temperatures. There are some teas that need to be a bit cooler (or hotter) than the 'standard' temperatures. 
  • Can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. I have gotten better at converting the two back in forth in my head, but there being a setting for that is just awesome.
  • Great handle, no really. It is not hard to carry a full kettle of boiling water because the handle seems to be the perfect size for my hand. Bravo! 
  • Price, it might have been a gift, but it was by far the least expensive of the various kettles I was ogling. I admit the $100 one with the elegant long spout and brushed chrome finish was beautiful but it probably functions just as well. 
  • Even when it is not heating water, as long as it is plugged in it shows the temperature of the water in the kettle. 
  • That glorious preset time, I have not used it yet since I usually just get up whenever, but next time I have a set time to wake up you can bet I am setting that thing the night before. It is an amazing trick to help people that are shambling corpses when they first wake up. 
  • The spout doesn't drip, yay! Also the push button lid means you REALLY have to be trying hard if you manage to burn yourself. 

  • Short cord, unless you are really close to a plug you are going to need an extension cord. I believe the cord is about a foot long, so yeah not much to work with.
  • The sound, oh lordy this thing sounds like a roaring waterfall when it is heating the water up. I don't mind (except when I am watching something and can no longer hear it) because that sound means tea. I have a real Pavlov's Bell going on with it. Sadly I am usually nocturnal, the sleeping Ben is not. I have accidentally woken him up once or twice with it (oops) and I have terrified the cats a few times (also oops) 

I have been using it multiple times everyday since it arrived in the post. I have used it to make all types of tea, from my super sensitive Sencha to the robust Blacks, it is an awesome little bit of gear and I recommend it.


  1. They are loud, but a boiling pot of water on the stove can be loud also. I like the sound, but I have mine in the kitchen. I wonder if you could make a wooden box with a rubber padded base, if that would help soundproof a bit.
    Just as you stated all the pros the 2 cons are nothing! I love mine too!!!!! Thanks Mama for giving and introducing them to me. I am so happy I was able to pass on the great joy of Programmable Electric Kettles.

  2. It sounds awesome! I'd love one that's maybe half its size though. This way I can keep using fresh water to make fresh pots. Tea loving is an expensive hobby that's for sure! (but so worth it ;))

  3. same here thinking of getting a electric kettle soon, I love to have a good kettle.