I’m a tea person, as stated several time on this blog and went into details in this post.
For years I used to simply put my cup of water in the microwave, and heat it, before that I used the pan on the stove but about half the time I end up forgetting I put water to boil and come back to the kitchen 2-3 hours later to see the pan heated white and dry, so it’s definitely not a good thing. Back when I was a kid my parents had a stove top kettle that just whistled when the water was hot, I loved that thing. As I grew older we replaced the “Caldor” as my mom called it with an electric tea kettle, in the nick of time too because I was starting to appreciate tea. I was a teenager, developing my individual taste for hot beverages, while most of my peers will claim coffee is their favourite (more socially acceptable it seems) I never really hid the fact that I far prefer a cup of tea, I will drink coffee on occasion, but it’s not my thing at all. I can totally live without an espresso machine at home, or even without a pot of coffee, but I can’t live without a tea bag lying around, and last year I decided that enough was enough and I needed to get myself an electric kettle again, so I browsed flipkart and got myself this one:
I picked it up more because it was cute than anything else, it was cheap too, which I thought would not hurt, and Prestige is a brand well known enough in India. To be fair it was a good kettle, heated water fast, easy to clean…the only problem is that it hasn’t been designed for heavy tea drinkers like me, at least not the heavy “dip tea” drinker. 6-7 months later I killed it, and that was last week, 2 days before DH made it back from Bangalore at a time I needed it the most.
But I knew it would come, because a week before that the seal around the pink water level window cracked and the kettle leaked, but in desperate need of my kettle I just fixed it with a little M-seal. And it would have been fine if it was not the auto-shut mechanism that gave away a week later. I was sick and when I boiled the water the night before I lifted it off the base when the water was boiling furiously pretty sure that the switch went off as it usually does when the water boils so loudly, poured myself my cup of herbal tea and went to bed…the usual. Except that this time around the kettle didn’t stop heating, it heated all night long, by the morning it’s passing next to it that alerted me something was wrong as the air around it was way too warm. By then the circuit had fried of course and it was off, and the plastic was cracked all over from the heat.
Clearly my heating the kettle 5-6 times a day led to far more wear and tear than it would with a regular moderate user in mind, which led me to re-think the plastic body idea. All my kettles in Switzerland over the years were plastic too, but they last longer and thinking of it now, are of far better quality because people use them more, even if drinking tea at a cafe is considered odd, it’s pretty much part of our evening routine, when the typical cheese and bread dinner is topped with a cup of tea-less fruit infusion (you will find a lot of variety in that department in my homeland), young adults living on their own for the first time use them to heat the water for their instant Nescafé coffee before they graduate to an espresso maker and because people are so used to these, they will not really tolerate devices that break down under the heat after 6 months.
Since I’m really not sure about plastic quality in other brands, and just can’t justify paying 4-5k on an imported kettle, I decided to go for a steel body :
It was actually an imported model, but thanks to Flipkart discounting it at 56% off made it very affordable (same price as the Prestige one), I would have gone for the local brands, but the only ones available in steel were from brands I knew I could not trust due to bad experiences with other small kitchen devices from their range. I have no idea how long that kettle will last, but it’s bigger, faster, and has no water level window that could cause a leak. What it lacks in cute factor it totally makes up in performance and call me crazy but the deep metallic eco sound it makes when the water boils in it actually makes me think of the noise the steamer attached to coffee machines in restaurant makes and it brings warm memories of early morning in cafes with a steaming cup in front of me and a basket of croissants next to it, the only good thing about early mornings I might add…