I like coffee, but I just adore tea. There’s something so relaxing about sitting back with a nice full mug of tea and chatting with a friend. In our house we drink a lot of tea; in fact, we have a whole cupboard that is dedicated to our obsession. In that cupboard is black tea, white tea, green tea, herbal medleys and more, and until we got the Chef’s Choice SmartKettle Cordless Electric Kettle, they were all brewed in the exact same way and at the exact same temperature.
Tea connoisseurs are shuddering reading that, because they know that each one of these various types of tea requires different temperature water in order to brew properly. Sure, that might not seem like a big deal to some, but varying degrees of temperature make a huge difference with something as delicate as tea leaves. Some tea lovers are so extreme as to pre-heat their tea cups with hot water in order to not compromise the steeping process. I’m not that crazy about my tea brewing, but I do really taste the difference with teas brewed at their correct temperatures and am loving being able to completely control the temperature setting.
If anyone is picturing me with a food thermometer checking and then re-checking my boiling water, you’ve clearly never met me. Instead, I rely on the Smart Kettle by Chef’s Choice for tea, cocoa, coffee, soup mixes, oatmeal and more, and it does so much more than tell me what temperature my water is at. The Smart Kettle allows me to preset the temperature on the Kettle from 122°F to 212°F and let it do the rest. When it is finished boiling or heating, the Smart Kettle beeps and then holds the water at the temperature you’ve selected to keep it ready to use at any time.
As if that’s not cool enough on its own, it’s the way the Smart Kettle heats that makes it worth raving about. The Smart Kettle amazingly remembers the temperature of your last use and automatically sets that temperature to heat unless you adjust the up or down, saving you the time or having to re-look up the temperature setting for your favorite tea or coffee. Even the base of the Smart Kettle is remarkable, allowing you to set the Kettle down at just about any angle and still securely connect with the internal heating element. They even included a handy cord keeper that allows you to coil extra cord length within the base of the unit for maximum safety and aesthetics.
The Smart Kettle starts working almost as soon as you set it on its base and power it up and then heats the water within minutes to your desired setting. Boiling and heating water in a fraction of the time a stovetop takes, you can have your tea, coffee, or hot drink mix ready in just about the time it takes for a commercial break. For kid-friendly temperatures for making cocoa and oatmeal, the Smart Kettle is amazingly fast and can even help get breakfast on the table and mornings to run quicker and smoother.
The Smart Kettle has an LED screen and user-friendly controls that make it easy to operate without having to refer to the manual over and over, and allows you to clearly see what temperature your water is at from across the kitchen. Speaking of which, I’ve used the SmartKettle for cooking on two occasions now, once for peeling tomatoes, and then once when the pasta I was cooking required more water than I had originally estimated and adding cold water would have severely slowed supper down.
I should note that I have actually owned two other electric tea kettles throughout the years, the first was from my college days when I lived on ramen noodles, and the second was for me to make tea and coffee at work. After just a few months of use, I found that the internal heating coils had corroded within the tea kettles and they had turned a really gross black/green color that caused me to retire both appliances after only weeks of use.
When I found out that the Smart Kettle has a hidden heating element that keeps the Kettle from landing atop the garbage heap after only minor use, I was sold. When you add in the fact that the Smart Kettle itself is cordless for ease of pouring and filling and only requires a cord and outlet when actual heating is taking place, I cleared the counter in anticipation of its arrival.
Since the Smart Kettle is gorgeous in its stainless steel and black beauty, it actually landed one of the coveted “countertop appliance” roles and currently hangs out near our stand mixer just begging for tea parties and dinner prep assistance. Now that the weather is calling for hot drinks, the Smart Kettle is bound to see even more action as winter comes to Seattle.
Of course the Smart Kettle comes with a long list of safety features that keep your family safe. From boiling over or boiling dry, Chef’s Choice has thought of just about everything to keep your kitchen as safe as possible. The low water level warning lets you know when your guests have almost drained the Kettle and the Max Fill line (1.7 Liters) keeps your Smart Kettle from spewing boiling liquids across your counter during the rolling boil.
The Smart Kettle also has an automatic shut-off on the Keep Warm function that ends after 40 minutes so you will never worry about forgetting to turn it off after your party ends. Even with the safety precautions, I hope it goes without saying that the Smart Kettle will get hot while heating and should not be operated by anyone other than an adult. While boiling, the metal sides get hot to the touch, and could be dangerous around small children.
Looks: Sleek and sophisticated in stainless and black
Overall: Highly recommended for hot drink lovers, kitchen prep, parties and more.
A warm thank you to Chef's Choice for keeping our evenings toasty and relaxed with their new SmartKettle. This post highlights my honest experience with their product and no monetary compensation was received for this review.