27 Apr 2007
Product Review – Eco Kettle.
Haven’t really made much of a habit of doing product reviews here, but the time has come to have a go. I recently bought an Eco Kettle, and wanted to share my thoughts about it with you. Studies have shown that most people overfill the kettle, and that a lot of energy is wasted boiling water simply so that it can just go cold again. I try and get into the habit of measuring the water going into the kettle with a cup first, but it doesn’t always happen, so I was intrigued by the possibility of a kettle that made me do that.
The idea is that the central core of the kettle is where you store the water, and the outside of that is where it actually boils, in a chamber which wraps around the inner core. So you fill your core (you are supposed to keep it full), close the lid which seals, and press a button on the top which then transfers the water from the inner to the outer chambers. As you press the button, you can see, thanks to measuring lines on the outside of the kettle, how many cups worth of water you are going to boil. You then turn it on, and it just boils the amount of water you require.
It sounds great, and in some ways it is. However, it does have a number of drawbacks. Firstly, once your 2 cups worth of water has boiled, you have to get to it pretty quickly, because being so close to the inner chamber of cold water, it cools far more rapidly than it would in a normal kettle. If you wait a few minutes, the result is a very tepid cup of tea.
Secondly, if you are not trained in how to use the kettle, you can easily find yourself just filling the middle, and pressing boil, which then attempts to boil an empty chamber, which cannot be much good for the kettle. Thirdly, because the inner chamber is so large, you can actually only boil a relatively small amount of water. If you want to boil enough for 5-6 cups of tea, it is fine, but if you need to boil the kettle for doing the washing up or having a wash, it won’t give you enough water. Lastly, the cup sizes they must have used to create their cup measures must be smaller than mine, so it takes some getting used to, I still sometimes need to refill and reboil it because I don’t have enough water.
I bought the Eco Kettle thinking that I would be able to do away with my old one. As it turns out, we now have the two alongside each other. If we need hot water for doing the dishes, I use the old one, and the new one is for drinks. Because the Eco Kettle is different and inserts a couple of stages before the ‘press and boil’ stage, it could be perceived as being a hassle. Ideally I would be able to guarantee that every time I needed cup of tea, I would remember to fill cups and put them into the kettle, but as I can’t I will stick with my Eco Kettle. It is not an especially ‘sexy’ piece of energy efficient technology, but it does what it does adequately.