Tea connoisseurs know that really hot water is essential for good tea. Heating the water can be much easier and quicker if you use an electric appliance designed especially for this. These are also called electric kettle: a must-have item and are perfect for lots of kitchen uses, such as brewing coffee, baby formula, instant noodles, and oatmeal. They also won’t go dry on the hot stove if you forget about it.
Remember, it is not optimum to boil the water for tea, but to use it just before it boils.
If you are not an expert at brewing tea, it may be time to learn more. Lots of cooking websites offer advice, but one of the best I found is on About.com. In a short article, the author provides a guide to varieties of tea (e.g. black, green, oolong, etc.) and the best water temperature and steeping time for each.
Before you Purchase an Electric Kettle
There are numerous choices to be made before selecting a kettle. I just assumed that size was about the only thing I would care about, but after looking at choices I quickly realized that there many more options. I also found that several electric kettles and instant hot water vendors offer expert assistance online.
There is a really large array of sizes and appearances, but before you start looking at units for sale, you need to decide what options will best suit your use. Among the things to consider are:
how much water do you want to use at once?how hot do you need the water to be? (Different types of tea are brewed at different optimum temperatures.) Good boilers allow you to select the temperature you want.how long will the water stay hot? Some can be turned off and will keep the water warm for a long time. Some maintain constant temperature until you turn if off. (Check what happens if it goes dry.)how is the water dispensed-e.g. does it have a dispenser powered by a pump of some kind, or must you pour the water yourself?would having a timer be beneficial?is it cordless? Can it operate on batteries?does it have a water-level indicator?will it chime or beep to alert you when it’s hot? (I think this is the Cadillac of features.)is it small enough to use on my kitchen counter?if it will be lifted to pour water, how heavy is it? Does it have a good handle?what type of guarantee is offered?and, of course, how much does it cost?
Don’t forget to look at systems that are installed on the faucet. They are a type of point-of-use tankless water heater and are ideal for large amounts of water.
After all of these questions are answered, it is the time to look for appearance. Again, there is an almost endless array of choices.
Since most online outlets provide reviews it would be useful to read them first. Look for reviews that mention the things you really want. I found that the selection is much larger on online retail sites if you search for hot water dispenser for tea, rather than a tea water boiler. One review I read even mentioned the ergonomics of the hot water dispenser. (A great idea; I will look for this with other things I buy.) Several magazines and other consumer agencies review small appliances. The one published by Good Housekeeping in 2011 reviews 24 electric kettles.
Who knew that there are so many choices just for heating water? It may seem like a lot of effort to make for this purpose, but selecting just the right hot water unit means that it will fit your needs to a TEA!