Although you can use pour-over kettles to brew a cup of tea, they're usually the province of die-hard drip coffee enthusiasts. Most pour-over kettles come with a long, slender "gooseneck" pour spout that helps you better control—and target—the flow of water over your coffee grounds as you complete the pour-and-pause ritual that is essential to brewing a perfect cup of coffee.
The Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle (Est. $80) is a big favorite with users. It draws rave reviews for its ability to adjust in one-degree increments between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees, and to hold water at the desired temperature for up to 60 minutes. In fact, this electric pour-over coffee kettle beautifully addresses almost all the major concerns brought up by die-hard pour-over coffee lovers: All the plastic components are BPA-free, the vent holes are big enough to fit a probe thermometer for double-checking water temperature, and it even has a count-up timer to help you time your pours and pauses.
The Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle draws high praise from expert reviewers at Serious Eats, Prima Coffee and TheSweetHome.com, too; they say that while it might not offer the fastest boil, it provides excellent flow control, trickling the water in a straight line right out of the spout. Overall, this kettle is great for pour-over fanatics, or a nice compromise for coffee lovers with limited space who might also want to use it for brewing tea.
The one thing to watch out for, users say, is that despite this kettle's good stainless steel looks, there may be some quality control problems. Owners frequently report getting a "HI-ERR" error message on the kettle's base once it comes out of the box, and some also say their kettle quickly started to rust, despite their having carefully following the manufacturer's instructions to empty and dry the kettle between uses.
The upside of all this is that most customers are very happy with how Bonavita's customer service has handled their complaints, quickly replacing bases to fix the HI-ERR problem. No product is 100 percent perfect, so that kind of proactive, positive support counts for a lot.
If you'd rather use a stovetop kettle for your drip coffee, the no-frills Hario V60 Buono Coffee Drip Kettle (Est. $37) is another perennial favorite. Although it's advertised as a 1.2 liter kettle, a few users point out that if you don't overfill, the Hario Buono actually holds about 0.8L, or about 3.4 cups. Users say the Hario Buono is a little lightweight, and the top opening makes sticking your hand in to clean a challenge; but they love the weight and feel of the handle, and the way the spout's neck attaches to the body at such a low point, which gives you better control over the last bit of water to leave the kettle.
Although you can use the Hario Buono to boil water on any stove, some choose to boil their water in a separate, fast-heating electric kettle, like the kind we cover in our separate discussion of the best electric kettles, and then transfer the water to the Hario Buono for only the pour part of the brewing process; its flow and control are just that good. If you do boil water in this kettle, it doesn't whistle; so be prepared to stick around and supervise it. You'll also need to either stick to moderate heat on the stove (so the handle stays cool enough to touch) or have a hot pad ready. Finally, like most of the stainless steel kettles we evaluated, users file some complaints about rust, so be careful about not letting it sit in water, or leaving water to sit in it when it's not being used for beverage-making.