The Breville IQ Kettle BKE820XL earns almost universal praise from experts and owners alike for its sleek design, solid construction and easy-to-use temperature settings. While the occasional tea drinker may think the cost is steep, this kettle is a worthwhile investment for ardent tea and coffee lovers who treat themselves to a few cups a day. The kettle is generally well liked, although some users complain about the plastic viewing window containing harmful chemicals.
Specialized temperature selection. The BrevilleIQ Kettle is made of brushed stainless steel, and owner reviews at Amazon.com note its sturdy construction and feel. About.com says its elegant, clean lines are "suited to most design-conscious kitchens." The BKE820XL has five temperature settings: green tea (175 degrees Fahrenheit), white tea (185 degrees Fahrenheit), oolong (195 degrees Fahrenheit), French press (200 degrees Fahrenheit) and boil/black tea (212 degrees Fahrenheit). Its high-capacity 1.8 liters makes it a good choice for large households that go through a lot of hot water each day. Amazon.com owners report that the kettle can come to a rolling boil between five and seven minutes.
Easy to handle, pour and hold. The Breville IQ Kettle completely detaches from its corded base, so filling and pouring are simple affairs. While TheKitchn.com says the kettle's large capacity can make it a bit heavy when full, Good Housekeeping praises the BKE820XL's ease of use; editors call the button that opens the lid easy to press with the hand holding the handle. A keep-warm setting keeps the water at a high temperature for up to 20 minutes.
BPA parts could pose a hazard. The majority of the Breville IQ Kettle is made of stainless steel, but it does contain some polycarbonate. Many Amazon.com owners dislike its plastic viewing window and lid, saying chemicals in the plastic could leach potentially carcinogenic chemicals into the boiling water. A handful of reviewers report that the automatic shut-off function sometimes stops working after a few years of use, although one says at Amazon.com that he repaired his kettle by demineralizing it with white vinegar.
1. Good Housekeeping
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute puts products through comprehensive testing in a laboratory setting, and editors review and rate 24 electric tea kettles here. Although they don't pick favorites, the Breville IQ Kettle receives an A grade and is described as exceptionally easy to use and handle. It's "a very well-constructed appliance…," they add.
Review: Breville Variable Temperature Kettle #BKE820XL, Editors of Good Housekeeping Research Institute, January 2010
This review by a cookbook author and TheKitchn.com's executive editor explains the Breville IQ Kettle's main features, and outlines its strong points and drawbacks. Durand doesn't refer to any formal testing, but she has clearly used the device extensively. She compares it to the Adagio UtiliTea, which she says is a little easier to lift than the Breville.
Review: Product Review: Breville Variable Temperature Kettle, Faith Durand, April 15, 2009
This in-depth overview calls the Breville IQ Kettle "an investment worth making for avid tea and coffee drinkers." Goodwin praises its elegant aesthetic, high level of usability and durable construction, but doesn't appear to have formally tested the kettle.
Review: Breville Variable Temperature Kettle BKE820XL Review, Lindsey Goodwin, Not dated
4. Apartment Therapy.com
This list of cutting-edge tea makers names the Breville IQ Kettle as a best among four kettles and brewers on the market. However, it's unclear whether Govindan tests each one.
Review: Best Technological Kettles for Tea Lovers, Range Govindan, Aug. 9, 2010
Editors list this kettle's key features and conclude that it's "worth the steep price." The site is said to base its reviews on both firsthand experience and secondary research, but it offers few specifics and may not be the most credible source out there.
Review: Review: Breville BKE820XL Variable Temperature Kettle, Editors of ElectricCordlessWaterKettle.com, Not dated
The Breville IQ Kettle gets 3.8 stars out of 5 from about 150 owners, with most praising its ease of use and versatility. The biggest complaint concerns the kettle's polycarbonate-based lid and viewing window.
Review: Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature 1.8-Liter Kettle, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013