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Tea Kettle Reviews

By: Lisa Maloney on December 20, 2016

Editor's note:
If you want your tea to be ready and waiting when you crawl out of bed, the automated Breville BTM800XL tea machine remains king of the hill. But we have new champions in our other categories: The variable-temperature Cuisinart PerfecTemp CPK-17 takes top honors among electric kettles, while a simple, classic Medelco glass kettle wins the stovetop category.

Cuisinart PerfecTemp CPK-17 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity: 1.7 liters Power: 1500 watts Variable temps: 6

Best electric kettle

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp CPK-17 electric kettle features six preset temperature settings for steeping different teas, plus a 30-minute "hold temperature" setting. In professional testing, it's fast and accurate, and owners  love its handsome stainless steel construction, easy-open lid, and limited, BPA-free plastic components. Even the beep that lets you know the water is ready is pleasant, and the CPK-17 has a better durability record than the competition.

Buy for $74.99
Hamilton Beach 40865 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Capacity: 1.7 liters Power: 1500 watts Variable temps: No

Best cheap kettle

If price is your priority, the Hamilton Beach 40865 offers solid features at an excellent price. It has just one temperature setting -- boil -- but heats quickly. It also has a 360-degree rotating base that makes it especially convenient for left-handed users, and the cord is attached to the base, not the carafe, so it's easy to carry to the table.

Buy for $26.54
Medelco Whistling Kettle Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity: 12 cups Power: N/A Variable temps: N/A

Best stovetop tea kettle

This unassuming, cafe-style tea kettle is beloved by thousands of owners for its borosilicate glass construction and excellent value. Users love being able to see exactly what's going on inside the kettle, and it has a pleasant, breathy whistle to let you know the water's boiled. Even better: water from this kettle never has the "off" taste you often get from kettles with plastic parts.

Buy for $9.88
Breville BTM800XL Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity: 1.5 liters Power: 1500 watts Variable temps: 5 + customizable

Best automatic tea maker

The Breville Tea Maker BTM800XL works as a fully automated tea brewing machine; just program it and load it with tea leaves the night before and it'll do everything for you in the morning, from heating the water to steeping the leaves. The five preset temperatures and an extra, customizable temperature setting make it easy to get the perfect cup every time. The BTM800XL also functions as a conventional electric kettle.

Buy for $237.45
Cuisinart TEA-100 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Capacity: 1.2 liters Power: 1500 watts Variable temps: 6

Cheap automatic tea maker

Although the Cuisinart TEA-100 doesn't offer fully automated brewing, users still love this affordable tea-maker for its great looks, sturdy construction, and how it prompts you through the process of brewing perfect tea. Just select your water temperature and steep time, and it beeps to let you know when it's time to raise or lower the steeping basket. As a tea steeper, it has a 1-liter capacity; 1.2 liters as a water kettle.

Buy for $116.10

Tea kettles do more than just boil water

A tea kettle's job description is pretty simple: All it really has to do is heat water quickly while keeping its handle cool enough that you can safely pick the kettle up to pour. With that said, tea and coffee drinkers can be just as strongly invested in their kettles as in what they're actually drinking.

Types of Tea Kettles

Electric Tea Kettles

Electric kettles -- long popular in Europe -- have recently surged to popularity in the United States. These don't require a stove at all. Just plug the kettle in, push the on button, and wait for the water to boil. The best electric kettles add not just convenience but safety, too; automatically shutting themselves off when they reach the desired temperature or if the water level gets too low. Because the electric kettle's base doesn't get hot, you can also set it directly on your countertop or table. Some electric kettles even whistle to let you know the water is boiling, just like a stovetop kettle. Electric kettles with adjustable temperature controls are great for reaching the perfect brewing temperature for certain types of tea: In general, delicate green teas will taste best when brewed between 150 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit. White teas are best at temps up to 185 degrees, oolong teas up to 195 degrees, and black tea and most herbal teas do well at 212 degrees -- a rolling boil.

Stovetop Kettles

For many people, a kettle that simply boils water is all they want; and even your basic kettle is more versatile than you might think. College students, office workers and busy parents all appreciate a good kettle's ability to quickly, safely heat water for ramen noodles, instant oatmeal or hot cocoa. You'll find stovetop kettles made of everything from cast iron (avoid unless you're willing to wipe it dry after every single use) to steel, aluminum, tempered glass and, on the high end, copper. Because stovetop kettles can't shut off automatically, a good, loud whistle alerts you that the water has boiled; some kettles offer harmonic whistles to make this necessity a little more pleasant. And, of course, a stovetop kettle should still pour easily and stay cool enough to pick up without steaming or cooking your own hand, even when the contents are boiling.

Automatic Tea Makers

Finally, there's the tea machine. This electric gadget may be fully automated -- immersing the tea leaves in hot water and agitating them for you -- or act as a coach, prompting you through the brew process for a perfect cup of tea. One of the biggest perks of a fully automated tea machine is being able to set its start timer, water temperature and brew time so you wake up to a freshly brewed cup tea every morning.

Finding The Best Tea Kettles
Our Sources
"Electric Kettles"
"Best Electric Tea Kettles"
"The Best Electric Kettle"

To select the best tea kettles, we consider performance, ease of use and safety. Appearance also plays a role, because of all the appliances in the kitchen, a tea kettle is the most likely to take up permanent residence on your stove or countertop. We evaluate kettles based on expert reviews from publications such as Cook's Illustrated, Serious Eats, ConsumerReports.org, TheSweethome.com and YourBestDigs.com, all of which conducted extensive hands-on testing of tea kettles. That said, nobody is more passionate about a tea kettle than its user, so we also scoured through thousands of owner reviews from sites like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com and BedBathandBeyond.com to find the very best tea kettles for any kitchen. 

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