Alternative methods… drippers, Chemex, AeroPress, syphon and many more. Each of these devices requires pouring hot water over coffee. So, the question arises – what vessel will do the job of pouring water over coffee? A kettle? What kind of kettle do you need to control the process of making coffee? What does it actually do? Which one will work for specific methods of brewing coffee?
Why do you need a kettle?
What is this alternative for? For espresso, of course. To make espresso, the volume of water is regulated by a coffee machine, which is controlled by a barista, of course. The situation changes when we switch from a cup of espresso to a cup of filtered coffee. Here, in the so-called “manual method”, it is necessary… to pour water manually over coffee (there are pour-over coffee makers, but we put them aside for today). Coffee brewing begins the moment water touches coffee, so it is important how we distribute water to the surface of the ground beans. Don’t worry, this only sounds complicated, once you put your hand to it, it quickly turns out to be simple and intuitive. So now we should shout: raise your kettles!
Yeah but… what’s the deal?
Everyone knows what a kettle is. We are living under the realm of electric kettles, which to a larger extent have replaced the loud, whistling “cooktop” versions. Regardless of the choice, every kettle can handle boiling water. However, not all kettles allow for the repetitive pouring of water while keeping full control over the process of brewing the precious beans. Sometimes, however, you can hear that when everything “clicks”, the coffee comes out infernally good. So, let’s set off on a trip through four coffee circles. We will take a boat across the river of coffee. Do you get in?
First circle – “classic” kettles
We have reached the first world – wireless, classic and standard kettles dominate here – i.e. the previously mentioned whistling pots for stove tops. Such a kettle won’t do well in precise control of water pouring, but it will heat the water quite quickly. It is good enough to brew coffee with immersion brew methods, that is French press, AeroPress, Mr Clever, and wherever coffee is brewed in the vessel for a certain period of time and the ground beans freely bathe / float in the water. Can you use such a kettle to make drip coffee? Well, you can, basically. However, this will affect the taste of the coffee. If you pour water using the device with a classic “spout”, you will agitate the coffee too much and you won’t be able to maintain control over the water stream. This will result in a less repetitive and less tasteful drip coffee. On the other hand, if the method you use doesn’t require circular motion – go for the classic device. It will also be useful in the other world we are about to go to…
So, who is this solution for?
For tourists, travelers, AeroPress fans or for people who use one specific method of brewing coffee (immersion) and don’t want to test new solutions, devices, recipes or methods to get their filter coffee. If you only have AeroPress and a moka pot at home, the drip repels you and Chemex scares you, then this solution will be sufficient for you. Better spend the money on a good grinder.
Second circle – the land of goosenecks
The second stop is in a world where “goosenecks” emerge from the coffee river – kettles with a long, curved and profiled spout, thanks to which you can control the flowing stream of water. However, these are kettle-tanks. Water should be boiled in a separate electric kettle. You can use the target kettle with a spout, but then you should heat the water on a heating plate (note that not all kettles from this realm can be heated on a heat source!). They will work for gravity methods, i.e. all kinds of drippers and in all the devices mentioned above. What a wonderful backwards compatibility! You should back this kettle up with a thermometer, which allows for precise temperature control, necessary for conscious brewing of coffee.
So, who is this kettle for?
For every person who wants to brew perfect drip coffee with full control over the water stream. Pouring water out of an ordinary kettle over a dripper is like painting a portrait on a canvas with a horse’s tail. While riding it. Backwards. The “gooseneck” kettle is a huge milestone in the development of the home barista who enjoys high-quality coffees. If you think about good coffee, have tried many of those in a cafe, and you dream of recreating the same taste in your home, this will be the perfect choice. Put the kettle into the boat, er… I mean into the basket – you won’t regret your choice!
Third circle – incurable electric wonders
In this realm, the “gooseneck” has a cable – these are kettles with a spout, but powered through the base (the kettle itself is cordless) powered from an electrical outlet. Sooooooo comfortable compared to their predecessors. This type of individual is very proud of its abilities. It allows for precise control when pouring over the morning drip without the need to operate several devices, pouring from one vessel to another, etc. It is enough to control the temperature with an external thermometer and you can pass over problems. I mean: pour over. Coffee. Brew, that is. You know what I want to say…
Who is in for a friendship with the “electronic goose”?
Anyone who grabs it by the neck will not want to let it go. The comfort of having the same device for heating and distributing water for our coffee is enormous. That’s a huge leap from previous circles. However, remember to control the temperature of the water you pour over your coffee. An external thermometer will still come in handy.
Fourth circle – electrical wonders with electronics and drivers
The last stop, before the gate of the coffee inferno, is the world of futuristic design, the most modern inventions, unreal, mutated versions of pour-over kettles. These “beasts” can, apart from boiling water, listen to our wildest desires and heat the necessary water to the temperature specified by the owner. What’s more – they can keep the temperature at the desired level for some time, which is a perfect proposition for families with (small) children. Temperature control is also useful for making teas which, like coffee, require different brewing temperatures depending on the type of tea. They perform the same functions as the individuals from the third cycle, but thanks to the built-in temperature regulation, they also have a built-in thermometer, which makes them all-in-one devices. You need to deal with just one beast in the morning and the water for coffee or tea is ready. Preheated precisely to the set temperature. Fast and convenient. Some even have worms inside. However, this convenience comes at a price.
Who is the pro solution for?
The kettle equivalent of the Comandante grinder? For every home barista who wants to develop their skills and expand their knowledge. For those in a hurry and for everyone who prefers to own one device instead of several. The Super-kettle is perfect for someone who likes to have fun with coffee, check new recipes, different brewing temperatures and get high repeatability of brewed coffee. Maybe this “animal” is waiting to shake hands with you?
Which kettle to buy? I hope that you have your answer now. It all depends on what coffee you drink and how consciously you brew it. For all gravity methods, where brewing takes place by circular movements during pouring, a kettle with a gooseneck is necessary. Which circle will be the best for you? Pay attention to how often you drink coffee, how much time you spend making it, and whether you want to be a more and more aware home barista. Then you’ll know which kettle is best for you. May your coffee be delicious, regardless of the type of kettle you will use to brew it!