One of the most used appliances in the Australian home has to be the kettle, thanks to our obsession with tea, but has this trusted appliance really changed over the past few years, and when should you be worried about replacing it?

Just like in many homes across this great nation of ours, the kettle is a staple in the GadgetGuy kitchen. When we’re not making a cup of coffee, we’re boiling water for a lovely cuppa, with tea on the agenda alongside bikkies (cookies for our American friends) solving the headache at just the right time.

And really, there’s never a wrong time for tea, whether you’re struggling to pay attention at work, having a break from driving, or taking an intergalactic trip across to the restaurant at the end of the universe (paging the late great Douglas Adams).

But while tea is lovely and brilliant and should never be avoided, has that very thing we use to make tea changed over the years? And do we ever need to replace it?

According to the experts, the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes.

“In the last 10 years there have been a number of significant changes in kettle design,” said Richard Hoare, Breville’s Design and Innovation Director, pointing to changes in design and appearance, with colour and glass kettles achieving new popularity over simple looks, with water windows also a big deal.

“It’s important to have water windows on both sides [for left or right handed use], and not under the handle,” said Hoare.

Engineering advances have also played a part, with many of the brands and models offering temperature control, thanks to the temperature variations playing a part in making tea.

“Temperature control has become mainstream,” said Hoare, adding that “now you can buy kettles that will heat to a variety of temperatures. This reflects the growing understanding that different beverages are best brewed at different temperatures: 80°C for green tea, 90°C for oolong, 95°C for coffee.”

“This allows for personal preference and an amazing improvement in flavour – especially in specialty teas. Reaching lower temperatures also uses less energy,” he said.

 

Temperature controlled kettles tend to sit in the upper echelon of kettles in regards to cost, but they offer more accuracy in tea and coffee making.

Temperature changes are but one part of the equation, however, as Monika Kamienowska, Product Manager for Home Appliances at Russell Hobbs points out.

“The classic designs out in the market have also had some advancements to make them more efficient in boiling, along with technologies such as Quiet Boil and also perfect pouring spouts for drip free pouring,” she said.