I am writing a new review of this kettle after having owned it for about 3 months now. In my first review, I was a bit hesitant to give positive marks on some aspects due to an abundance of complaints I’d seen in other reviews on Amazon and a fear that some of the complaints might come true for me. I am happy to say this is a great kettle and I am really really happy to have bought it. There are only a few downsides and many positives.
The gooseneck spout is a godsend. It allows for a very precise pour and the speed at which the water comes out is just perfect. It takes about 4-5 seconds to fill it up a gaiwan and gives the tea leaves a nice swirl before leaving them to steep. Alternatively if I am brewing a very delicate tea that should not be agitated, the gooseneck allows for a very slow but steady pour that will not rustle the leaves much. In terms of pouring, this kettle is the best I have tried, hands down. The pistol grip is also very comfortable and the 1-liter size is perfect for what I’m using it for. I need a smaller kettle like this one so I can get a more controlled pour. It’s easier to maneuver since it is less heavy. It allows for more elegant motion of the wrists.
The 1-year warranty was a selling point for me because my last kettle from another company crapped out after 6 months of use and only had a 90 day warranty.
My biggest complaint has to do with the buttons and how they work. On my last kettle you could simply push the – or + keys to change the temperature. On this kettle, you have to press the “Temp Set” button before the – or + keys will do anything. I’m not sure why they added an extra button just for the sake of unlocking the other two. It’s not easy to accidentally press them, and even so doing that would only change your temp by one degree for each press unless you hold it down a while. The other annoyance is that after returning the kettle to the base it will NOT start to reheat back to the set temperature until you push the “hold” button again. It takes a while getting used to this and if you’re like me and had a previous kettle that automatically started to reheat once returned to the base, you’ll find it taking you a few months just to get used to having to push that button again. Otherwise a few minutes later you’ll go to pour another round and realize you’ve got to hit the hold button and wait for it to reheat.
The heating element makes a very noticeable sound, clicking on and off as it tries to reach the set temperature. Sometimes the element will click on and off every few seconds for a while, so the sound can be very frequent. If repetitive clicking sounds annoy you, this could be a bad investment for you. I was put off by this at first but pretty quickly learned to ignore it. A few months later I don’t even notice it at all. I expect some noise from a kettle, and this one roars a lot less as the water heats than previous ones I’ve owned, but the clicking is a trade-off.
I did have a problem very early on with the LED screen flickering when the heating element was on, but this problem seems to have resolved.
The included plastic screen to cover the base is a really nice accessory, though I’m not sure how necessary it is since the base doesn’t really appear to have many seams where water could leak into it anyway. The sticker included did say it is for commercial or frequent use. I guess it is meant to be used in an environment where the potential to spill something on it is high, or where there’s a bit of hustle and bustle or moving around of objects.
The plastic base of the kettle itself (not the control unit it sits on) is a bit wobbly on mine and does not sit flush with the stainless steel. While this doesn’t seem to affect the functionality or cause the kettle to wobble when seated, it feels like cheap manufacturing. Not a big deal really, but something to note.
The timer function is nice, but only operates when the kettle is not seated on the base, so prepare to sit the kettle down elsewhere if you want to run the timer. It counts upward from zero so you don’t have to set it, but you do have to pay attention to it as there is no beeper or anything to alert you when it reaches a certain time.
As for the preset temperatures, I feel somewhat misled by the product description. I thought it was possible to have user-defined presets, but it is not. The wording on that should be a little more clear. You can, however, cycle through the presets to get to a temperature close to where you want it and just dial from there to reach the desired temp. It saves time from having to dial all the way from a low temp to a high one or vice versa.
One other thing. I had this plugged into a power strip with some other appliances and it took substantially longer to heat up than when plugged into the wall outlet directly. It may be beneficial to only use this directly with an outlet. The cord is not as short as some reviews say. It is about 3 feet long and can be wound underneath the base to store it away.
I would not really recommend ordering this kettle for the full price of 95 dollars, as it will occasionally drop in price on Amazon. When I ordered it it was 60 dollars and free shipping, so keep an eye out if you want a good deal on it.
Overall though, I really love this kettle. If there are two things I want in a kettle now they are a gooseneck spout and variable temperature to any degree (and it will do C or F so that is a bonus). The small size makes it really elegant and easy to use for Gongfu tea ceremony, and once you get used to the controls and the clicking sound of the heating element turning on and off, there really is not much to complain about. I have seen no signs of rust on this thing yet and I do not dry it out after each use, so the issues with rust that others have reported may have been in fact fixed in newer versions, as Bonavita has said it has been.
I do recommend this product, but there are some things that could make it better, so just be aware. It’s probably one of the best ones out there you can get if you need precision, but it has a few minor annoyances to come with it.