The Usefulness of Tea Kettles
Tea kettles come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Electric tea kettles have heating coils that heat water when connected to power sources. Standard tea kettles, on the other hand, are made from the best heat conducting materials. They are made for the convenience of boiling water and making tea or coffee at home. They also help keep the water warm enough, at least for a certain period of time and one of the most widely used kitchenware. They have been modified to the modern age and have different versions throughout the years. It even has a nursery rhyme for children. A household can never exist without at least one kettle in the kitchen and so we’ve put together a list of steps and comprehensive details on how to use a tea kettle.
Types of Tea Kettles
Basically, there are 3 main types of tea kettles. Each type has its own uniqueness and the personal preference of a person may be the deciding factor on which would be best to buy or use.
1. Stovetop Type (includes enamel and ceramic)
As the most common and the most basic form of tea kettles, it is basically the one described in the nursery rhyme. This is the most easy to use. Just add water and put it to boil on top of the stove and wait for the sound that means the water is ready.
2. Electric Kettle
Modernization brought about a new breed of kettles and those are the ones that can be used with electricity. These kettles are typically just like the stovetop ones, except that the water boils much faster (about 4-5 mins) and you can have the water heated at your desired temperature. Also, it needs to be plugged and turned on directly from the electric source.
3. Automatic Tea Brewer
Similar to a tea infuser, an automatic tea brewer can be used to just boil water but it does not have a drip system; instead, it is equipped with a hold loose or tea bag. It also has built-in timers for steeping.
Most Common Materials Used for Tea Kettles
- Brass and Copper
The best materials for creating kettles are brass and copper. They are more energy competent and better heat conductors than aluminum and steel. In addition, their shiny and unique appearance gives them a more pleasing appeal. Copper is now mostly used in modern tea kettles, although some brass ones are still being manufactured.
This material is a very good (if not the best) conductor of heat and has the capability to distribute it equally and effectively and would make boiling water faster. It is usually used as the core material in most kitchenware and then coated with other layers of metal for safety and for the conductivity of the tea kettle.
- Stainless Steel
A very common material used for making cookware and tea kettles would be stainless steel. It has a good level of conductivity (although not as good as brass or copper) and have a smooth finish that makes it the usual choice. Some experts advise not to use it though since it isn’t very healthy but they are durable.
Ceramic, and earthenware tea kettles are good for retaining heat and can brew tea quickly. They also have a wide variety of designs. They can brew or boil water even using low fire due to their heat retention properties. They are usually common throughout Asian and Middle-eastern countries.
Glass is a good material for tea kettles. It’s just a little more delicate than other materials and may also accumulate stain but they are easy to clean and you get to see the inside of the the kettle while it’s boiling.
Enamel tea kettles are usually partnered with ceramic teapots for the best tea results. Enamel would be the material for the main tea kettle for brewing and making tea while the ceramic teapot is where it is transferred afterward. Enamel is typically used on the interior of tea kettles which makes them healthy and safe.
Teapot Vs. Tea Kettle
There’s actually a big difference between a teapot and a tea kettle. They both have a container, a handle, a spout, and a lid. They both typically contain hot water but the most significant difference between them would be their use. The tea kettle is the one used to brew, boil and prepare the water, tea or coffee. The teapot is basically just the container of the warm water, tea or coffee and is usually for serving purposes, or if the tea needs to be set aside or transferred from the kettle.
Using Different Types of Tea Kettles
The proper way to use tea kettles is important to be able to make your own tea, chocolate or coffee at home. It’s technically easy but there are a few additional steps, depending on the material or type. We’ve provided you a list of steps and suggestions to follow on both the simple and modern ways of using tea kettles.
Steps For Using Stovetop Tea Kettles
Step 1: Remove the cap and fill the kettle with the desired amount of water for the tea you intend to make. The right amount of water is also important (it is usually around one and a half to two cups for most teas).
Step 2: Place the tea kettle on your cooking stove.
Step 3: Keep the stove’s flame on its medium setting.
Step 4: Let the tea kettle be exposed to your stove’s flames until the water you poured is boiled.
Step 5: There is an interesting sign to know when the water is boiled completely. You will hear a loud, high pitch type of sound, a whistling as it were. This sound is always essential in tea kettles when the tea is already done.
Step 6: You can now remove the kettle from the stove.
Step 7: Finally, you can now pour the tea in your tea cup. At times, you may include the tea bag before hearing the loud, high pitched sound.
Steps For Using Electric Tea Kettles
Step 1: Place the right amount of water in the kettle. You’ll see the volume of water you’re pouring in front.
Step 2: Modify the water temperature you want for your tea.
Step 3: Plug the tea kettle on and wait. Electric tea kettles have usually take around 3-5 minutes to get the water at the right temperature so you won’t be waiting very long.
Step 4: When the water is ready, you can ready your tea leaves and pour it into the teapot. Use the adequate waiting times to bring out the substance and aroma of your tea.
Step 5: Finally, drink your tea!
Rapidly boiling water on tea pots can make the tea have a bitter taste and be disappointing to you. Electric tea kettles have a 5–range temperature setting to accommodate various teas. Over filling a stove top kettle to avoid burning the kettle isn’t proper. With electric kettles, the loud, high–pitch whistling sound signals the completion of boiling process. Plus, it has an automatic shut off for great convenience and energy competence.
Steps For Automatic Tea Brewers
Step 1: Boil water and discard to keep the interior clean.
Step 2: Place the right amount of water (usually comes with a guide for the proper volume). Use bottled or filtered water when brewing tea
Step 3: Add the tea leaves inside the brew basket
Step 4: Set to boil at your desired temperature and time (number of minutes)
Step 5: You can enjoy your tea as soon as it is ready.
How to Clean and Maintain Tea Kettles:
1) Before using tea kettles, first wash the inside and outside of the tea kettle with hot soapy water. Rinse it well then dry it.
2) NEVER leave water in the teakettles when not in use.
3) At least weekly, make a solution of ¼ cup white vinegar with 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 minutes. This prevents mineral deposits from building up in the material.
4) Also, NEVER overfill the tea kettles. This causes boiling water to be forced out of their spouts, which could result to BURN INJURIES. Always check that the water level is always below the spout on the inside of the teakettle. (see drawing)
5) After the water boils, turn off the heat and allow the teakettle to stand for 15 seconds before flipping/pulling the whistle.
6) Wear oven mitts (or gloves, or pot holders to protect your hands from the hot handles) and open the kettle and then pour the water. For maximum protection, always point the spout away from you, especially when boiling water is still inside the kettle.
7) If you’re with your family and you have active and sometimes naughty kids to access your stove and tea kettles, it is recommended that a burner on the back row of the stove should always be used. This way, your children will not be able to reach nor access the tea kettle. It is also recommended that the burner be smaller in diameter than the kettle. This also prevents excess heat, so the handles aren’t too hot to touch.
4 Basic Steps for Cleaning
Step 1 – Cleaning the Interior
Now, there are a few different natural approaches that you can take, so let’s go right ahead and have a look at the most effective ones of them.
Cleaning with Lime Juice
- You need to add 1 cup of the juice to your kettle. Once you are done, fill the rest of it with regular water. Leave this particular mixture overnight. Once the time has passed, the majority of the deposit would surely have loosened. If you don’t want to wait this long, you can boil the mixture within the kettle for about 10 minutes and the effect would be more or less the same.
Cleaning with Vinegar
- This is another particularly useful ingredient that you can usually find in every household and it could be used to clean out mineral deposits as well as tea stains. White vinegar would do just fine. Fill the kettle with a mixture made of vinegar and water. You should use equal amounts of the liquids. Once you are through, boil the diluted vinegar and after that let the already hot mixture remain in your kettle. This should take you about an hour. Once you are done, dispose of the mixture.
Step 2 – Removing the cleaning residue
Now, even though once you are through with the aforementioned approaches your inside of the kettle will be rather clean, you should seal the deal in order to make sure that your net cup of tea doesn’t take like lime juice or like vinegar. In order to do this, you should fill your kettle with water and make sure to boil it perfectly. After this, get rid of the water and repeat the process as much as it is necessary.
Step 3 – Cleaning the Exterior
Unfortunately, stove-top kettles are likely to get messy from food as well as grease which you usually keep near the stovetop. After all, this is usually where your kettle is going to sit. Luckily enough, baking soda as well as vinegar are both ingredients that you usually have at hand in your household. In order to get rid of the stains mentioned above, use baking soda placed on a pad for scrubbing which is wet. Once you clean it, rinse the kettle with warm water. Now, damp a paper towel with vinegar, white if you have, and wipe the entire thing off.
Step 4 – Regular maintenance
If you want to make sure that you never have to go through all of the above, you need to consider maintaining your solution. This is something very important. If you maintain the kettle regularly you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of lengthy cleaning because there would be no need for you to do so. With this in mind, make sure to rinse it off with warm water every time you use it and don’t let tea to sit in it for a long time. It’s as simple as that. Also, when you notice that the outside is getting stained, make sure to react and clean it off on time before the stains have hardened.
Wrapping Things Up
You can always repeat the above steps every time you want to make best teas at home for yourself and your family. Tea kettles are simple and easy equipment to use at home, so if you want to use this equipment in your home, always use the above tips. This way, you are assured that you can have the best tea you’ve never had before. Why waste money buying teas when you can use a tea kettle to create best teas, thereby saving more money in the long run. Knowing how to use a tea kettle from their most basic form to their latest innovation will help you become a better homemaker.