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#337049 - 13/09/2010 14:29 How do you boil water?
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Since changing my coffee making routine from drip/filter to French press, I've been boiling a lot of water on the stove.
The container I use is a simple little kettle like my mom always had.
Lately, though, I'm getting rather tired of having the steam flowing across my knuckles as I slowly pour the water.
So, in my research for 'something different', I thought I'd ask the Great and Powerful EmpegBBS! (deep, reverent bow)
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#337050 - 13/09/2010 14:33 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Robotic]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Brita filter cordless electric kettle. Are electric kettles not really used in the US?

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#337051 - 13/09/2010 14:56 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: tman]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Electric kettles are not common in the US, but they do exist. They are not as efficient as in the UK because we effectively have half the wattage available to such an appliance because of the lower voltage here. Still, it's preferable to using the stove.

The wife and I have a Braun one similar to the one Trevor linked. The "cordless"-ness is a nice feature.


Edited by wfaulk (13/09/2010 14:59)
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#337052 - 13/09/2010 15:06 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: wfaulk]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3682
Yup, we've got a Braun cordless. Does the job nicely, although you do have to be careful to hold the handle lower down to avoid the nasty hot steam coming up from the spout.

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#337056 - 13/09/2010 16:13 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: DWallach]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 971
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
This is what I use...

http://www.usa.tiger-corporation.com/products/18

It's nice 'cos you don't have to lift it.

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#337062 - 13/09/2010 16:53 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: larry818]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Electric kettles (and now, mostly cordless ones) is how most people in this neck of the woods boil water as far as I know. It's far more efficient than using your stove top - unless you have an induction top.

They're available everywhere and the brands are most definitely widely available in the US as well (they're all American for the most part).

But if you want real coffee you'll throw out that French press and get an espresso machine.

On a similar note, I have, and have tried numerous times, the AeroPress, and frankly, I think it sucks. I don't know why so many people rave about that thing. I'm sorry, but an regular espresso machine (not stove-top moka) is the best all-around machine one could ever own if they like coffee.


Edited by hybrid8 (13/09/2010 16:54)
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#337064 - 13/09/2010 16:57 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: hybrid8]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5700
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
I'm sorry, but an regular espresso machine (not stove-top moka) is the best all-around machine one could ever own if they like coffee.

Unless of course they prefer the taste of coffee from a French press to the taste of espresso based coffee. Not everyone has tastes that exactly match yours !
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#337065 - 13/09/2010 17:04 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: andy]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I'm not saying it subjectively. It's an objective comment. One is coffee and the other is coffee ground "tea." Might as well use instant. BTW, you can make an "Americano" with an espresso machine - just add more water when you're done.

And, I'm by no means a coffee snob. If you hang out in forums with people who are, it can often get pretty dicey.

Italians may not know anything about wine making, but they can make some nice coffee and coffee machines. Using an espresso machine is faster than a French press and there's also less mess (or and/or items) to clean. For super no-fuss a lot of people really love their pre-pack/pod/puck machines, such as Nespresso, K-Cup, Tassimo, etc...


Edited by hybrid8 (13/09/2010 17:13)
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#337066 - 13/09/2010 17:42 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: hybrid8]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5700
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I'm sorry Bruno, but you are being snob.

It isn't an objective comment at all. Some people simply prefer the taste of coffee made with a French press to coffee made with an espresso. It isn't something that you can make an objective decision about, how could it be any more subjective !

Just because you and I prefer coffee made from espresso in no way changes the FACT that some people prefer the taste of it prepared another way.

And of course it doesn't matter if you have the right machine if you don't know how to use it. I'd far rather have a well made coffee from a French press than the typical espresso I get at people's houses who have an espresso machine and don't know how to use it (which accounts for most of the people I know who have them). I've also never had much luck with people's Nespresso, K-Cup, Tassimo etc machine, them seem capable of creating some pretty lousy coffee (to my tastes at least).
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#337067 - 13/09/2010 18:05 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: hybrid8]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
... One is coffee and the other is coffee ground "tea."

And, I'm by no means a coffee snob.
*sigh*

I don't want to argue the definitions of 'coffee' and 'espresso', nor 'objective' and 'subjective'.
I appreciate your enthusiasm for the drink, however, and also all the responses in this thread regarding how to heat water.

One of my requirements for the product is a somewhat low price. I'm afraid I can't spend $50 for a water heating strategy, even if it is the most efficient/fastest/adjustable.
I also require a little flexibility in use- hot water for things other than coffee (egad!), for example. So you see, a dedicated espresso machine is out of the question.

@larry818 The hot water 'pot' is an interesting angle I hadn't though of. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for something that might work. They seem to be larger than the electric kettles, though, and I rarely would need capacity beyond a quart.

hmm more searching

Thanks very much for the replies!
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#337068 - 13/09/2010 18:32 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: hybrid8]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2409
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
But if you want real coffee you'll throw out that French press and get an espresso machine.
[...]
Italians may not know anything about wine making, but they can make some nice coffee and coffee machines.


Ok. Now, I MUST reply to this, because, as an Italian, I simply know about food more than anybody else in the known universe, and particularly I know about coffee and wine.

First of all, your statement about wine making is preposterous. Italian wine is just the Best in the World. French wine, admittedly a competitor, is the "second" best in the world. Maybe. Including Champagne, which is clearly second to Spumante. California wine is of course a fine wine, but not even nearly close to Italian one. And I'll leave our "cousins" French debate about how close it gets to French wine.

Havin clarified the obvious, let's move to Coffee.

Through centuries "real coffee" - which is the Italian, obviously - has been made with this:

or, admittedly, with its "napoletana" version, only used in Naples until mid of last century.

As opposed to the above "caffettiera", you may get a coffee machine ("macchina del caffè") at home, but that is not going to be a "real coffee" at all unless the machine is a really, really good one, capable of good pressure and proper water temperature, somewhat comparable to that of a bar ("Bar" is where you get coffee, as everybody knows. Nothing to do with alcohol, which is indeed also served, there, but as a secondarily important product). Of course, Italian (meanin "in Italy", and Italy only) bars have the best coffee machines, and at home, if you want to get close to that level of quality, you may want to get some good Illy like this one, or other more expensive models. All the rest is just toys for those who "don't know about coffee".

Also, I understand that you call it "espresso machine", as that is a common habit "abroad". "Abroad", in the coffee making universe, means everywhere outside Italy. Please be aware, however, that "espresso" is just normal coffee when taken at a bar round the corner rather than at home. To get what you call an "espresso" in Italy, homeland of coffee, you would just ask for a coffee. Although still served out of courtesy to tourists, all other types are irrelevant and considered "minor", if not ridiculous, as they are "not the real coffee".

Finally, Bruno, should you decide to visit Italy, I would strongly recommend you refrain from such adventurous and incautous comments about coffee and wine in particular, and food in general, if you care to go back to Canada safe and sound. Being Canadian (=from "abroad") you can only know less than anybody else living here. By definition.

And don't even try to argue. You are just wrong as everybody can clearly see. But you may apologize.


wink laugh laugh

P.S.: I don't drink wine much, and know nothing about it. I'm an unusual italian in that. And, in fact I also know little about soccer.:)
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#337069 - 13/09/2010 18:43 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Robotic]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Cheaper ones are certainly made. Amazon has a whole water kettle category, with over fifty models under $25.

Regardless, you want something with an immersion heater. It's a lot more efficient to heat the water than heat the container holding the water. I've even seen bare immersion heaters intended to clip directly to a coffee mug. That's probably not a good idea for (what I'm guessing is) a glass coffee press, though.
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#337070 - 13/09/2010 18:51 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Taym]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4142
Loc: Cambridge, England
It certainly appears that Italians are better at making coffee than at using Photoshop wink

I use, not that exact device, but a similar one from the same manufacturer, and it's great.

Peter

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#337071 - 13/09/2010 18:55 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: peter]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2409
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: peter
It certainly appears that Italians are better at making coffee than at using Photoshop wink


In reality, perspective and shadows are altered by the beauty and perfection of such an historical device. wink

Good choice. Caffettiera, tipically, is by Bialetti. smile
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#337072 - 13/09/2010 19:15 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: wfaulk]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Thanks, Bitt!
I did a fair bit of searching on Amazon today, but missed the specific category entirely! Very helpful- mil grazie.
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#337073 - 13/09/2010 19:24 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Robotic]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Can you get "fast boil" kettles in the US? If so then get one of those so you don't have to hang around waiting for it.

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#337074 - 13/09/2010 19:55 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Taym]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: taym
[quote=hybrid8]Finally, Bruno, should you decide to visit Italy, I would strongly recommend you refrain from such adventurous and incautous comments about coffee and wine in particular, and food in general,


:P

Italians make arguably the best food and certainly it's my favorite (by far). I'd say it might be tied with France overall though. For me I also quite like many Portuguese dishes and consider the food made in that country, superb. But I'm sorry, Italy is very low down on the list for wine. It just doesn't have enough body. There are some nice Italian wines, but I believe as a whole, that the country is very overrated for wine. Usually by people who don't know anything about wine. smile A lot of people like Italian wine. But then again, a lot of people also drink white Zinfandel. Italy is certainly above Greece, but France is the KING. And not like Budweiser is the KING of Beer ( it's just the piss of beer). Honorable mention to Spain, Portugal, California (note I didn't use "USA") and Australia. Oh, and if we have to start on another tangent, Belgium is the supreme ruler of Beer. They only make one crap beer in Belgium and thankfully for the Belgians, they probably export it all outside the country. Stella Artois. Worse than piss.

I just had a decent bottle of Chianti for late lunch yesterday in fact. It was 10 years old and I've had it for some 7 or 8 year. For desert I had a 6 year old bottle of Niagara Riesling Icewine - no one makes Icewine like Canada make it. The Germans can go suck it long and hard if they think their Eiswein even comes close. Though Germany does have some great wines, especially in the regions that overlap in character with Alsatian wine (France along the German border).

I'm from Portugal and consider it as much my home as I do Canada, not only because I've spent a lot of time there. Not so much time in Italy, but while I was there I had plenty of wine, food and of course cafe. Here are the places I spent some time in: Verona, Venice Florence, Rome, Pescara, Chieti. I only used the word "espresso" because "coffee" in North America is pretty much a watery tea-like drink.

I have, personally, three different Bialetti "machinetas" at home - my oldest one I've had for perhaps 15 years.

Quote:
And, in fact I also know little about soccer.:)


You mean football.

Back to coffee. Yes, the ultimate pressure and temperature control is going to make for an amazing cup, however even a modest home quality machine is going to produce much better coffee than any French Press or drip machine. The worst place around here you'll have coffee is at a restaurant or coffee shop where they don't know how to prime the machine. At home, unless the machine is broken, you'll usually have better. In Italy and Portugal it doesn't matter where you are, the coffee is always going to be good and served properly.

Oh, Italy also has many other areas where its populace excels. Historical art, architecture and of course furniture, interior design, shoes and of course clothing/fashion. You can't have it all. wink


Edited by hybrid8 (13/09/2010 20:03)
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#337075 - 13/09/2010 20:01 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: wfaulk]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Electric kettles are not common in the US, but they do exist. They are not as efficient as in the UK because we effectively have half the wattage available to such an appliance because of the lower voltage here. Still, it's preferable to using the stove.

The wife and I have a Braun one similar to the one Trevor linked. The "cordless"-ness is a nice feature.


Hmm do we really have the half the wattage or the voltage? Are you saying that all UK power lines are 230v at 20amps? Or are they really 230v at 10amps which is equal (on a watts basis) to 120v at 20amps..

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#337077 - 13/09/2010 20:24 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Robotic]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 971
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
Originally Posted By: Robotic
The hot water 'pot' is an interesting angle I hadn't though of. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for something that might work. They seem to be larger than the electric kettles, though, and I rarely would need capacity beyond a quart.


You'd be surprised. I never used to heat water, but now that I have the air pot, I use it constantly.

Watch the asian supermarkets, they regularly run sales on the air pots (mine is air, it has a pump on it that pressurises the pot to get the water out, the one I bought me mom has an electric pump).

I'm constantly changing how I make coffee, as I get bored with one type all the time. Currently I'm using "3in1" instant from Singapore, which is not as nasty as it sounds. When I'm lazy, I use drip. Mostly I use the espresso machine in a few different ways. I love Vietnamese Cafe Sua Da, which is made with a french press.

And I thought it was obvious that the Mexicans make the best food, followed by the chinese, then the italians.

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#337078 - 13/09/2010 20:28 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: siberia37]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4142
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: siberia37
Hmm do we really have the half the wattage or the voltage? Are you saying that all UK power lines are 230v at 20amps? Or are they really 230v at 10amps which is equal (on a watts basis) to 120v at 20amps..

UK outlets are usually 230V (240V) at 13A, which is 3000W. And electric kettles tend to be 2800-3000W. For whatever reason, most US kettles seem to be 1500W; either your 120V outlets are only 13A (15A?) or someone's being very conservative with a 20A outlet.

Peter

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#337079 - 13/09/2010 20:45 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
In practice, most new construction has 20A circuits, but the "standard" is 15A, and they don't want people to have to know if they have a 20A or 15A circuit. But they also usually serve more than one outlet, which means that they also want to leave a little power left over to run the clock in the microwave, etc., so as not to trip a breaker in the very likely event that it's not on that circuit by itself.

I don't know if that's the case in the UK. I want to say that you do have dedicated circuits per outlet. Something to do with wiring in old construction and the reason for there being a fuse directly in the plugs?
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#337080 - 13/09/2010 20:47 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: hybrid8]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2409
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: hybrid8

:P


As you understood, my post was jocking and friendly, and I am perfectly fine if you don't like Italia wine smile

Obviously it was also a (self)ironic post, as, while there hopefully are not people that extreme and grotesque around, pride for food culture is very Italian and at times it gets a bit too extreme. Which I find narrow minded, to be honest.

It is good what you like. If statistically Italian food, to use your example, is considered good, I am glad, but still, I am perfectly fine if one considers it awful. Taste is a very personal matter, and as long as you're happy with what you eat or drink, and are happy with what others eat or drink, that's all that matters.

That's the reason, though, why I have to disagree when you mention "real coffee" (or "expresso"). American Coffee, or UK Cofee, or French Coffee (they are all different!) are all "good" if you like them, and definitely they are all "real".
I too tend to prefer Italian coffee ("espresso"), but it is just an "accident" that I fall, in this, in what is supposedly the majority. I do know "American Coffee" very well, and in all honesty I like that too quite a lot. It is just a different drink than Italian coffee, and one can drink both.

And, I am perfectly fine if you use the word "espresso" in whatever way you prefer smile

Quote:

I have, personally, three different Bialetti "machinetas" at home - my oldest one I've had for perhaps 15 years.


It is, actually, "macchinetta" singular ("macchinette" plural). It simply means "little machine" (you use the same word in many other contexts) and it is one popular name of the more correct "caffettiera", which is the home coffee maker, tipically by Bialetti, as I said. I am just bringing information you may be interested in, here, not at all meaning you're supposed to spell it right. smile

Quote:
Quote:
And, in fact I also know little about soccer.:)

You mean football.


No, that would be in the UK. I meant "calcio". wink
Don't you use the word "soccer", in Canada (as in the US)?

Quote:
Yes, the ultimate pressure and temperature control is going to make for an amazing cup, however even a modest home quality machine is going to produce
[...]

I would not know about how better it is than other types of machines.

I own Bialetti coffee makers of various sizes, as you would expect in a typical Italian house :), but they are not being used much since I got this from Ikea (rebranded. it is actually Whirlpool), few years ago:

It is quite powerful and coffee is really close to that from a bar wink as I like it.
Not that I like the coffee from the old-fashioned coffee maker less, but this one is fast ("espresso" ;)), and that is convenient in the morning rush smile
But, it is also quite pricey: 350/400 Euros, circa. It'd better work well and for years to come.
It is indeed possible that less expensive ones are just as good, but I've often been disappointed with other coffee machines friends have, so decided to invest a bit more on it, as I use it quite a lot.

I am now planning to buy an American Coffee machine, also, but I haven't made any research on that, yet smile
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#337081 - 13/09/2010 20:55 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: wfaulk]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
I don't know if that's the case in the UK. I want to say that you do have dedicated circuits per outlet. Something to do with wiring in old construction and the reason for there being a fuse directly in the plugs?

We do weird things with a ring circuit so you can use thinner cable is the reason I was told. My house has two socket circuits. One for upstairs and one for the ground floor. Each one has a 32A MCB protecting it.

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#337082 - 13/09/2010 22:20 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: wfaulk]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
In Canada, by code, kitchen counter outlets are 20A, standard outlets (hallways, living rooms, bedrooms, etc.) are 15A.


Edited by hybrid8 (13/09/2010 22:22)
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#337084 - 13/09/2010 22:30 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Taym]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 971
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
Originally Posted By: taym
I am now planning to buy an American Coffee machine, also, but I haven't made any research on that, yet smile


Just buy this, it makes american coffee...

https://shop.melitta.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=64+008&Cat=

I actually have a percolator, which I like to use once in a while. That would be "american" coffee from the pre-drip era.

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#337088 - 13/09/2010 23:53 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: larry818]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11922
Loc: Sterling, VA
Wow, this was probably the hottest thread on this forum in a long while smile

My wife and I have two electric kettles. Our first one was a Krups similar to this one, but all silver-colored. Our second one, which I like even more, was distributed by Adagio Teas (I don't know who makes it). I like it because I can choose various rough temperatures to bring the water too, which helps with green teas and the like. (by the way, Adagio is my favorite tea store - there's a Teavana near us but it's priced waaaay higher).

What's funny is that we actually use the electric kettles even more often to boil water for cooking. We use a very large pot to boil water for pasta, and with just the stove it takes an eternity (about 25 minutes) to bring it to a boil (I think it reasonably/safely holds up to 12 cups of water). Using both our kettles and a small amount heating in the pot, I'm usually able to get a boil in about 10 minutes or less.

But we love these kettles for tea. It's perfect for a large number of people. We registered for a traditional stove-top tea kettle when we got married, and someone got it for us, but sadly it's remained entirely decorative the entire time we've lived here smile

Does anyone know how to clean these kettles though? I don't think they'd do well in the dishwasher...

Also, what do you all think about plastic vs stainless? It seems to me that it's worthwhile getting stainless just to be certain there's no plastic leeching into the water. Besides, I'd think it would heat faster. I know my Adagio kettle heats really quickly.
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#337090 - 14/09/2010 00:06 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Dignan]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Wow, this was probably the hottest thread on this forum in a long while smile
~groan~ wink

Originally Posted By: Dignan
Does anyone know how to clean these kettles though? I don't think they'd do well in the dishwasher...
Soaking with white vinegar is usually the recommended trick to loosen lime deposits.

Originally Posted By: Dignan
Also, what do you all think about plastic vs stainless? It seems to me that it's worthwhile getting stainless just to be certain there's no plastic leeching into the water. Besides, I'd think it would heat faster. I know my Adagio kettle heats really quickly.
I've seen this come up in a number of reviews on Amazon. Some of the plastic kettles seem to give a serious plastic taste to water, even after several boiling cycles. I think going full stainless would be the easy way to avoid the issue entirely.
The other thing that concerned people is insulation. Is the outside of the kettle too hot to touch? Does the water cool off quickly after the kettle shuts off?

Plenty of things to think about.
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#337091 - 14/09/2010 00:38 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Robotic]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Originally Posted By: Robotic
Soaking with white vinegar is usually the recommended trick to loosen lime deposits.

I buy the descaler kits from the grocery store if I need to do it. I don't need to do it often though.

Originally Posted By: Robotic
I've seen this come up in a number of reviews on Amazon. Some of the plastic kettles seem to give a serious plastic taste to water, even after several boiling cycles.

My kettle is mostly plastic and I can't taste a thing.

Originally Posted By: Robotic
The other thing that concerned people is insulation. Is the outside of the kettle too hot to touch? Does the water cool off quickly after the kettle shuts off?

Again, this is with a plastic kettle but yes it is hot but there is a big handle to hold the kettle with. The water takes a while to cooldown.

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#337092 - 14/09/2010 00:40 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: Dignan]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Originally Posted By: Dignan
What's funny is that we actually use the electric kettles even more often to boil water for cooking.

Whats funny about that? It is more efficient to do it that way than to pour cold water into a pan first.

Originally Posted By: Dignan
Besides, I'd think it would heat faster.

Plastic vs metal doesn't affect the heating time.

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#337093 - 14/09/2010 00:44 Re: How do you boil water? [Re: larry818]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2409
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: larry818
Just buy this, it makes american coffee...

https://shop.melitta.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=64+008&Cat=

I actually have a percolator, which I like to use once in a while. That would be "american" coffee from the pre-drip era.


Wow. $3? smile So, you just lay the coffee thing in it, and then poor hot water through it?
I suppose the ones you see around just have a water tank and warm it up as well, am I right? Do they do anything else?
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