By Taylor Smith
Whether they’re made in China from mystery metal that will leech into your tea water, have plastic parts that inconveniently melt into their metal parts, have a chronically wiggly handle, burn you every time you try to pour them, or are just plain ugly, tea kettles are a consumer’s minefield. Don’t tell us you haven’t had a nasty experience with a kettle or two in your life — you just hadn’t thought of it till now. Well, it’s your lucky day because we’re solving the problem you may have overlooked. We’ve rounded up six kettles that won’t hurt or poison you as prepare your next cup of matcha.
Fair warning for you stovetop users: Though we’ve sought out kettles not made in China, ‘Made In’ is a term of spurious and ever-evolving meaning, so if you’re extra concerned about the metals holding your tea water, glass is your best bet.
This German-made stovetop kettle, built mainly from low-maintenance glass, is a penny-pincher’s dream. As far as safety concerns, its heat-resistant plastic handle has you covered. Unless you enjoy the tinny aftertaste of a subpar metal kettle in your Teavana, this whistling kettle is a keeper for any modern kitchen.
Available for $9.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond
Try Hario Buono’s petite pourover kettle to give your stovetop a dose of personality. Made in Japan from stainless steel, it’s equipped with a plastic handle for safety, but no plastic will touch your tea water. This quick-heating vessel’s graceful spout allows for an easy pour, while its miniature size allows you be a bit stingy with your last bag of Yogi.
Available for $55.00 from Sur La Table.
This North American-made electric kettle blends durability and design like few of its peers. Though the plastic exterior may be a trigger for the more eco-conscious among you, the stainless steel interior ensures no plastic touches your water and the outside keeps the appliance cool to the touch. For your safety, it shuts off automatically once your water boils.
Available for $59.99 from Secura.
Comprised mainly of glass and stainless steel, this German-made electric kettle employs Strix temperature control technology to protect your pouring hand. Though your water will come into contact with a strip of (BPA-free, for those on the wary side of the ongoing debate) plastic on the side, with auto-shutoff, a quick and quiet boil, and an anti-calcium filter, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Available for $74.99 from Molla.
Available in an array of bold hues, this French-made stovetop kettle won’t let you down. Its enameled cast-iron body keeps your water hot longer, but look alive: there’s no whistle and you’ll probably want a potholder for those metal handles.
Available for $169.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond.
Designed by renowned architect Michael Graves, Alessi’s stainless steel stovetop kettle is a work of art. This Italian-made appliance, complete with safety features including a plastic handle and birdlike whistle, will surely impress even your most stylish guests.
Available for $189.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond.
For the true minimalists out there, the best kettle is no kettle. This sleek little German number, slated for release in 2017, uses induction technology to directly heat your cup or teapot, all while the surface remains cool to the touch and easy on the eyes. No special equipment needed — just place your cup on the base, submerge the rod in the water, and let Miito get to work. Efficiency and innovation don’t come cheap though — be prepared to shell out €189.
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