The Kettle Had the Front To Die on Me. I Know.

It’s a small thing, isn’t it?
A kettle.

It sits on the surface, and performs every single time you flick the switch, providing absolute life essentials. Like tea. And coffee. And time-saving hot water for potatoes and rice and veg and pasta.


Pouring sunlit kettle image courtesy of Shutterstock

So imagine my horror when we returned from a week in Yorkshire, stumbled in the door after a 6hr drive, only to find that the kettle did NOT light up cheerily when I flicked the switch.

I know.


(also – mildly suspicious. The in laws had been house sitting in our absence. I suspect foul-play and kettle mistreatment…)

But it wasn’t TOO bad – we have a spare kettle stashed under the stairs, especially for Christmas when the in laws come and stay; we make sure they have a kettle & tea in their room so that they can take the mornings in their own time.

But as it’s such an occasional-use kettle, it was the cheapest of the cheap (frankly, I couldn’t believe HOW cheap *whispers* under £5!), and small as well. Not really ideal for a large family of tea addicts.

But needs must and all that – tea was definitely needed, and this one at least turned on when it was plugged in.

So that was a start.

Sadly, two weeks later it proved that it was best suited for occasional use only, and after a few days of feeling noisily sorry for itself, it eventually hiccupped and died.

And my morning coffee was made with a saucepan instead.

Which is fine, obviously. I mean it works. But it takes so lo-o-o-ong.

(an electric kettle converts about 80% of the electricity used into energy to heat the water, while the comparable figure for a pan of water on the gas is around 40%. SO slow when you’re watching it. Waiting.)

On the upside I did find that there were suddenly less mugs collating in No.1 son’s bedroom (apparently making tea by boiling a saucepan of water was so much more work that he’d rather drink less of his beloved Rooibos. he’s 17, what can I say? #LazyTeen).


Image courtesy of Shutterstock


And I also found that because I was hovering over the pan waiting and waiting for it (because you can’t just flick the switch and then wander off and get distracted – they have a habit of boiling dry and setting fire to your kitchen. Or boiling over, putting out the flame, filling the kitchen with gas and blowing up your house), I started to reduce the amount of water I was boiling; I had the one mug/two mug fill levels down to a fine art within a day.

And it occurred to me that I had probably just learned the lesson all the eco-advice had been telling me for years; only boil the amount of water you need.

So when I was shopping for the new kettle, I had a suddenly acquired amount of knowledge to enable an informed decision.

  • I knew that I wanted a bigger capacity – the little kettle had been TOO annoying.
  • I knew I wanted an electric kettle – I’ve always rather fancied the romance of a whistling kettle on the stove, but actually it’s annoying having to dash for a kettle when it demands it, not when you’re ready to make your drink. Plus it’s much slower.
  • I knew I didn’t need an fancy bells and whistle – if a cheapest-of-cheap kettle did everything I needed, why would I demand (and pay for) extra functions?
  • I knew I didn’t actually want the very cheapest either – build quality is clearly an issue for more than occasional use small appliances.
  • I didn’t want to lose my new-found eco skill of only boiling what I needed; it’s astonishing how much quicker it is (I know I’m banging on about the time wasting, but honestly – I’m a busy person and hate wasting part of my day needlessly loitering literally watching a pot boil (and yes. It does. Eventually. Even when it’s watched.)
  • I wanted a kettle that sat on a corded circular base, so that I could use it left or right handed. I had never noticed that I fill the kettle – and therefore place it on the base – right handed. But I pour drinks with my left hand. Which is annoyingly awkward if the kettle only sits on the base one way. plus my left-handed son had all manner of trouble keeping a kettle of boiling water steady with his right hand (and no one want to discourage the children form the tea-making duties, right?)

I know – who knew that choosing a small domestic appliance of relatively small spend would create such a long list of utterly essential features?
But d’you know what? I found the exact one for me, and it’s been perfect since the very first boil. Sometimes it just pays to be picky know what you want.


Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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