Electric Kettles

As with anyone who has set up a home, you understand that buying the right appliances for your kitchen can make the difference between a smooth and effective kitchen or an unreliable, inconsistent nightmare. It is considered that buying the best you can afford is always good advice. But when we all have different budgets, how can we know which is the best appliance for us?

To help make a decision on which electric kettle to buy, keep in mind the following factors;

Reliability — boiling water might seem like a simple task that one can do using a pan and a stove, but sometimes even the appliances we buy that are designed to boil water simply can’t even do that. So we want to know that the product will work, every time.
Safety – this is probably the most important factor. Buying reputable brands will ensure the safest choice. Safety features will also be more abundant in the more expensive brands, where as the cheaper brands will have only minimum safety factors.
Power — depending on how quickly you want your boiled water will depend on how powerful you want your kettle to be. Power is another of those features that gets better or higher with a higher price tag. But for most of us, any kettle will probably do.
Styling — this is a feature that we all care about, probably the most after safety. A kettle sits on your benchtop all year round and will need to suit your kitchen décor. Whether you go for brushed stainless steel, white plastic, or shiny chrome finish, the style factor of your kettle will most likely be proportionate to the amount you spend.
Durability — durability is not something that always goes according to price. Sometimes the cheapest kettles from a supermarket will outlast the most stylish, expensive offering from a premium brand. It’s good to go with recommendations in this regard, or perhaps ask the store clerk what brand has the most returns.

Top 5 Electric Kettles

Kambrook KAK36 1.7LT Cordless Kettle

This well priced, the mid-range kettle has a simple, white design and is cordless which is a great safety and practical feature. At the lower end of the price spectrum, this is a simple, good quality appliance.

Sunbeam KE9200S Cafe Series Kettle
This kettle on the higher end of the price range, but wow does it look great. The clean, sleek lines of this Sunbeam Café Series Kettle will look amazing on any bench top. The polished stainless steel and cord storage will ensure this stylish kettle always looks impressive and will take pride of place in your kitchen.

Delonghi KBH2401 1.7 Lt Kettle
The Delonghi 1.7 liter kettle, with it’s modern, sleek design will look great in any modern kitchen. The price of this electric kettle is justified by its three-level safety features.

Russel Hobbs Edinburgh Satin Cordless Kettle R/RHK2
This is a long-standing favorite and reputable kettle and small appliance brand. Russel Hobbs kettles will usually deliver a great quality product with a great design. This cute, polished stainless steel kettle looks homely and old-fashioned with the top fitted, curved handle. The price is good, and the style is excellent.

Tiffany 1.7L Corded Automatic Kettle
As far as electric kettles go, a Tiffany kettle is a favorite on the market. One of the first ports of call for any home leaver, this kettle might not be stainless steel or super flashy, but it will do the job and costs very little. With some decent safety features and not a bad style factor, this corded kettle will boil water and keep boiling water for many years to come.

 

 

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Guide to Loose Leaf Tea

Most people use tea bags to make tea as it is cheap, easy to use, and can be cleaned easily. Certainly, tea bags do make brewing easy, but this process does not allow you to enjoy the best cup of tea. Loose tea leaves, on the other hand, are known for offering a much better flavor and quality compared to the tea bags. Moreover, though the tea bags may seem cheaper, the fact is loose tea leaves prove to be more economical in the long run. So, loose tea leaves are indeed better than the bagged ones. But if you will be using these leaves for the very first time you surely must be wondering what do you need to make loose leaf tea? Without wait, let us discover the answer.

Good quality loose leaves

It is very important to buy good quality tea leaves from a popular brand. It will be a good idea to start with flavors that you have already used. If you drink green tea, English breakfast or earl grey in tea bags, then you should start with them in loose form. As you get comfortable with the loose form of these teas, you can then try the more complex flavors.

Fresh or filtered water

Many people believe that tap water works good and others say filtered water is the best option. Though you can use either, filter water offers better results. This does not mean you just cannot use tap water. In fact, it will be a good idea to try both, and see which works best for you.

A tea infuser

With the help of the tea infuser, you will brew
your loose leaf tea. Infusers are usually egg or ball-shaped with mesh
coverings or holes to keep the leaves within them. They allow releasing of the flavor and expansion of the leaves and prevents the leaves from coming out.

A kettle

Using a kettle you will heat the water. There are many types of kettles available, ranging from the ones you can use on your stove to the electric ones that tell the temperature. You can use either of them. However, if you use a standard kettle you will also need a thermometer to find out the right temperature.

A tea strainer

Instead of using a tea infuser you may use a tea strainer. A tea strainer is generally made of fine mesh and you need to place it over your cup and then pour tea. It will help catch the loose tea leaves. If you want to brew tea directly in your pot or kettle then a strainer will prove helpful.

Tea mug or teapot

A tea mug or teapot is where you will place the infuser and brew your tea. Some glass tumblers and tea mugs come along with tea infusers.

The Process –

Now that you know what do you need to make loose leaf tea, let us also get to learn the process.

  • Pour filtered or tap water into your kettle and boil it.
  • Once the water boils, remove it from heat.
  • Add the loose tea leaves inside the tea infuser and place the infuser in your tea cup or teapot.
  • If you are not using an infuser, then add the tea leaves in the teapot directly.
  • Allow the water to cool down to the desired temperature, if necessary, and then pour it into the teapot or cup.
  • Allow it to steep to match your taste.
  • Pour it into serving cups. If you have used the tea leaves directly, then keep the tea strainer over your cup and then pour your brewed tea.
  • Here you can add milk and sugar if required, stir, and your cup of perfectly flavored tea is ready.

Once you taste loose leaf brewed tea, you likely
will not opt for the tea bags again, and it is only then will you realize what you have been missing so long.

 

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More on Brewing

Did you know that there are many ways to brew tea? Whether you’re using everyday tea leaves or your absolute favorite, here are 5 unique methods of brewing your beverage:

1. Cold Brewing

There are certain teas that are meant to be cold-brewed- they are great for drinking during the hot summer months! Cold brewing is probably the easiest method in making iced tea. You just need a bit of patience to do this. You can use loose leaf or a bagged variant for this one. The rule of thumb should be a tablespoon of loose leaf or a teabag for every liter of tea you want to produce. Take a pitcher and fill it in with water and corresponding tea leaves or bags. Then, put it in the fridge and leave it overnight. You can enjoy the iced tea when you wake up in the morning or during warm afternoons. Steep the leaves for longer if you want a stronger-tasting tea, but 8 hours should do the trick nicely.

2. Tetsubin

You can make a cup of tea the Japanese traditional way by using a tetsubin, or a Japanese pot made of cast iron material. It’s heavy but the good thing about tetsubin-style is that the water retains heat for a far longer time as compared to regular kettles or instant electric pots. The material and make of tetsubin is so good that you can leave the water on for an hour and it will still make a steaming cup of tea!

Tetsubins usually come in with their own tea cups that you can use to enjoy the tea drinking experience. For the best results, you can simulate the tea-making and drinking ritual the Japanese have been so famous for and get to relax while you’re at it.

3. Regular Pot

Don’t have a teapot but need to brew 3 to 5 cups of tea in one go? Using a regular pot will do just nicely. This tea brewing method is excellent when you’re making masala chai but it also works well on other loose leaf variants. Take a sizable pot, add the appropriate amount of water and milk and put it on the burner. Once the mixture gets hot enough, start adding tea leaves and spices (optional). You’ll have a bit more control by using a pot as compared to a teapot since you can add spices or tea to suit your taste. A pot is the perfect brewing platform for when you’re experimenting with tea blends and for concocting that special tea drink.

4. Grandpa-Style

A simple yet excellent way to brew tea. Delicious hot tea is just a few minutes away when you use this brewing style. A large cup and some tea leaves is all you need to get started. The trick here is to use water that’s hot enough for drinking. Experts recommend putting in larger loose tea leaves in order to prevent oversteeping and making the drink more bitter than you’d like.

5. Gaiwan

Gaiwans are small ceramic tea cups that have their own lid and saucer. As such, steeping time is much faster as compared to other brewing

 

 

 

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Properly Brewing Tea

How do you properly brew tea? Does it change for different types of tea? Yes, the process of brewing different types of tea differs. The basic of brewing tea is dropping tea bags into hot water. But, there are different types of tea and others will require some level of perfection to brew them. It is necessary to take into consideration the different types of the in your brewing process. You will need to add sugar, milk and other additives when preparing different types of tea. After the tea leaves have seeped the ingredients, you can remove them and drink tea. In order to get an insight on how you can prepare different types of tea in the market, here is a guide for you to prepare different types of tea:

White tea

White tea should be brewed in hot water but the water should not boil. This is necessary to avoids cases where you can scald the tea leaves which can lead to bitter taste. Always ensure you warm the water to dissolve the ingredients before you add the tea leaves. To achieve the desired warm water, boil the water and then leave it to cool for about three minutes before adding the tea leaves.

Green tea

Green tea just like white tea should not be brewed at full boil. Boil your water then cool it a bit so that it can develop the necessary warmth you need to enjoy a cup of tea. You need to allow about two minute before you can add tea leaves into the warm water.

Rooibos tea

The tea can be steeped for about 20 minutes in water which has achieved full boil. It is necessary to steep it for long so that it can release the necessary ingredients you need to enjoy good health. Even if it will take quite some time to prepare, it is necessary to always stay patient so that you can enjoy the best quality tea.

Black tea

For good tasting black tea, you should have full boil water then steep the tea in the water for up to five minutes. It is necessary to allow enough time so that the tea can dissolve necessary ingredients you need to enjoy refreshing moment. Black tea is the common type of tea in the market. It is easy to brew and is available at reasonable prices. The preparation process is easy which make many people prefer it in their daily lives.

Oolong tea

For great tasting oolong tea, you are supposed to heat water till it boils then steep the tea leaves in the water for up to 12 minutes. Always take into consideration the duration you are required to leave the tea leaves to steep. It plays a great role in making your tea achieve a given taste. There are different types of teas available. You can even opt for herbal tea. The tea does not have a lot of restrictions on how long you can boil it in water. Remember herbal tea does not have tea hence you can boil the ingredients as much as you want and you will still enjoy your cup of tea.

 

 

 

 

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Tea Bags vs. Loose Leaf


Is there a difference between loose leaf tea and tea bags? There are several differences between loose leaf tea and tea bags. First, the quality of tea brewed from the two different types of tea varies. If you are looking for a strong tea, then going for tea bags will be a great option. Remember tea bags are made from tea leaves
which have been broken. It is different from loose tea because the loose tea is made out of whole leaves. The whole leaves maintain the quality ingredients in tea but the surface area exposed to water in your tea brewing process is small when compared to the large surface area the crushed tea in tea bags exposes to the
water for you to make tea. Here are some of the differences you will notice between loose leaf tea and tea bags.

Tea bags are made from broke tea leaves but loose leaf tea is made out of whole tea leaves

You may have gone to the market to buy tea bags. They are made out of tiny crashed tea leaves. You can even check the content of tea bags in your home. It is different from the quality of tea you see in loose leaf tea. The loose leaf tea is made out of whole leaves. The whole leaves tend to preserve the ingredients which natural
tea has. If you are looking for tea which you can make fast, then you need to go for tea bags. The tea bags are made out of finely crashed tea which can release nutrients fast to the water so that you can enjoy your tea brewing process.

Quality of the two types of tea

Whole tea leaves have high grade nutrients. Their chemical components have not been affected due to the processing. In the case of tea bags, they have been crashed into fine dust which ends up releasing more tannin to the water while trying to brew tea. It is a different case when dealing with whole leaf tea which tends to preserve all the nutrients you require to enjoy quality tea.

Size of the two types of tea

When taking into consideration the two types of tea, you will realize tea bags are made into a compact size because the tea leaves have been crashed. It is a different case when taking into consideration the size of the loose leaf tea bags. The loose leaf tea bags have huge leaves because the processors try as much as possible
to preserve the whole tea. You get to see the shape of tea leaves which is unlike the tea bags which are made out of finely ground tea which loses shape and is compact.

Taste

If you have ever tried tea bags, there are others which have a bitter taste. The taste is brought about due to the processing of the tea bags where tea is crashed into small dust like particles. For the case of loose tea leaf, the taste is preserved and the brew tends to have an exciting taste. You should compare the different
types of tea available before you choose your preferred type of tea.

 

 

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