Electric Tea Kettle Reviews
Which Is The Best?

How to buy an electric tea kettle? I review four popular brands: Adagio, West Bend, Zojirushi and Breville.

When it comes to brewing tea, electric kettles are the future. They have been around since the early 20th century, but in recent years they have started to become more and more common.

The chief advantage of an electric kettle over a stovetop model (read the buyer's guide!) is speed and energy efficiency. A good kettle can have your water boiling in just a few minutes, thus using less energy.

When buying an electric tea kettle, there are at least six things to consider.

1. How Large and Powerful?

In America, most kettles can hold between up to 1 liter or quart of water. On average, a large cup or mug is about 8 ounce, so you can boil up to 4 cups at a time.

The higher powered electric tea kettles are more powerful and so boil faster. Those with a wattage of 1.5 kW can be considered rapid boil.

2. Corded or Cordless?

First, do you want a corded kettle or a cordless kettle?

A corded kettle attaches directly to the wall, while a cordless kettle rests on a metal base for heating and can be removed from the base once the water has reached the right temperature.

Cordless kettles are easier to maneuver because you don’t have to deal with that pesky cord as you pour the hot water.

Cord lengths for most kettles range from 65 centimeters to 80 centimeters, but they can be up to 1 meter long – useful if your power socket is in an inconvenient location.

3. Boil Dry Protection?

This automatically turns the kettle off if it does not contain enough water.

4. How Safe?

A soft rubberized area on the handle can make it more comfortable to grip and lift. Some kettles have an insulated body so that the outside remains cool enough to touch even when the water inside is boiling.

5. Keep Warm?

This feature keeps the water in the kettle warm after you have boiled it so the kettle can re-boil more quickly.

6. Temperature Control?

However, for a green tea drinker, one of the most exciting features that a electric tea kettle has is the ability to control the temperature the water reaches.

This is not a big deal with black teas, since they are brewed with boiling water. However, certain green teas and white teas benefit from being steeped at lower temperatures. A variable electric tea kettle lets you choose the right temperature to match the tea you are brewing.

There are currently only a few models with automatic temperature control.

Upton Versus Adagio

One of them is the Upton Variable Electric Kettle. The other is Adagio UtiliTEA.

Both will heat water to a range of different temperatures, from about 150° F to 212°F. Both have water filters in the spout to keep hard water scale out of your cup.

Both are cordless. Both have electrical cords that coil up in the base of the kettle, so you only have to pull out the length you need to reach the outlet.

Between them, I recommend Adagio, as they offer better value.

Adagio Tea - 3 UtiliTEA Variable-Temperature 30-Ounce Electric Kettle

Adagio’s electric tea kettle also has a color-coded diagram.

Like Upton’s, they do not provide any recommendations as far as which position is best for which tea, since the exact water temperature can vary from kettle to kettle.

However, the Adagio kettle has another handy feature that’s noticeably missing on the Upton model: a see-through water gauge.

I drink tea throughout the day, and with my Upton I will find myself turning it on, coming back to pour the water, and discovering that there was only about half a cup of water in the kettle to start with.

The kettle has an auto shut off feature that keeps it from starting if it is completely empty, but it’s impossible to see exactly how much water you have left without opening the kettle.

With the Adagio’s see-through water gauge, you will always know how much water you have when you start the kettle up.

The West Bend 53783 1-3/4 Quart Cordless Water Kettle

Okay, in case you are researching on West Bend - let me confirm your suspicion, this is the kettle that you don't want to buy.

The West Bend 53783 Cordless Water Kettle seems like it would be a nice, basic electric kettle. There is no temperature control or anything like that, but then again, it only costs $33.95.

However, this product has received numerous poor reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers' complaints included the following:

  • Automatic shutoff feature did not work, causing the kettle to boil dry.
  • Leaks.
  • Kettle stopped working after only a few months.
  • Kettle and water boiled in kettle tasted strongly of plastic.

Based on these reviews, I can't recommend this electric tea kettle, even for those who only want a basic model. You would be much better off spending a little more for the Upton model reviewed above.

Zojirushi CD - WBC40 Micom 4-Liter Electric Water Boiler and Warmer

What do you get for the tea connoisseur who has everything?

This Zojirushi Water Boiler and Warmer is the ultimate electric tea kettle.

The Zojirushi model is unique in that it keeps water hot for tea all day long. Whenever you want a refill, all you have to do is slip your tea cup or tea pot under the spout.

The Zojirushi has several different "keep warm" settings, and will hold water at 140 degrees, 175 degrees, 195 degrees and 208 degrees. So, it is easy to get the right temperature for the tea you are drinking. It also has a timer, so you can have water ready when you get up in the morning.

The Zojirushi also has excellent safety features, including a magnetic breakaway cord, automatic shutoff and a safety dispenser. Convenience, safety...what are the downsides?

The only disadvantage is that it is not cheap.

Breville BKE820XL Variable Temperature Kettle

I like this Breville variable temperature kettle .

First of all, it has 5 temperature settings for various types of tea. Unlike the Upton kettle which I have now, the settings on this kettle are labeled.

That makes it easier to use the correct setting, depending on the type of tea you are planning to brew. There is even a setting for French press coffee, which I also adore.

Plus, it makes a noise when the water is ready - another nice feature that the Upton lacks.

Finally, it has a "hold temperature" feature that lets you hold water at a specific temperature for a period of time.


Which of these electric tea kettles is the best? Of course, it depends at least in part on what you are looking for.

If you just want a kettle that will heat water to the appropriate brewing temperature when you need it, the Adagio would be the best.

If you want to have a pot of warm tea on hand constantly, Zojirushi or Breville would be the best choice.

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