Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tea Kettle Love

I'm in love. Again. This time it's with my shiny new whistling stovetop teakettle. I've been dying for one for years and finally, this fall as it turned cold, I hauled off and treated myself. I chose a stainless steel 2 quart model with red enamel trim that sits on the stovetop.

What's so great about a tea kettle? Big cups of steaming tea, hot bowls of instant soup or cider, and even that great comfort of just heating water when you don't quite no what else to do. I love putting on water on for green tea in the afternoon (Tazo Lotus or Yogi Rejuvenation) or soothing, herbal tea at night (Tazo Calm or Wild Sweet Orange). It takes less time than heating water in the microwave, and I can heat enough for two or three steaming mugs full. I like how the tea kettle can steam away for my tea while I putter in the kitchen for that five minutes of down time. And I love the whistle, the steam, and the act of pouring hot water in my cup. Something about it says "home" to me.

How to choose a tea kettle? Stovetop or electric is your first choice depending on what you want to do. There are kettles that just heat water and even tea makers available if they suit your purpose. (Electric kettles are great for, say, the office or if you don't have a stove.) If you choose to go with a traditional, stovetop tea kettle, you can choose one with retro styling, the classic touch, or even very modern. Most tea kettles hold roughly 2 quarts of water. You can choose square or sleek, stainless or copper, chrome or enamel, white or great colors (like green or red), modern or classic design, and even whether it will whistle or not. Check to make sure it works on your stove top if you have ceramic or other special conductive materials. Depending on the brand, styling, and materials, a decent teakettle can run between $30 and $60. (You can always find some more or less expensive but $30-60 seems average.)

Pictured above? Le Crueset's latest offering although they also have very classically designed models. As this whether begins to settle in, doesn't a hot cup of tea sound good?


Anonymous said...


I share your love for a good cup of hot tea. And although teabags are convenient, the best teas are sold loose. There are more varieties of tea than there are varieties of wine grapes- and at least as many gradations of tea quality as there are among wines. And there are a few stores in Indianapolis (my favorite is near the Sunflower Market in Broad Ripple), not to mention the many erchants online. My favorites are Pi Lo Chun (green tea), Tie Guan Yin (oolong), Mao Feng (green), and Yin Shen (white). You might find that seeking out the best teas is as addictive as other culinary pursuits...

braingirl said...

Plate o' shrimp -- or should I say "plate o' tea!" I was just thinking teas required further research -- especially green teas and white ones of which I've become very fond.

What are your favorite tea stores/shops for fresh, loose tea? I"ll check them out!

Anonymous said...

Here in Indy, Hubbard & Cravens has some good loose teas. Also, there is a store called Herb and Tea next to Shalimar in Broad Ripple that has a very good selection of teas. But my favorite is in Chicago: Teagschwender on Rush Street near the intersection of North Street. They have an outstanding selection of nothing but tea and tea paraphernalia. Then, of course, there are several online tea merchants such as adagio.com and generationtea.com.