Last Updated: February 2017
For most people, the act of making coffee is a rather simple one that requires only an electric kettle. That doesn’t mean that any ordinary electric kettle for coffee will do, as the one you choose can greatly affect the taste, and can even make preparing coffee more convenient. Here are a few things you should know in order to choose the best electric kettle for coffee.
Table of contents
- Electric Kettle uses
- Pour-Over Vs French Press
- Our Recommendations
- How to choose the right Electric Kettle?
What is an Electric Kettle Used For?
Electric kettles are generally used to prepare two different types of coffee, the first of which is pour-over coffee. This is the most common type, and involves simply pouring water over top of fresh coffee grounds to create a hot, steaming pot. The pour-over method is a form of drip brewing that differs from automatic drip brewing in that hot water is manually poured over top of coffee grounds rather than into a dispensing unit.
The second is a French press, which requires a special pot containing a plunger that pushes grounds to the bottom as coffee is being poured. Learning to use a French press will require a great deal of trial and error, but is something many people consider to be something of an art form. Once you master using one, you’ll likely be very pleased with the results, and will greatly enjoy the fact that a French press is very easy to clean and store.
Pour-Over Coffee or French Press?
Pour-over coffee will produce a smoother, milder cup of coffee. On the other hand, a French press will create a cup of coffee that is somewhat stronger and more acidic. Some people also claim that a French press provides them with greater flexibility, allowing them to vary the strength of their coffee to better suit individual tastes. Keep in mind that a French press does require more brewing time, so you may need to adjust your morning routine accordingly.
Other Uses for an Electric Kettle
While most people use their electric kettle primarily for coffee, you can actually use it for making:
- Tea, cocoa, or other hot beverages
- Instant soup
- Ramen noodles
- Hot cereal such as oatmeal, grits, or cream of wheat
- Boiling eggs
- Gelatin desserts
The best electric kettles for coffee are designed with temperature control in mind, as heating water to the precise temperature is necessary for maximum flavor and enjoyment. The perfect temperature can vary based upon whether you are using a French press or any other pour-over coffee brewing method. Here are just a few models we thought were worth considering:
Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Electric Kettle
The Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7 Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle is a versatile appliance that can be used with nearly any pour-over method, including French press. Some features of this electric kettle for coffee include:
- 1,500 Watt/110 Volt stainless steel kettle
- Cordless with a 360-degree swivel power base for added safety and portability
- Concealed heating element
- Six preset heat settings make this kettle ideal for steeping tea
- 30-minute “keep warm” function
- Blue backlit water window easily allows you to see how much water is available
The Cuisinart PerfecTemp kettle is designed with safety in mind. It provides users with a warning system in the way of beeps and flashing lights whenever the kettle is turned on without any water inside it. It also contains a boil-dry feature that will automatically shut off to prevent the unit from boiling dry. As such, it is one of the best electric kettles for pour-over coffee if you do not wish to constantly watch over your appliance.
Users remark that this electric kettle heats water quickly and evenly, making it easier for you to enjoy a pour-over cup of coffee when you have little time to spare. It is also lightweight enough to carry with you anywhere, and the stainless steel exterior will continue to hold its like-new appearance for some time after your purchase. Normally available for under $100, this kettle also comes with a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle
If you are concerned with aesthetics as well as performance, you may want to consider the Bonavita 1-liter variable temperature digital electric kettle because of its classical, “gooseneck” design. Some other unique features of this kettle are:
- 1,000 watts of power
- Real-time temperature display allows you to know when water is ready
- Heat and hold feature maintains water temperature for up to one hour
- Count-up timer to help you better track the brewing process
- Six pre-set temperature settings, allowing you to customize according to individual tastes
The “heat and hold” feature of this grinder is one that users who are often pressed for time greatly appreciate. This feature allows you to heat water while grinding coffee beans or performing other tasks. As such, it is ideal for anyone who wishes to reduce the amount of time spent making pour-over or French press coffee.
This kettle’s curved spout not only enhances the look of this appliance, but also allows you greater control when dispensing water. Many users believe this ultimately enhances the flavor of their coffee, as precise amounts of water are needed to create the perfect cup. As such, you will enjoy using it if you regularly make tea or other hot beverages. This electric kettle for pour-over coffee is also available for under $100, and comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Chef’s Choice 681 Cordless Electric Kettle
This basic electric kettle is ideal for those who want a simple and affordable model. Made from stainless steel, the Chef’s Choice 681 somewhat resembles a vintage coffeepot, and contains an ergonomic handle for added comfort. Some additional features include:
- Concealed heating element that reduces mineral buildup to reduce the number of cleanings needed
- Water level gauge built into handle for easy viewing
- Illuminated on and off switch
- Automatic shutoff with boil dry protection that turns the kettle off whenever water begins to boil
- 360-degree kettle that turns and lifts easily for more convenient filling and pouring
- Retractable power cord that stores neatly in the base when not in use
- 1,500 watts of heating power
The Chef’s Choice 681 also has a push-button lid, which opens quickly for filling and pouring. This makes it one of the best models to consider if you are looking for a kettle for entertaining, or regularly heat multiple pots of hot water each day. Even under heavy use, it will provide you with consistent results, and many years of efficient service.
What users tend to like most about this appliance is the fact that it is especially easy to clean. This model sells for anywhere between $45 and $60, making it one of the most affordable kettles on the market. While it automatically comes with a limited one-year warranty from the manufacturer, you may also purchase extended warranties for two or even three years for a nominal charge.
Hamilton Beach 40870 Stainless Steel 10-Cup Electric Kettle
If you are looking for an affordable electric kettle that has the appearance of a more expensive model, the Hamilton Beach 40870 Stainless Steel 10-Cup model could be right for you. This appliance has distinct curves, and is characterized by its well-rounded shape, which provides it with an eye-catching look. Some unique features include:
- An automatic shutoff sensor that provides “boil dry” protection
- Concealed heating element for enhanced safety and reduced mineral deposit buildup
- 1,500 watts of power to heat water very quickly
- Stay-cool handle for added protection
- Easy-to-view water level window
- Cordless kettle for safety and ease of serving
You have two color choices with the Hamilton Beach 40870: stainless steel or bright red. Either one is offset by elegant, shiny black trim on the side, handle, and top. A solid black base adds extra detail, and visually pulls the two separate units together. This is one electric kettle that looks far more expensive than it is, and will serve you well whether you are buying it for personal use or for entertaining.
This unit is available for anywhere from $30 to $40, making it an inexpensive model to consider if you are looking for something only for occasional use or do not have a great deal of money to spend. Even though it is one of the most affordable electric kettles, the Hamilton Beach 40870 will nonetheless provide you with dependable service for many years to come, making it an excellent value for the money.
Choosing the Right Model
As you can see, there are a number of electric kettles that will provide you with convenience at an affordable price. To choose the right one, think about how often you will use your kettle, the features you desire, and your budget. Any of the above models can be used for either pour-over or French press coffee, so there is no need to buy a separate unit for each one.
An electric kettle for coffee can make creating your own pour-over or French press beverages a breeze. A minimal investment will provide you with a quality kettle that can also be useful for a number of other applications as well.