Kettle Showdown

Reviewing four variable temperature kettles head to head to find out the Gong Fu kettle of choice.


I have been asked to do a kettle review for a while and so I got a little geeky on this one to tease out the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

First of all a big thank you to all of the manufacturers who sent a kettle for review. We actually spoke with about 10 different kettle manufacturers and were led around the garden path of people that we had to speak to but these guys came up trumps. So thanks to Russell Hobbs, Sage and Smarter.

A kettle is the workhorse of the Gong Fu setup and if it functions properly then nobody notices but if it is bad then we all complain! A good kettle can elevate your sessions to a smooth and more enjoyable brewing experience.

Here are the fundamentals:

1. Looks, build quality and ergonomics

Get a kettle that looks and feels good for your setup. I would avoid plastic kettles because of controversy surrounding the dangers of heating water in plastics. The feel and weight is important and make sure that you test out the accuracy and smoothness of the pouring.

2. Temperature control

Ideally you want a kettle that you can set a temperature and be confident it is accurate. Second option is that it at least shows a live temperature so that you can adjust by heating or adding cold water.

3. Capacity

Refilling the kettle means less time brewing and enjoying.

4. Noise

Something I did not mention in this review (because all kettles had relatively low noise). A loud kettle with lots of beeping can disrupt your Gong Fu session.

5. Extras

Do you want a kettle that holds the water at your desired temperature? What about a ketlle you can control remotely? Some kettles come with bells and whistles that may interest you.


If you would like to find out more about these kettles:

Russell Hobbs Retro Red
Smarter iKettle
Sage Tea Maker

We think you’ll love:

The perfect way to store your tea. Stackable tins which have been designed to keep your tea organised easily.

Organic Oolong processed in low oxygen to increase GABA to 200mg per 100g. Summer rain, apricot jam, wet wood and chestnut honey.

Tong Mu Zhengshan Xiaozhong

An unsmoked Lapsang that shows the true depth of flavour of this famous tea. Dark cocoa, charred bourbon casks and rambutan.

Anji Bai Cha

Top shelf grade. Pre Qing Ming picked Anji Green. Freshly mowed grass, asparagus umami, starfruit and green pumpkin seeds.