Pour Over Coffee has only relatively recently exploded into the global coffee scene with the so called Third Wave of Coffee. What many coffee lovers (including ourselves) have come to love about pour over coffee is the intimate involvement the home barista has in every step of this brewing method. We also kind of like that it makes superb tasting coffee that really reflects the varied flavours of different beans!
However, because this extraction process is so involved it does require a level of precision and attention to detail that many others styles don’t. As the process is entirely handcrafted, the taste of the extracted coffee is directly reliant on the skill and process of the brewer.
And that is why you find yourself now reading an article on the best pour over coffee kettles. Because although gooseneck kettles aren’t strictly required for pour over, they do play a huge part in producing that precision needed to make that delicious cup of brew.
Our Pick: Coffee Gator Pour over Kettle
In this article we are going to recommend that the Coffee Gator Pour Over Kettle is the gooseneck to have. It is sturdy and reliable, comes with a great track record, has an inbuilt thermometer, and most importantly gives a very constant flow of water.
Why you should consider buying a Gooseneck Kettle
The fact that your favourite barista at your local cafe uses a gooseneck is not simply that they look hipster and cool (although they totally do!). Instead it is because a gooseneck kettle provides precision and control which is hugely important for this brewing method. A good Gooseneck Kettle basically gives control over two key aspects of the pour over brewing style:
- Flow speed – The slender and curved ‘gooseneck’ shape of the spout means that the brewer is able to carefully regulate the flow and speed of water. This is vital for the pour over method (especially in pour overs such as the V60 and Chemex) as the speed of pour directly impacts the speed of coffee extraction and hence taste. The slender spout allows you to pour at a speed and consistency that is incredibly hard to mimic with a standard kettle
- Water Placement – One of the key parts of making pour over well is having the water go exactly where you want it to. Again if you watch a barista make pour over you will see that instead of simply dumping the water in, they will have a careful technique of slowly pouring in a spiral motion. This it to make sure all the grinds are evenly saturated as part of ensuring a balanced extraction. A gooseneck kettle allows you both to fine tune your pouring technique and ensure an even extraction.
Factors to consider in finding the right Gooseneck Kettle for you
Like virtually any corner of the coffee world, the range of different gooseneck kettles available is huge and flat daunting. The following factors are our way of trying to help you navigate towards the right gooseneck kettle for you.
Electric vs Manual
The first decision to make is manual vs electric. This particularly comes down to convenience and budget. Electric Kettles are incredibly convenient and require no more than the flick of a switch in that groggy state of existence which is called waking up. Furthermore, many of the electric gooseneck kettles available today can not only heat your water but heat it to a specific temperature, hold that temperature for up to an hour, time your pour, and even connect via bluetooth to your smartphone. The downside to electric is that they do tend to be more pricey and less portable than manual goosenecks. Because manual kettles tend to be sturdier they are great for travel and you could even bring one of these on your hiking/ tramping trip.
The single most important consideration in choosing a gooseneck is how much control will it give you over the pouring process. As the shape of the spout suggests, these kettles allow for a slower pouring rate than usual kettles. However, speed is actually far less important that consistency of flow. As noted above the key is an even saturation of the ground beans. A consistent flow rate allows both development of pouring technique as well as an even and uniform extraction. Another helpful tip is to try and find a gooseneck where the spout is attached near the bottom of the kettle. This will allow you to most easily and comfortably pour the maximum amount of water.
Material and Design
Almost all of the kettles reviewed on this article are made of high quality stainless steel. This is important as probably the biggest threat to any sort of metal kettle is rust. So be careful if you do decide to purchase a cheaper and less well known kettle that the metal is of a high quality.
The design is also important to consider. The pour over method requires a meticulous technique and so you will frequently be holding this kettle at an angle for minutes at a time. So comfort and ease of use do play an important role. Handles that are positioned on an angle tend to be most conducive to a stable and consistent pour. The Fellow Stagg kettles particularly come into their own here with comfortable counterbalanced handles to aid a uniform pour.
Also, as long it has good flow rate, don’t feel guilty for picking a gooseneck that you simply like the look of. Any of these kettles are an investment so pick one that you know you will come to love!
Among gooseneck kettles there is a huge range of non-essential but extremely helpful features to aid and enhance the pour over experience. Some kettles such as the Coffee Gator and the Fellow Stagg range come with inbuilt thermometers. This is particularly helpful in regulating the water temperature for recipes that require precise parameters.
Other features include the variable temperature control, bluetooth compatibility, and holding temperature function on some of the electric models. None of these features are essential for brewing great pour over but they do make life easier if you have the money to spare.
Best Manual Gooseneck Kettles
We love this kettle! It looks great, pours great, and is made out of great metal that will last. Some of the greatest features of this all-round kettle include an inbuilt probe thermometer with a green area marking the extraction sweet spot of 195-205F, a slender gooseneck that gives excellent control over flow rate, and military grade stainless steel for longevity and use on all stovetops.
This great little kettle is the only one we are aware of that has what is called a triple layered base. What this means is that the kettle has a layer of stainless steel, then a layer of aluminium, then another layer of stainless. The aim of this is that the aluminium never comes into contact with water and so cannot rust. Like most of the rest of the features of this kettle this shows confidence and quality which may be the reason that Coffee Gator offer a strong 100% money back guarantee. There is not much not to like about the Coffee Gator…
This really is the original ‘gooseneck’ kettle which has a long track record of quality and flow control. This is one of the largest models of gooseneck kettle at 1.2L which is particularly helpful for larger batches such as the Chemex often use. There is some debate over exactly where the flow rate sits in comparison to other kettles. The Hario does tend to have a faster flow rate than some which can take a while to adjust to, but many baristas still name this as one of their favourite goosenecks which certainly says something.
The Hario is also one of the lighter kettles which makes it great for traveling but perhaps not quite as sturdy as some other models.
This elegant manual gooseneck shares the distinctive design and quality that Kalita has become well known for. The Kalita is distinct from many of the other kettles on this list on account of its relatively thick spout. This means that it tends to have a quicker flow rate which can take time to master. However, the same width and shape of the spout makes for a very even and steady flow. The pinched end of the spout also contributes to excellent control of water placement making this one of the best kettles for flow rate on the market.
There are a few downsides to this elegant kettle. While the vertical wooden handle of the Kalita looks great it is relatively uncomfortable to pour with and can get quite hot if heated on a stovetop. Also if you do purchase one, clean with care! The shiny stainless steel can scratch easily if cleaned with something too rough. This is the gooseneck we own and use and have found it a superb kettle for us!
If convenience and precision rate high on your preferences then the Brewista is a serious contender. This electric kettle is loaded with great features that might just make your coffee that much better and your brewing experience that much more enjoyable. Probably the most significant feature is the built in temperature control which will allow you to set the water temperature to say 196F and then hold it there for up to an hour! This is a great feature for the experienced pour over brewer who is experimenting with specific parameters.
It is also known to have a great gooseneck spout which translates into excellent flow rate control. And as if this wasn’t enough, it also has a 60 minute automatic turn off safety feature. It is also worth noting that one of the top cafes in Melbourne (which i happen to love!) has chosen to go with the Brewista which again says something. A great option for the serious home barista.
This is a great little kettle with a 1000W electric element for quick and convenient heating of water. Like the Brewista it is known to have great flow rate control which comes from a slender gooseneck spout. In fact, Bonavita are widely thought to be the best kettles for the careful pouring technique needed for Chemex pour overs. The construction is relatively lightweight with a lot of plastic and so isn’t as sturdy as some others on this list. The Bonavita Electric Kettle is all about affordable convenience; quick heating of water and excellent pouring capability, without breaking the budget!
This slick and elegant kettle is like the lamborghini of gooseneck kettles. Looks terrific, works terrific, but doesn’t come cheap! The EKG+ boasts an impressive list of great features. These include variable temperature control, a temperature holding function, a counterbalanced and comfortable handle, a timing function, and an LCD screen which constantly tells you the current and desired temperatures of the water. This makes for a sophisticated solution to the need for precision in the pour over process if you can afford the cost!
The flow rate is a bit slower than some of the other kettles on this list which may be a pro or con depending on the size of grind bed you are working with. The EKG is also surprisingly easy to use considering its host of features.
And as if this wasn’t packed with enough features, this gooseneck also comes with bluetooth capability for the techy coffee lover!
The Willow and Everett contribution to the gooseneck scene is all about affordability and functionality. Like the Bonavita, this kettle boasts a 1000W burner which heats quickly and efficiently. Another great feature it boasts is a spill-proof lid so that there is no possibility of the lid falling of when pouring or leaking water when held at an angle.
In terms of flow rate it is okay. It is not one of the top contenders but for the price tag it is pretty good. And we have to say that the almost mirror look of the stainless steel does look rather nice.
Hopefully the above reviews have been helpful for you. After reviewing a wide range of kettles, our favourite across the board is the Coffee Gator Pour Over Kettle. This kettle is incredibly sturdy, comes with excellent flow rate control, and also has a super handy inbuilt thermometer.
Alternatively, if convenience is a high priority for you then the Brewista Smart Pour Variable Temperature Kettle may be a great way to up your pour over game!