Purchasing the best tea kettle for you can be a great first step towards better loose-leaf tea.
While here at The Coffee Folk we are (obviously) fairly big on coffee, but there is no denying the appeal of high-quality, well-brewed tea. And part of the joy of tea drinking is not only the finished product but the ritual of tea brewing. It is about the journey, not just the destination.
And so an important and rather exciting part of the passion for tea is choosing your tea kettle. While you probably could just get away with that old kettle you have had for donkey’s years, we are all about finding a tea kettle that you like, that excites you to use, and that suits your particular needs.
In this article, we will review what we believe are some of the best tea kettles.
OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle
Best Tea Kettle
If you are looking for a quick answer then the OXO tea kettle is the best in terms of functionality, careful design, and price-to-quality ratio. This stovetop tea kettle is very fast in bringing water to the boil, very safe to use, and comes with a rather ingenious rotating handle for easy filling and cleaning.
Electric vs Stovetop Tea Kettles
The very first and most significant decision to make when choosing a tea kettle is whether to opt for an electric or stovetop tea kettle.
Both electric kettles and stovetop kettles have their unique pros and cons. In making this decision there is no objective right and wrong answer but instead competing strengths and personal preferences.
Electric Tea kettle
The biggest advantages of an electric kettle are convenience and features. Put simply, an electric tea kettle does just make your life that little bit easier. Particularly on a rushed morning you simply fill the kettle, flick the switch, and then it will be ready when you come back. You don’t need to worry about keeping an eye on it or setting a timer.
Further, a range of the electric kettles on this list come with very handy additional features. The most significant of these is the variable temperature control, in which the kettle can heat your water to a specific desired temperature. As you will be aware, different teas require different temperatures for optimal flavor, and so this feature really can up your tea game.
On the downside, however, electric tea kettles don’t have the same aesthetic appeal as stovetop kettles, and the number of electric parts means that they almost always die long before their stovetop kettle equivalents. Also due to their additional features, they are almost always more expensive.
Stovetop Tea Kettle
The stovetop tea kettle comes with a very different set of strengths and weaknesses. It is less convenient and more hands-on but somehow does just feel far more authentic. A stovetop tea kettle is in some ways a throwback to the past, and yet just right in some sort of primal way.
They tend to be a lot more elegant in a retro way than their electric kettle counterparts, and if cared for, tend to last a lifetime. The sheer range of stovetop tea kettles on the market is a testimony to the appeal they hold. Similarly, the lack of components means that less can go wrong or break.
As a generalization, stovetop kettles are slower to heat water, but not painfully so. Also, their simplicity lends itself to a generally cheaper price tag, which we all appreciate in this market. And like we mentioned, there is just something about hearing the tea kettle whistling in the kitchen that feels right and brings you back to better days.
So, while it comes down to personal tastes and your specific needs, we do have a preference for stovetop tea kettles. Certainly, they won’t work for everyone, but cumulatively we do believe that they are the better choice.
The Best Tea Kettle of 2023
OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle
The OXO brew classic tea kettle is our pick for the best tea kettle of 2023. This tea kettle has got consistently good reviews, is very affordable for most budgets, and is just an excellent all-round kettle. What particularly sets apart the OXO is the unique rotating handle. This is a somewhat strange idea but is remarkably helpful for both filling and cleaning. And speaking of cleaning, the wide lid opening makes cleaning a breeze.
The OXO has a silicone grip on the handle, a silicone tap on the spout, and a silicone knob on the lid. Customers have appreciated the speed with which the OXO produces boiling water, its longevity, and the loudness of the whistle which can be heard from another room. They also noted that it pours well with minimal spillage. The stainless steel body is rust-proof and fairly retro in look. It suits most decors well. The lid can get hot, however, so watch out for that. One downside noted was that the rotating handle could sway slightly when in an upright position.
Cuisinart PrefecTemp Electric Kettle
The Cuisinart PerfecTemp has been a regular competitor for the best tea kettle ever since it came out. It is an electric kettle decked out specifically for tea. Probably the most appealing feature that sets the Cuisinart apart is the preset heat settings. As you may be aware, different loose-leaf teas require different temperatures for optimal brewing. And the Cuisinart has six preset heat levels for delicate tea (160), green (175), white (185), oolong (190), French press coffee (200), and full boiling water for black tea.
Customers note that the Cuisinart heats water very quickly and has a hold feature that maintains temperature for up to 30 minutes. It also has a 2-minute memory function which allows you to remove the kettle from the base for up to 2 minutes and the base ‘remembers’ the settings. It pours well, looks fairly standard for an electric kettle, and comes with a backlit water window as well as a washable water filter. The only downside that customers noted was that the body gets very hot and remains hot for an extended period, so just be careful of getting burnt. But overall a great option if you are looking for the top-of-the-line with all the bells and whistles.
Mr Coffee Claredale Whistling Tea Kettle
The Mr Coffee Claredale is the ultimate budget option. This stovetop kettle is as cheap as chips! It is so laughably cheap that you would think that it must be absolute junk. However, you would be wrong. This is a surprisingly effective kettle. It heats fast, pours well, and can pour out the very last drop which many kettles cannot do. It is light in weight and has a wide enough opening to allow for easy cleaning. It also has a clear whistle.
On the downside, some customers found the handle can get hot, and the stainless steel does feel a lot thinner than the other kettles on this review. However, if you are looking for a cheap no thrills kettle that does its task well, then look no further, this steel whistling tea kettle is a bargain!
Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle
If you are a connoisseur of kitchen appliances and utensils then you will already be familiar with Le Creuset. In fact, just looking briefly over our kitchen I found some coffee cups and a spatula by Le Creuset. This is a well-known and well-trusted company. This whistling tea kettle is made from quick-to-heat carbon steel and comes in a whole range of different colors to fit any decor. To put it simply this is a stylish kettle. With an elegant design and gleaming stainless steel exterior, it just looks stunning and is a statement piece in its own right.
It is a very fast kettle. It has a traditional handle but one that can be swiveled for easy cleaning. The Le Creuset whistling tea kettle certainly isn’t a cheap option but you are paying for quality and elegance. This kettle is chip-proof and safe for all heating sources. The Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle is the refined option on our list, and both works and looks superb.
Fellow Stagg EKG
The Fellow Stagg EKG is a bit of an outlier on this list as it is technically a gooseneck kettle designed for pour-over coffee. However, there is a reason that it is beginning to find its way into the tea community and the top tea kettle lists. And the reason is that it is simply an amazing kettle.
It looks elegant and refined as do all Fellow products and can be purchased in matte black or white. It is what is called a variable temperature kettle. What this means is that you can set the temperature to whatever you want (you can even switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit). Once set the kettle will bring the water to your desired temperature and then can hold the temperature for up to 30 minutes. It also comes with an inbuilt timer, an LCD screen, and a hidden worm game!
So if you love tech and elegance then this kettle is for you. It is also superb for tea as it means that you can set the temperature to the exact heat for the given tea leaves that you are using. This bad boy isn’t cheap but we can personally attest that it is well worth the price.
Fellow Clyde Kettle
The Fellow Clyde is a second offering from Fellow. Unlike the Stagg, it is a stovetop kettle. This is the sort of tea kettle that guests will notice and ask about. Because it is just different and interesting in design. The handle is coated in silicon making it easy to hold even when hot. There is also a clever mechanism in the spout so that you don’t need to bother about spout covers or switches. It comes with an effective whistle.
Multiple customers noted that this is probably the most comfortable kettle that they have used to pour. The handle is angled so that even when very hot it is easy and comfortable to pour, it is very ergonomic in design.
The drawbacks to this rather appealing kettle are that it is not the fastest kettle out there and that it is not compatible with induction-style stoves. It is also fairly expensive, which is the stock standard for Fellow products.
Considerations for Finding the Best Tea Kettle
When it comes to finding the right tea kettle for you, there is a range of considerations worth thinking through. We will briefly run through them for you.
Tea kettles come in various sizes, most tend to be fairly large around the 2L capacity. This is more than capable of making large batches of tea even for several people. However, this does tend to be quite large in terms of space and storage and may feel an overkill if you only brew a single cup at a time.
Different tea kettles have different spouts and can pour more or less smoothly. In particular, you want a spout that won’t spill and allows at least broadly accurate placement of water. In general, it is promising when a spout is longer, tapered, and/or comes to a point at the end.
Cleaning tea kettles is essential and can either be a piece of cake or an absolute nightmare. The purpose of cleaning the inside of kettles is to remove scale residue. Most tea kettles are not dishwasher safe. The key consideration here is the size of the opening in the kettle. A kettle with a large enough opening to fit your hand inside makes for a far easier clean.
Part of our rationale here at The Coffee Folk is that if you are going to spend money buying equipment, you may as well buy the ones that you like. While design and aesthetics are in a sense secondary to functionality, they still are deeply important. A tea kettle just like any other appliance can either be an eyesore or something that you are proud to own. When buying a tea kettle, opt for one that appeals to you, one that you would enjoy buying.
Some tea kettles come with additional features that are worth being aware of. There are two main features to be aware of; temperature control, and inbuilt filters. Some electric kettles such as the Fellow Stagg and the PerfecTemp offer temperature control which is helpful for getting technical with loose-leaf tea. Similarly, many tea kettles now come with inbuilt filters which are helpful depending on the quality and hardness of the water in your area.
Best Tea Kettle Takeaway
In summary, we recommend that the OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle is our top pick for the best tea kettle of 2023. This stovetop tea kettle works a treat, heats the water quickly, gets the design tick, and best of all hits the price to quality sweet spot.
If you have some more money to throw into it, then we would recommend the Fellow Stagg EKG electric tea kettle. This advanced kettle looks incredible, has variable temperature control, is unmatchable for pouring, and is just a work of art.