Since way before I met her M has had an old-school metal tea kettle. She uses it to heat up tea and hot water for her coffee funnel. It’s as basic a solution as you can get. It also works surprisingly well. In the past year or so I’ve started to use it to heat water for my French press.
The thing with boiling water on a stove is that it can take a few minutes. I never thought anything of it. It was just how long it took to heat water. When we got to England we needed to heat water for coffee. I can’t remember if we brought our kettle in our luggage and the stove didn’t work. Or we simply did not have our kettle. In any event our stove was not working when we first moved in. We needed coffee. That meant we needed to buy something.
I knew about existence of electric kettles. I even remember my friend “A” who came from England to the US talking about how bad they were in the states. At the time I didn’t quite understand what he was complaining about. American electric kettles if I recall take around the same amount of time to make hot water then boiling it on a stove. If I’m wrong on that that is my recollection. I don’t really have direct knowledge on it. Going into this situation however that was what I was thinking. Electric kettles are slow.
I made one of our several trips to the local Sainsbury’s those first few days and picked up a cheap electric kettle. Once I got home I set it up and started to make enough water for 2 cups of coffee. I remember turning on the kettle and preparing to go do something while it heated the water. I got distracted talking to M for a moment. By the time I got back to realizing what I wanted to do the kettle clicked off indicating the water was done. At the time I thought something was wrong with it because it took maybe 1 to 2 minutes at most. I poured the water into the filter and sure enough it was the perfect temperature.
For what I am told the high-power quick teakettle is thanks to a more powerful power grid in England. I know everyone talks about the fact that the US is 110v and England is 220v however to see it in action was pretty interesting.
The electric kettle was so effective that M even agreed to get rid of her vintage stovetop one. That was a major development in our house.
The lesson here (if there is a lesson to learn) is even if someone explain something to you sometimes it doesn’t fully click until you experience it yourself.