Recently, I decided to trade in my plastic electric kettle for a stainless steel one. I wanted an electric tea kettle that had no exposed plastic parts. In the article Avoiding Plastic – 3 Stainless Steel electric Kettle Options, I highlighted three affordable stainless steel kettle options. For my needs, I selected the Hamilton Beach 40898 Cool Touch Tea Kettle. Here is my review.
When the Hamilton Beach Cool Touch Tea Kettle is shipped, the lid is not attached. For me it was not intuitive how to attach it. I misplaced the instructions and ended up calling the Hamilton Beach support line. I spoke to an apathetic lady that seemed to have no clue what product I was calling about. I repeated the name several times to her and got no help. Eventually, I figured out on my own how to snap the lid onto the kettle.
To connect the lid, it must be vertical and set down so the right edge of the lid evenly dissects the center of the open space. Push it down until it snaps. Don’t be tempted to discard the lid. I attempted to boil water without a lid and discovered that the heating element does not turn off. In order for the kettle to stop boiling water, the lid must be fastened and closed or you will need to manually shut off.
Hamilton Beach Cool Touch with open lid. This is how you want to pour. To fasten lid, it needs to be completely vertical.
The Hamilton Beach Cool Touch Tea Kettle does have a plastic lip where the water could be poured from. I use the word could, because you can bypass the plastic by pushing the button and opening the lid fully while pouring. This prevents the water from making contact with the plastic. Just be careful not to have any exposed fingers over the lid area or hot steam could burn you.
The Cool Touch has a nice feature that allows you hide excess power cord underneath the base. This will keep the cord from taking over your kitchen counter. See the photo below.
Hiding excess cord underneath the heating element.
The Hamilton Beach Cool Touch Kettle has a green light indicating when the kettle is powered on. Using green makes more sense than Bodum’s use of red.
Green means Go or ON.
How fast does this kettle heat water? The Hamilton Beach Cool Touch Kettle brought 16 ounces of water to a rolling boil and powered off in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This is the exact time I got from the Bodum plastic kettle. That is smoking fast. I usually stop it before it hits 2 minutes. It is louder than the Bodum plastic kettle, but I like that, as I am starting to use sound as an indicator of water temperature. I want hotter water for French press coffee and cooler water for green tea. The louder the kettle, the hotter the water.
Calibrating the Water Temperature
When I am brewing tea, I don’t want the water to boil. What I do is keep the lid open and drop in a long thermometer. This allows me to easily monitor the temperature and shut off the heating element exactly where I want. Over time, I have learned to watch the water closely to gauge temperature. Tiny bubbles forming is good for green tea. Mid-sized bubbles for oolong tea. Above that is ideal for coffee, black tea and puer tea.
Other than Hamilton Beach’s terrible phone support and the clumsy lid assembly, I love the Hamilton Beach Cool Touch Tea Kettle. Hopefully, you won’t have trouble installing the lid and never need to dial up the support line. I highly endorse this product.
Hamilton Beach 40898 Cool-Touch Cordless 8 Cup Electric Kettle runs about $50 to $60 on Amazon and can heat up to 64 ounces.
Avoiding Plastic – 3 Stainless Steel electric Kettle Options – Overview of Adagio Teas 3, Breville SK500XL and hamilton Beach Cool Touch tea kettles.
Extending the Life of Your Bodum Cordless Electric Kettle – My trick for keeping your Bodum Cordless Kettle alive longer.
Hamilton Beach 40898 Cool-Touch Cordless 8 Cup Electric Kettle – Product page on Amazon.
In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to two hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 600 coffee enthusiasts. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.
Unrelated to coffee, Michael has a personal blog at CriticalMAS.com which covers several topics including fitness, cooking and economics.
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