You finally have time to make pour-overs every day, so why not do so in style? I lusted after the Fellow Stagg EKG Kettle for months before it found its way to my kitchen. Though I opted for matte black to match my gothically monochromatic lifestyle, there are now several finishes to choose from, including shiny metallics. These new options, as well as the Bluetooth-enabled versions, have piqued my interest, but this electric kettle works too perfectly to warrant even an in-brand upgrade.
While most appliances are decidedly unsexy, this kettle's curves and angles hold my attention as I slowly pour water over coffee grounds and tea bags. I’ll admit I still miss the wide spout of the old kettle and its larger capacity. Both came in handy when whipping up pasta and making large batches of coffee for brunch or D&D. In quarantine, I’m finding the 0.9-liter capacity to be more than enough.
I have taken a liking to the tapered gooseneck, however, pushing me to pour more slowly when making tea or cocoa. The way bagged tea leaves delicately bloom under the gentle stream of water pulls me back to childhood tea time with loose leaves and mom’s fine china. Adulthood pushed me away from the tea roots of my somewhat British upbringing into the arms of meticulous coffee brewing methods. Fortunately, these methods have brought me to this luxurious kettle and back to sipping tea — which absolutely does make everything feel better.
It took about seven months for any scaling to occur, but a brief vinegar soak lifted the deposits away from the stainless steel interior. My kettle is set to hold the temperature for an hour, but it still turns off at the end. Holding and choosing your heat measuring standard occupy two discreet toggles on the back of the base, which I honestly haven’t needed to look at since I first set it up.
Instead of prescriptive settings, I can make coffee at 188 degrees Fahrenheit if I feel like it (and I often feel like it). The small LCD screen displays the target temperature at the top and the current temperature in larger numbers, which you can set to Fahrenheit or Celsius. It’s occasionally come in handy when green tea sounds more comforting than black mid-boil. Plus, the on / off button is also a temperature-setting click wheel with sensory feedback reminiscent of an iPod.
With the rest of the machine quietly imposing mindfulness into my routine, the kettle’s brew timer is virtually never used. The more Type A brewers out there can enjoy holding down the power button to get an upwards-counting timer with a three-second head start.
Whatever you make with a kettle, it’s generally meant to comfort you. Whether you need the warm embrace of hot cocoa or the strength to tackle the day ahead with caffeine, the way you prepare these beverages can be as satisfying as the beverages themselves.