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The Tea Kettle: The Staple Kitchen Appliance
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios

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The tea kettle is a tiny kitchen appliance with a spout and a lid that is used in boiling water. Some kettles, however, are lidless. Also, there are a couple of kettles with whistling parts included, which whistle when the water is already at boiling point. The kettle has been a part of the basic process in the preparation of tea. Today, the tea kettle is sometimes used as a general term applied to the appliance used for heating water required by beverages other than tea.


A tea kettle can either be designed to be heated through a stove or by itself by means of electricity. People on the go prefer the electric kettle because of its speedy time in water heating and boiling. But the so-called tea connoisseurs prefer the stove kettle. They believe that the traditional stove kettle brings out the aroma in tea leaves and preserves its natural taste.

The tea kettle is also known as samovar in Russia or tetsubin in Japan. The samovar now has electric models available but the Japanese tends to stay with the more traditional means of brewing tea and therefore retained the original tetsubin. The tetsubin is usually sold together with a strainer of tea leaves along with an iron trivet. The samovar is usually available in plain barrel or cylindrical steel containers while the tetsubin, together with the tea brewing accessories, are manufactured with intricate and elaborate designs.

For some, the tea kettle is an unnecessary kitchen appliance, oftentimes shelved. But for tea lovers, the kettle is one of the few appliances placed upfront on the kitchen countertop. Besides from brewing tea, it can basically be used for any beverage that needs hot water, from coffee to hot calamansi juice. The kettle remains to be useful to this day and through the coming years. It is an appliance that is now a necessity in the kitchen.


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