Tea-kettles and coffee makers and water

Cinisajoy

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@morning glory asked in another thread if electric tea kettles were common in the US. I can't speak for the entire US because we are such a varied country.
First, I want to address the water issue. In some parts of the US, the water is almost undrinkable. Out here, we have water stores. We also have water and ice machines, where one can buy bulk filtered water. You can either bring your own containers or many stores sell 3 and 5 gallon jugs. You can also buy gallon jugs of water at the stores or smaller bottles of water either individually or by the case.
We also can buy sink water filters and pitchers. (Google Pur and Brita). An electric hot water out here has a life expectancy of about 5 years, unless you periodically drain it and clean the element. I can't remember if it was ours or our neighbors water heater that quit working. When we went to drain it, there was a good 3 gallons, or 10 liters of white water if not more. More minerals than water.
On tea kettles, here in my area the electric ones are not particularly readily available. You either have to go to a department store or order online. Our Target does have several different ones in stock but not sure if they are automatic shut off. But if it is like everything else at our Target, they might have 1 of each in stock.
It could be there is very little call for instantly ready hot water or it could be that many water dispensers now come with both hot and cold water sides.
You also do not want to make ice out of our tap water unless you happen to like limestone and other minerals.

Now coffee makers, they are readily available and in stock. Ranging from the 9.99 cheapie to the $200 jobs.

As to coffee, do you want beans, ground or k-cup? Those have huge selections. Instant coffee, maybe 5 brands and 3 sizes.

Note: this does not represent the entire US, but just a portion of it. Notably, western and south Texas.

The problem is that you cannot ask what is the norm of anything in the US. It varies.
 

Cinisajoy

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Interesting idea. At the moment Odessa Tx and Boston Massachusetts are both at 75. New York is at 72.
I am comfortable with no air conditioner on. I know that @Lynne Guinne is probably very warm.

Now back to differences, the catch to the US is that no two places are the same. Even the same named grocery store will have different foods depending on where you are at. Heck, even our Walmarts vary from store to store. On foods, media everything.
 

Francesca

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In Barcelona, one turns on the tap, and there is cold drinkable wáter and no body filters as there is no need to and of course, there is hot wáter and in between for washing up .. However, we do buy bottled Sparkling Water and 1 liter bottles of still water which I take on my trips .. We are very close to the Eastern Pyrenees, Carcassone, France is on the other side, so we do not have issues with non potable water or non drinkable ..
Barcelona can be compared physically to San Francisco / Manhattan .. It is a huge Metropolis and highly Cosmopolitan ..
Madrid Capital is the same, except is it, 646 metres above sea level and in the high sierra (hill country), and all the 3, 4 and 5 star Hotels in the country are regulated by government laws as well and to suit the enormous tourism we have ..

However, in the southern provinces of Spain, I believe many do have filters to clean their water .. in the tiny hamlets, villages and rural regions ..

As a race of people, we are Coffee enthsiasts. We are neighbors to the north of France, to the east, Italy and to the west Portugal so in this respect, we are all quite similar ..

Herbal infusions and teas have grown in the last few years especially since the growth of expatriates from The UK and Ireland .. and there are now specialty shops that sell dried tea leaves and dried herbal teas by the kilo weight system ( 1/8 of a kilo, 1/4, 1/2 etcetra .. )

I have always associated tea, and honey with a bad cold, and it took me a long time to find a tea I like and herbal infusions .. However, I am not a tea person .. Once in awhile ..
 

Cinisajoy

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Jealous of your good water.
We have tea here but it is usually in the form of iced tea. The closest tea shop is in Fort Worth if I remember correctly. We used to have a tea and spice shop in Midland but she closed due to lack of interested customers. I still miss her.
 

Morning Glory

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Well I mentioned on another thread that really everybody here in the UK has an electric kettle - or at least it would be quite rare to find a household in the UK without one. I had thought that most countries used electric kettles but perhaps not. They are certainly very useful for heating up water super fast (and bottled water could be used in them if the tap water was undrinkable). Now I have become very curious to know whether the UK is unusual in this respect!

I use it for so many things - I boil water in the kettle and then add to the saucepan for cooking vegetables, for example - it saves on fuel and time. I think I'd find it quite strange to be without an electric kettle though I'm sure I would manage.
 
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sidevalve

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Must admit we use a Britta water filter jug [pitcher]. Only for drinking water / tea however as we found the water up here in Durham tastes odd [to be kind]. I have to admit we believed most of the world used electric kettles too. There is a large selection of coffees available from beans to instant but TBH once you've found your favorite do you change much ? Coffee makers - well they always seem to be such a pain [unless you are using them very often] we just use a cafetiere - simple quick and easy to wash.
 

Cinisajoy

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Must admit we use a Britta water filter jug [pitcher]. Only for drinking water / tea however as we found the water up here in Durham tastes odd [to be kind]. I have to admit we believed most of the world used electric kettles too. There is a large selection of coffees available from beans to instant but TBH once you've found your favorite do you change much ? Coffee makers - well they always seem to be such a pain [unless you are using them very often] we just use a cafetiere - simple quick and easy to wash.
We must be thinking two different types of coffee makers.
Most here you open the top or pull out the filter basket. Insert either a paper or reusable filter. Add coffee. Put filter basket back in or move the sprayer back in place. Then add water to the water compartment. Close lid. Make sure pot is in place. Turn on switch. Took longer to type the instructions than it takes to make coffee.
As to favorite coffee, ours changes about once a year. Depends on what is on sale when we start running low. We typically make our own blend from several on sale coffees.
 

Cinisajoy

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Well I mentioned on another thread that really everybody here in the UK has an electric kettle - or at least it would be quite rare to find a household in the UK without one. I had thought that most countries used electric kettles but perhaps not. They are certainly very useful for heating up water super fast (and bottled water could be used in them if the tap water was undrinkable). Now I have become very curious to know whether the UK is unusual in this respect!

I use it for so many things - I boil water in the kettle and then add to the saucepan for cooking vegetables, for example - it saves on fuel and time. I think I'd find it quite strange to be without an electric kettle though I'm sure I would manage.
Ok now you have me totally curious. I can understand the saving a bit of time. Though that would depend on how much water was needed. I can heat up 8 liters of water in 10 minutes. For a small amount I could see it saving a couple of minutes. How does it save on fuel? Does your kettle run on free power?
This may depend on where you live and the time of year. Does your stove use propane, natural gas or electricity? In some places natural gas is cheaper than electricity.
 

Yorky

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We have an electric kettle. However, the majority of households here appear to use the counter-top pump action water heaters which are left plugged in all day and give forth hot or warm water depending upon which part of the heating cycle you have interrupted. I wouldn't have the latter in the house.

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SatNavSaysStraightOn

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Now I have become very curious to know whether the UK is unusual in this respect!
No it is not unusual in tis respect. Having travelled widely through most of Europe, (very far north and eastern Europe included), electric kettles are the norm in every country I have been to which is in excess of 30 now in Europe alone. Even Asian Turkey had electric kettles widely available.

As for drinking water - in the UK it is all potable if it comes out of a tap by law unless it is specifically marked not suitable for drinking. Whether you like the taste or not is another matter entirely. Some areas (those dominated by limestone) have hard water, other areas where the water is straight off the mountains, rather than from underground reservoirs (natural or otherwise) the water is classed as soft. Hard water is laden with minerals and scales up kettles (saucepans/heating elements in washing machines, boilers etc) very quickly. I have been very fortunate to live in areas of the country where an brand new (electric) kettle will look the same 3 years later after constant use. I have also lived in areas where the kettle needs descaling weekly and the life expectancy of a washing machine depends on how often you run a descaler through it or remember to add in the anti-scaler on every wash.

Here in Australia, I actually have both water types in the same house! I get soft water in all the taps bar one including on-demand hot water (eventually once the pipes have emptied of freezing cold water that is) and then the washing machine and 1 tap in the laundry come bathroom have hard water which is from my bore. The soft ware is rain water, untreated and unfiltered by the way. It tastes and looks great which is more than can be said for the bore water where you can taste the minerals but at least you can get the soap off you hands when you wash them!

Now back to kettles and the likes...

  • Electric kettles - heat up anything from roughly 200ml of water to several litres depending on what size you purchase! These are cheapest on the whole and quoted as being cheaper to use than boiling water in a saucepan - these claims come directly from the electricity companies themselves after a campaign to get people to only boil the volume of water they need to save energy. The result is that we all use the kettle for boiling water, move to the saucepan and cook whatever, rather than adding cold water to a saucepan and bringing it to boil.
  • Stove top kettles - again will heat up again you want in volume depending on what size you purchase. Not necessarily using 'free energy' either because a lot of agas do not heat the room or the house and also there is a tendency for them to run off gas nowadays (in the UK). Wood/coal agas are rapidly becoming a thing of the past in the UK.
    That is not the case here in Australia where burning wood pretty much the only option you have if you live out of a town unless you use bottled gas - but that requires you to live somewhere were a gas tanker can visit :whistling: . In Australia, the sale of coal is banned by law for consumer use, it is only industry that is allowed to use it.
  • Coffee filters (the ones that balance on the tops of cups and take paper filters and have ground coffee put into them, and remind you of a chemistry lab) don't have one. Don't like filtered coffee, but that's what I understand as a coffee filter.:unsure:
  • Coffee maker - this is a machine that takes ground coffee beans (or whole and grinds them for you), are mostly coffee shops and I still don't like them. :ohmy:
  • Coffee filter machine - that is one of those things that keeps a pot of filter coffee hot for hours on end and is the stuff of horror movies and the coffee eats spoons...:eek:
  • Coffee percolator - one of those stove top devices that needs a science degree to understand, several hours waiting and semi solid coffee comes put of. and they look like they have been on the stove for several decades... :scratchhead:
  • Espresso machines - making an entry into life now and take those pods - the stuff of bottomless wallets... :yuck:
  • Hot drinks machines - takes a 'pod'* and the coffee can dissolve spoons (these are just the stuff of nightmares).:sick:
    (never been brave enough to try the tea because even plain hot water comes with an odd taste). <i'm missing a toxic emicon>

    * there is one worse option and that is the powdered option where they just have huge hoppers filled with powder for the ready mix hot drink. Want white tea with 2 sugars - that's 1 unit milk powder, 1 unit of tea powder, 2 units of sugar powder... Unlike some of the above, I am not joking here either.
As for a tea-kettle, I have not come across one! Making tea involves the use of either a kettle and a tea pot (of some kind) or a kettle and a mug/cup.

(Electric) kettles are for making cold water hot, quickly and cheaply. What happens to the hot/boiling water afterwards depends on the end user.
 

Cinisajoy

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All tap water here has to be potable. Whether one can actually stand the taste is up for debate.

Ok curiosity question unless you were talking electric stoves, how does an open flame gas stove not heat up a room?

Remind me to do pictures of making coffee in the morning.

Agreeing with the percolator since you have to get all the pieces just right. Now I do use a percolator without the insides for bacon grease and another for water in the winter unless I use the electric one.

I have seen espresso machines that don't take pods.

As to the pod machines: they seem like they would also be best for separating the paper/cotton/linen stuff from your wallet/pocketbook.

We are not even discussing that worst option because it sounds awful.

Many are listed here as tea kettles. Excuse the original dash, my tablet was being weird.
You do still need a mug.
 
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Lynne Guinne

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Interesting idea. At the moment Odessa Tx and Boston Massachusetts are both at 75. New York is at 72.
I am comfortable with no air conditioner on. I know that @Lynne Guinne is probably very warm...
Doesn't matter what Boston is at, @Cinisajoy, we're about 60 miles from there. The weather station on my kitchen sink window topped off at 78 degrees today, but with about 40% humidity. With all the windows open in the house, things were very pleasant. The humidity is the deciding factor for me when it comes to comfort. I've been in Arizona when it hit 115 degrees, but it was a dry heat. Nearly killed me, but I wasn't perspiring!
 

Lynne Guinne

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Well I mentioned on another thread that really everybody here in the UK has an electric kettle - or at least it would be quite rare to find a household in the UK without one. I had thought that most countries used electric kettles but perhaps not. They are certainly very useful for heating up water super fast (and bottled water could be used in them if the tap water was undrinkable). Now I have become very curious to know whether the UK is unusual in this respect!

I use it for so many things - I boil water in the kettle and then add to the saucepan for cooking vegetables, for example - it saves on fuel and time. I think I'd find it quite strange to be without an electric kettle though I'm sure I would manage.
I had an electric kettle a while ago - maybe 10 years ago? What was available at that time would not operate with less than 24 (maybe more) ounces of water. I was using 2/3 or less of what I heated, then tossing the leftover water because I start each brew with fresh-drawn water. I've since gone back to a whistling kettle on my electric stovetop, and measure water for the cup I am using. I have an assortment of cups and, of course, they each take a different volume of water!
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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how does an open flame gas stove not heat up a room?
It really isn't on long enough. Even when a ring is on for an hour, there is very little impact on our kitchen's temperature.

I have a gas oven (much prefer cooking on gas). The only way of using it to heat the room is either a very tiny kitchen and no open door, (risking carbon monoxide poisoning which I have had sadly from a faulty gas oven which had just passed its safety tests (I'm was a tenant at the time) - it passed because the fault didn't kick in until the rings were warm after about 5 mins burning and it only took some serious convincing of the re-tester to double check in front of me and burn it for some time that caught it - he very quickly wanted to get both of us out of the kitchen when it did kick in!) or by running the oven for some period (like hours) of time.
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I had an electric kettle a while ago - maybe 10 years ago? What was available at that time would not operate with less than 24 (maybe more) ounces of water. I was using 2/3 or less of what I heated, then tossing the leftover water because I start each brew with fresh-drawn water. I've since gone back to a whistling kettle on my electric stovetop, and measure water for the cup I am using. I have an assortment of cups and, of course, they each take a different volume of water!
my current electric kettle has a minimum volume of 250ml of water. As for reboiling water, I have no issues with that at all.
 
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