It would seem that right after building a better mousetrap, mankind has striven to build a better kettle that would bring the world a-knocking at the door. Despite all the bells and whistles, everything from the Breville 800XL Tea Maker to the Keurig is still, at its essence, a kettle that heats and distributes water.
So how does the Bonavita BV3825B stack up?
The main and significant advantage over other kettles is Bonavita’s gooseneck spout. The size and shape of the spout make pouring a thing of elegance. Precision may not seem like a big deal until you are using a gaiwan, a Japanese teapot, or an yixing pot. Not only does the precise elegance of a gooseneck kettle enhance the aesthetic aspect of serving tea, but it also means your water pours round and over your tea leaves to assure water doesn’t clumsily splatter, and each leaf gets gently tucked, rather than dunked, beneath a stream of hot water.
Surface, Handle, and Interior
There a few other nice touches to the Bonavita. Its brushed steel exterior makes water spots less obvious than on a smooth, stainless steel surface. It has very little plastic inside the kettle, and, if you do not fill above the 1 liter water line, the water is not in contact with the plastic during heating. Bonavita’s product page notes that the plastic used throughout is BPA free. The handle is well designed to assist in smooth pours and comfortable control. Like many of the superior electric kettles, it has an automatic shutoff when the water reaches boiling.
The lid fits snugly and has 3 vent holes. Vent holes can be both pro and con. They allow air flow into the kettle to prevent sluggish, gurgling pours. The vent holes are also great for placing a beverage thermometer. But you want to avoid putting your hand near the vent holes (or anywhere on the entire metal surface of the kettle) when the kettle is hot.
Size, Heating Power, Price
The Bonavita holds 1 liter of water. It is not one of the biggest kettles available, so that may discourage those who want to avoid more frequent water refills. The 10o0 watt heating unit also means it isn’t the fastest despite a smaller volume of water. Compared to 1 liter water in a 1.7 liter Aroma AWK-1400SB with a 1500 watt heating unit, the Aroma boiled the liter about 2 minutes faster than the Bonavita. The Aroma kettle, however has more plastic (a water-level window) and can be found for about half the price of the Bonavita.
As a frequent gaiwan user, the Bonavita will continue to be my go-to kettle because it makes pouring water graceful and precise. Both are qualities I admire when I want to control how my tea leaves move and steep in the vessel.