I’m not superstitious, but sometimes it feels like my first cup of coffee or tea of the day knows something I don’t. If it’s rich, full-bodied, and creamy, the world is my oyster—well, I don’t like oysters, so maybe the world is my soft, delicious mochi. If the drink is thin, bitter, and watery, I should buckle up, because stuff’s gonna go real bad.
As much as I’d like to think my morning beverage is sending me signals from the universe, it’s a lot more likely that good coffee or tea is easy to make when you have the mental energy and patience to do it just the way you like. The key to preparing a killer steeped or brewed elixir is consistency, and the Stagg EKG+ electric kettle delivers exactly that—it takes some of the guesswork out of preparing a consistent cup.
It’s expensive, but it can act as a counterweight to the burden of bad days, tipping the scale back to “Today might be OK after all.”
Untitled Goose Kettle
Gooseneck kettles like this one are amazing for pour-over coffee preparation, because of the precision they offer when pouring water over the grounds, but the Stagg EKG+ is an amazing kitchen gadget I’d recommend for anyone, even if you rarely brew coffee.
Having a kettle that can heat water up to any temperature (above room temp) is handy when you’re baking, making homemade syrups, and quick-marinating soy curls or dry beans. That narrow spout also makes it an excellent choice for pouring boiling water into small, narrow passages, like the kind you’d find in a glass tobacco pipe or the oven chamber of a tobacco vaporizer.
A kettle that can bring water up to specific temperatures will level up your tea and coffee game in ways you might not expect. No more thermometers or guesswork when you’re trying to steep a more delicate green or white tea—try brewing them at 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit instead. Black teas absolutely blossom when you steep them in 180- to 190-degree water. For yaupon teas, I had the best luck with a long 8- to 10-minute steep with 200-degree water. For standard pour-over coffee, I came to really enjoy a 180-degree steep. A consistent temperature made my morning cup reliably smooth and creamy.
The best part? It’s so easy to experiment. Do you think it’s total nonsense that tea and coffee taste different at 160 degrees than they do at 180 degrees? Do a quick comparison test and brew both, then compare. I can taste the difference in the coffees and teas I use, but these temperatures might be completely different with your local water, and your favorite coffees or teas.
You can absolutely get an electric kettle with temperature control for cheaper, but what you’re paying for here are build quality, looks, and a myriad of other factors. Think of it like buying a nice pair of headphones.
The EKG+ is incredibly durable. Compared to other kettles I’ve owned, it’s almost impervious to scuffs, scratches, and common kitchen wear and tear—and I’ve been pretty rough with this thing. Add on to that the well-made gooseneck and it’s easy to see why this is the kettle you’ll find in just about every café in Portland, Oregon.
It’s a mega cutie too. Just look at this thing. Those curves, the cleverly designed handle that just anticipates exactly how your hand wants to hold it, the long goosey-gooseneck. Look at the gams on that dame, I might’ve said if I were an old-time street tough, chomping on a toothpick and hassling passersby with my trademark zingers. The design language is spare without being minimalist, luxurious without being ostentatious. It’s a love letter to clean, purposeful industrial design, and I’m here for it.
That clear and concise design philosophy carries through to the function of the kettle itself. It has one button that doubles as a knob to control the temperature (Knob Feel would be proud) and a single LCD that displays the water temp. On the back of the heating element (the square base), there’s a switch to toggle on or off the kettle’s “hold” function—if you want it to keep the water at your desired temperature for up to 60 minutes or let it cool down.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/review/fellow-stagg-ekg-plus-electric-kettle