* Prices may differ from that shown
We've just replaced our lovely Breville Spectra kettle after owning it for around seven years, I'm gutted actually so am writing this as a kind of tribute - well, not really but I'm definitely sad to see it go.
What makes the Breville Spectra special is the lightshow that occurs the whole time the kettle is plugged in. When the water is cold the light shines blue, when it's boiling it's red - sounds very basic doesn't it, but during the time between you boiling the water and it cooling again it'll run through a gorgeous range of colours including a stunning emerald green and hot pink. It's absolutely gorgeous, very striking and mildly hypnotic if you spend any time watching the lights!
It's a fast boiler, boiling its full capacity of water noticeably quicker than the kettle I have replaced it with. The Spectra holds 1.7 litres of water, which I've learned is the equivalent of four or five large mugs coffee - it's marked along the water level indicator as holding enough to make eight cups, but this is the smaller coffee cup size rather than mugs so don't get confused! The water level indicator, incidentally, is clear to read with no condensation to make life awkward or rubbing off of the increment markings.
I always found the Spectra to be comfortable to handle and pour; the chunky handle balances out the heaviness of the kettle and is shaped to ensure you can always get a tight and comfortable grip as you pour. It has always poured smoothly and beautifully with no dripping or uneven water flow, this is important to me as my pet hate is a 'messy' kettle but also as I usually have at least one small kiddy under my feet these days it's good to know they're not going to risk being splashed by a misbehaving kettle.
Filling the Spectra was always a bit of a nuisance, the lid only popped open to a narrow degree so if filling from the tap it was usually easier to just use the spout! I hated the fact that to fill through the hole the sink had to be empty as the kettle had to stand so upright - with four kids asking for an empty sink three or four times a day is a bit of a biggie! After around five years the lid became increasingly stiff to open anyway, to the point where I was starting to worry about it snapping and deciding to use the spout pretty much exclusively for filling to avoid the risk of worrying the lid hinges too much.
The cordless kettle features a swivel base with fairly short cord, this is presumably for safety as it ensures you're going to keep your kettle far back from the front of your work surface. Any excess cord can be wound inside the base, again a safety feature to avoid the danger of having loops of electric cord lying ready to be caught by a little hand. Talking of dangers, obviously having a super duper flashing semi-hypnotic kettle means you have to keep a close eye on your children while they're near it - I can well see why an inquisitive toddler would want to touch it, obviously they have no concept of burny boiling water and would be attracted to the gentle lights. When Hollie was small she began holding her hands out to it which worried me, I'd never bought a stair gate for the kitchen door before but felt I needed one once I noticed the minor obsession she had going on with the kettle!
The Spectra swivels smoothly on the base, the 360 degree turn making it suitable for right and left handed people alike. The short cord does mean it's all slightly too far to the right for my left handed sister to use very comfortably, but then she makes a revolting cup of coffee so isn't called upon very often to use my kettle!
As well as the extra electric you're using by having the lights continually cycling through, this kettle also features a 'keep warm' function - utterly useless of course as you need freshly boiled water for most hot drinks, even if you don't (for fruit teas and the like) you'll at least want to boil the kettle and allow the water to cool down naturally rather than keeping it at an electrically induced simmer. To remind you of your electricity wastage the huge light that indicates you are keeping your water warm glows a fiery red - Friends of the Earth would be wringing their collective hands!
So, if I love the kettle why did I let it go? Well, quite simply because it developed a dangerous fault that wasn't fixable. Basically two things happened - we noticed the kettle started getting quite loud as it reached boiling point and the water seemed to remain at a fast rolling boil for a long time before the kettle switched off, the 'keep warm' function also activated itself and refused to switch off. Then one day the lights failed on the kettle; not a big deal, the kettle still worked perfectly so I was willing to forego the uber pretty lightshow. Only I forgot about the now unlit 'keep warm' function, that secretly kept the water so warm that we arrived home one day after a few hours out to find the water had all boiled dry and my beloved Spectra on the verge of bursting into flames! It had to go, I'm not mindful enough to remember to switch the kettle off at the wall every time I use it - it was genuinely an accident waiting to happen.
The kettle served me well though, it's been the longest lasting kettle I've ever owned and was a real quirky novelty too. At the time it cost £90 but the last time I saw it in one of the big electrical places (probably Currys) it had been slashed in price to £37, which is an absolute bargain for such a fab kettle.
The Spectra's story didn't end with the dry-and-glowing bottom incident however, the day after its meltdown five year old Hollie brought a letter home from school asking parents to provide 'unusual containers planted with easy to care for flowers for our new Wonderland garden' - filled with forget-me-knots the kettle looks fabulous and has unwittingly continued its life as a pretty adornment.
My boyfriend has this kettle and I am always amazed by it (and have bagsied it for when we move into a place together). It is so pretty (god knows why he was compelled to buy it) and it lights up the kitchen brilliantly. I also think that I am amazed and attracted by the kettle because it is the bearer of hot drinks.
For those of you not accustomed to this kettle, the one I use is white plastic, rather than the silver in the picture however it does have the same coloured section. This is about a third of the kettle and it's made of matt plastic and it changes colour. It goes through a spectrum of colours circling through (among many shades), blue, green, yellows and purple-y pink colours. It even does this while the kettle is just on the warming feature.
The kettle is cordless and comes with a sleek, round base which lets th kettle spin on it so that it can be used by either left or right handed people which i think is a brill feature. This also allows you to grab it from more angles and fit it in with your kitchen appliances better. The cord isn't too long which I guess can be a good or bad thing. It means you have to locate it near to a plug but this isn't often a problem in a well designed kitchen.
Inside the kettle there is a filter on the spout which I think prevents buildups of limescale and other nasties. There is also a fast boil element although to me it doesn't look like a normal element as it is just a flat bottom. I think this is so much nicer as I have used old skanky kettles in the past wheere you can see the coiled element and it is covered in nasty stuff. The kettle is quite fast to boil (but I am very impatient..) so thats another good feature. I think it can easily boil enough for 4 or 5 cups without me getting bored of waiting and wandering off. There is also a button you can press to release the lid and make a much bigger opening for filling the kettle through. I use this sometimes but only really if I need to boil a lot of water What I like about this is that it is aone finger push to open it, o you can do it while holding the kettle under the sink etc, unlike others I've used where you have to use 2 hands to hold the kettle and pull the lid off.
The keep warm feature is good - you just flick a button and it keeps the water warm for hours on end but I do like my water boiling and only tend to boil the kettle and make a round of drinks so it doesn't get used too often. I also am not too sure about the energy efficient-ness of this feature.
Pricewise I think this was bought on offer (I hope it wasn't bought full price!) for about £50 a few years ago and now I think the new improved chrome version retails for about £40-£50 depending where you buy from.
Noise-wise, I wuite like a bnoisy kettle. Now this doesn't whistle or anything and it isn't annoying but i wouldn't say it is a silent boiler either. It gives a good boiling noise so that you know it's nearly ready.
Overall, it's expensive for what is ultimately just a kettle however it is a novelty with good features and it is so far proving long lasting. It does its job as it's meant to and also brings some welcome relief to the kitchen. The lights are cute and this is always something which friends have commented on when they are at the boys house. If I had to buy one for myself, I probably wouldn't as I am a bit strapped for cash at the moment but I would love to adopt this one and I keep trying!
Breville JK144 Spectra Kettle
We've had this kettle for close to four years now and sadly it has seen better days. We have been and are looking around to replace this kettle with a newer one, which is difficult because this has been a great and beautiful kettle. This was one of the first gifts that my husband ever bought me and I have loved it.
It has a keep warm button that I have come to love, you just press this and it keeps the water boiling and warm until you are ready to pour it. I love my coffee and tea hot, so when I am getting my breakfast ready I hit this button so that it keeps the water just that bit hotter until I am organised and ready to pour it. I wouldn't recommend using this for long periods of time, I can imagine it would eat up the electricity but as a handy little extra it does come in useful from time to time.
It illuminates through a series of lovely colours and especially at night time it looks really pretty as it cycles through colour change after colour change. It does go from a blue colour to a red when it reaches the boiling point. As I mentioned earlier I have had this kettle for nearly four years and it has come to the end of its life but all the features such as the colour changing are still working.
Of course it does all the things that you want in a kettle, it boils water relatively quickly and not too noisily and it pours the water without any complications. It just does all the basic functions of a kettle while looking both stylish and colourful.
--Some Specific Details of the Kettle--
* Illumination changes from blue to red on boil
* Ever-changing illumination on standby
* Keep warm feature
* Wattage: 3KW
* Base: 360
* Capacity: 1.7L
* Water Indicator
* Cord Storage
* Non-slip feet
This is quite a pricey kettle, I think it is still retailing somewhere around the £50 - £60 mark. At the minute we have just moved house so we don't have the spare money to go out and replace this kettle with the same one or something similar. However, if I had the money lying around I would buy this kettle again, it has been a really reliable and good kettle that has made the kitchen look that bit more beautiful.
--My Overall Opinion--
I am going to give this kettle a four out of five stars, it has served me well and I am sad to be seeing this go. I have liked this kettle from the moment it was unpacked and I will be sad to see it replaced. I think that four years (of constant use) is rather good for any small kitchen appliance. I would recommend this kettle to anyone shopping around for something that bit more special, especially if you have money to burn.
We've had this kettle for about 4 years now and it's still going strong, actually it's in my bedroom now because my mum bought a new kettle a few months ago and this one was too cool to get rid of so I nabbed it so I could make myself a coffee in my room whenever I fancied one.
It's made by Breville and when we bought it was about £80.00, the price has come down big time now though and on Amazon you can now buy the Spectra kettle for £39.99.
The kettle is stainless steel and if you look at the photo Dooyoo have got up you'll see the green light, this changes through a few different colours and that makes the kettle look like no other I've seen. There are loads of kettles which light up obviously but this is the only one I've seen that actually changes colour and the effect is brill.
When you fill the kettle and the water is cold the kettle light will glow blue but then when you put it on to boil it gradually turns red, going through all the different colours on the way. Then when the kettle isn't being used it changes from colour to colour constantly, giving the room a gorgeous glow when it's getting dark. The colours are very pretty and the kettle always reminds me of one of those cubes that you can buy from Avon and places like that that do nothing except change colour to give a soothing appearance to your room.
To fill the kettle you can either flip the lid open or just use the wide spout and fill it through that, I think it's easier to use the spout for filling because you can fill the kettle at an angle to the tap like that without having to hold the kettle upright and risk the bottom of it getting a bit wet in the sink.
It doesn't take long for the kettle to boil, I'm not much of an energy saver and usually fill it right up, it will hold 1.7 litres of water which is about 8 cups worth. It's handy the way Breville have put the amount of cups on the side of the kettle because if you're more into saving the planet than I am then you can easily see how much water you need to add to make 1 or 2 cups of coffee.
There is a Keep Warm button that you can press but that's a bit useless I think. The kettle keeps the water mega hot anyway for ages and I've never been able to see much of a difference when I press the Keep Warm button, anyway I think you need boiling water to make a decent hot drink and not just very warm so that's one part of the kettle that doesn't seem worth having for me.
The kettle itself is mainly stainless steel and the part that you can see glowing green is a thick plastic. The metal part obviously gets mega hot when the kettle is in use but you'd expect that with any kettle. Even though we've used this kettle on a daily basis for 4 years the steel hasn't gone dull or anything, it obviously doesn't look as good as new but if you look at some kettles that are even only a year old you'll see this is in brill condition for the age of it.
One problem with this kettle is that the hole at the top is quite small so when you come to clean the inside you have to be a bit careful not to get your hand stuck! It gets a bit of limescale inside but my mum has got some powdery stuff that you just boil up in the kettle and that gets rid of it straight away.
The Spectra kettle is cordless and the base is designed so that you can use it comfortable whether you're left or right handed. I would definitely say to be a bit careful with it if you have little kids in the house because they are attracted by the changing colours and the bottom of the base is a bit slippy so I reckon if you wasn't careful about putting the cord out of reach then a child could easily pull the kettle onto themselves. This always scared me when my sister was very young and even now she's nearly 3 I make sure the kettle is pushed right back towards the wall where she can't reach any part of it.
Last month our trusty kettle broke and so my husband was sent out to buy another one. Liking gadgets and gimmicks he came back with the Breville Spectra Keep Warm system kettle.
The number one gimmick with this kettle is that it changes colour whilst it is on standby, a soft ever changing illumination. To me this looks kind of cool and funky when it is on the kitchen shelf. The kettle has see through plastic on the spout, half of the handle and on a little button on the front that says Breville and this is where it changes colour. The colours are fairly bright and do light up the room if no lights are on. The colours change from orange, to red, to purple, to blue to green and to yellow and then follow the pattern again. I would say each colour lasts for about 5 seconds and then fades into the other colour so it changes quite rapidly.
The rest of the kettle surface has a chrome effect and to me feels a bit plasticy but the good thing with it being plastic is that it is quite light and also does not make the outside of the kettle really hot when it has just boiled.
The kettle has a 1.7 litre capacity and has cup markings on the side of the kettle to indicate how much water you should boil for the number of cups you want. This kettle goes up to 8 cups max. I really like the handle on this kettle as it has a really nice rubber grip on it which makes it really easy to pick up the kettle, fill it and then hold it when pouring. Even with the max amount of water in it the handle works well and allows easy pouring. I really like the spout too as it has quite a big opening and pours really nicely from the top. I have not experienced any spillage from the wide spout which is nice as this means no wiping up spilt water after you have made your tea. The spout features a filter inside of it so you are guaranteed no limescale. This filter is removeable making it very easy to wash and clean out.
The kettle sits on a round base and so has a concealed element. The plug and chord for this kettle wind into the base so you can position the base near a plug socket and not have nasty wires trailing out all over the place. This makes your kitchen look neat and tidy and also is a nice safety feature too. Of course, if you can't place the kettle near the plug this also gives you the option of lengthening the chord so it can reach.
The kettle does boil quite quickly, it says in the information regarding the kettle that it has a rapid boil and I do agree with this. It is also said to be quite a quiet boil. I can still hear the kettle, it is not silent by any means but it is probably a lot quieter than some kettles.
When the kettle boils it changes colour from blue to red, indicating that the water temperature is rising. What I also like about this kettle is that it has a keep warm system. Once the kettle has been boiled you can push a button on the top which will then illuminate red to tell you that it is keeping the water inside hot. I think this works well when you might need another cup of tea 10 minutes after you have firstly boiled the kettle. Even without this button I find that the kettle keeps the water quite warm anyway but this is a nice function.
Even though this kettle may look like just a bit of a gimmicky kettle with its illuminations I actually think it's a good functioning kettle, does the job it is meant to do (make my tea) and looks good in your kitchen. It costs £53.79 and we bought ours from Argos.
Reasons For Purchasing The Breville Spectra
I have had the Breville Spectra kettle for around three years now and thought it was about time I wrote a review about it and to let everyone know my thoughts and opinions on it. Well I bought this Spectra kettle after I had seen it on offer in Argos for just under £40. I thought this was a great bargain for what this kettle did and had on board it.. I was first drawn to this kettle really, because it had an illuminated light feature that goes through a spectrum of colours when it is plugged in. Not very energy efficient I know, but I thought this sounded a really funky and trendy kettle at the time and I just had to have it. I also loved the shiny stainless steel finish also on it and thought this would match my other kitchen appliances very well.
Well my old Russell Hobbs kettle had packed in also, shortly after I moved house and I wanted something a little more modern to go with my nice new modern designed kitchen. As soon as I saw the price tag on this kettle in Argos I was straight down buying it, just incase they stopped the special offer that it was on at the time. Well this certainly has been the best kettle I have had to date and I will tell you my reasons below.
After purchasing this Spectra kettle from Argos. I took it straight home and me being me had to open up the well packed box it came in to have a look at it, even before I unpacked my groceries.
This Breville Spectra kettle came in a thick, black cardboard box that was well sealed, but easy enough to open I remember. There was thick polystyrene blocks on either side of the kettle to secure it in transit and to stop it getting scratched and dented I guess. Well after removing the kettle from the box I carefully removed the plastic it was wrapped in also, to uncover my beautiful shiny kettle. The box and packaging are not too heavy by the way and I was able to carry it to my car with ease really. Just thought I would add that if anyone's transporting it home on a bus etc, that it should be easy enough to do.
What's In The Box
Inside the box this Breville Spectra came in, I found my beautiful shiny and trendy looking kettle, a base unit for setting my kettle on, a useful instruction booklet (that's easy to read by the way) and a little guarantee card that you really need to fill in and post off, just incase your kettle breaks down, but I did not bother doing this.
A little about this kettle
The Breville Spectra Kettle is a 1.7 litre capacity kettle which is very good in my opinion and it also has a 3000w fast boil element in it. It is a very useful cordless kettle I find that allows me to just lift it off its base and move it freely to wherever I want it. It has an easy, removable, anti scale filter inside the kettle also.
The Base Unit
The base unit to the Breville Spectra kettle is well made and off thick black plastic. It is round in design and cannot be seen when the kettle is resting on it. It is used instead of a plug that fits into a kettle, which allows your kettle to be cordless. It really is a good base unit. You do not need to set your kettle central on it. You can plunk it down on it, in any direction and it will still work when you hit your on button.
The only fault I find with the base is the cord that plugs into your wall socket is only about one foot long and you are really restricted to having your kettle right beside and up against your plug socket really. I don't really have enough plugs sockets in my kitchen though, so I guess it would not be a problem if you do. Your slightly short cord can also be stored in the base unit if needed.
Overall a good sturdy base unit that does not move around, sits firmly on my work top and is easy to just plug in to install. It is very easily wiped over with a soapy damp cloth also.
I really was very pleased when I first unwrapped this Spectra kettle after I bought it. It really looked very stylish indeed. The kettle in finished in a lovely shiny stainless steel finish that is very eye-catching. It's stainless steel coat runs right around the kettle and this finish stops when it gets near the handle. Just before the handle the kettle is made off a thick translucent plastic that runs in a V shape around either side and you can see the amount of water in your kettle through this. This part is also where the kettle is illuminated when it is sitting on it's base unit. The whole effect is really nice and blends very well together (especially when it is lit up).
On the very front and back (the kettle can be reversed in design to suit left and right handed people) This is a good touch, as my last kettle only had the gauge and badge emblem on the front (or one side) so it is nice to see that when my husband sets it down left handedly, that it looks the same and there is a gauge drawn on for both sides. Well on the front and back there is a little Breville badge in the middle and an easy to see water gauge to the side.
The water gauge is printed onto the kettle in black and is very clear to make out the water levels on it. It has six water levels printed and three are off little cups, so it is very easy to see how much water is inside through the see through plastic underneath. Eight cups is the maximum on this kettle or 1.7 litres.
Moving around to the very nice comfy grip handle on the kettle that is half made of the translucent plastic (which lights up also) and half made of a matt silver, thick plastic. It is very thick, well designed and feels really strong. This kettle is really very nice to hold with the softer comfy grip black rubber that's incased into the silver plastic. This really does secure a strong, yet comfortable grip when I personally fill or pour from the kettle.
Underneath the handle you will find the on and off switch. It is more a flick switch, than a button. It is very easy to press down, is made of thick black plastic and pops up automatically when your water is boiled.
On top of my Breville Spectra kettle is the lovely stylish and easy to use lid. The lid is finished half in shiny stainless steel and half in thick black plastic. It really is a joy to fill this kettle compared to my last kettle. Towards the handle at the far side of the lid you will find a really useful black plastic button that you press down with ease and up pops your hinged lid, that fits perfectly underneath my cold water tap. I really am pleased with this flip up lid. It closes down again with a gentle press on the little black rubber pad near the spout.
A little feature that I was not aware off when I bought this kettle was that it had a keep warm system onboard it. What this means is that when you boil your kettle you can then press down the little clear button on the lid and the remaining water in it can be kept at boiling for you without having to re-boil your kettle. It says in the instruction booklet that the water will stay at 77oC. I love this feature a lot and get great use out of it. I fill up my kettle to max in the mornings, boil it up, make my tea and hit the keep warm button. I can then go fifteen minutes later and have my coffee by just pouring from the kettle without boiling. Off course I keep this button switched on all morning as one cup is never enough for me. It says in the instructions that the keep warm function will keep the water boiling hot for up to twelve hours. I don't know about this though, as My kettle is always being used, but I am sure it does.
Well the keep warm button lights up red when it is on. The water in my kettle really does stay at boiling with this feature and I would say it probably is more efficient than re-boiling your kettle a few times. A great feature I am really pleased with.
The spout of the kettle is made of the same thick, see though plastic as the illuminated bit around the water gauge. The spout unfortunately does not light up like the other clear plastic parts, but this looks fine to me and it blends in well the whole design of the kettle. Well the spout is well made and has taken many a knock of my water tap when I have been filling the kettle, but it really seems thick, strong and has held up well. It pours the water into my mugs perfectly also with no uneven drips.
The illuminating effect from this kettle.
Well one of the reasons I bought this kettle was because it basically lit up when it boiled. Well so I thought. It actually lights up from the second you set it on you plugged in base unit. Even when your kettle is not boiling this kettle displays a beautiful spectrum of interchanging colours that is really nice to watch and especially at night when my kitchens dark. The clear plastic water gauge and part of the handle turn from red to blue, to green through to yellow and purple. It really is very beautiful to watch this in the dark and certainly looks amazing and funky in my kitchen. Lots of my friends and family have admired this feature.
When you fill this kettle, hit the on button and it's boiling, it lights up red the whole time until the button pops when its done and then it goes through the colour changing spectrum again. Well I have my kettle illuminated permanently. You could switch it off at the wall to save energy, but I just love it lit up all the time in my kitchen.
Overall Boiling feature.
I find the boiling feature on this kettle is really super fast. Well it says on the instructions it is a rapid boiling kettle. Even when I have this kettle filled to the maximum eight cups it really is boiled in just over a minute. The water is always piping hot and compared to my old kettle, this one is much hotter at boiling I find. Well my tea is always piping hot. My old kettle did not heat this hot to me. When the kettle is only needed and filled for say two cups of tea. It boils in seconds. Honest. The Spectra also has a dry boil safety feature. If you pop the kettle on and there's no water in it, it soon pops back off again. This kettle also has an automatic switch off when the waters boiled.
Noise Of The Kettle When Boiling
Well I thought I would include this as I know my old kettle made an awful racket when it was boiling. This kettle does not. It really is super quiet because it has a whispering effect feature onboard and it really is a very good feature also. I can pop this kettle on when the kids are in bed, with no worries of waking them up. It does make a noise, but a very gentle boiling noise that's pleasant to hear.
Anti Scale Filter
The Breville Spectrum comes with a useful built in anti Scale filter. It can be found fitted inside of the spout, is made of clear thick plastic and is easy to pop off. I just click it out and wash it with warm soapy water, give it a rinse and pop it back in again. A good useful feature also I find with this kettle.
Cleaning and Maintenance
I find my Breville easy enough to clean. I switch it off at the wall, wipe in down with hot soapy water (I do not use any cleaning products on it) Leave it to dry and buff the shiny silver stainless steel up with a dry cotton tea towel.
The inside is easy enough to rinse out and clean with a little washing up brush I find. I just give it a good rinse after this. Overall the kettle is easy to look after. Just make sure you clean and take out the anti scale filter every now and again also. Everything else like the base and plug can be wiped over with a damp cloth.
The Breville Spectra also comes with one years Guarantee. You can find Breville online at www.breville.co.uk This site is good for any problems that might arise and for parts etc if needed.
My Overall Opinion Of The Breville Spectra.
Well this really is the best looking and most efficient kettle I have ever had. I have been using it every day and boiling it up at least three times a day and it is still going strong after three years. I have usually only gotten two years out of my other previous kettles and I found my last kettle started to loose heat or something and did not boil hot enough to me. Well this kettle is great. It boils twice as quick as my previous ones, looks amazing at night in my kitchen when it is lit up and the keep warm function is a great touch on it. It really does make a lovely cup of tea and coffee for me.
If my Breville Spectra kettle broke down tomorrow, I would be straight out buying this very same one. I really love it in everyway and certainly do highly recommend it to others. This is the best kettle I have used. The price at the time (even on offer) was slightly more expensive than other kettles, but this one caught my eye with it's illuminating function and I certainly would pay this money just to watch this. It really adds a lovely touch to my kitchen and I am extremely pleased with the Spectra.
I would give this Breville spectra 5/5 and I should really knock one star off for the base cord, but I am not going to as this is just my opinion and I have few sockets in my kitchen, so it gets full marks and a big thumbs up from me. A beautiful, fast boiling and stylish looking kettle indeed!
The Breville Spectra has £10 off it at the moment in Argos (09/09/09) and is selling at £43.79. It has gone up from when I bought it three years ago instead off of down. I can see why though. It is excellent! I just seen this kettle on eBay for £37.95 so do shop about actually if your interested in it.
I am a major tea drinker, consuming up to 10 cups a day, so our kettle gets a good workout. We've had our current kettle about a year now, so I thought it about time I wrote a review on it.
Breville is part of the Alba Group, a German company formed in 1968 and originally dealing with waste management and recycling. Since then they have branched out across Europe, with their UK headquarters in Essex, and also across a far wider range of products and technologies. The Group now consists of 140 companies, including those specialising in domestic appliances such as Breville, Bush and Nicky Clarke Electric.
~The Kettle - Looks~
The Spectra is a mainly stainless steel kettle with an opaque, plastic spout and handle back-section with the Breville logo on each side. The plastic section has the usual cup markings on it, with the kettle's capacity full at 8 cups. It has a modern curved look and sits on a cord-base, so that you can lift the kettle off this base and pour your boiling water unimpeded by the electric cable. The handle is solid with a good grip and in a sensible location so you don't get scaled while pouring. I'm easily pleased by childish gadgets so I love the fact that the plastic section by the handle is transparent enough to see light inside the kettle - and this changes colour depending on the temperature of the kettle's water, from green and blue when it's cold to red and purple when the water's boiling.
The kettle has a good, solid feel to it - important when you're transporting boiling water. The plastic section enables you to see how much water there is in the kettle easily, which I find essential (there's nothing more irritating than having to open the kettle every time to see if enough water is left!). The water boils efficiently and quite quietly and the kettle pours well, without spillage. The colour system also conveniently tells you if it's going to take long to re-boil the water; if it's still glowing red when you switch it on, it's not going to take long at all for that next cuppa! There is also a clever 'keep warm' button you can press to keep the kettle on boil, which is useful if you have lots of guests who also like to have tea and coffee practically on a drip.
The downsides to this kettle are that the light system (which goes into a colour-changing mode when on standby) is probably not very environmentally friendly; nor would the 'keep warm' system be if you left this on continually. The kettle does seem to get a lime scale build-up in the spout quite quickly (might be our high usage though); we are conveniently warned of this by the fact that the kettle starts to pour water everywhere but where you're aiming, and a quick de-scale sorts it out again. Finally, we have found that occasionally the lid will pop open while boiling, so that the automatic switch-off is not engaged and the kettle just keeps boiling. Luckily, we're always in the vicinity so can hear this, but if you left the kettle boiling by itself for a long time, or had young children, this could be a danger. We've found we just have to make sure the lid is properly clicked shut after filling.
A kettle is one of those appliances that, if it's working correctly, you shouldn't really notice it too much and this is exactly what this kettle has managed. Given its high level of use in our family, it's lasted well and not caused any problems over the last year and, as mentioned, I particularly like the coloured light system. Overall, I like this kettle but it's not particularly outstanding in any way so I give it a generous 4 stars for doing its job without complaint and consistently providing me with caffeine throughout the day.
This kettle is usually £54.99 but is currently on special on Amazon, retailing at £36.66.
Tea is the only thing that is keeping me alive at the moment - I don't seem to be sleeping much and I'm not eating much (don't worry I'm not ill - just busy). Over the last few weeks we've noticed that our faithful old breville kettle was starting to die in as much as it wasn't cutting out - great for steam cleaning the tiles but not so good on the kettle or our electric bill! And finally today it gave up the ghost and I had to hold a little ceremony for it as I put it on the ever growing pile of items to be taken to the local tip.
It was sad as it had lived with us for 4 years and expired just as I was gagging for a brew which compounded the misery but I was not downhearted for too long as I logged onto the Argos site to see my lovely new kettle staring at me, begging me to rescue it from the massive warehouse it was living in and give it a new and loving home. And that kettle was a Breville Spectra everchanging illuminated kettle. So in my desparation for a cup of tea I walked over to Argos and purchased this kettle for £44.99.
This kettle has everything our old kettle had but is new and improved by the looks of things. It is still a 1.7 litre capacity and it still has a fast boil 3000w element and it is a very similar shape. It sits on base with an enclosed element and it can be moved around 360 degrees. It is stainless steel but instead of having a lid you pull off, it has a little button to press on the top to lift the lid. The on lever is just underneath the easy to hold handle. One thing we loved about our old kettle was that it was well balanced and I have to say that this kettle is the same. It isn't as heavy because there is less stainless steel in the body but it is equally as well balanced.
So why isn't there as much stainless steel in the body? Well because simply the stainless spout and the about one fifth of the body is now plastic. That isn't quite as bad as it sounds though because the reason there is plastic there is because of the everchanging mood illumination. The what I hear you say! Well put simply this kettle is a bit funky and creates mood lighting in your kitchen. If it isn't careful Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber will add a song into Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat about his Amazing Technicolour kettle!. In fact it claims to be the first stainless steel illuminated kettle - it is quite a loose claim as it still needs plastic to do it!
The internal chamber of the kettle is illuminated and the plastic glows different colours even when it isn't in use (as long as it is plugged in of course). Yes indeed when it is in standby it goes from green to yellow/orange/brown to lilac/purple to red to blue/turquoise and back to green again - essentially red, green and blue. How is this achieved? According the instruction manual this is achieved by LEDs (if I may be a grammar and spelling pedant this instruction manual leaves alot to be desired!) which are designed to work for the lifetime of the kettle. Hopefully this will be for a few years then! It tries to reassure us that the amount of energy needed to power these LEDs is very small and is nothing compared to the energy used by a light bulb. What it doesn't do is tell you whether it is a 11W or 150W lightbulb! There is only one way to turn this off and simply that is turn it off from the wall. I am sure once the novelty of mood lighting in my kitchen wears off I will be turning it off from the wall (just have to remember that I've done that when I am screaming at it to boil and nothing is happening!).
I have to say though this lighting was very exciting when I first switched it on and having read the instructions I filled the kettle with water to the maximum level and boiled it 3 times to make sure that any nasties left in there from when it was made were eliminated. So what did I notice? Well first of all lifting the lid with button on the top was very easy but looking inside there wasn't much room at the top because the spout (which is more triangular in shape than our last kettle) is quite big, then you have the filter behind that and there is an addition button on top of the kettle which activates the "keep warm" system which I will talk about in a minute so that seems to have cut down the amount of space at the top of the kettle. That said it is also easy to fill to the kettle through the spout so it's not that much of a problem - more of a little gripe. What is a little more than a gripe though is that the lid doesn't seem to quite fit properly - it seems a bit cheaply made. It closes and it doesn't leak steam but it isn't quite as well made. Maybe it's because there is more plastic on it and our old kettle was all metal but it bugs me especially given that this isn't a cheap kettle - it's not the most expensive either but I would have expected more. What I do like about it though is that you can physically see the water level - there are no balls floating on a gauge - you see if you've overfilled it and you can see it boiling which is quite fun (I am sad I know).
So having filled the kettle (not quite as easily as our old kettle mind) I switched the kettle on. It started its illumination sequence at blue - fairly sensible as the water is cold and then as it boiled it went through the colours (except for green) until it was boiling when it turned red - again fairly sensible. And then once it cut out it went green to indicate that you could now use it. How fabulous is that? And the best bit is you can hardly hear it boiling because of the quiet (or quite as per the instruction manual) boiling feature which is seemingly caused by an innovative Whisper boil feature (isn't that the same thing I ask myself?). This isn't as good as it sounds though because the hardness of your water and the amount of scale in it will affect the noise of the kettle as it does with any kettle. But considering the water is as hard as concrete round here and it was brand new I was quite impressed but it does seem like an over-egged selling point to me. And filled to the maximum it boiled 1.7 litres in 2 minutes (yes I did time it!)
Now for all the kettle has funky lights and is quick and quiet it is just a kettle but what I have never seen on a kettle before is a keep warm feature. As previously mentioned the button for this is on top of the kettle and simply it keeps the kettle warm after you boil it (it doesn't gently heat cold water). It keeps the water at a temperature of 77 degrees. Now this is no good for tea making but I guess it is quite handy when you're cooking and you need warm water or....actually I don't know what it is good for. I mean I suppose if you have a family or you want instant coffee all morning then it could be quite useful. It says that you can keep the function on for 12 hours. It doesn't say how much more energy it uses though. I expect it is more environmentally friendly to keep it warm rather than keep boiling the kettle but it's only 1.7 litres so again it seems like a function too far. It works but I'm not sure it's worth it.
Now to my big gripe - it's not great at pouring. Pour it out slowly and carefully and it is fine but if you want to fill a pan with boiling water or want to get your brew made as quickly as possible and therefore pour it more quickly it splashes and it runs down the body of the kettle. You have to pour it at almost exactly 90 degrees to pour it out successfully - any more than that and you are running the risk of scalding. A kettle is designed to boil water and is inherently dangerous once it has done so and as such it should deliver the dangerous water safely into my cup. This one does that but more care than usual is required. I know you should always take care but more especially so with this product. I would say if I had kids that were old enough to start using a kettle I would possibly wait a bit longer before I let them use it. Perhaps it's just me being over cautious and not used to it yet but I would have expected it to pour better.
So do I like this kettle and would I recommend it? Well if you want a fabulously funky talking point to share with friends when they come round then yes. If you want to be able to hold a conversation on the phone in the kitchen whilst the kettle is boiling then yes. If you really wanted to keep your water at 77 degrees then yes (but why would you?). But if you want a kettle that pours safely and is as well made as you would expect it to be for the money then I would suggest you look elsewhere. Considering I have always been a fan of Breville kettles I would perhaps be a little less inclined to automatically buy one next time.
We bought this kettle because we had some vouchers for Currys given to us for Christmas, and our old one expired on Boxing Day!. We bought this kettle and apart from the pretty lights, it is aweful.
The lid pops open once the kettle has boiled, meaning that scalding hot steam can burn your hand if you are are not aware of what is about to happen.
The keep-warm facility is pointless, as to make a decent brew you need boiling water, and frankly I'm surprised that these days a manufacturer would deem it ecologically acceptable to provide this feature.
Thirday, and worst of all, our one failed after approx' 8 weeks use, with some form of electrical problem with the ECU that controls the heating element. The kettle failed with a bright flash from the main body, shorting out our RCD.
Overall, this kettle looks great, boils quickly and is not too badly priced, but looking around the 'net, it appears I'm not the only person to have suffered from the poor build quality. I'm back off to the retailer to buy a nice, reliable Bosch kettle.
The Breville spectra is the new generation of kettles mixing the functionality of a kettle with the soothing effect of soft "ever changing" lighting.
I have bought my breville about 5 months ago mainly due to the fact that my last kettle was on its last legs due to having a baby and the constant need for boiling water (I think it just had enough).
The Breville kettle was not my first choice as I wanted something completely stainless steel to match some of my appliances (if you have to replace something it might as well match-what I told my husband).
I saw the Kettle in one of my catalogues and was quite intrigued by it. It was stainless steel but the pictures showed three different coloured lighting in three different pictures. I subsequently went to see it in my local electrical store to see what it was all about. I asked the salesperson to plug it in for me (local stores are always helpful) and I was hooked. The lights were not just tri-coloured but changed as the temperature increased (from blue:cold to red: hot). I was hooked. It was like my own lava lamp or fibre optic plant in my kitchen (had to store mine due to new arrival).
Not only it was part stainless steel but the soft lighting will brighten up any kitchen at night (especially for night feeds). Not only the kettle looks good in the kitchen it also has:
Anti scale filter
It is cordless with 360 base
Water window (always useful)
Automatic switch off
Non slip feet
Automatic Shut Off
Boiling Signal: No
Concealed Heating Elements: Yes
Cool Wall: No
Different Temperature Settings: No
Housing Material: Metal
Maximum Capacity in Litres: 1.7
Maximum Wattage: 3000
Re-Boil Function: No
Water Filter Cartridge: No
Dry boil protection
And last but not least the most useful feature of all: KEEP WARM SYSTEM
This becomes indispensable when you are juggling night feeds and nappy changes as I previously had to sometimes boil my kettle 2/3 times before I even got to making/ warming the bottle. This is a lifesaver (or electric saver) and the kettle still changes colours during the Keepwarm process. My son would spend some time looking at it whilst I had to change him and seemed to calm him or at least occupy him.
Overall this is not the kind of kettle I would have gone for especially from the pictures shown in catalogues as it looks like a pricey novelty item but I have come to enjoy boiling my kettle and this is something I never thought I would ever say. Try to do like me and buy it when you get a discount from a catalogue or during the sales as I know it is quite expensive but your saving will make you enjoy it even more. This kettle can be used by anyone who has a chatty neighbour or friend popping around as you can can press the Keep warm button and it will do so until they are ready for their tea/coffe (unless re-boiling the kettle is your escape).