Product Type: Breville kettles
Newest Review: ... at night when the kitchen is in darkness. However, the standby light show is just one part of the fun. As the water heats up, ... more
The Kettle of Many Colours
Breville VKJ271 Colour Select
Member Name: CarolineR-D
Breville VKJ271 Colour Select
Advantages: Eye-catching, fun, different
Disadvantages: You're paying for a gimmick
At first this looks like any other cordless, stainless steel jug kettle. It's shiny, polished and quite attractive looking. It's only when you fill it up, pop it into its power base and switch it on that exciting things start to happen.
The first exciting thing is that this kettle offers 'Colour Select illumination.' Using the colour select button on top of the kettle, you can choose from 9 colours as the standby colour for your kettle. This means that when it is on standby it will be illuminated green, lime, orange, red, pink, blue, aqua, or white. Alternatively, you can opt for the kettle to cycle briefly through each colour. This latter option is my favourite. I choose it because I enjoy the mini light show, which is particularly impressive at night when the kitchen is in darkness.
However, the standby light show is just one part of the fun. As the water heats up, it goes through a number of colour changes. I must admit, because of the 9 standby colours available, I had assumed that the kettle would also go through 9 colour changes as it boiled. Unfortunately that is not the case. The boiling process is not quite as dramatic as that. As it is, the water just changes from blue to red as it heats up and boils. Visually, this is still quite appealing. When the water is cold it is blue, then it turns a shade of mauve, then purple, pink and finally - when it reaches boiling point - red. I do enjoy watching the boiling process and find it strangely soothing but I can't help but think a few more colour changes would have made it more interesting. When I was waiting for this kettle to be delivered from Amazon, I kept referring to it excitedly as the 'disco kettle' so my daughters were expecting something a bit more Saturday Night Fever. The blue to red illumination was a bit of an anti-climax for them.
Also, the fact that this kettle boils very quickly (2 or 3 minutes - which in many way is an advantage) means that the light show is over rather too quickly. The illumination effect switches itself off after 20 minutes or so, which is good from an energy-saving point of view. According to the manufacturers, the kettle's technology means that it operates at just a fraction of the energy a standard light bulb uses. Obviously, if you are energy-aware, you can improve the kettle's energy efficiency by not boiling more water than you actually need.
We don't have any young children at our house and I would be a bit hesitant to have this kettle if I did, simply because it is quite mesmerising and I am sure there would be a danger of youngsters getting too close, or wanting to press the button to select different colours.
So much for the aesthetics and novelty value, but how does it fare as a kettle? I am impressed by its non-slip, secure base which rotates so that a left-hander can pick it up easily. I also like the fact that it has a large window with clear measurements in cups, so it is very easy to read, even if your eyesight isn't perfect. This means you can fill it accurately.
I have a slight issue with filling the kettle. There is a lid release button which makes the lid pop up for ease of filling. This has the advantage of making it easy to fill the kettle using just one hand, but in my opinion the lid pops up a little too violently and at times this has caused me to be splashed with water. In addition to the possible safety issues of being splashed, water splashes on the exterior of the kettle can dull its finish, which means it loses its shiny appeal and starts to look a bit tarnished. This annoys me a bit as I am forever giving it a quick polish to restore it to its silvery glory.
I understand that the kettle has a built in fail-safe device to automatically switch it off it you have not filled it with enough water. This is good to know because I have 'killed' a few kettles in the past by boiling them dry.
All in all, I am happy with this kettle so far. I do realise that I have paid through the nose for a gimmick, but I love colour -change candles and lamps around the house so why not have an interesting light-effect going on in my kitchen too? I work from home and when I stop for a coffee break, I actually find it quite calming to watch the colour changes as I am waiting to make my brew. It gets me to stop and switch off from work mode for a few minutes, more than I would perhaps if I was just boiling a boring old kettle. It's not too noisy when it boils either, which is good because a really loud kettle would spoil the relaxing ambience of the colour-change effects.
I'm pleased with this purchase and I like the cosy glow it brings to my kitchen on a winter's night. If like me you usually just think of kettles as boring essential purchases, you might find it quite liberating to go for the fun option for a change.
Summary: A colourful but silly addition to your kitchen (but silly is good sometimes!)
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