My history with kettles is a bitter sweet one. Think of it in its basic form; a jug with a heating element in it. But this kitchen appliance has caused me much pain and pleasure.
About eight years ago my father came to live with us, we between us had three kettles, by the time three months were out we were on the forth. One melted, another fused, and the third boiled dry and refused to ever heat up again.
Well Dad was very fit and active, but refused to give up on trying looking after himself, so he would make his own tea. But he is very forgetful and would try to boil it with no water in or spill water in the cord connection. We finally had to get full time care for him when he left the gas on without lighting the hob, nearly blowing the house up.
So one of the purchases after he moved out was a decent kettle. It is funny how a purchase of a everyday household item can give so much pleasure, but that kettle was like a symbol to me of a freedom, mainly of my sanity, and peace of mind that Dad was in a safe place, and we would not come home to find the front door wide open or worse, a big hole where our house once stood.
MY FIRST BRITA
The first Brita in the Scenic household was the water filter jug. After suffering a forth bout of kidney stones I was desperate to stop anything that might add to the problem.
Our water is one of the hardest in the country, and you only have to look at a kettle element to see that it attracts carbonates better than a copy Nuts attracts a group of teenagers. So anything that came out the tap went through the Brita, then in the glass or the kettle.
It was while visiting friends I noticed their kettle, and on closer inspection noticed the Brita logo. They were very pleased with it, and so one was ordered for us.
This model was the previous one to the acclario, being very similar in design, and early signs were this was a good kettle, and it served us well for three years, but it did start to leak from the base, and the pouring lip became encrusted with lime scale, so that water would run down the body of the jug, and onto your feet if not careful.
So when it came time for replacement I was somewhat in two minds about ordering a new one. A search on Amazon found the acclario, and reading the reviews on there showed very different views, some hated it, said it leaked, and did not pour properly.
Others gave it great praise, thoroughly recommending it. So with gritted teeth I hit the Add to basket button, and four days later we were the proud owners of the Brita Acclario kettle.
Out of the box it looks identical to the old model, but there were a few detail changes, which would prove to be a great improvement.
The kettle is about 8 inches in diameter and sits about fifteen inches high on its base, being cordless it mounts the power point on a central circular peg, this I have found is the more suitable solution for cordless kettles, as you tend to fumble around to get side mounted power points, the Brita has a slightly recessed base to allow it to locate the power point.
The materials used have improved. The clear plastic body appears a different substance, as the water forms droplets on the side, rather than the old kettle where after a while a scummy film would develop. The lid and base also have a smoother texture; on the old model lime scale would form on these surfaces. The other slight change is the angle of the pouring lip, which is narrower and allows better pouring.
A nice touch with the power cable is that you can set the length from the base to the power socket, the excess cable being wound into the base out of the way, very good safety feature, and how many times have I caught other kitchen utensils in the kettle cable, risking an upset kettle.
So how you ask does this kettle filter the water? Well the kettle incorporates the normal Brita filter cartridge, and in effect you have two chambers the lid is not removable, but twists to allow the kettle to be filled from the top, this top chamber holds about eight cups worth of water (1 litre). This water then runs through the filter into the lower, boiling chamber which holds about 12 cup worth (2 litre).
The first time you set up your Brita you may find the process a bit laborious, but in time a filter change takes 10- 15 minutes. I find it a good idea to soak the filter for as long as possible, as this activates the carbon in the filter and eliminates any carbon dust residue from the casing. I leave it in a jug of fresh cold water for about any hour, that way you can then just whip out the old filter and pop the new one in at the same time. You will need to fill the top chamber and let the water run through twice; this activates the filter fully before use. Once the new filter is watered in then reset the memo indicator on the lid. This counts down the four weeks which is the normal life of the filter. Then enjoy boiling water without a scummy layer on top.
I find that if you fill the bottom chamber to about 6 cups (which is marked on the side of the kettle) this is the most economical way to use it. When you have used the kettle just top up again with about half the top chamber full, this will then run into the boiling chamber and will be heated by the latent heat from the element. Whilst on the subject of the element, it is not an exposed unit, but sits under a brushed stainless steel base, this not only looks better but stays a lot cleaner, and you can tell if your filter needs changing if you see slight calcium deposits forming. Our filters last about three weeks, although Brita state that some will last up to four weeks or more, dependant on the hardness of your water . It is a good idea to clean the kettle with a damp cloth when changing filter to help stop deposits forming.
The switch is at the top of the handle, and can only be operated if the flap covering it is open, once you slide this flap up it stops any water being released into the lower chamber so that boiling water cannot be released back into the filter thus damaging it.
The switch is a two button one ON one OFF. The kettle features and anti boil dry feature. With about 6 cups worth of water the kettle will boil in under a minute, less if the water was released after using, as mentioned above.
The kettle is light and well balanced, but care is needed if just filled from the tap as it becomes a little top heavy.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Brita offer a full 30 day money back guarantee. And the kettle is guaranteed for two years.
The filters are available in single, three, or twelve packs (although I have not seen any twelve packs for a while) I buy mine from Amazon at £4.97 for a three pack.
The kettle was also bought from Amazon for £49.98 but has been recently reduced to £39.99 that includes free postage on a three day delivery.
They are available in White, Silver, and our one which is Graphite
N.B. the white one on Amazon is £49.98
I have seen some advertised at £35.00 but since my initial price check at the end of May it seems prices have changed again, with Amazon the cheapest at the moment
The filters are recyclable and there is a freepost address with the instructions or on filter packs.
Some of you reading this will think that this is an expensive way to boil water, but believe me if you saw our water run fresh out of the tap you would realise why we do it. I believe you would get at least 3 years use from it, and after my initial concerns over the previous model we have had no problems with this one.
You can definitely taste and see the difference in Tea and Hot drinks using this kettle, there is no chalky layer on the surface of Tea, and I would use this in soft water areas as well due to the fact the filter removes metals and minerals found in this type of water.
Another one chalked for Brita