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Enjoy a brew up wherever you are
Cookworks Travel Kettle
Member Name: ryeb
Cookworks Travel Kettle
Advantages: Compact size, relatively quiet, inexpensive
Disadvantages: Short cord and small capacity [but it is supposed to be a compact travel kettle!]
WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY
I wanted a kettle that was small in size so it wouldn't take up too much luggage room. I was surprised to find that some travel kettles are actually full sized and are only described as "Travel" because they work on dual voltages. The Cookworks kettle has a capacity of 400ml, which allows you to make two cups of drink but not two large mugs. As I bought it for my boyfriend to use initially, who was travelling alone, this wasn't a problem. I cursed the small size when I used it as an emergency spare kettle when our main electric one was broken, and our gas was out of bounds during a kitchen refurbishment. So if you will be making more than two cups of tea at once, you may wish to opt for a larger size - or boil it twice! I think the small size has more advantages than otherwise considering it is supposed to be a travel kettle. It comes in a neat cardboard box that isn't much bigger than the kettle itself, so I use it to store the kettle between uses. When weight is an issue, we have transported it in a large drawstring washbag which works fine. You also get two cups included. I would call these "beakers" really - they don't have full size handles and are very small. I would say they can hold about half a mug full of tea or coffee. They also have a pronounced rim that makes drinking less comfortable than it could be, so I have ceased using them.
The kettle is not cordless and the flex is quite short. Normally this would irritate me but it would defeat the object of producing a smaller, lighter kettle if it came with a long lead. When I first used it I kept worrying about taking the plug near the sink when I was filling it, but I soon got used to it. Underneath the cord is a switch on the base that allows you to select the voltage you require - either 220-240v for the U.K and most of Europe, or 100-127v for elsewhere. The switch isn't easy to change by accident which is important for safety reasons. The last thing in the box is a brief users guide, which doesn't contain anything really earth shattering - on reading it I discovered that kettles may get hot during use for example. . Actually it doesn't get any hotter than any other kettle but you have to watch the steam that is released of course.
DOES IT BOIL WELL?
The kettle was ready to use straight from the box and we gave it several trial runs at home before it's first trip. It is surprisingly quiet - I can get away with using it in the same room as a sleeping partner without waking them. It does produce quite a lot of steam but only at the last. When full, boiling time takes around 4 minutes and during that time a orange light glows at the bottom. This does seem a bit long considering the small amount of water inside but it could be worse. There is a "maximum fill" indicator on the side, which is useful but I recommend filling it just below that line. This is because if you do fill the kettle to the indicator, hot water can still bubble up the spout and escape. Even when slightly underfilled the odd drop escapes so be careful what surface you place the kettle on. The lid does shut firmly which helps. It isn't hinged - in other words it lifts right off. I would have prefered it to have been attached as we almost left it behind on one weekend away, but that is only a small niggle. There is also a minimum fill indicator, and boil dry protection - which thankfully we have yet to put to the test.
I rinsed the kettle out and boiled it a few times before discarding the water prior to our first use, as recommended in the instruction booklet. Even so, the first few drinks had a plasticy taste that was not pleasant. I am pleased to say that this disappered after a weeks use by my boyfriend and the drinks produced now taste exactly the same as they would when made using any other kettle. So don't let your first drinks put you off!
We have had the kettle about 14 months. It has been used for a few weekends away, 3 week-long work trips, and at home on a regular basis. My dad hasn't been well and the has adopted the kettle for his bedroom so he can make himself a lttle drink in the night without waking anyone up. He has been boiling it 2-3 times a day for a good 2 months. Overall, this kettle has probably seen more usage than some travel kettles would over the same period of time. It is still performing well, and has required no mintenance bar a couple of descalings which were more a preventative measure than anything. There is no filter included. The kettle wipes clean easily - being white it does pick up the odd mark but they come away with a wipe from a damp cloth.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE KETTLE?
Overall, I have been very impressed with the kettles peformance. I paid £9.99, which I believe was a reduced price. It is currently on sale for the same amount, down from £12.99. I think that it represents good value for money, considering the fact it has proved to be reliable. It is compact in size which makes it easy to find somewhere to both use it and to store it between trips. It may have too small a capacity for some people, but this information is displayed on the box so shouldn't shock anyone. I think it is just hard to visualise what 400ml translates to in terms of cups of tea! The short cord takes some getting used to but cordless travel kettle cost a lot more and I have soon got used to taking the lead and plug carefully to the sink with me when I refill. It is available in Argos and as far as I am aware nowhere else. [The contact details in the user guide, and the information about the 1 year guarentee both give the address of Argos.] Worth a buy at the price!
[This review also appears under my user name on Ciao.]
Please note that the specific criteria suggested by Dooyoo below are not all relevant to this product so please ignore.]
Summary: A worthwhile budget buy that has restored my faith in the Cookworks brand
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