“ Brand: Cygnet / Type: Water Boiler „
This Cygnet Electric Water Boiler has been in my workplace for about four years. The one we used in work had a capacity of 18 litres and it can be bought on-line for about £150.
The boss at my company thought it would make sense to invest in an urn because people always seemed to be hanging around, waiting for the kettle to boil and he thought this devise would help to save time.
The urn is made of stainless steel and it is fairly large in stature, but it can easily be placed in the corner of a small work's kitchen - ours is tiny and housing this was never an issue. However, I wouldn't want this in my kitchen at home, as it is rather unsightly!
This urn loosely resembled a large tin can and it has a plastic tap which you move to release the water. You have to fill it up by lifting the lid and adding water via a jug, because there's no way you'd be able to maneuver it under the tap.
To boil the water you have to move the dial on the urn to six and wait about ten minutes to boil. Once it is at boiling point you move the dial to five and the water should remain relatively warm until the urn is empty. That said, sometimes you have to move the dial back to number six and give it a few minutes to re-boil before using the water.
It is difficult to say how many brews can be made from a full urn, but I'd say at least 35 cups can be filled. It works quite well, because if you time it right then you will always be able to walk over to the machine to make your brew.
Although this product boils the water well and manages to keep it warm, there are a few pitfalls. The urn gets very hot, so if you touch the metal you are likely to scold yourself. I also ended up with a rather nasty burn once, after lifting the lid off to see if the water was bubbling. The steam really hurt me - but the reason I lifted the lid is because there is no light to indicate if the water has boiled or not and I was unsure.
It is also difficult to pour water into a cup which is larger than the standard mug - you have to tilt it underneath, which is hardly ideal.
I used to avoid the urn on a Monday morning too - quite often water would be lurking in there over the weekend - and because it is difficult to empty (with it being very heavy), the water would just be reheated and used again on Monday morning. Call me picky, but I don't like to think of water say there for over two days before I drink it.
The other issue we had with this is that after four years it started to leak water from the plastic tap - however, considering this product was being used constantly for a four year period, I don't think four years is bad going. It certainly lasted longer than your average kettle.
Overall I'd say this urn does the job - it heats large amounts of water and keeps it warm - it is also quite a solid piece of kit and it has lasted in or office well. However there are a lot of negative aspects to it, which is why I wouldn't recommend it too highly - three stars from me - and that's being generous.