We haven't had much luck with kettles over recent years, as regardless of the brand that we purchased, each would fail for some reason or another. The majority of our kettles have belonged to Breville; a brand that we will never touch again. After several hours of painstakingly scouring the internet for a model that would meet all of our requirements I finally decided upon Ebony, which is manufactured by Russell Hobbs with this review discussing my thoughts.
Whilst price is a factor, I am somewhat of a snob when it comes to kitchen appliances, as they have to offer either a chrome or stainless steel finish. Our choice of kettle needs to be able to hold at least 1.6 litres of water, be lightweight, offer a 360° base and display easy to read measurements. With the Ebony model offering all of our requirements, it further appealed to me with its classy appearance with the lower section and base sporting brushed stainless steel and the upper section being of an attractive matt ebony colour, which perfectly compliments our black marbled kitchen work surfaces.
The cordless jug kettle is of a sturdy structure and unlike the majority of its competitors it offers a sleek and delicately curved design, which gives it a modern touch. I cannot bear wasting money and only want to boil the amount of water that we actually need.
Consequently, the easy to read measurements, which are displayed in the window section on both the front and back of the kettle, are extremely useful, particularly as they begin at two cups and increase in increments of two up to a maximum of six cups and then a maximum filling level. As a result, the 3 kW concealed element enables my husband and I to boil the exact amount of water that we need with two cups taking just a couple of minutes. As our kitchen is located directly next to our living room, a low noise boiling kettle is a must for us and thankfully, Ebony does not disappoint.
The curved textured handle enables an easy to grip, which is a necessity for my husband due to the neuropathy in his finger tips and whilst we are both right handed, the kettle is also suitable for left handed use. In addition, the kettle is lightweight, so my husband who also suffers with mobility issues, experiences no difficulties when using. As with the majority of kettles these days, the window illuminates vivid blue when the kettle is switched on and whilst this can be considered gimmicky, it is rather ambient. The on/off switch is located on the lower side of the kettle and is easy to operate by gently pressing down with it automatically returning to its original position once the water reaches boiling point.
Whilst the kettle offers a button, which when pressed allows the lid to quite ferociously pop up, I am undecided on whether this is a positive or negative point especially as previous kettles have failed in this area with the mechanism breaking. However, this feature is quite handy on those occasions when I need to refill the kettle directly after it has just boiled, so there is no risk of burnt fingers by manually lifting the lid.
There are two downsides with the kettle; one of which I find extremely disappointing. When I began to pour boiling water for the first time I found that the spout, which is rounded in shape, is a little too big and as a result, steaming water poured around the sides of my mug although thankfully I didn't scald myself. This is a big design fault and as a result, care needs to be taken not to tilt the kettle too far when using. However, I would point out that with practice I have mastered how to use the kettle without this reoccurring, but as far as I am concerned, the spout should be slightly pointed in the centre.
The other negative albeit short lived, was despite us filling the kettle to the maximum indicator, boiling and discarding the water several times prior to use, our hot drinks had a horrid plastic taste for the first week. I checked out a few reviews on Amazon and this seems to be an issue with the majority of those consumers who have made a purchase. Consequently, Russell Hobbs needs to go back to the drawing board and overcome these two faults.
The kettle includes a removable washable filter, which neatly slots into the inside of the spout and it is both easily removed and replaced. The power lead is of an acceptable length although our kettle is located directly in front of an electrical socket as I cannot bear to see trailing cables. There is a small instruction booklet accompanying the kettle although the majority of the contents are common sense. Russell Hobbs recommends that the kettle be descaled at least once a month, but as we live in a soft water area, we will not need to undertake this task quite so frequently. The kettle is extremely easy to clean with the use of a damp cloth.
Whilst the plastic taste vanished after a week, the spout is a real issue and for that reason the Russell Hobbs Ebony Matt Black Kettle loses a star from me. However, we are more than impressed in terms of both its appearance and capabilities, as it makes a thirst quenching cuppa.
We paid £26.99 for ours from Sainsburys although there was a price tag indicating that the kettle had been reduced from £44.99. Amazon also stocks this model although there is a £2 postage and packing charge needing to be added onto the £26.52 price tag.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
I hate certain small kitchen appliances. Why? Well, let me tell you. For some strange reason certain small kitchen electrical appliances and myself have never got on. I'm talking small appliances such as toaster and kettles, together with vacuum cleaners but as they are not really kitchen appliances I can't really add them to this particular list.
Anyway. The reason why I have this hatred of those small kitchen appliances is down to the fact that they always seem to brake down on me at the drop of a hat, so to speak, leaving me frustrated and, in the case of kettles, in desperate of a nice cup of tea.
So I am hear today to tell you of yet another little kitchen appliance that I have been using for a while now due to the fact that the one I had been using before that had finally given up the ghost, leaving me thirsty and, once again, slightly miffed as to why this keeps happening to me?
You may have guessed that I am talking about a kettle, this kettle being from the well known company of Russell Hobbs, with its full name being the Russell Hobbs 15076.
* What does this kettle look like then..?
It looks like most other kettles of its kind, the ones that you see in most kitchens and other places too, although this one has got a little bit of a curvy shape to it, which makes it look in a kind of league of its own.
The casing is made of a rather nice looking matt black plastic material with a ring of stainless steel around the lower section.
The curves themselves are more on the rear end, where the handle connects to the main body of the kettle, although it's this curve on the rear that maybe takes a little space from the inside of the kettle.
On the sides there are blue shaded windows that have a bit of a curved look to them, with each window having a few little cup images in a column. It is these cup images that tell you roughly how much water is inside the kettle, giving you a maximum fill level mark almost near the top of the window.
The handle has a slightly rough feel to it so that you can grip it easier without fear of a full kettle of boiling water tipping over and causing severe scolds to yourself or those around you.
Then there's the base which is how you actually get the power to this kettle. The base that the kettle sits on is made of a lightweight stainless steel wit h accents of black plastic so that it matches the kettle, making the whole unit look rather fine indeed, fitting into any silver, black mix kitchen.
* So how does it work then..?
It's a kettle and works like any other kettle, you simply fill it with water, give it a boast of electricity and then you wait for the little bubbles to erupt through the water inside
As for filling it with H2O, well, it can be filled by the spout but you do need a very thin tap and a good aim to do this so it is really best filled by flipping the lid up and pouring the water in that way. To do this you simply press the little button that is on the top section of the curved handle. This pops open the lid straight up so that it then fits under the tap, letting you fill it up. Then you push the lid down and you're ready to boil.
To actually boil the water inside the kettle you then put the filled kettle onto the base, making sure there is no excess water near the electrical connection pin, then press the little clear switch that is underneath the handle. This will then light up, together with the windows glowing blue, and the rapid boil function will hopefully kick in.
As for the power. You do get 3kWs of power which does make this one quite a rapid boil type of kettle and it has a nice 1.6litre water capacity so it's good enough for most sized families.
It has what is known in the kettle world as a hidden element, which is cleverly situated underneath a metal plate that is on the bottom of the inside of the kettle.
To stop the kettle from boiling dry there is what is known as 'auto-shut off', which means that once the kettle has boiled for a few seconds, building up enough steam inside the kettle itself, then the shut off switch activates and the kettle stops the boiling process.
Clever or what..?
* What about general maintenance..?
It doesn't need rechargeable batteries, nor does it need a change of batteries. This is because it doesn't use batteries at all. In fact it doesn't need that much maintenance really, apart from maybe cleaning the filter every so often, which is done by pulling it out of the spout, rinsing it under a running tap, and then replacing it into the spout once more.
The only other part of cleaning is maybe rubbing the cooled down kettles main body with a damp cloth every so often too.
And that's it for maintenance.
* My opinion...
Well, at the moment, and while I am still capable of claiming that this kettle is still working properly, this is a fine little kettle indeed, giving me the chance to quickly boil a single cup to a full kettle in a matter of minutes.
It is good size and takes enough water to please my tea drinking family without having to continually fill the kettle to satisfy everyone around the table.
The lid flips open nice and easy at the touch of a button giving me plenty of room to pour in the water from the tap without making puddles all over the kitchen. Then there's the spout, which again can be a cause of puddles if the water spurts out too quickly, but this spout has got the right curves so that there is no real hassles with over flowing, unless you go mad and tip the kettle upside down of course.
The on/off switch, which is right underneath eh handle, is nice and smooth and pops off after a few seconds of the kettle boiling. Although if the lid is not shut properly then too much steam can escape and the kettles auto shut off gets too confused and forgets to shut off.
The kettle sits on a base and connects using a single 'pin' that the electricity comes through in order for the kettle to boil. This means that the kettle can spins all the way around without catching any wires. This is a bonus as I'm not restricted to pouring the water from the kettle whilst being tied to the immediate area of the said kettle.
There are one or two nice little features that I like, such as the little light on the on/off switch that illuminates slightly so that you know that the kettle is actually on, which helps when it come to boiling water really. I mean, if a kettle not switch on then it will never come to the boil, no matter how much you don't look at it.
There's also the double windows that met me know roughly how much water is sitting inside the kettle itself. This is useful for when it comes to me only wanting to boil a single cup of water and saves me on both electric and water, which is nice.
Then there's the filter itself which takes away some of the 'nasties' from the boiled water so that I can get a fresher taste in the actual cup.
The only downside to this kettle, and all other metal kettles that I have owned, and there have been many, is that awful metallic taste that I always get in my cups of tea during the first few days of using it.
To try and speed this process up, getting the metallic taste to disappear quicker, I tend to boil the kettle a few times, tipping each full boil into a sink so that I can then use the hot water for something else, such as washing the car. I find then that I don't get the taste in my mouth for as long and that my car is shining for a few hours afterwards.
* So what about the price of having endless cups of piping hot tea..?
This kettle is on sale for about £30.00, which sounds a lot when you say it but for what you get it's not too bad at all really.
I know there are cheaper ones on the market but even I've realised that you have to spend a bit extra if you want to have something last you more than a few months.
* Would I recommend this..?
I would have to say yes to that one, especially if you have a kitchen that would suit a dark kettle with a few silver flashes.
It does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it pretty quickly too.
Bring a note of style to your kitchen with the Russell Hobbs 15076 Ebony Kettle / Finished in stylish matt black with an accented stainless steel base it has a large windows (one on each side so left-handers are catered for) for accurate boiling amounts / when the power's on they turn blue / Short name: Russell Hobbs 15076