“ Jug Design / 1.66 Liter / Cordless / With Concealed Element / 1500 W „
'Why isn't it yellow?' my four year old asked, pointing at our grey Tefal Vitesse cordless kettle yesterday evening. Though I've never liked the colour much, that particular question hadn't occurred to me until now. I said I didn't know.
'Can we get a yellow one next time?' she asked.
'Any colour other than dirty grey is fine by me', I said.
Which pretty much sums up my personal attitude to the Vitesse kettle: it's an electric kettle that works pretty well but it's not exactly a design classic. In the flesh it doesn't look anything like the picture that accompanies this review. In the picture is looks matt-glossy and with sleek lines; although the shape of ours is admittedly the same as in the picture, it's made from dull grey plastic - which has gotten even duller with use in a kitchen environment. The paler grey writing of the kettle brand / logo - 'Tefal Vitesse' - on the side is mysteriously wearing off too - I don't know why as the writing's below the 'hot water line' and I never touch it there - the darn thing looks really shabby, to be honest.
But does it boil water? Yes, eventually, would be the answer to that. Unlike other electric jug-type kettles we've had, this has a really small aperture at the spout; usually you can fill them from the tap through the spout quite easily, but with this you have to take care as the opening is so small. This means is takes longer to fill and although with its 1500 watt element I'm sure it is just as effective at boiling water as other similar kettles on the market, the slightly longer time it takes to put the water in it has possible clouded my judgement over the efficiency of the thing: I would say if you asked me, that this is a 'slower boiling' kettle than other ones we've had in the past (these 'other kettles' being invariably el-cheapo 'Cookworks' or Tesco Value models, and thus nothing turbo-charged to write home about).
The LED on the top tells you when the kettle is 'on' and shines brightly enough to be visible during daylight. (You'd think this would be dead obvious but eg. with my parents' electric kettle - which to be honest, does appear to date from the mid 1980s, you can't see the 'on' light when it's shining 'on' at all, unless it's night-time and you put the kitchen lights off.) The Tefal model has the usual automatic shut-off button which is useful, and a water gauge on the side to tell you what the level of water is at inside. In the interests of fuel economy I usually only boil one to two mugs of water in it at a time, which takes us up only just over the 'minimum fill' line. The kettle is cordless, so it plugs into the socket by means of a round base that the jug part sits on - there's a socket a bit like an in-car cigarette lighther that plugs into the base of the jug, and a useful feature where you can wind the electric cable 'inside' round and round in the circular base and then clip it in place, to get rid of any excess length. The circular base part quite well but gets surprisingly grubby in the kitchen, for some unknown reason.
The capacity of the kettle is 1.66 litres - but the maximum fill point which is marked on the water fill-line on the side takes you only about three-quarters of the way up the height of the jug. This means that there is a lot of dead 'head-space' in the top of the kettle that'll never get filled with water. I don't know what the reason for designing it like that could be. It seems like a bad feature as after the water's boiled inside it takes slightly longer for the automatic shut-off to kick in than you'd expect with a more 'efficient' kettle; I wonder if that's because there's so much empty space inside the thing.
My other half got this on special offer at Tesco about 18 months ago - I doubt he would have paid more than £10 - £15 for it but I'm stunned to see that even the plastic models of this kettle sell for upwards of £34 on Amazon.co.uk These online prices seem so ridiculously elevated for what this kettle is that I do wonder if it's become a collectors' item - or if it's some kind of mistake.
You'd be daft to pay that for it, quite frankly. I'm happy enough with the one we've got but it's not so wonderful that I would actively seek out the same brand as a replacement, and I wouldn't consider paying more than a tenner for it myself.
(Please note that in order to post this review I have had to fill in arbitrary comments regarding 'picture' and 'sound quality' for this kettle, as the result of some quirk of the updated dooyoo review process. The kettle hasn't got pictures and only makes boiling water sounds - just the way all kettles should.)
Short name: Tefal 85001