Making a cup of tea is undeniably a form of art. From England to Japan, different cultures have varying processes for brewing the perfect cuppa. In my Taiwanese family, my mom would bring out her traditional zisha tea set whenever guests came around. She’d warm up the clay teapot with hot water, rinse out the crumpled leaves, wash the cups with this first flush of light tea, and repeat. Every time, the result was utterly divine oolong, so full-bodied and fragrant that I’m instantly transported to the mountains of Nantou, one of the biggest tea-producing counties in Taiwan (and where my mom is coincidentally from).
Having grown up with this tradition, I’ve cultivated somewhat of an obsession with good tea. Although I’m able to bring the best oolong and Ceylon tea back to the States from my trips home for the holidays, I’ve always struggled with nailing the smoothness and faintly sweet aftertaste that my mom consistently achieves. When I’d ask her what her secret is, she’d tell me that it comes down to temperature, brewing time, and patience. “It’s more than just hot water,” she’d say, reminding me to never burn the leaves or just splash some lukewarm water over them and call it a day.
Here’s the thing, though: Since the first thing I crave when I open my eyes in the morning is a warm cup of tea, it’s a hassle for my impatient self to grab my kettle, plop in a thermometer, and stare at it to make sure it reaches the correct temperature. So I’ve been on the search for the perfect electric kettle that comes with temperature settings, a timer, and a quick-brewing function for as long as I can remember. And my research has finally led me to the best option: Fellow’s Corvo EKG Kettle.
Anyone who’s a fan of coffee will surely recognize the brand. It’s behind the ultra-stylish Stagg gooseneck kettle that graces just about every sleek coffee shop countertop these days. Since I don’t drink coffee and have no need for pour-overs, I decided to try out the Corvo instead of the Stagg—and it’s been an absolute game-changer.
The first thing that impressed me was how quickly the kettle heats up. When I filled it up to its maximum capacity, it took only a second per degree to warm up to a boiling point—a huge difference compared to my old stovetop teapot that took 10 minutes. Its temperature control feature is arguably the handiest, though. Setting it is as easy as turning its knob, and the kettle will hold your desired temp for up to an hour. There’s even a stopwatch that helps make sure you’re not over brewing your tea if you choose to steep directly in the kettle (no bitter tea here), and the ergonomic handle makes pouring so easy.
With the Corvo kettle, I’ve been able to make some of the most balanced and velvety cups of tea, and now I can’t imagine my mornings without it. Sure, it’s not exactly the traditional way by which my mom brews her pristine cups, but as a modern method, it comes pretty close to perfection.
Shop Fellow’s game-changing kettle below.
To buy: $149; amazon.com