This handy tool is an integral part of my nightly routine.
Here’s how my evening routine typically works: I come home from work, drop my bag on the kitchen table, drape my jacket over a chair, and before even kicking off my shoes, I switch on my Bonavita electric tea kettle. Even in the summer, my first order of business is to make a cup of tea.
When I moved to Jersey City about two years ago, I didn’t have a steady job and worked mostly from home. That daily cup of tea was just as important then though—a way to give my unstructured days a sense of routine—but an inconsistent cash flow meant I was stuck with the cheap glass, rubber handled Bed Bath & Beyond kettle that acquired unsightly burn marks after the first couple uses. It was ugly, and I despised it. Finally, one day, in a perhaps subconscious act of sabotage, I filled it with water, set it to boil on the stove, and promptly forgot all about it. Soon, the air began to fill with smoke and the smell of burning rubber. I rushed into the kitchen, opened all the windows and threw the blackened, destroyed kettle on the fire escape.
Thankfully, soon after that unfortunate incident, I began working more regularly. Looking for an excuse to treat myself to a fancy kettle, I headed straight to Food52, where I found the yellow Enamel Coffee Pot. Elegant, yet simple and rustic, I filled the entire pot with boiling water (I refused to set it directly on the burner, for fear the flames would burn its pristine exterior) and placed it in on the kitchen table like a centerpiece, drinking cup and after cup of tea out of it, imagining I lived in peaceful, well-decorated farmhouse.
As aesthetically pleasing as that kettle is (and it does still sit in clear view on a shelf in my kitchen, even though I don't use it) it wasn’t exactly practical. I had to boil water in another receptacle, then pour that water into the kettle. There had to be a better way.
Coincidentally, around the same time, a friend had purchased the Bonavita electric kettle. A coffee connoisseur and new father, he used it to boil water for pour-over coffee and to heat baby bottles. But every time I stopped by for Sunday dinner (a fairly regular occurrence), I would bound up the stairs to his second-floor kitchen and immediately put the kettle on for tea. After the first couple times, I stopped asking permission. My enthusiasm for the Bonavita did not go unnoticed, and he ended up buying me the same model last Christmas. It's now a fixture in my home and the star of my after-work ritual.
What makes the Bonavita so special is how simple and fast it is: Just program it to a set temperature, press the power button, and you have a pot of hot water ready in three minutes or less. That’s enough time for me sit down on the couch, take my shoes off, and breathe for a moment after my commute home.
The kettle makes a gentle gurgling noise when the water is done, not an incessant whistle, which is frankly a much more pleasant way to be reminded that you're boiling water. Even if you do happen to forget you had put the kettle on, once it has reached its programmed temperature, it steadily begins to drop, until it eventually switches off on its own.
The Bonavita’s stainless steel body stays impeccably clean, too. I just give it a quick rinse after each use.
Easy to use, no fuss, and, crucially for me, no risk of burning rubber: I’ll never buy another kettle again.