About a month ago, our electric kettle broke or, rather, we deemed the appearance of a melted bit on the base too risky to continue using, especially with its rather inadequate spout and habit of liberally watering the area around where you were trying to pour. Since then we have been making do with our camping kettle on the kitchen hob.
Hearing the sound of a whistling kettle is vaguely nostalgic but I can’t help imagining that it is less than efficient. Even with the hob up full, it takes a long time to start singing. Finally we have got round to buying a replacement. I had been looking round for one of those kettles that lets you heat water to less than boiling as an eco-feature. For many applications, almost boiling is enough and you save energy by catching it on the upswing rather than letting it boil and cool a bit. Unfortunately, I struggled to find an example approaching a reasonable price which also promised the likelihood of a long life and without the threat of plastic-tasting water.
Still, the relatively cheap one I picked up from Homebase in the end does at least allow a fairly small amount of water to be heated (another eco-friendly feature – boil only what you need), has a decent spout and doesn’t seem to taste too bad. Not the most exciting solution (I was tempted by one that lights as it boils and then changes colour when it reaches temperature but it didn’t make it clear if that would let me estimate when the water had become hot enough) but a relief to be able put the old whistler back in the camping box and brew up a hot drink in less than fifteen minutes.