A Detailed Guide on How to Use a Tea Kettle Properly!

Last Updated On : November 2022
Author: Nick
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A Step by Step Guide on How to Use a Tea Kettle

This step by step guide will show you how to use a tea kettle properly as well as cover important things to keep in mind when brewing different types of tea!

You might think it would be pretty straightforward to use a tea kettle, but there are other factors to consider when heating up water to make the perfect cuppa tea. 

So keep reading to learn these steps and considerations for both stovetop tea kettles as well as electric tea kettles. 

Things to Consider when Boiling Water for your Tea

One of the most important things to keep in mind when brewing tea is that each tea type requires a different water temperature for optimal flavor, but there are other factors to consider such as:

  • The cleanliness of your tea kettle
  • The water you are using
  • Steeping time

Appropriate Tea Temperature Guidelines

The appropriate tea temperature for different types of tea can range from 140°F to 212°F or 60°C to 100°C. Here is a quick guide to ensure that you boil water to the desired temperature for each type of tea:

  • Black Tea: 212°F (100°C)
  • Green Tea: 175°F to 180°F (79°C to 82°C)
  • White Tea: 175°F to 180°F (79°C to 82°C)
  • Oolong Tea: 195°F (91°C)
  • Rooibos Tea: 212°F (100°C)
  • Herbal Tea: 212°F (100°C)
  • Pu-erh Tea: 212°F (100°C)
  • Purple Tea: 175°F to 180°F (79°C to 82°C)
  • Yerba Mate: 155°F to 175°F (68°C to 79°C)

Choosing the Right Tea Kettle 

Choosing the right tea kettle is solely based on preference. Some individuals prefer using stovetop tea kettles, while others prefer using electric kettles. 

Later on, we will recommend both a stovetop tea kettle and an electric tea kettle that meet all the features that we are about to discuss. So make sure to check them out if you're in the market for a new tea kettle!

Here are a few features you should look for when buying your next tea kettle:

Built-In Thermometer

A regular stovetop tea kettle does not come with an integrated thermometer. Even though it is not necessary if you have your own kitchen thermometer, it is just convenient to have a built-in thermometer to help you achieve the desired water temperature easily and efficiently!

As for an electric tea kettle, it is easy to find one with preset temperatures, so you can choose the temperature you want and the kettle will turn off once it reaches the desired setting.

Stove Top Compatibility

Make sure you choose a stovetop kettle that can be used with gas burners, induction, electric, radiant, and halogen stovetops. Or at least the most popular ones, which are the gas burners, electric, and induction. 

For obvious reasons, this feature does not apply to electric tea kettles. 

The Spout

You might not think that this is important, but the spout from where you pour the hot water is very important. A tea kettle with a gooseneck spout is essential for an easier pour as well as a more precise one. 

Just think about all the spillage you’ve done over the years from using a regular spout…

Using a Tea Kettle with a Gooseneck Design

Handle Material & Shape

It makes common sense to have a handle with material that is resistant to heat, so one can avoid burning themselves, but you would be surprised at how many companies out there just forget about this important feature.

So make sure you purchase one that will save you from clutching onto an ice pack all day!

Another important feature is the shape of the handle, which is another factor that is constantly overlooked. An ergonomic handle can make pouring hot water easy and comfortable. 

You just don't want to be performing acrobatics when you are trying to pour the last little bit of hot water from your tea kettle…

Tea Kettle Material

Finally, you want to make sure you are picking a stovetop tea kettle with the right material. Food-grade stainless steel is ideal for a leak-free and rust-free tea kettle that will last you a lifetime!

How to Use a Tea Kettle - a Guide for the Stovetop Kettle

Make sure to follow these steps to ensure that your stovetop tea kettle keeps working properly and that it lasts. 

Note that stovetop tea kettles are not made for steeping tea, instead, they are used to heat water for steeping tea leaves or tea bags afterward. Preferably tea leaves as they are superior to tea bags with better flavor and preserved benefits. 

Tea Kettle on the Stove

Step One: Clean & Maintain your Tea Kettle

This step is more of a general one than an initial step. You want to keep your tea kettle working smoothly without getting dirty and growing bacteria. This allows for a better cup of tea each time you use it. 

So make sure you gently wash your tea kettle with soap and water every now and then to keep it clean and new.

Step Two: Add Water to your Tea Kettle

You want to add cold water that is also filtered to your tea kettle because tap water can have some minerals in it, which ultimately make your tea taste differently.

Make sure you don’t overfill the tea kettle, otherwise it will boil over and make a mess. 

Step Three: Heat Up the Water

Heat up the water in your kettle to the desired temperature that we mentioned earlier in this guide, based on the type of tea you are making.

As we also mentioned, it is best to have a stovetop tea kettle that comes with a built-in thermometer to achieve this, but if you only brew tea that requires the water to reach boiling point, then a whistling kettle is good enough.

Either way, make sure you keep an eye on your stovetop tea kettle so you remove it from the heat as soon as it begins to boil.

Step Four: Steep your Tea

The next step is to steep your tea using the hot water that you just made. Make sure you add the water to the loose tea leaves as opposed to adding the tea leaves to the hot water. This allows for better saturation of the tea leaves for a richer and more flavorful cup! 

Using a proper teapot or a mug with a tea infuser is ideal for steeping the perfect cuppa tea. Whatever you use, just make sure the tea leaves have enough space to bloom and expand while steeping.

Step Five: Empty your Tea Kettle

The final step, which is extremely important, yet constantly overlooked is to empty your tea kettle once you are done with the hot water. Don’t forget to also keep the lid open or off to allow the inside of the kettle to air dry.

Keeping the water in the kettle could cause it to rust and it also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and that’s nasty as f***...

We have scoured the internet for the best stovetop tea kettle if you’re in the market for a new one, or if you don’t want to use your old dingy one anymore, haha! Check it out below:

How to Use a Tea Kettle - a Guide for the Electric Kettle

The steps for using an electric kettle are very similar to those of the stovetop kettle. The main difference is that the electric kettle uses an electric base instead of a stovetop. 

Some would argue that electric kettles are easier and more convenient because they come with some extra features, such as choosing your desired temperature, and they auto shut off when reaching that temperature. They also heat up the water quicker than a traditional kettle.

Follow the steps below for the tastiest cup of tea every time!

Electric Kettle with Temperature Sensor

Step One: Clean & Maintain your Electric Kettle

Similar to stovetop kettles, your electric tea kettle should be cleaned every now and then to make sure it continues to work properly and lasts you a while. 

Step Two: Add the Water

Unlike stovetop tea kettles where it is best to only add as much water as you need for the teapot or mug when it comes to electric kettles, you can fill it up as much as you want without exceeding the maximum allowed. 

The reason is that most electric kettles have a feature that allows you to keep your water hot for a longer period of time. So you can come back for more hot water to steep another pot of tea without having to wait for the water to heat up again.

Step Three: Heat Up the Water

First and foremost, don’t forget to plug in your tea kettle. An unplugged electric tea kettle is as useful as a butter knife is to a delicious piece of steak. 

As we mentioned earlier, most electric kettles come with preset temperatures or the ability to choose the desired temperature ahead of time. So you can turn it on and walk away until it is done. 

Step Four: Steep your Tea

Again, the next step is to steep your tea using the hot water that you just made. Make sure you use the electric kettle safely to add the water to the tea or tea bag as opposed to adding the tea leaves to the hot water. This allows for better saturation of the tea leaves for a richer and more flavorful cup! 

Using a proper teapot or a mug with a tea infuser is ideal for steeping the perfect cuppa tea. Whatever you use, just make sure the tea leaves have enough space to bloom and expand while steeping.

Step Five: Empty & Unplug your Kettle

In case you didn’t read this step from the stovetop guide, here it is again: The final step, which is extremely important, yet constantly overlooked is to empty your tea kettle once you are done with the hot water. Don’t forget to also keep the lid open or off to allow the inside of the kettle to air dry.

Keeping the water in the kettle could cause it to rust and it also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and that’s nasty as f***...

And don’t forget to unplug your electric kettle to avoid unwanted damage. For instance, if the kettle is empty and it is turned on by accident, the heat could damage the base of the kettle, or even worse, cause a fire. 

Sure some of these new electric kettles come with a safety feature that doesn’t allow the kettle to turn on if it doesn’t have water in it, but better safe than sorry. Am I right?! 

Again, we scoured the internet for the best electric tea kettle so you don’t have to go hunting for one yourself. You’re welcome! 

Safety Tips & Considerations

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind to avoid any booboos:

  • We mentioned this before, but we will mention it again, just to be safe: don’t overfill your kettle, cause the water will boil over. 
  • Don’t allow the water in tea kettles to boil dry, as this can permanently damage your kettle.
  • In the case of stovetop tea kettles, make sure you do not leave it on the stove top unattended, as this could be dangerous for children and pets. 
  • When your stovetop tea kettle makes a whistling sound, then remove it from the heat immediately.
  • Make sure the lid on the tea kettle is closed properly before you pour the hot water.
  • As for electric tea kettles, remember to unplug them when you are not using them.

What’s the difference between a Teapot & a Tea Kettle?

Many people use these two words interchangeably, but in reality they are quite different. 

As you’ve noticed, a tea kettle is used to heat up water, either electrically or on a stovetop. On the other hand, a teapot is used to steep loose leaf tea or tea bags. 

Teapots are not made to be used on the stovetop since most of them have an interior coating that can be damaged if exposed to direct and high heat sources. 

Having said that, some teapots, such as Japanese cast iron teapots, are made to withstand some low heat sources and can be used on the stovetop to heat up water as well as steep your loose leaf tea.   

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a tea kettle take to boil?

This depends on a few factors, such as the amount of water in the kettle, how cold the water is, what the heat source is, etc. However, to give you an idea, on average stovetop tea kettles heat water in about 10 minutes while electric kettles heat water in about half the time - 5 minutes. 

Does a tea kettle just boil water?

Yes, tea kettles are only made to boil water. It is not recommended that you use your tea kettle as a teapot, which means don’t steep your tea in it. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t heat other liquids in it either, such as milk. 

Should you put hot water in a kettle?

You can put hot water in a kettle, but it is not recommended because hot water usually has more contaminants. Read here for more information about that. Instead, use cold and filtered water for the best tea flavor.

How long can you leave boiled water in a kettle?

According to the CDC, you can leave boiled water at room temperature for up to 6 months as long as it is placed in a properly sealed container. However, for the purposes of making tea, it is best to throw away the water that has cooled down and use a fresh batch of water to ensure optimal tea flavor. 

However, if you are more concerned about the environment and not being wasteful, then a full day in the kettle is fine. 

How often should I clean my tea kettle?

Your tea kettle should be descaled and cleaned every 4 to 8 weeks to ensure that it remains clean and functioning properly without hindering the taste of your loose leaf tea or tea bag.

Do you put tea bags in the kettle?

As we mentioned earlier, the kettle is only used to heat up water and it is not used to steep your tea. It is best to put your tea bag in a mug or a teapot then add the heated water to it.

Do all tea kettles whistle?

No, not all tea kettles whistle. The majority of stovetop tea kettles make a whistling sound as a security feature, while electric kettles come with an automatic shut off feature when they boil or reach the desired temperature.

Can I put my tea kettle in the dishwasher?

For obvious reasons, electric tea kettles are not dishwasher safe. On the other hand, if your stovetop tea kettle is made of stainless steel then it is dishwasher safe. If it is made of any other material, such as porcelain, then it is not dishwasher safe.

Final Thoughts

If this guide didn’t answer your question on how to use a tea kettle properly and every other question you might have thought of, then I don’t know what will… 

And if it exceeded your expectations, which I’m sure it did *wink wink*, then make sure to join our monthly newsletter to get useful information, like this one, delivered straight to your inbox!

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Disclaimer:

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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