Fire burn and cauldron bubble

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Tillerman
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:32 am

Sometimes life just gets in the way of a good blog post. And sometimes life gets in the way of a bad blog post too. One way or the other, that’s what happened in October. Nevertheless, the Ultracrepidarian is back and now is about to spout off about tea kettles. https://tillermantea.net/2019/11/fire-b ... on-bubble/
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:27 am

Thank you for the research & well-written summary. Obviously, so perhaps why it was not a focal point, is that one should be able to handle the handle comfortably. Before any hot water has touched my tea, I am already happy sometimes as I hold my kettle so easily & enjoy the familiar feeling.

I don't remember thinking the pour of the gooseneck spout was so slow until the recent thread on electric kettles kept mentioning it. Now I do realize it, but pouring speed is not important to me. thanks again.
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Victoria
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:11 pm

I have two gooseneck kettles and the larger 1.7L Bonavita pours Super fast, the smaller .9L Stag is slower. I am enjoying the slower pour because it allows for more control, with less splashing. The fast pour is useful though when doing very short steeps.
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Shine Magical
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:23 pm

I find it risible that you felt the need to include my comment, somewhat out of context, in your little article more than a month later...

:roll:
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Baisao
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:11 am

“...the clay kettle that often is heated over a charcoal brazier (this may add immeasurably to the aesthetics of a tea session but it adds little to the tea itself.)”

@Tillerman, are you saying that the clay kettle adds little to the tea or that the charcoal brazier adds little to tea?

I don’t think charcoal contributes much more than frustration but there are some clay kettles, notably from Japan, that have a surprisingly positive impact on tea.

“Following the lead of third wave coffee aficionados many ardent tea lovers arrived at the opinion that proper tea brewing required the ability to have pinpoint control over the addition of hot water to the leaves.”

My Taiwanese teacher didn’t know anything about coffee (I honestly doubt she had even been to even a chain coffee shop) and yet she reinforced water pouring technique, which includes precision.
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Tillerman
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:03 am

@Baisao, thanks for the comments; they give me a chance to clarify my cluttered prose.

To the first point, I am saying that charcoal as a heat source adds nothing to the tea. I believe that any sort of radiant heat (microwaves are different) will work to heat the water. The brazier is romantic, perhaps, but as you say it is frustrating and difficult to control. As to the clay pots themselves, my jury is still out on this one. Tetsubin heated water is different and so may be clay pot heated water; I simply don't know the answer to that one.

To the second point, yes, precision pouring is important and that includes the ability to pour quickly when needed. I highly doubt that your Taiwanese teacher (is she now in Beijing?) used a "gooseneck" kettle.
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Baisao
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:15 pm

Tillerman wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:03 am
Baisao, thanks for the comments; they give me a chance to clarify my cluttered prose.

To the first point, I am saying that charcoal as a heat source adds nothing to the tea. I believe that any sort of radiant heat (microwaves are different) will work to heat the water. The brazier is romantic, perhaps, but as you say it is frustrating and difficult to control. As to the clay pots themselves, my jury is still out on this one. Tetsubin heated water is different and so may be clay pot heated water; I simply don't know the answer to that one.

To the second point, yes, precision pouring is important and that includes the ability to pour quickly when needed. I highly doubt that your Taiwanese teacher (is she now in Beijing?) used a "gooseneck" kettle.
Thank you for the clarification. Neither of us use the exaggerated gooseneck spouts but ones with a more traditional/common curve and wider mouth. They allow fast and slow pouring while remaining precise enough for tasty tea.

One Taiwanese friend of mine uses a whistling kettle with the whistling part removed. He’s humble and makes the best with what he has. TBH, he doesn’t make the best tea (it’s very strong gaoshan cha) but he drinks it for his health and GFC relaxes him. It’s so strong I always think my kidneys hurt as I drive home after tea with him! 😂

My teacher is still in the U.S. but very busy with family, church, and work. We get together once every couple of years but should make a point of meeting for tea more frequently.
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:17 pm

I cannot speak for others, but for me the reason for getting a variable temperature gooseneck kettle is the "variable temperature" part, not the "gooseneck" part. There may be better options out there in terms of ultimate quality (Tetsubin, clay), I am not disputing that. But when drinking tea is something you do to accompany another "main" activity (such as work), being able to get water to a precise temperature makes things easier, at least to me as a relative beginner.

Most variable temperature kettles without a gooseneck seem to have preset temperature choices rather than a fully adjustable set point, and very wide spouts or other drawbacks. It so happens that the market for variable temperature kettles with fully adjustable temperature seems to be mainly targeting pour-over coffee making, for which slow and controlled pour is a hard requirement as far as I can tell.

If there was a readily available option with a quicker yet still controlled pour at similar price and quality, I would have gone for that.

Maybe the use of gooseneck kettles by tea drinkers and tea shops partly reflects the presence of a market that has just not been tapped yet by variable temperature kettle makers?
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Tillerman
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:45 pm

faj wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:17 pm

If there was a readily available option with a quicker yet still controlled pour at similar price and quality, I would have gone for that.
@faj There is another option: the Brewista Stout Spout. It is a full variable temperature kettle with a traditional "pinched" spout. It is a fine kettle - the drawback is that it is on the pricey side; especially in Canada.
faj
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:12 pm

Tillerman wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:45 pm
There is another option: the Brewista Stout Spout. It is a full variable temperature kettle with a traditional "pinched" spout. It is a fine kettle - the drawback is that it is on the pricey side; especially in Canada.
I do not think the Brewista was available when I purchased my kettle, but I see it is now available for Canada at a price not that that much higher than, say, the Bonavita. At the end of the day, I guess for many people the gooseneck, while not being of much use for tea, is not going to be much of a deterrent either. The premium you might be willing to pay to avoid the gooseneck might not be that high for most buyers, especially for making small amounts of tea at a time.

At the end of the day, I would guess many people end up with a gooseneck kettle for tea, but not because that is what they were specifically looking for.
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