Top positive review
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A fantastic kettle
on 27 January 2011
Overall this kettle is working really well. It looks great, boils the water quickly and accurately, doesnt make too much noise and does not have a plastic interior that would taint the water
Firstly this review is for the Cuisinart CPK17U sold in Europe (not the Cuisinart CPK17 sold in the USA) the main difference between these two models is that the CPK17 has a "30-minute keep warm" where it boils the water and keeps on boiling it constantly for up to 1/2 hour. The CPK17U sold in Europe just boils the water and then turns itself 'almost' off.
I say 'almost' off because like many higher end kettles it does have a couple of blue LEDs (and an electronic thermometer) that stay on all the time unless you turn the kettle off at the wall. I could not find anything in the instruction book or on the Cusinart website about standby energy consumption, but from the comments below, the electricity cost is about 7.20 GBP per year (so if the kettle lasts 10 years call it 72 GBP)
The kettle does have an "Automatic Eco feature" mode, I suspect this might be marketing B.S. but when you select a specific temperature setting, the kettle will 'forget' this 2 minutes after the kettle has boiled, so some of the electronics do get turned off.
You can choose a range of temperatures: 85 / 90 / 95 or 100 degrees - the 85 degree button is recommended for Green Tea and instant coffee, 100 degrees for black tea. It is also possible to get a lower temperature by just watching the thermometer readout and turning the kettle off manually once it reaches the desired temperature.
The built-in electronic thermometer is not spectacularly fast or accurate, I compared it with a ThermaPen and found it was reading 2 degrees above the actual temperature and takes around 2 seconds to respond to temperature changes. When boiling the kettle these two things cancel each other out and the final water temperature is pretty much spot on, good enough for making a cup of tea with anyway. Temperatures are displayed in increments of 5 degrees.
When the kettle boils it bleeps 5 times, some people (or dogs) might find this annoying but I'm usually pouring the water out before it reaches the second beep. (Picking up the kettle turns it off)
An unexpected side effect of this kettle is that because the blue LEDs look so cool everyone has taken to turning the kitchen lights off, whatever the standby energy of the kettle is it's going to be an order of magnitude lower than all the room lighting. (This is one of those counter intuitive effects rather like those 'low-energy' light bulbs which give off such a cold light you have to crank up the central heating to compensate!)
This kettle is made in the PRC and the build quality looks very good, both the body and base are stainless steel, the handle has a stainless steel skin, the buttons are silver effect PVC. The area around the power connection (the centre of the base) is black plastic.
A metal kettle will always weigh more than plastic, without water or the base, this kettle weighs 1.1 Kg (compared to a plastic Boden kettle which is 650 grams) when filled with enough water for a large teapot that becomes 2.3 KG vs 1.85 Kg
The main body does not have a double skin so the outside will become hot, I prefer this to double-skinned kettles that hold less water and so tend to be more top heavy. The handle always remains cool, also the level indicator is next to the handle providing extra insulation making it unlikely that you will burn yourself.
The kettle is easy to fill and heats water very fast, pouring the water out is also very smooth and controllable, the shape of the kettle; tapering towards the top; seems to help with this.
Edit: So 18 months later the kettle developed a fault: the LCD temperature display faded to the point it was hard to read. I suspect this was caused by heat from the blue light affecting the LCD, perhaps they should change the design to just use blue LEDs instead? Anyway Amazon came through and replaced the kettle with a new one.
Edit2: So far the replacement seems to be fine so hopefully that was a one off fault.