I was looking for a kettle that had a variable temperature setting for specialist teas/coffee and there were only two in the competition for my money, this and the Cusinart model. Ultimately it boiled down to the cost differential, which meant that the Bosch edged it, as both seem to have garnered equally good reviews both here and in Which testing.
On first sight the main thing to strike you is the sheer size of the beastie, it was replacing a John Lewis 1.5l model and despite it having the same capacity it positively dwarfs it in comparison. Aesthetically it really is quite striking and even takes into account us lefties, with the same styling evident whether mounted left, or right, handed on the base station. If I have any criticism it would be that the buttons on the base station feel a little cheap and the audible beep when turning on is a little annoying, but these are very minor gripes. The other concern I have is whether the white plastic cladding on the outside of the kettle and base station will discolour with age, but then only time will tell on this front.
Boil time is fast taking approx 2.5 mins on full capacity and is not unduly noisy as some have suggested in earlier reviews. The rubberised handle is a nice feature and the lid has so far been trouble-free, with no sticking evident. There are 4 temperature settings of 70,80,90 and 100 degrees C with a keep warm facility that works for a maximum 30 minutes before cutting out. Filling is a breeze with the lid fully opening to reveal the large cavity within by a touch of the central release button on the lid, alternatively you can fill via the spout without opening it up. The kettle is double walled which means that the water will stay hotter for longer and although it is plastic lined, it doesn't transfer any horrible chemical taste to the water like so many other brands I have previously tried. It does say to add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the first boil and leave for a little while so maybe this helps reduce the chance of a chemical taste occurring.
It comes with a two year warranty (register online with Bosch) which is a year short of the 3year Cuisinart model, but then it is 30% cheaper at the time of writing this and does win the battle on aesthetics, whilst being comparable on function judging by the amazon reviews alone.
Edit 26/03/2012- 2 weeks in and I have noticed that the lid does not always open when the central button is depressed, requiring several pushes or sometimes just popping a finger in the spout and pulling it upwards. It seems that water tension in the gutter around where the lid sits, is enough to overcome the spring mechanism. Also found that the graphic decal on the power button of the base unit is wearing off! Also been caught out several times with the gushing spout just after the beep has gone off which I think is rather dangerous. I will write to Bosch to see what they have to say before reporting back.
Edit 14/06/12- in addition to the problems mentioned in the last edit, the kettle has now developed yet another fault. Sometimes it just doesn't switch off and continues to boil, maniacally spitting boiling water all over the work surface and anyone within 2 feet of it, which is now the final straw. The device is being returned along with a strong letter of complaint to Bosch and the safety directive, as I believe this kettle is unsafe and unfit for purpose. Initially a five star product but now reduced to one star and that's being generous. Shame on you Bosch.
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