Clean Your Kettle.

Electric kettle

It happens to all of them eventually: you notice that icky weird build up of gunk on the inside of your tea kettle. Rinsing the inside doesn’t seem to do much in the way of removing that build up and soapy water does nothing either. It’s enough to make you want to chuck it and buy a new one. But hold off doing that, because cleaning the kettle is actually surprisingly easy!

Before we get to that, I’m sure you want to know what that stuff actually is and where it comes from:

First, know that it’s nothing harmful. Ordinary tap water, especially if its hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Over time build-up of these minerals (called limescale) creates white powdery deposits inside your kettle. And it’s not easy to remove.  Some kettles actually get black deposits instead of white powdery ones on the inside. This comes from calcium deposits being heated in an empty kettle and leaving behind traces that carbonizes. Again, not dangerous but certainly unsightly.

Second, there are a few ways to remove the mineral deposits and descale your kettle whether its electric or the traditional stove top kind:

1. Vinegar and water: Boil equal parts white vinegar and water. Turn off the heat, and let the kettle sit for a few hours. Rinse and repeat as needed until the interior is clean.

2. Lemon juice: I’ve used this method a few times and it’s worked like a charm. Fill the kettle halfway and pour in pure lemon juice – roughly 2 cups – and bring to a boil. Repeat a few times if necessary and then rise inside of pot a few times to remove any lemon residue.

3. Citrus Acid powder: I like the one from Zojirushi that they make to clean their hot water heaters. You just pour in a packet of the dried citric acid into water and boil a few times until the minerals release. You’ll often see them floating around depending on how scale-y your pot has become. Once you see that it’s worked, rinse the inside of the pot a few times to remove any of the powder or your water/tea will taste lemony. Here is a link should you want to buy the packets rather then use what you have at home.

It’s important to keep your tea kettle sparkling clean so that the water being boiled doesn’t adversely affect the taste of your tea. Just simply check the inside of your kettle weekly to see if it needs descaling. If you notice build-up, you can now chose one of the methods above to clean it out. Plus, by regularly maintaining your tea tools, it extends the life of your gadget which ultimately keeps it out of a landfill. All good things… For the earth and for making good tea.

Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

Clean Your Kettle.

Tea Kettle Recall

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Copco Harmony Kettle

I was reading my Consumer Report Magazine this morning and came across some info regarding the Copco Harmony Tea Kettle. I thought I’d share the news with you all in case anyone has this brand. Here is what CR said:

Problem: Lid on kettle can come loose during handling, posing risk of burns.

Products: 142,000 kettles sold nationwide from March 2006 through June 2009 for $30. Copco has been informed of 25 instances of the lid coming loose, with reports of second-degree burns to the hands and fingers.

What to do: Stop using the kettle. If you have a stainless kettle, contact Wilton, the distributor, for free replacement lid; if you have an enamel kettle, you will get a replacement kettle or a refund.

Contact: Call 800-794-5866 or go to http://www.copco.com

Click here for the press release.

Hopefully none of you have been injured by one of these. We switched over to the electric kettle which we just love love love! If you get a refund, perhaps consider investing in the electric kettle!

Happy Sipping!

Tea Kettle Recall

Review: Tea Kettles. Traditional or Electric?

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PINO Digital Kettle Pro

I was a kettle snob. I admit it. For the longest time (like forever) I was devoted to my yellow tea kettle. The kind you put on the stove, boil water, pour over leaves, steep, strain and sip. I think it was the ritual of it all.

One day not to long ago (like 2 months) I was somewhere that had no stove to boil water. What they had was an electric tea kettle. I eyed it with suspicion thinking, “Is she kidding?” But, since I had no choice in the matter, and was in need of tea, I gave in.

And then … everything changed.

I loved it! This particular one had no temperature control, it just offered water that would heat to a rolling boil. Fabulous! I went to Macy’s and bought a Cuisinart.

And then … I remembered the PINO.

If you drink tea daily, the PINO Digital Kettle is the most wonderful invention. A warm and loyal friend to the TeaLover. How fabulous to set the temperature to the desired degree and then have it click off when it’s ready. No worry of burning down the house and a perfect cup a tea to boot. I’ve melted many a kettle on my super-mega 5 burner gas range. Not a pretty sight.

In case you were wondering what all the fuse is about regarding water temperature, please remember that a great leaf can be ruined by the wrong water temperature. Boiling water over green tea? No, no, no, no, no!

I haven’t used my cute lonely, little yellow kettle in a while now, but what can I say? I’ve fallen for another.

Buy a PINO!  You won’t regret it. We should have them in stock in February!

Review: Tea Kettles. Traditional or Electric?