Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism
- December 29, 2019
A gooseneck kettle is one of those things that you strictly speaking don’t really need to brew a good cup of coffee.
On the other hand, it makes your life a lot easier if you have one.
It’s a bit like cooking. Sure, you can chop vegetables with an old, blunt knife, but most people would prefer having a razor-sharp chef’s knife at their disposal.
Yes, it’s a small expense, but if you see your daily coffee as a bit of ritual that sets you up for the rest of the day, it’s totally worth it.
Plus, kettles are relatively simple. They can’t really break, and the technology doesn’t go old every half year, so chances are good you can use it for a lifetime.
My top pick:
The pour over kettle is one of the most iconic pieces of equipment in the third wave coffee movement.
Most people have walked into a minimalist-chic coffee shop and bewondered the careful circle motion pouring performed by a bearded barista.
Here’s the thing though: These hipster baristas don’t use a gooseneck kettle just because it looks cool. They do it because it makes life a whole lot easier when brewing pour-over coffee. (The same argument goes for the coffee scale, too!)
I know this myself because I was a bit of a penny pincher back in the days when the Hario V60 was just starting to become a thing.
Instead of investing in a nice gooseneck kettle, I insisted on using my ‘almost as good’ electric, clumsy-spouted kettle.
With a device like the Aeropress, it doesn’t really matter, but when brewing pour-over a kettle just makes your life so much easier.
Luckily I saw the light and ditched my old kettle. I haven’t looked back since then, and today I find it hard to imagine not making pour-over coffee with a serious kettle.
A kettle is a quite simple device with only a few key differences between each model. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite models.
|Fellow Stagg EKG, Electric…|
|Hario Gooseneck Coffee Kettle…|
|Brewista Smart Pour Variable…|
|Carita coffee pot stainless…|
|Steel Pour Over Gooseneck…|
|Electric Gooseneck Kettle -…|
The Stagg EKG from innovative US-company Fellow has quickly established itself as one of the top choices in the market.
It’s easy to see why: It looks “dope AF” (as the young people like to say), it’s super-fast, and has all the functions you need.
The most prevalent version is the matte black kettle, but there’s a wide range of color variations today.
There is a cheaper non-electric model for the stovetop and a more advanced (and probably unnecessary) Bluetooth-model called the EKG+.
The Stagg has a very convenient size compared to some of the other electric kettles, making it more comfortable for precision pouring. It only has a 0.9-liter capacity, but that should be ideal for most people’s pour over needs. The most common batch size for pour over is probably between 250-500 ml’s, so the capacity still gives you enough water for a proper preheat and filter-rinse.
The flow rate of the Stagg EKG is also explicitly made for pour over coffee. Having a gentle stream creates less agitation in the brew bed, which translates into smoother tasting coffee.
However, some people might find the stream on the slow side.
Besides looking cool, Stagg also comes with some of the best electronic components out of any kettle. It has PID temperature control, plenty of horsepower (1200W), an excellent display, and an intuitive dial.
It’s easy to adjust the temperature and keep an eye on the progress. The model will also hold temperatures for up to an hour.
The kettle will heat enough water for one pour over in less than two and a half minutes. Pretty impressive.
There is one significant downside to the Fellow EKG, and that’s the price. It’s more expensive than the competitors. However, if money is no concern, this model should be on your radar.
There have been some reports about faulty units as well, but this is pretty natural with something like electric kettles. Heat, electricity, and water aren’t best friends, so there will be mishaps. It’s unfortunate given the price of the pot, but probably unavoidable.
It seems that the vast majority of users, however, are delighted with the Fellow kettle.See more reviews
The Hario Buono is ‘the original’ gooseneck kettle. For many years this was the only serious option out there. What the Hario V60 was for drippers, the Buono was for gooseneck kettles.
The Hario Buono is a visually striking kettle. The design language is the same curvy-elegant one that we see applied across a range of the most popular Hario products: the V60 dripper, the Skerton grinder, and the cute little range server.
The Buono has a large capacity while still feeling relatively lightweight weighing in at 415 grams. The material itself feels sturdy, but given the light weight it might not be perceived as ‘premium.’
The Hario Buono is one of the bigger models on the market. For professional baristas, who are brewing coffee all day, all the time, this is pretty handy. But for us home users 1.2 liters is a little excessive.
Just, think about it… Brewing your typical pour over, you might use 26 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water.
There is a smaller model of the Buono out there holding just 1 liter, which might be more suitable for a lot of people.
Compared to a lot of the newer models that are starting to become available in the US, the Buono also has a faster flow rate.
Don’t get me wrong – it still offers superior control when pouring compared to all traditional kettles, but the other models in this review/test all have either more narrow spouts or less pressure, which results in a slower flow rate.
The Hario Buono is a classic for a good reason. It’s a beautiful kettle that gets the job done. It may not be the fanciest or most innovatively developed model available, yet in the event that you need an attractive and essential bit of gear, then you got it right here.See more reviews
The Brewista series of kettles has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years. Many professional baristas are starting to turn to these efficient and electric models.
The Brewista Smart Pour’s main strength is the built-in temperature control. When brewing coffee every little parameter counts and with the ability to change the heat 1 degree plus or minus, you got all the options on your hand.
The temperature control works as well as advertised. If you use an infrared thermometer to double check, you will see that it is very precise.
The Brewista is pretty average regarding heating speed – it takes about 5-6 minutes to heat up and boil the water from cold.
Like the Hario Buono, the Brewista is also on the larger side. It’s by no means heavy, but it’s worth considering.
The material is stainless steel, and it has a nice sturdy feel to it.
The flow rate and the precision of the kettle are excellent, meaning you can get the best possible extraction of your pour over coffee. No too fast, not too slow, just right.
This is one of the best gooseneck kettles for the serious home barista. All the nice tweaks and features are gonna make your life easier. If you can afford it, this kettle is a great addition to your coffee arsenal.See more reviews
Kalita is a Japanese coffee brand that has become wildly popular in the Western world in recent years.
In fact, the company is pretty old. They started out as an imitator of the German coffee brand Melitta but has somehow morphed into their own unique identity.
Kalita’s most famous product is the ‘Wave pour over filter,’ but they have a whole range of nice barista gear.
Kalita’s stainless steel pot comes in various sizes, but we’re fans of this particular size – the 0,7 L.
In fact, this model is very basic, but sometimes that’s the best approach. It looks minimalist and superb, and it carries out its job to perfection.
The spout is thin and offers excellent control over the water flow. At the same time, the handle feels comfortable and precise.
This kettle will work very well if you want to follow advanced pour over recipes.
There are a few downsides to this model you ought to know about. Because of the slightly elongated design, the heat doesn’t transfer that quickly if you put it on the stove.
What I always do, is boiling the water in an electric kettle first and then pour it into the Kalita after.
If you do use it on a stove, you will also find that the steel handle will absorb a lot of heat, so be careful!
The Kalita Stainless Steel Pot is not without its flaws, but if you’re able to work with them, you have one of the best pour-over coffee kettles on the market at this price point. It’s a quality product that can help you make consistent coffee.See more reviews
Since third wave coffee took off a few years ago, we have seen an influx of new brands on the market. Steel Coffee is one such brand. Their cute little kettle might make them known to a bigger audience.
This kettle combines a lot of good elements into one elegant, little package. It has a nice, ergonomically designed handle, an elongated precision gooseneck and a lid with holes made for insertion of a thermometer.
Also, the manufacturer offers ‘lifetime guarantee’, which says a lot about the product. It’s made in China but designed in the USA.
The material used is food grade stainless steel.
On Amazon, this kettle has gotten rave reviews from consumers. That is always a good sign for any product.
A tiny complaint from some users is that it spits water when boiling, so you can’t fill it up completely, or at least you need to keep an eye on it.
Also, some people find it rather small, but for us, this is an excellent size for pour over coffee.
If you don’t necessarily need the famous brand names but are just looking for a bargain, this kettle could be a great choice. There’s a lot of things to like about it.See more reviews
As mentioned above, many new brands are entering the market for pour over coffee kettles. One of these brands is Willow & Everett – a rather new husband and wife company.
This little kettle is getting a lot of fans on Amazon. And it’s not hard to understand why.
The E & W Kettle looks great. It’s elegant and cute at the same time. The capacity is 1 L, which is a good size for most people. Not too small or too big.
What makes the W & E kettle stand out is that it’s an electric kettle, but at the same time, it’s very affordable.
The E & W Kettle is a great compromise between form and functionality. It’s an electric kettle, yet it’s very simple.
The water heats pretty quickly; it should take around 5 minutes. Some customers complain that the material is rather flimsy and that the water doesn’t retain its temperature for an extended period, but that is to be expected for a small and nimble pot like this.
There is one main issue with this model, and that is that the lid is hard to take off. If you have hot water inside that means you could potentially splash something on yourself. On the other hand, it’s a pro that you don’t have to worry about the lid falling off when brewing.
This little kettle from Willow & Everett might not be the most famous or prestigious kettle out there, but if you’re looking for an electric version that will do the job for pour over coffee, then you’ll likely be satisfied.See more reviews
The first factor that should decide which model to go for is whether you want an electric kettle or not. It goes without saying that it’s fantastic to have an electric kettle. It means you don’t have first heat water on the stove or in a separate electric kettle.
At the same time, there are also a few drawbacks to this. For instance, if you want to use your electric kettles for other purposes than coffee making, the slow pour rate of a smaller spout could be quite annoying in daily use.
Of course, the price is also a factor. If you already have a decent electric kettle, it might be a better solution to save the money and just get a regular non-electric kettle.
The size of the kettle is something to have in mind. Back in the days, most kettles were typically around 1 L but nowadays pour over coffee kettles come in all shapes and sizes.
Unless you are a pro barista or a very unusual consumer, I’d suggest that you go something between 0,5 and 1.2 liters.
Some kettles come with a built-in thermometer. Some of the electric models will even be able to target specific temperatures. This is a neat feature if you want to geek out and explore different recipes.
The last point I want to include is design and aesthetics. A pour-over kettle should be easy to handle and at the same time easy on the eye. There are a lot of beautiful models to choose from, so here your taste should be your guide.
The flow rate is a tricky one. If you haven’t used a pour over coffee kettle before you most likely won’t pay much attention to this factor.
I like kettles with a slower flow rate, but not everybody agrees on this point. One of the most popular models, the Hario Buono, for instance, has a quite fast flow rate.