Monthly Archives: January 2012

The £1000 kettle

Okay. So it’s not actually a kettle and it doesn’t really cost £1000 exactly (it costs from £830 at the time of writing). But it grabbed your attention didn’t it?

It’s actually a Quooker boiling water tap which stores water in a 3L tank (you can get a 7L one but it costs much more, is much bigger and you don’t really need that, really you don’t in normal domestic circumstances) under the sink at 110C and delivers it at 100C – filtered. No more scummy tea. And it comes in a few different designs and finishes if you don’t like that one.

(God, look. I know I sound like an ad. This isn’t an ad. No-one has paid me to write this and I don’t give a toss if you buy one or not. The only reason I’m writing this is because when I was considering one, there were no really useful reviews and it’s an expensive thing. So anyone with any Qs, do ask away…)

So, anyway, I’d been thinking about getting one of these for ages. Partly because I was sick of leaky kettles or ones that just kept breaking down after two years. But the cost was really putting me off. And the people who already had one were evanfuckinggelical about their bloody Quookers, and that was putting me off.

Anyway, Quooker isn’t the only company that does these. Zip also does (Google them) but the tank that fits under the sink is hooge and they’re even more expensive. Advantage with the Zip is that you also get cold filtered water through them but we didn’t need this as we already have a Brita filter tap that delivers cold filtered water.

It’s a very high-end piece of kit. You can’t justify it in terms of cost of this vs not ever having to buy a kettle again, because you could buy several, several kettles for the price. The advantages are no more kettles or kettle leads, you take only the water you need (so it’s more economical than boiling a kettle when you only need one cup). No more boiling the kettle, forgetting you’ve boiled it and then having to reboil it. But again you can’t justify it in terms of electricity saving because the outlay is BIG. So I’m not going to. All I’m going to say is that we’ve had ours in use for about a year now and it’s fantastic. Our electricity bills have definitely gone down, but whether it’s due to that or not, I can’t say.

It delivers perfectly boiling, filtered water and yes, tea tastes better. No more waiting for the water to boil to make pasta, or anything. (Yeah yeah, I know it only takes minutes but still.) You can sterilise knives you’ve just used to cut raw meat, chopping boards, blanch veg etc. But all of these things you can do with a kettle.

It’s just that I don’t want to.

It has a safety device which is you have to hold the tap handle down and turn it at the same time (but once pushed in it stays on). It’s safer than a kettle in that if a child pulls a kettle on top of them, the entire contents will go on them. The Quooker delivers water at 0.05litres of a second. You still need to be careful with it however but in situ, it’s incredibly safe even if the idea of it isn’t.

Once it’s dispensed 3L of water it takes about 10 minutes to refill and reheat. I’ve never found this a pain. It stores the water in a 3L or 7L triple insulated tank. If I recall correctly, the heated up water doesn’t mix with the new cold water, i.e. you’re not constantly boiling up the whole tank every time you dispense some water and the tank tops up. We have a electricity monitor and I can see that, when not actively heating the water – i.e. just storing it, it doesn’t seem to use up any electricity.

There are various other hot water taps out there that cost not much at all, but they don’t dispense water at 100C, so they’re not boiling water taps.

If you’re having your kitchen refitted or just like the latest gadgets this is one to seriously consider. I love love love mine.

In the meantime, let me tell you a true story about a very famous designer having her Quooker fitted. So VFD leaves her assistant to deal with the Quooker engineer. Quooker engineer fits the Quooker and shows VFD’s assistant how to use it. “Oh no,” says VFD’s assistant, flapping the steam away, “VFD won’t like that, it steams”.

“That’s because,” says the Quooker engineer, “it’s a boiling water tap and water at 100C causes steam.”

“Oh no,” says VFD’s assistant “VFD won’t like that, can’t you do anything about the steam?”

Luckily, VFD loved the steam and the tap and had another fitted and everyone lived happily ever after.