Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hot Water is Now a Beach

A few weeks ago I wrote about wanting to replace my traditional drip coffee maker with just water pot since I now use the very awesome Aeropress Coffee Maker. Being that my coffee maker had a auto-on timer, I was looking for an electric kettle that had that feature as well and in addition to the ability to program the temperature wanted (something a coffee maker doesn’t have). I found one at Bed, Bath & Beyond that cost $250! (see my blog post “You Want How Much Money Just To Make Hot Water?!”)

I had pretty much reached the point of deciding that a coffee maker was going to be the best (read, only) way to go if I wanted to be able to arrive downstairs on early weekday mornings and have hot water already available to make my requisite cup of coffee. I wasn’t finding electric kettles that had a programmable timer feature without also have price tag of $130-$250 (I mean, come on - does it go out and pick the damn tea leaves for you too?)

Well, thank the coffee gods for While searching for something completely unrelated to hot water or coffee a couple of weekends ago, I found, on my wish list no less, a listing for the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle.  Listed for a retail price of $49.99, it was only $37.40 with free shipping on Amazon. I took a closer look, as my first glance at it (when I had initially placed it on my wishlist) I hadn’t noticed how “programmable” it was. I was quite pleased to find that it was what I was looking for; it has programmable temperature (including presets and the ability to set custom temperatures), and it has a clock and the ability to set it to turn itself on at a set time. Like a programmable coffee pot, it also has an auto-off feature (only 1 hr compared to 2 hrs on most coffee makers, unfortunately, but still a nice safety feature; it will also turn itself off if it detects that the pot is dry).

I’ve had the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle for a week now, and I have to say that I really like it. It takes up considerably less counter space than the coffeepot did and now that I have control over the temperature, I can say that using this in conjunction with my Aeropress Coffee Maker makes a better cup of coffee than using a standard coffee pot or just using hot water from the coffeepot with the Aeropress. Some reviewers complained that it quit working after only a couple of months, so hopefully I won’t run into that problem and chalk those comments up to being the rare defective unit (there were a lot more 5-star ratings than there were 1-star reviews).

It is true that I could have bought another coffee pot for about half as much and the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle, but these days even the coffee pots that have the programmable features I prefer were ranging in the $40-$50 range, so I’m OK with having paid as much for the kettle as I did. Shipping was pretty quick too, especially considering that I paid the low low price of FREE (ordered it on a Saturday night, had it in hand by the following Friday).

So, if you’re looking to make a great cup of coffee, pick up an Aeropress Coffee Maker and a Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle; that’s my 2¢ anyway.

~ JC
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