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 Amazon.com. 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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