My old kettle packed up the other week - I know, the drama - so I thought I'd splash out this fancy pants water- and energy-saving one. By splash, I mean £64, which is a lot in my book to make a cuppa. The idea is that you fill a resevoir at the top (the bit above the black line) and then you use the plunger to dump the exact amount of water you need into the boiling chamber (the see-through plastic bit at the bottom with the condensation).
The good stuff is that it boils incredibly fast because you're not overloading it, and - once you've sussed the size of your cups - it doesn't waste water. One plunge is meant to fill one cup, although the kettle's makers obviously drink a lot of espresso and nothing else; realistically, you'll need a couple o' pumps to get an average cup of chai. The water also tastes great, too, as there's a chunky water filter inside the kettle, which definitely makes a subtle but tangible change in flavour.
But - there's always a but - I do have a few gripes. Firstly, the thing's massive, virtually twice the size of my previous cheapo one, even though they both have the same capacity.
Second, and I hate to admit this, since it's now sitting in my kitchen... it's ugly. The snaps on Nigel's Eco Store make it look pretty smart - the main reason I chose it over the cheaper £35 alternative, to be honest - but it actually feels quite cheap. Maybe it's just because silver, black and red was the very '80s colour scheme I had in my teenage bedroom.
Third, it's a pain for boiling water for a saucepan, because you only get a small smidgen of water with every plunge. So you end up doing quite a few pumps just to boil some pasta. Lastly, working the plunger itself (see below left for it fully extended) is harder work than you'd expect: there's a fair bit of resistance.
Sounds like I hate it, doesn't it? Actually, I don't, as it's very functional - the water and energy-saving aspects both work a treat - but I do think there's room for someone to do a far better designed version. In the meantime, I'd recommend you get the £35 Eco Kettle instead (below right).