UK: Put the Kettle On????

Old Jan 7th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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I tried a small semantic experiment, to test whether this expression is generally understood.

From my computer I wandered innocently into the kitchen and said; " I feel like some tea. Would you put the kettle on?"

Indulgent spouse: "Certainly -- I'll make it."

Moments later, I observe a saucepan on the gas ring.

I: "Don't you use an electric kettle?"

Spouse: "We don't have one."

I: "What about that one with the avocado-green plastic handle and lip?"

Spouse: "That's at the cottage. You ONLY use a kettle at the COTTAGE!"

Moments later I hear the hum of the microwave.

I: "I thought you were boiling water on the stove."

Spouse: "That's water for the tea. The microwave is for heating the water that warms the teapot. That's why the teapot is in the microwave."

Teapot removed from microwave, the heated water is poured down the sink. The teapot is filled with boiling water from the stove.

Tea steeps. I look around plaintively for the tea-cosy -- there is none.

How long has this been going on? Why did I never notice?

I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear my trousers rolled....
(T.S. Eliot)
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Pay attention that your electric kettle in the US isn't plastic lined, it makes the water taste plasticky and awful. It really should be stainless steel lined so you won't get a bad taste.

I was told always to use fresh water and never reboil it by my British friends who, yes, always say "let's put the kettle on" whever they come in the door.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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I think my plastic, or whatever but not stainless steel, electric kettle is faster than boiling water on the stove in a kettle. The water does not taste plasticky or awful.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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oh, well that is good, maybe yours is made of superior plastic, water I have tasted from plastic lined kettles tastes bad to me. The same as plastic lined thermos bottles, yuck.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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&quot;<i>I even have a mini plug-in kettle I take on holiday with me - can't miss that early morning cuppa!&quot;</i>

Kate, I would love to find a mini electric kettle for traveling here in the US. Hotel rooms here have little coffeemakers in the rooms - and they make a rotten morning cup of tea.

I my electric tea kettle!!
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Kay, have you considered an immersion heater? They'll boil a cup in a minute, are very inexpensive, and light to pack.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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We say put the kettle on(non electric) and use a coffee cozy over my coffee press. It's shaped like a cat.

Statia, send me a picture of your dog!
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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<i>&quot;Kay, have you considered an immersion heater?&quot;</i>

That's what I travel with now and it does a fair job - much better than the coffee maker. But it takes a long time before the water actually boils. And if the hotel doesn't have real coffee mugs, my arm gets tired dangling the heater in the water so it doesn't touch the sides of the plastic/styrofoam cup.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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I have used my plastic electric kettle for over 20 years and have never detected any sort of off taste from water boiled in it. Indeed, most electric kettles sold in Canada now are made from plastic.

I've always been amazed at the rarity of electric kettles in the U.S. American friends of ours will come to Canada to buy one.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Well you never know what inferior plastic is used here in the US, maybe it is imported from a third world plasticier, or maybe it is just the one's I have used, no worry.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Tonight, on the about 1-yr delayed Corrie, Norris, the obnoxious busy-body who cashiers at the local newsstand, said, when he felt he had to come up with an excuse to leave the room, &quot;i'll see if the kettle is boiling.&quot; Now before this discussion i would have thought he's going to check a stove boiling kettle, important because you don't want to leave it boiling on a stove - but now know that kettle probably refers in this case to an electric water-boiler. The main thing i learned from the many intriguing posts is how much tea is still an integral part of British life, and, how seriously folks take tea making. It's cool!
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:08 PM
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PatrickLondon - thanks for posting the words to those tea songs - used to sing them ages and ages ago. Oh dear I am showing my age.

As a British person living in the US I don't mind using the kettle on top of my gas stove (cooker in UK).

No one has mentioned the one advantage to the electric kettles used in the UK is that they will switch off automatically once the water is boiled so no worry about boiling the oxygen out which I understand makes the tea taste awful. Agree about not using the water over for the same reason.

To those posters who have actually purchased an electric kettle in the US do they switch off automatically?

What fun this thread has been.

Sandy
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Most of the U.S. kettles do turn off automatically when the water boils.

We're on our second kettle. Got used to them when we attended summer sessions at Cambridge years ago. Wouldn't be without one, now.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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WOW! Another mind-boggling aspect to tea making - letting the water boil too long takes the oxygen out and is detrimental to the tea taste. Now I'm not dissing that at all, it's just another bizarre aspect to the art of tea making I would have never thought of!
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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And to think...
I tend to make tea when I'm too lazy to make coffee!
I'll have to rethink my method of just nuking the mug of water with tea bag! (I've even been known to add a little milk and/or honey before it goes in.
Horrors!

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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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What a fantatastic interesting thread. And having said that I am so glad I do not drink tea! What a workout
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Dreamer2, there is such a difference between the taste of tea brewed with loose tea leaves and tea from a teabag! To me, the difference is even more than the difference between freshly brewed coffee and instant coffee. Once I had tea from loose leaves, I could never go back to teabags.

A teabag full of English Breakfast Tea, however, is so much better than a teabag full of other types of teabags, such as Lipton. (But nothing compares to loose tea!)
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Oops! I meant to say teabag full of other types of TEA, such as Lipton.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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SandyBrit, yes, the kettles do shut off automatically--so much quieter than the kettle whistling on the stove.

Laverendrye, electric kettles are readily available in the U.S. (Target, Bed, Bath &amp; Beyond, and Amazon etc.). Perhaps your friends just like to visit you and beautiful Canada.

Cigalechanta, our tea cozy is shaped like a big black and white cat. It's so nice to see you back on the board!

Now for any New Yorkers out there, do any of you &quot;put the water UP for tea?&quot; My in-laws use this phrase and I've never understood it.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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&quot;<i>What a fantatastic interesting thread. And having said that I am so glad I do not drink tea! What a workout</i>&quot;

LoveItaly, you're right. This is another Fodors classic. However, it doesn't quite touch a nerve for me as I'm a coffee drinker. Now that I think about it, I suppose the coffee addicts could really get going on the art of making the perfect cup ... where do you keep your coffee beans, do you grind your own or buy them pre-ground, do you use a filter or a coffee press ...

No, I'm not trying to hijack the thread. Keep talking about tea! It's wonderful.

Anselm
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