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Kettles, Coffee Machines & Toasters Buying Guide
If you need guidance on which kettle or toaster is right for you, compare all the features and options to make sure you choose the perfect one for your needs.
Kettles, Coffee Machines & Toasters
There is a huge range of kettles on the market, and when it comes to choosing the right one for you, there are a few things you should take into account, not just style and colour.
Kettle Features And Functions
- Capacity - this is usually measured in litres, and can range from around 1 litre up to around 1.7 litres (smaller kettles are available, these are usually sold as travel kettles). Try to match the capacity of your kettle to your needs. For small families or one-person households, a small kettle will be sufficient. It is more economical to heat a smaller amount of water than a full kettle load, so for maximum efficiency, try to boil only as much water as you need. If you are likely to need to make tea & coffee for lots of people at the same time, then a larger capacity kettle will be required. Likewise, if you are likely to be using the kettle to boil large quantities of water for cooking, a larger capacity kettle will make your job easier.
- Corded / Cordless - a corded kettle is connected directly to the electricity supply via a cable plugged into the back of the kettle. A corded kettle must be disconnected before filling with water. Cordless models have power supplied to a base unit, from where the kettle itself can easily be lifted to fill with water.
- Water Level Gauge - allows you to quickly assess how much water is in the kettle, without opening the lid.
- 360° base - this feature applies to cordless kettles and allows you to place the kettle on the base at any angle, great if you are short on space or are left-handed.
- Rapid Boil - this is a feature of modern kettles which, as its name suggests means that water can be boiled more quickly than with a standard kettle.
Modern kettles tend to be either jug-style, or retro/ traditional style rounded kettles with the handle on top. Your choice of style and colour will probably depend on the design and style of your kitchen. You can buy kettles in almost any colour, often with a matching toaster, so co-ordinating with any design scheme should be easy, no matter what other requirements you may have.
For many people, a morning caffeine hit is essential for preparing their body and mind for the day ahead. If you're one of these people, then having your own professional coffee maker can be a huge bonus, as machine coffee offers smoother, richer and more satisfying flavours than instant coffee. But which type of coffee machine should you choose; filter, percolator or espresso/cappuccino?
Filter Coffee Machines
Filter machines offer the most simple and effective way of making your own professional coffee at home. Water is passed through a basket of ground coffee and then pushed through a reusable filter to get rid of any unwanted bits. As the coffee jar stands on a hot plate, there's no need to heat the water beforehand, helping you to save time. Filter machines are commonly used in offices and other working environments as they can produce large quantities of coffee in one go. They're also more affordable than other types of coffee machines, making them the number one choice for people working to a tight budget.
With percolators, you get greater control over the strength of your coffee, making them the ideal choice for people who like their coffee a specific way. Water is boiled in a chamber, then passed through a tube before being pushed through the ground coffee and a filter. This method of brewing allows the water to gradually become more coffee-like, which is what gives you greater control of coffee strength compared to filter machines.
Espresso machines harness the power of steam to produce strong coffee, which forms the basis of many popular caffeine drinks, such as espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Water is heated in a chamber until enough pressure is formed to push the boiling water through the coffee. There are two main types of espresso/cappuccino machines:
Pressure - The more affordable option
Pump - Achieves a higher standard of coffee
It's worth bearing in mind that espresso machines aren't just used for making extravagant drinks such as lattes, they can be used to make regular coffee too simply by adding hot water. Most espresso machines come with a milk steamer so you can add froth to the top of a cappuccino.
We have a wide selection of coffee machines available, from more basic filter machines to high quality espresso machines. The prices of our machines can vary quite dramatically, with filter machines costing as little as £24.99 and espresso machines costing around £99.99.
As with kettles, there is a vast range of toasters to choose from, each with different combinations of features, so it is worth looking at which options you need.
Toaster Features And Functions
- Capacity - most toasters offer either 2 or 4 slots.
- Wide Slots / Variable Slots - allows you toast different widths of bread and other bakery products such as crumpets, muffins and rolls.
- Reheat Function - gently re-warms toast if required.
- Removeable Crumb Tray - this allows you to easily dispose of crumbs which accumulate inside the toaster.
- Defrost Function - this feature allows you to defrost individual slices of bread.
- Cool Walls - this is a safety feature, meaning the outer surface of the toaster stays relatively cool even when the inside is hot.
When choosing a toaster, you will probably also want to consider the style and decor of your kitchen. As there are so many different toasters available, in a vast range of colours, this will probably be the easiest part of your buying decision.
Toastie Makers / Sandwich Toasters
Another option you might consider is a sandwich toaster - not for simple toasting, this is a device which seals a sandwich and toasts the outer surface, whilst warming the contents - for making delicious toasties this can be a great time-saver compared with toasting and heating the elements individually.