During an idle moment I was looking at my çaydanlik, and for the first time it occurred to me that the lower pot, the kettle part, has a lid of its own. In normal use, of course, the upper pot in which the tea is brewed sits on top of it.
This obviously suggests that the lower pot is intended to be used as a kettle in its own right if needs be.
So, for the past couple of weeks or so I’ve been experimenting to see just how well it would perform as a replacement for my usual electric jug kettle.
Important note – the çaydanlik kettle is being used on an induction stove top.
The first thing I looked at was a speed test. I placed an identical volume of room temperature water in each device, and timed how long it took to achieve a rolling boil. The jug kettle was the winner here, by a margin of about 30 seconds.
It has to be said, though, the çaydanlik does have a much cleaner and more controllable pour.
The çaydanlik also has a more subtle advantage over the jug kettle when used on an induction stove, namely more precise control over the level of heating. This is particularly useful during long sessions. You can keep the water warm on a low setting rather than going through a series of cooling and boiling cycles as you would with a jug kettle. Yes, a Thermos flask could be used here, but I find that even with a good quality Thermos I experience a drop in water temperature during longer (more than 10 rounds) sessions.
This ability to keep water warm on a low heat setting does mean that you have to continuously keep an eye on your hot water, though. You can make a case for the jug kettle having a safety advantage with its auto-shutoff feature once the water in it has boiled.
As some readers of this blog may remember, I jury rigged the jug kettle to use a digital meat thermometer in order to more accurately heat water to temperatures other than 100°C when brewing green, white, and yellow tea. This isn’t possible on the induction stove top, however – the magnetic field makes the digital thermometer freak out somewhat. It may be possible to use an old-school analogue thermometer instead, but that might come with a compromise in the form of accuracy of measurement, so for now the jug kettle still continues to perform this role.
But then we come to arguably the greatest advantage of all – energy efficiency. I did a bit of research and found that upwards of 90% of the energy used by an induction cooker goes into heating stuff up, whereas with gas it’s about 50% and with an old school electric cooker roughly 60%.
Using less energy is not only beneficial to the environment, it also saves good old cold, hard cash, and less dosh for the electric company means more shiny Swedish crowns being sent forth in the general direction of tea retailers.
For now then the çaydanlik seems to be edging out the older jug kettle, but I think it will take a few months or so to see if it really is an ideal long-term replacement for it.
Watch this space, etc…