June 1, 2016
Just like any job, having the right tools available makes the job easier and more effective. The job of brewing coffee correctly has a few tools and of those is the electric gooseneck kettle. When I say gooseneck, I am referring to the shape of the pouring spout. Traditional water kettles have a short spout with a large opening. These kettles are great for quickly pouring large quantities of hot water but do a poor job for manual brewing. I personally use a gooseneck kettle everyday for brewing and there are 3 key reasons why I think you should consider picking up one yourself:
I love the convenience and ease of an electric kettle. Want hot water? Simply add water to the kettle, turn it on and boom you’ve got hot water. Most electric kettles have a built-in auto-off function which means when the water temperature inside of the kettle reaches boiling, it automatically turns off. This function prevents kettle from boiling over and spilling hot water onto your countertop. Once the water has reached boiling, it remains hot for an extended period of time. Basically what that means is you can add water to your kettle, turn it on, go take care of some other tasks and return to a kettle full of hot water. Even if you’ve been away for 30 minutes, the water will still be pretty hot. Need it hotter? Simply turn the kettle on again and you’ll have boiling water in a matter of seconds. This is very useful if want hot water for brewing coffee but don’t want to stand near a stove the entire time. In addition to brewing coffee, it’s for brewing tea, and more.
All kettles are not equal. If you’ve ever tried brewing coffee via pour over with a standard short-spout kettle, it can be a chore to get the water on the coffee bed where you want it. Using a gooseneck style kettle solves this problem. That thin, long spout gives you ultimate control over the volume and flow rate. Want to pour fast or slow? Want a thick stream or a thin stream of water? By making slight adjustments to your pouring angle, these tasks become much easier with the use of a gooseneck kettle. If you currently only brew with a French Press, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. However, manual pour over brewers like the Chemex or Hario V60 requires precision pouring to achieve the best outcome.
Better Tasting Coffee
Using a gooseneck kettle for manual brewing will make your coffee taste better. How so? First, your water temperature will be at the correct temperature for brewing. Coffee brews best between 195-205 degrees. Since you’ll be able to conveniently brew your coffee right off boil, your water be at optimal temp. Secondly, you will be able to brew your coffee better. Precise pouring allows you to place the water exactly where you want on the coffee bed. Often times when the water isn’t controlled, there are dry spots in the bed of the coffee or areas that are just doused but not given proper saturation. An even distribution allows you achieve an even extraction. An even extraction pulls all of the good flavors from the coffee leaving the undesired flavors behind. If it’s under extracted, the coffee tastes watery and thin; Over extracted and it’s super bitter and too intense for enjoyment. Better pour = better extraction = better tasting coffee.Overall, I consider an electric gooseneck kettle a wise investment. It’s fairly inexpensive and if you brew coffee every day, you will quickly discover how valuable it is. I’ve found it be almost invaluable as I have been able to use it for other applications in the kitchen as well.