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To be honest, at Absolute Gadget, we run on tea and coffee, if we didn’t have a cuppa every day, none of these stories would ever get into print. But, making a cup doesn’t appear to be as easy as filling up the kettle and switching it on. Nowadays, everyone’s gone eco-mad and worried about climate change and making tea, or rather boiling too much water, is part of the problem. We have tested a couple of kettles that claim to save you money by only boiling the precise amount to fill your cup of leaves or ground-up beans.

The two we’ll be testing are Tefal’s Quick Cup and the Eco Kettle. Both claim to save you money and the planet by only boiling what you need, which will come as good news to all mung-bean eating bath avoiders.

Next The Eco Kettle


The Eco Kettle

The Eco Kettle works by having a a reservoir of 1.5 litres of water, which then can be measured into a separate chamber by pressing a button on the top. This then sends water into the lower chamber and this chamber has markings to show you how much water is needed for one, two or up to eight cups of water. This, the vendor claims can save up to 31 per cent of energy (compared to boiling a normal kettle) simply because you are only boiling what you need.

We set about testing how the kettle worked in operation. It is much like a normal kettle, in as far as it is shaped like one (although it doesn’t quite have the looks of a designer brushed-aluminium kettle). It also has a base, so it functions like an ordinary cordless kettle. With our test kettle, we found that it didn’t quite sit nicely on its based, but this did not hinder its operation. We filled up the reservoir and clipped the lid latch (which, while it worked properly, looked like the lid wasn’t flush with kettle).

We measured out one cup’s worth of water into the lower chamber and switched on. Now this is where it gets good. As we only are boiling one cup. It takes far less time to bring to the boil (we timed it at around 37 seconds from cold to hot for one cup of tea). We poured out the water onto the teabag and made our cuppa. We found that the water was hot enough for us as well and a nice brew!

As the design is the same as a cordless kettle, it can be used in much the same way. I.e. if you are filling up a cafetiere, this is just as easy with the Eco Kettle as an ordinary one.

Overall, you can get a good cup of tea fast with the Eco Kettle but we think that the few design faults (which do not affect the operation of the kettle in anyway) should be rectified in future releases of the kettle. It could also do with a makeover, so it can hold its own in a designer kitchen as its looks are a bit nineties inappearance.

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Next Tefal QuickCup


Tefal Quick Cup

Well the QuickCup isn’t technically a kettle, it’s a “hot water dispenser”. That said it fulfills that aim very well.

For a start the thing looks very well designed and would certainly grace an upmarket bachelor pad. The vendor claims that you can use up to 65 percent less energy using this device over a conventional kettle.

Setting up is fairly easy. It comes in four parts; the water heater is the main part and on top of that sits the water container, in which a water filter is inserted and a lid to keep the water free from bugs or whatever.

It claims that its takes three seconds to heat up water and that maybe so in as far as how long to wait before the first drips come through the system. To be fair this is the fastest water heater we’ve come across. Ourout-sized mug got filled in around 15-17 seconds, which is far faster than any kettle and faster than the Eco-kettle.

To fill the cup, you simply place the cup under the dispenser, press the red button for hot water (there is another button to dispense cold (filtered) water as well).

The end result for the tea was pleasantly hot (but not too hot) and the filter does improve the taste if you live in a hard water area. But the filter doesn’t last too last (especially if you have taken to drinking a lot of tea) and this needs replacing and that costs extra money.

Of course, there are other downsides to the device as well. If you are using the cafetiere, then with an ordinary kettle you simply pour the water in without any trouble. With the QuickCup it can be awkward to place the cafetiere under the spout of the device, but not impossible. We had, admittedly, a large 12-cup cafetiere to fill.

Also, the a red flashing light came on to tell us that we needed to de-scale (blimey we haven’t had it that long!)

This has been a firm favourite in the office since it came, it will be sad to see it go. We are thinking of kidnapping it and not returning it – it’s that good.

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Next results


While both of these do save energy (neither are on for long to boil up water), we found that the convenience of both drove up our tea consumption, so we may have ended up using more electricity than we did before when we used traditional kettles.

While the Eco Kettle delivers on its promise and makes the right amount of hot water, we found its lack of good looks and the fact it didn’t sit too well on its base a little off-putting. The same could not be said of the Tefal QuickCup. It looks fantastic and is so easy to use. It’s our winner in this test.

Eco Kettle rating: 7/10
Tefal QuickCup rating 9/10

Both appliances can be bought from the Ethical Superstore. They can also be purchased from Amazon, where the Tefal Quick Cup costs $49.95 and the Eco Kettle can be purchased for £29.58.