The Cocinare Flow smart gooseneck kettle treats water like it’s a luxury liquid and that’s a big step toward a better-tasting cup of coffee or tea. Here’s why I was excited to replace my old stubby spout electric kettle with an electric gooseneck model. Gooseneck kettles are a favorite of baristas because the long, tapered spout offers a slower, more precise and smoother pour. The more thorough water distribution enhances the flavor of pour-over coffee or tea. Gooseneck kettles, sometimes called pour-over kettles, let you better manage the coffee-to-water ratio. Coffee drinkers, for example, may employ a “blooming” technique in which the coffee grounds are first lightly saturated with water to make the coffee release carbon dioxide. This “degassing” procedure yields a purer taste, say its fans. Similarly, there are a range of temperatures (in Fahrenheit here) best suited to different types of tea. White tea is best at 160 degrees. Green tea is ideally served at a temperature of between 150 and 180 degrees, oolong at 190 degrees and black tea at between 180 and 212 degrees. Herbal teas are best at 212 degrees. Tea fanciers note that higher temperatures tend to bring out the flavor while lower temperatures mask the bitterness and astringency of lower quality leaves.
The Cocinare Flow electric kettle takes the precision idea a step further by allowing you to set the boiling temperature. The rotating control dial has presets for baby formula, hot chocolate, green tea, coffee and black tea. The baby formula preset is a great boon to new parents. And I now realize why I’m always waiting to take that first sip of hot chocolate—I made it too hot! You also can set the temperature in one degree increments, appealing to those who switch between lighter and darker coffee grounds, for example. A timer can keep the water at a constant temperature for a period of time, handy if you’re looking for seconds.
There is a temperature display and the kettle beeps when it hits the desired boiling point. I do miss the piercing, old-school kettle whistle that signaled the entire household that the day was underway. With the Cocinare, the steam exhales silently at an angle away from the handle to prevent any potential for scalding. The Cocinare Flow is available in a variety of colors and patterns: onyx black, pearl white, rainforest, leopard and jungle. I got the rainforest model.
The Cocinare Flow is one of a new breed of smart electric kettles arriving on the market and they vary widely in price. At the top of the range, you’ll even find a smart kettle equipped with wireless Bluetooth communication which opens the door to using a digital voice assistant to start the kettle boiling. Personally, I’m not ready to talk to anyone, even my phone, before I’ve had my cuppa. And I’d like to check that there is water in the kettle first. At the same time, I’m serious about that morning cup (who isn’t?) so the Cocinare Flows strikes me as an investment that will be used daily. And I don’t mind a little extra smarts first thing. $129. cocinare.com