When you’re just starting to brew your own coffee at home, you’re probably going to use the regular kettle you already own: the wide-spout, all-purpose kettle that you’ve had for years. It’s got one button, maybe it makes a noise when it’s done boiling, and maybe you haven’t looked inside it for years (and you kind of don’t want to). But once you’ve made the effort to acquire some pour-over gear and specialty coffee beans to brew your coffee, you’re going to want to upgrade your kettle. Remember: a cup of coffee constitutes 98% water, and that’s a 98% worth perfecting. Enter the gooseneck kettle: your powerfully precise partner in pour-over perfection.
What exactly is a gooseneck kettle?
This unique kettle is a coffee lover's best friend. While it boils the water just as any other kettle would, what sets it apart is its distinct long and narrow spout that resembles a goose's neck and this is what makes it ideal for pour-over brewing.
The difference between a gooseneck kettle and a normal kettle
Most people who prepare coffee at home have regular electric kettles and stovetop kettles. But we're here to convince you why the gooseneck kettle is a better alternative compared to your regular kettle. And it all boils down to control.
Traditional kettles typically have a wide spout for quick pouring. You might have the best coffee, the right grind size, filters, and even get the water temperature to perfection, but you lack one crucial aspect known as pour technique. Too much water flow won't allow enough time for optimal flavor and extraction, not forgetting the water will send the grinds all over and create a chaotic mess on the coffee bed.
That's why you need a gooseneck kettle. Unlike the standard kettle, its spout gives you some control over the water flow. Once you have the device in your kitchen, getting the best cup of coffee is easy with practice and patience.
Why use a gooseneck kettle for pour-over coffee?
If a perfect pour-over is a golden egg, the gooseneck kettle is the goose that laid it. Here are the features of a gooseneck kettle that make it so useful for pour-over:
The first reason should be crystal clear by now — control over your pour. The gooseneck kettle's design offers control over the strength and speed of the water flow. The thin, long, and narrow spout at the bottom of this kettle lets users pour water smoothly and slowly or quickly as desired.
It ensures control over the brewing time and allows us to pour water precisely and hit all the coffee grinds evenly without worrying about messing up the coffee bed.
With a gooseneck kettle comes consistency in making the perfect coffee daily. Having control of each pour means that:
- It's possible to pour an equal amount of water with each brew
- The speed of pour can be the same each time
- It's easy to pour water on all the coffee grinds evenly
The result? Balanced and well-extracted coffee every time you brew.
Speaking of flavor, we know that going through the trouble of getting the coffee-making process right wouldn't make any sense if the result isn't a delicious cup. The ability to steadily pour water on all the grinds evenly results in coffee rich in flavor as it eliminates the sourness or bitterness otherwise resulting from over- or under-extracting some coffee grinds.
With optimal control of pours and a steady hand coupled with practice, you can always make coffee that tastes much better each time.
One thing that stands out with the gooseneck kettle is its seamless handling. It offers a firmer grip than regular kettles, ensuring the user's hand is comfortable when pouring the water.
What features to look for in a gooseneck kettle?
On first look, every gooseneck kettle in the market appears the same. However, features and functionality are what sets them apart. Let's find out what you can look at in your quest to find the best gooseneck kettle, whether electric or manual:
- Flow control. When selecting a gooseneck kettle, you should look at whether it has a flow restrictor to ensure the optimal rate for pour-over.
- Capacity. It's practical to purchase a kettle in a size that suits your needs. Look at your pour-over device and check the capacity to ensure you’ll be able to brew as much as you want in one go.
- Handle design. A comfortably ergonomic and counterbalanced handle is essential in ensuring a slow and intuitive pour.
- Temperature control. This is key to even extraction of your coffee. Check for an in-built thermometer or electric temperature control and hold features so you can keep a consistent temperature for even extraction.
The importance of a precision pour spout
We can't mention gooseneck kettles without thinking about the precision pour spout. Its position at the bottom of the kettle and tapered nature play a vital role in delivering tasty coffee.
Pour-over coffee making requires slow water pouring in a circular motion. The long, narrow neck of the gooseneck kettle lives true to its name. It allows the user to control the speed and strength at which the water flows, facilitating precision in control and consistency when brewing.
Stovetop vs. electric kettle: which one to choose?
While gooseneck kettles vary in design, they generally fall into stovetop and electric categories. Anyone shopping for coffee kettles should think about functional needs before selecting one.
The stovetop kettle
The stovetop model is a simple and relatively inexpensive kettle compared to its electric counterpart. These kettles generally work with most stoves and can last many years since they have no delicate built-in electronics.
Boiling water is over direct heat by placing the kettle on the cooktop, but the process may take longer than that of an electric kettle. However, it’s a useful kettle to take with you while traveling or camping and is compact in design.
The electric kettle
Electric gooseneck kettles let you plug them into an outlet and boil via the base they're sitting on. These kettles heat water more quickly than stovetops and are functional in any location with electric outlets. Moreover, auto-shut capabilities mean there's no worrying about ruining the kettle as would happen with a stovetop model if you forget to take it off and the water dries out.
They can offer features such as temperature control and hold mode: keeping your water at a specific temperature for up to 60 minutes. Though usually more expensive and less transportable than a stovetop kettle, they offer the most precise temperature control and can provide additional brewing features.
How to choose a gooseneck kettle
We've probably answered whether to get a stovetop or electric gooseneck kettle by now. Also, the features to look out for, as seen above, can come in handy.
Let's look at the finer details to consider when gooseneck kettle shopping:
We advise scrutinizing a kettle's wattage before finally checking out your shopping cart. A kettle with more wattage capabilities boils water and reaches the required temperature much faster. That's because the heating element draws a lot of power to heat the stainless steel kettle and the water within. Naturally, more watts offer a faster heating time.
Multiple design considerations
Another factor to look at is the temperature settings for the electric kettles. Check the lowest and highest temperature capabilities to determine whether the kettle has a wide temperature range that allows you to brew coffee in varied settings. The flexibility to adjust the temperature and experiment is one function that makes coffee making a fascinating process each time.
Lastly, think about the keep-warm or hold functionality. That's especially important if you want to set the water temperature but have other errands to run before making the coffee or if you're brewing multiple cups at a time.
Speed vs. accuracy
When it comes to gooseneck kettles, there might be more to it than a quick boil. Remember that coffee brewing requires a specified water temperature for optimal results, usually between 195°F and 205°F. A gooseneck kettle that seems to heat the water quickly may not easily reach the exact desired water temperature.
That's where adjustable kettles step in. Variable-temperature kettles that heat water to a specific temperature aim for more than mere hot water. They heat the water to a certain point and then slow down to ensure they get to the precise temperature without overshooting. And so, while some electric kettles might prioritize speed, temperature-adjustable kettles may be the perfect choice if sacrificing accuracy isn't an option on the table.
The best gooseneck kettle for pour-over coffee
Design features considered, we believe that the Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle is the best pour-over coffee maker. There’s a reason why it’s been used by multiple champions in the U.S. Barista Championships. This gooseneck kettle delivers 1200-watt capabilities, boils water to the exact degree for accuracy, offers a 135°F-212°F temperature range, and has a 60-minute hold mode function that doesn't reset.
When it comes to handling, Stagg EKG offers unmatched comfort. The handle is ergonomic and counterbalanced, to make a slow pour comfortable, easy, and intuitive. Another feature that sets this gooseneck kettle apart is the LCD display that shows both the current and set temperatures, enabling users to determine how far along the boiling has come.
Additionally our newly upgraded Stagg EKG Pro offers a full menu of features, including altitude settings, scheduling, a chime, adjustable hold mode, and brew guides with preset temperatures for different types of tea and coffee.
Another cheaper yet functional alternative is Stagg Pour-Over Kettle. This electric-safe and gas-safe stovetop kettle offers a steady pour-over flow and has an in-built brew-range thermometer so you can keep track of your temperature. It’s fantastic for taking with you while camping or traveling, and with no power cords to worry about, it will look beautiful anywhere.
Still can’t make up your mind? Visit our kettle comparison page.