I still think I’m a nut for getting Margaret this little kettle for Christmas. I think it was either late November or early December when she showed me a picture of this same stainless steel kettle positioned next to another, though beehive-shaped (made by Hario, as it turned out, and popular amongst coffee enthusiasts). She liked the simple smooth sides, the wood-clad handle that both points away from the heat and insulates your hand, and the swan-curved spout. I don’t recall at what blog or website Margaret first noticed the kettle, but it got me curious. I must have spent either weeks or a very furious few days searching the Internet for this particular object of desire.
As it goes with any Internet search, keywords make all the difference in the world. Notice that I call this little pot a “kettle” and not a “pot”–as in “Whoops, Mr. Moto, I’m (not exactly) a coffee pot.” And so it is. It took me a long while before I figured out that this was not a tea pot. Not tea. Nor pot. What clued me in was my stumbling upon the beehive pot… I mean kettle. Once I realized these were not just kettles but pouring kettles for brewing coffee, I finally started making ground. Up until a point: Everywhere I searched at best turned up only the Hario beehive kettle. I also was another kettle, made by Takahiro, but its handle was metal and I worried it would become too hot for the touch. Deal breaker! You see, Margaret owns several water kettles for making tea and such. Unfortunately, the handles always become too hot. The mystery kettle was the only one where the handle was pointed away from heat and clad in wood. Nice combination.
A month after finding the pouring kettle, I still have no idea how I actually discovered the website where I was able to purchase it. Needless to say, it was sheer perseverance that took me to that distant webpage after countless hours of googling. All the way to Japan. Yes, Japan. As far as I can tell, the kettle Margaret had seen is not being sold in North America or any English-speaking land. It was probably a fluke that brought me to the Global Rakuten website. Luckily, they actually have a section translated into English, though done so by a computer program. I suppose there will be those who will derive gleeful pleasure from the curious word choices on the part of the computer’s translation. Oh well…
From what I can gather, Global Rakuten is some kind of Japanese Amazon.com. They connect thousands of smaller stores under their umbrella to provide Internet shoppers access to an insane variety of goods. Did you look at their website? If you did, it was probably a couple of days before you got back and continued reading to this point. In case you weren’t able to find the featured pouring kettle on your own, here’s the link: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cranes/item/0601028/ Don’t forget that the value of the Yen is maybe in the ballpark of 77 Yen to the Dollar. Either way, Rakuten does state the price in U.S. Dollars. They also provide a shipping calculator at some point during the transaction. Makes things simple.
Anyway, when Margaret finally opened up her gift, she had to give it a try. Yep, that picture was taken on Christmas. There were a few things about the kettle she really liked. First, the handle did stay cool after the water came to temperature. Second, though the handle is off-set to one side, the kettle fell into balance while pouring. That provided a lot of control while in the act of pouring. Third, the thin swan-neck spout further regulated the flow of water. We’re talking about serious pour control from top to bottom. So simple and so modest of a kettle, but so very effective. Just for kicks, I tried pouring into a glass and then stretching my arms apart while still pouring and then bringing them together to finish the pour. Not a spill dropped, except for a very little splashing. Cool! I only wish I knew the brand name of the kettle. I think it might have been something odd like “Natural Wood.”
Oh, by the way, I didn’t have any problem with the transaction or delivery. There were some email messages that arrived in Japanese script. No good with me. I did reply back to them in English, and they eventually sent me a message in English. No big deal. As it was, the delivery was swift and with no hassles. The only bug-a-boo was that I chose airfreight to insure arrival before Christmas, and the shipping came to near the on-sale price for the kettle. Ouch! Still, it cost less than buying a Hario kettle locally. Win!!!
BTW, if there is an advertisement below, I have nothing to do with that. Needless to say, I do not receive any revenue from any links or advertisements that appear on this blog. Which is not to say that I couldn’t use the extra bucks. So, like, would someone please ask me to host some advertisements in exchange for some moolah? I’d love to have a little extra change, so I can take my poor and impoverished friends out for some beers and such. I’m a merchant seaman, and sailors like me love to haul out our less fortunate friends for brews. We love to share our bounty with good friends. Anything wrong with that? That’s why I think advertisers ought to support my friends in this way. Anything wrong with that?