To accompany my new Kalita Wave, I purchased a gooseneck kettle. Gooseneck kettles have a pouring neck similar to that of a goose, or a swan, and they give you greater control over pouring. For pour-over brewing, having a gooseneck kettle is almost essential. I knew that I needed one because my home kettle does not give me very much control over the direction of water pouring. It has a wide spout at the top of the kettle, which means it is difficult to get close to the cup in which I am brewing without tilting at a large angle. I need to get close to the cup so I can maintain a gentle pour.
On the end of a gooseneck kettle, you will see a slight curve. This helps you maintain a consistent pour. With practice, I have been able to maintain almost vertical streams of water without the stream breaking.
In my search for gooseneck kettles, I found models with all the bells-and-whistles. But I opted to buy a kettle that just done exactly what I needed. I wanted a kettle that would give me more control over my pouring, both in terms of how quickly the water pours and where I pour the water. Someone on Instagram recommended that I look into pouring kettles, which have the same spout as a gooseneck but are used for pouring. These kettles require that you decant your water into the kettle instead of boiling the water in the kettle. This made me realise that I did not need much.
The Melitta gooseneck kettle, priced very reasonably at 21 British pounds at my time of purchase, is an entry-level gooseneck kettle, and now the kettle with which I do all of my pour-over brewing. The kettle is made from stainless steel. You can boil water in the kettle over a stove top or, like I do, you can decant water from another kettle – such as an electric one – into your gooseneck kettle.
The position of a pour is essential in pour-over brewing. I have found the position of my pour to be particularly important when it comes to flushing grinds from the sides of my Kalita Wave filter which often build up. The Melitta gooseneck kettle gives me good control over my pour. I am able to comfortably move my flow of water in circles around my brewing bed. Although I am still refining my technique, I have had no problem saturating all of the grounds in my bed of coffee thanks to the good flow control on this kettle.
I conducted a test to measure the slowest rate at which I could pour. I practised my pour and then timed three of my pours at the end. I poured 200 ml of water in as long a time as I could in each test. This test let me see how slowly I could pour with this kettle. I did break the stream a few times in my tests so my numbers are not completely reliable. But this is more down to my technique than the brewing device itself. Here are the results from my test:
Test 1: 59 seconds (3.39 ml / s)
Test 2: 78 seconds (2.56 ml / s)
Test 3: 64 seconds (3.13 ml / s)
Average: 67 seconds (3.03 ml / s)
I was able to keep a slow and steady pour rate with a little bit of practice. While I do not need a very slow pour because I use the pulsing technique (where you pour water in increments instead of continuously), I do know that slow flow rates are essential for continuous pouring. Given the flow rates I have been able to achieve, I see no reason why this kettle could not be used for continuous pouring. I should note it may not necessarily be ideal to pour this slowly. A really slow pour fails to introduce enough turbulence into the water. But, these numbers will give you an idea of this kettle’s use for continuous pouring and an insight into the control you can have over your stream of water.
The capacity of the Melitta gooseneck kettle is 700 ml. For my purposes, 700 ml is ideal. I am still getting used to controlling my flow of water and I have found it useful to practice with a lower capacity. 700 ml is enough to let me brew two cups of coffee according to my current pour-over recipe. I have some water left to prewet my filter, mug, and brewing device when brewing one cup, and I would still have left-over water if I filled this kettle to its maximum capacity.
I decant water from my electric kettle into my gooseneck. I do notice a change in temperature because my final brew is usually ready to drink by the time I have finished brewing my cup of coffee. Temperature, however, has not been an issue. I have not felt at any point as if the temperature is too cool. This gooseneck kettle is not electric and I knew before buying it that I would decant water into the device. If you are going to brew multiple pour-overs in a row, or if you need very high temperatures, you can still use this kettle over the stove. I choose not to do this because the electric kettle is more convenient, but using the stove is an option.
When I use this kettle, I usually keep my hand on the lid. This is in part because it feels more comfortable but also because the lid does not have a tight seal. There is a metal ridge inside the lid to help it lock into place but the lid itself is somewhat loose. I have never had a problem with the lid falling off or even sliding out of the top of the kettle a little bit. But, I would feel more comfortable if there were to be a stronger seal around the kettle. Perhaps even adding a metal ridge at each 90 degree angle in the kettle would be enough. At the moment, there is only one ridge inside the kettle.
I also have an issue filling up the kettle. The “max” line, which indicates the maximum capacity of the kettle, is outside of the device. This makes it difficult to know when you have reached the maximum capacity. I could weigh my kettle but this adds yet another step to my brewing process. I would prefer for the max line to be inside the kettle, which would give me a clear line to stay below when I am pouring.
The grip on this kettle is not ideal. Unlike some kettles which have ridges between which your fingers fit, or which have a consistently-shaped bar as a handle, this kettle has a big bump in the middle. This design is not an issue if I am making one or two cups in a short space of time. But it was an issue when I was practising my kettle skills. My fingers started to feel uncomfortable after a while, leaving me feeling like another handle design would be more ergonomic.
The Melitta kettle is a great entry-level gooseneck. I have been able to maintain consistent and slow flow rates with this kettle. The kettle has enough room to store all of the water I will need for making two cups of coffee. Notably, this gooseneck is cheaper than many other models on the market. This is significant because a gooseneck is almost essential when you start brewing with a pour-over device. This kettle was about the same price as my ceramic Kalita Wave.
If you are just getting started with pour-over brewing, do not feel as though you need to buy one of the expensive upmarket models. This kettle is serving my pour-over needs well. This kettle also demonstrates that you can get good flow control and an overall intuitive kettle for an affordable price.