If you’re into French press coffee, you’ve likely realized how vital it is to get the temperature of the water just right. Too hot, and you risk overextracting your coffee beans, with the end result being dark, bitter and in most cases unpalatable, while too cool, and the liquid winds up insipid and weak, hardly what you’re looking for in your morning pick-me-up right before work. This can become a problem if you’re using a stove or kettle to get your water to boiling point – at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, this is too hot for extracting coffee.
The recommended temperature range for French press coffee is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, and while one way of going about this is to pull out a trusty old kitchen thermometer and get your boiling water off to cool just enough to pour into the press, you could also cut down the trouble and invest in an electric kettle with temperature controls instead. In fact, some electric kettles also come with a ‘Keep Warm’ mode, to maintain a steady temperature for the liquid for a given period of time, so the business of brewing a morning cup of joe is as stress-free as can be. Here are our picks for the best electric kettle for French press coffee.
Epica 6-Temperature Variable Electric Kettle
Avoid burning your coffee beans with this precise, temperature variable electric kettle, which not only lets you heat up water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit – the recommended temperature range for French press coffee, so you don’t waste any time boiling water and then waiting for it to cool down – but also helps maintain this temperature steadily for up to 30 minutes. This is an extremely handy option for those rushed mornings when the family is scrambling to get dressed and gobble down some breakfast on the way out, since you get to keep warm water at a consistent temperature, ready to go for a decent amount of time. The kettle also has five other temperature settings perfect for brewing all types of teas, ranging from 160 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and automatically shuts off if it’s running dry.
Other features we love about this kettle include the perma-cool handle, designed to stay safe to the touch without heating up as the kettle warms your water, as well as the 360-degree rotating base, making it easy to grab up quickly and without risking any accidents, especially as the kettle itself is cordless. Capable of holding up to 7 cups, the kettle comes with a window to let you see how much water it has left, the sleek stainless steel housing making it a modern, good-looking appliance for your kitchen counter.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
T-fal BF6138 Balanced Living 4-Cup Electric Kettle
This cute, stocky little kettle still packs a decent wallop, making it a budget-friendly but heavy-duty contender for this list. Although the variable temperature control is calibrated as Low, Medium and High rather than specific figures for which temperature you’re going for, setting the kettle at Medium or between Medium and High is perfect for heating up your water just right for French press coffee. Quick to operate – a single cup needs just 90 seconds to bring to boil, a full liter a little less than 5 minutes –the 360-degree rotating base lets you grab the cordless kettle off without worrying about yanking at the cable and accidentally spilling scalding water.
The kettle features a window to let you keep track of the water level, with an-built automatic shut-off mechanism if the kettle runs dry. An anti-scale filter, which is removable and easy to wash down separately, grabs any impurities when you’re pouring out the water. With a sturdy build to last you several years, and attractive matte black housing, the smaller size of this unit also makes it a great portable electric kettle to carry with you for camping or road trips.
Ivation Precision-Temperature Electric Kettle
This unit comes with 6 temperature presets you can choose from, with the 200 degrees Fahrenheit option perfect for steeping your French press coffee, 5 other temperatures ranging from 160 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit also great for brewing different types of tea, from green and white to rich, strong black teas. The 1.7 liter capacity lets you heat up 7 cups at a go in this kettle, a sophisticated stainless steel unit that’ll look right at home on your countertop or at the breakfast table.
Quick to heat and energy-efficient, the ‘Keep Warm’ mode of this kettle can maintain your desired water temperature for 2 whole hours, a very convenient feature for those of us who leave home in a rush and at different times, since we all get to have warm water readily available for our coffees and teas when we need it. The 360-degree rotating base and cordless kettle make it easy to grab off and pour, while a 90-second memory function (only applicable if the kettle is removed while the ‘Keep Warm’ mode is active) lets you bring the kettle over to your press, pour what you need and replace it back on the base, where it will resume maintaining the set temperature, a minute and a half giving you more than enough time.
A window situated underneath the heat-resistant handle lets you check how much water is left in the kettle, which is engineered to switch off if the kettle is boiling dry, and is fitted with a removable anti-scale filter as well.
Aicok Electric Water Kettle
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A sleek, brushed stainless steel unit with 6 temperature presets – including a 200 degrees Fahrenheit setting perfect for French press coffee – this electric kettle can also be used to set temperatures from 160 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, with a ‘Keep Warm’ mode to let you maintain a steady temperature for up to two hours. With an 8-cup capacity, the clear window under the handle lets you keep an eye on the water level, while a 90-second memory function lets you remove the kettle while in ‘Keep Warm’ mode – as long as you set it back within 90 seconds, the base will resume maintaining the preset temperature. The 360-degree swivel base and cordless kettle, with its heat-resistant handle, make it easy to pick up without issue, with a removable filter included to catch impurities and keep you from pouring them into your French press or cup.