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Tefal QuickCup Kettle Review

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What the Tefal QuickCup is: a device for producing a stream of hot water, near-instantly.

What it's not: a complete replacement for your kettle.

So, big thing full of cold water, press button, spout spits out hot, filtered water. Hot, not boiling, at around 85°C. This is absolutely perfect for in-mug drinks (herbal tea, instant coffee, teabag tea, etc), and will save a not inconsiderable amount of energy from your normal day-to-day beverage making - not only because it doesn't heat the water all the way to boiling, but because you only heat the exact amount oyu need. Here, we did try to only boil what was needed, but it's impossible to get right, and there's always half a mug's worth left over. Five or six hot drinks made in a day (probably more), and those extra half-mugs add up to a heck of a lot of energy. Press and release the red button, and the QuickCup dispenses roughly 3/4 of a mug's worth of hot water. Press and hold and it'll keep pumping it out until you let go. The quantity of water released on a single press can, I'm told, be adjusted to requirements, but I can't be arsed.

Proper Tea aficionados will insist you need to use on-the-point-of-boiling water for a proper cuppa. This isn't true. I've tried it. There is no way I would have the QuickCup in my house if it didn't make a decent brew. Warm the pot, warm the mugs, and this machine will make a fine cup of teapot tea. Drop a filter into a mug, it'll make a good mug of loose tea too. I'm not a big coffee man, but I'm pretty sure that 85 is exactly the temperature you should be pouring onto fresh coffee too.

What you can't do with the Tefal QuickCup is make gravy, jelly, or anything else which requires actually boiling water. So we still have a kettle, but it's not plugged in and it doesn't get used much at all - and then exclusively for cooking-related stuff, not beverages. I'd imagine if making tea in a pot for more than four, one would need a proper kettle, but that's not too common round here. Two or three teas and a coffee is the usual max order.

My wishlist for Tefal QuickCup Version 2: Bigger reservoir of water, two sliding controls - output temperature in C, and amount of water dispensed in ml. Temperature should go up to at least 95°C. I don't mind waiting a few seconds more for hotter water if that's what it takes. 3 seconds from button to water is good, but I can live with 6. :)

Oh, and for anyone reading the reviews on amazon - mine doesn't leak, it dispenses water accurately into the container below it and yes, it makes noise. But then so did my kettle. This makes a different noise to a kettle (more like a coffee machine), but it's not very loud and it's certainly bearable. Pretty much every device in my kitchen makes noise, most of them more than the QuickCup, so nyar.

Should you buy one? Do you drink a lot of hot drinks and want to save some energy? (kettle use makes up something insane like 5% of all domestic 'leccy use) Answer is probably yes, but you'll probably need to keep your current kettle as well, for those time you just can't do without boiling water. I recommend this product, I like the things it does and I like the energy saving a great deal, but I also want them to make a slightly better version.
21st Dec 2007, 09:21   | tags:,,

beth says:

looks well tasted like a favourite old mug too. i'm trusting your opinion, though i'm a terribly poor home tea drinker. mainly because i'm forgetful and lazy - this would probably do the trick as there's not enough time to go out the room and get distracted, that said my biggest trick is to just forget the tea after i've made it, i've developed quite a liking for room temperature tea now.

21st Dec 2007, 10:26

Electric Sheep says:

Much like Beth, i'm slightly lazy and tend to forget i've brewed tea and end up having to use the microwave because it's too cold. I've developed a taste for very strong microwaved tea.

I don't even want to think about the amount of energy i use.

21st Dec 2007, 10:34

afternoon says:

Thanks for the detailed review. We're quite interested to get one and it's useful to have this info.

I also use a kettle a lot to boil water for general cooking, pasta, soup etc. If this goes to 85° in 3 seconds that would be really handy for that too. The pan can take it the rest of the way.

21st Dec 2007, 10:51

teflon says:

This is the kind of thing we should have in the tea point in work - there are some misguided souls who, after making their tea, fill the kettle to the top and boil it again, 'so there's hot water for the next person'. It annoys me no end.

21st Dec 2007, 11:00

mat says:

Noon - although I'm sure it would serve for that job, I tend not to use it much that way (where previously I would have used the kettle). Our hot tap kicks out water at around 60°, and with a much greater flow rate than the QuickCup, so I tend to use the hot tap, or plug the kettle in if I need more than a litre or so.

No problem on the review - there's not that much out there that I could find, so I thought I'd do something. Also, you and HR did ask for this a few weeks back.

Tef - aye, it would work well in a small office. More than five or six people and you should get a mains-fed wall kettle though. My last office wouldn't get one because it "cost too much". I worked out that in saved time (ie, no waiting for the kettle) alone, it would pay for itself in less than a day.

21st Dec 2007, 11:01

neko says:

Nice review.

Deliberate typo?
"you only heat the exact amount oyu need". Oyu being (??), of course, Japanese for hot water.

21st Dec 2007, 11:07

mat says:

If I say "yes", will you believe me? :)

21st Dec 2007, 11:08

OJ says:

Nice review. The only thing I'm not convinced by is your opinion that the tea is just at nice if the water isn't right at boiling point. We have the industrial strength wall-mounted version of these at work and so I frequently experience insipid off-boiling tea.

Good idea though. I might look for one in the sales.

21st Dec 2007, 11:34

Dhamaka says:

thank you - a very useful review

21st Dec 2007, 13:53

mat says:

OJ - neither was I. But I tried it, and it's OK. And I am at least (if not more) as fussy about good tea as you are. :)

21st Dec 2007, 14:35

OJ says:

:D I love your confident assertion that you're more fussy than I am. You may well be - but my wife insists on a rolling boil and a warmed pot and can actually tell if there's any cheating. She's also very conscious of the environment, so it would be an interesting experiement. Thanks for the review...I'll show her.

21st Dec 2007, 15:32

mat says:

Perhaps I should challenge her to a tea-fuss-off, settle it once and for all... :)

With Real Tea, it's vital to warm both the pot (very well) and the mugs when using the QuickCup, otherwise it definitely is too cold. I don't think you could make a good cup of tea at less than 85°, but I do think you can at 85°. A lot of the more delicate black teas should be brewed a bit cooler anyway - boiling water on a fine darjeeling will kill it dead. That said, I mostly drink a kickass kenya/assam blend, which is about as delicate as a kick in the teeth.

There's always the eco-kettle, but it's filterless and sounds like a lot of hassle to use.

I actually think the best solution is the QuickCup mk2, which dispenses boiling water. Unfortunately, that doesn't exist (yet). Maybe I should get in touch with Tefal...

21st Dec 2007, 15:45

OJ says:

Maybe you should get in touch with Tefal....

Hmm, the filterlessness (is that a word?) of the eco-kettle wouldn't bother me. We live in a soft-water area. I had forgotten the horrors of making scummy tea in Norfolk.

Green tea doesn't need a rolling boil either - but as you say, those strong blends Assam, English Breakfast, Lapsong Souchong etc. etc. need boiling water.

21st Dec 2007, 15:50

silar31 says:

I think we need one for the new house. Almost immediate hot chocolate and tea would make Don and I very happy individuals.

21st Dec 2007, 17:00

seaneeboy says:

Smashing - Mrs eeboy recieved one of these as a christmas pressie this morning, I've been dying to comment on this - thanks for posting up the first one, it reminded me of it just in time!

23rd Dec 2007, 10:51

FilbertFox says:

We have the eco-kettle and don't find it a hassle at all

23rd Dec 2007, 17:26

Steve says:

Out of interest, how do you heat your mugs and tea pots?

29th Dec 2007, 20:52

Helen says:

My gran would fill the teapot first with a little boiling water, swill it around, pour the water out and then slam the lid on... leave it a bit, put in tea bag, put in water, brew tea.

30th Dec 2007, 00:29

Peter Ronan(admin-at-xoogo-dot-com) says:

STAY CLEAR of the Tefal Quick cup if you are a Tea drinker... £45 for luke warm water is not really good enough.

We were making drinks with it then having to put the mugs in microwave for 30 seconds to ensure water was "HOT".

Tea drinkers will find a thin layer of "Tea Dust" on top of the water in the mug after water dispensing..

My advice... find another method unless u like warm drinks.. then its 150% perfect!

2nd Jan 2008, 17:16

mat says:

85 degrees is not lukewarm. It's hot, approaching scalding - certainly too hot for me to put my hands in. I've never encountered this 'tea dust' you speak of, so I can't really comment on that.

In my opinion, the QuickCup makes perfectly good tea, either using bags or loose tea, as long as you warm the pot first - which you should be doing anyway. It should be noted that I'm very particular about a decent cuppa, my choice of tea is usually Far Too Good For Ordinary People

3rd Jan 2008, 13:01

Euphro says:

This is a great review and I wasn't aware of the device before. It sounds very interesting.

3rd Jan 2008, 13:09

Danneey says:

Just bought one of these, my kettle was starting to age. I am a coffee drinker, and the water is certainly hot enough for it. The Quickcup does a much better job of heating water than my percolator does. With regards to tea, I reckon the water needs to be boiling, but I might get a small kettle for that. Not very often that tea gets ordered in my household.

Good review.

6th Jan 2008, 19:28

Dhamaka says:

Does yours spit water? I'm wondering if this is a 'feature' or if I should ask for another....

21st Mar 2008, 19:27

seaneeboy says:

Ours spits a little, nothing too hefty though - unless it runs out of water, then it gets ANGRY :)

Ours has started pointing out it needs a de-scaling, which it can do automagically, is nifty. Probably more of a consideration for them norfolkians.

21st Mar 2008, 19:36

Dhamaka says:

thanks Sean,
Mine is messy and could be considered dangerous, since the only way to stop the spatters is to hold the cup close to the nozzle - maybe I should get it replaced

21st Mar 2008, 21:23

Brian says:

I would never buy another product from tefal or comet they are the worse people to deal with just after the 12 month warrantee ran out my tefal dropped dead,so i got less than 13 months use out of a very expensive kettle.i should have kept with my old electric kettle costing me less than a tenner after years of use .tefal just shrugged me off they offered me %30 off a new one.guess where i told them to shove it.....

8th Sep 2009, 18:22

mat says:

Well, they can't do that (ok, they can, but you shouldn't let them get away with it).

Read this page:

9th Sep 2009, 11:54