Brewing coffee and tea has become an art form in recent years. From the grain size, brew duration, and even the water temperature, the right combination of many different factors can affect the taste of your favorite morning beverage. That’s why having the right equipment is essential. And if we’re being honest, for those of us who aren’t morning people, automating that first caffeine hit can be a lifesaver. Enter the smart kettle, a device that has taken a traditional kitchen tool and given it a pretty major upgrade. Smart kettles, like the Hamilton Beach Smart Kettle with Alexa voice control offer a range of features designed to help you get your drink-on a lot easier. In this review I’ll try out the kettle, see if adding smarts is really helpful or just gimmicky, check out what’s involved in talking to your kettle, how easy it is to set up and to use, then I’ll wrap it all up by letting you know if this smart kettle is worth the money.
Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Kettle
I’m surprised at how handy I found this device. While adding smarts to a kettle is a bit of a luxury, there’s definitely a convenience factor to being able to call out a command to turn the kettle on or off.
- Boils water FAST
- Easy to set up
- Voice control is awesome
- Customizable temperatures
- Holds 1.7L
- Easy to create automated routines
- Doesn’t take up too much space
- No Echo or push notifications
In this review I’ll try out the kettle, see if adding smarts is really helpful or just gimmicky, check out what’s involved in talking to your kettle, how easy it is to set up and to use, then I’ll wrap it all up by letting you know if this smart kettle is worth the money.
What does a smart kettle do?
First you might be wondering What is a smart kettle?And why do you need one? The key feature of this smart kettle is that you can simply call out commands to your Alexa voice assistant and start the kettle working. But it does a lot more and it has several features you can adjust to your preference.
Getting the kettle set up is easy. Step one is to plug in the heating base. Next up, download and sign up for or sign into the Alexa app.
Use the Alexa app to connect with your kettle by going to Devices in the lower right, then tapping on the plus icon in the top right corner. Choose Add Device, then select ‘Kettle’ from the list of devices that appears (and you may need to scroll down quite a ways). Then choose the brand or model of kettle; in my case, Hamilton Beach.
Next, you’ll scan the barcode on the bottom of the charging base to complete the set up process. If this doesn’t work, there is a bypass; just push and hold the Wi-Fi set up button until it starts flashing red and then continue to follow the instructions in the Alexa app.
I was connected and ready to go in just a couple of minutes.
The heating base needs to stay near an outlet, but the kettle itself is cordless, and has a lid release button to refill the water.
How to use Alexa Smart Kettle
Using the kettle is a simple as it gets. You can just ask Alexa to turn it on for you, or go into the Alexa app and open the controls for your kettle. In here you can do things like set the maximum temperature you want, choose how long the kettle will hold the water hot for, as well as adjust other settings.
The Alexa Integration is key here…You can control it with your voice using almost any Amazon Echo smart home device or the Alexa smartphone app.
Can I use smart kettle without Wi-Fi?
The kettle can be used both with Alexa/Wi-Fi and without. The power and temperature buttons on the base will let you turn the kettle on or off and set the temperature, without needing an Alexa device or having to grab your phone. That means the kettle will be useful even for guests or visitors.
How fast does Hamilton Beach smart kettle boil water?
I was pretty surprised by how quickly this kettle will boil water. For the most part I use a stove top kettle for larger volumes, or the microwave for a cup of boiling water. The stove top feels like it often takes forever, though it’s probably closer to about 10 minutes to fully boil. The microwave can boil a cup for me in about two minutes.
With its 1500 watts power rating, the Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Kettle is made to boil your water quickly and efficiently. The maximum temperature setting is 212°F, and in my testing a full kettle can reach this in just 5-6 minutes.
With the kettle half full I had water at 212 within 3 and a half minutes. Impressive
Hold warm function
There’s a keep-warm function, you can set up a timer to ensure that the water stays at your chosen temperature for up to 60 minutes.
Keeping your water warm for 60 minutes might dry out some kettles, but the Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Kettle has an boil dry protection that prevents this from happening. This means your kettle will shut off automatically when it’s empty.
What’s it like using a smart kettle?
I used the kettle for about two weeks to make coffee in the morning and to prepare a nice cup of chamomile tea in the evenings. It was pretty awesome to be sitting on the couch watching TV and simply call out to Alexa to turn the kettle on. When the water had boiled I could get up and make my tea, saving me a trip to the kitchen.
Set temps for specific drinks, soups
One other feature the kettle has is the ability to choose what type of beverage (or soup/ramen) you’re going to make, and to let the smart cattle heat the water to the optimal temperature. For example coffee likes very hot water while certain teas prefer something just off-boiling. Being able to let technology choose the perfect temperature for whatever you’re making is kind of handy.
Another cool feature is you can integrate this kettle into your morning routine. Just set it up in the Alexa app to turn on when you say ‘Hey A- good morning’ and your water can be boiled when you get to the kitchen.
Just follow the steps to create an Alexa routine, for example when you say Good Morning, and then choose to add a smart home command, where you should find the kettle’s options.
What’s missing? Notifications
One of the other most obvious things I think this kettle is missing, is some way to notify you when your water has boiled. It seems like a no-brainer to me that Alexa could call out to you when the kettle is ready, of you’d get a push notification to your phone. This would be ideal for morning wake ups, or if you are working in another room. Since this kettle doesn’t have a whistle function, there’s really no way to know once the water has boiled unless you’re nearby. So I guess the flipside of that is that it boils water so quickly you can just assume that within about five minutes it’s ready. Though I am the distracted type and often forget that I have water boiling in the other room…
Now to be clear, not having these two features did not ruin my experience with the kettle, but I do think there is some room for improvement and to really put the smarts in smart kettle.
Overall review: Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Kettle
Overall I’m surprised at how handy I found this device. While adding smarts to a kettle is a bit of a luxury, there’s definitely a convenience factor to being able to call out a command to turn the kettle on or off. Plus you can use the on-device buttons if your Wi-Fi’s out.
The set up process was easy, the kettle boils water incredibly quickly, and having the ability to automatically choose preset water temperatures for different kinds of beverages was helpful.
So what are the downsides? I do feel this kettle could use a notification feature. I also was unable to get it to turn on, on a schedule. Since those are features that could likely be added in a future firmware update, I’m confident there will be some improvements to this device going forward.
To sum up I found a Hamilton beach Alexa smart kettle to be much more convenient than I thought it would be and I think it would make a great gift for coffee or tea lovers—or for a dorm room.
The Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Kettle sells for about $89USD and you can get it from Hamilton Beach or as I did, from Amazon.
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