Plus, it’s reasonably priced compared to other luxury brands.
It’s been years since I’ve heard it, but the sound of my grandmother’s jarringly screechy tea kettle still echoes in my brain. Despite feeling a bit grumpy towards one of her loudest and most used kitchen accessories, there’s something sentimental about having my own; however, I do not wish to put my ears through that same torture. So I went on the hunt for a kettle that aligns with my tea-sipping needs and my level of noise tolerance. My other requirements read like a kettle dating profile: must be durable, thoughtfully designed, visually charming, have some fun colors, won’t rust in the blink of an eye, and doesn’t appear to have lived a tortured life like the one I grew up half-scowling at. Enter: the Michael Graves-designed Alessi Stainless Steel Whistling Bird Kettle, a shiny, whimsical container that gained my approval at first glance.
Alessi Stainless Steel Whistling Bird Kettle
Full disclosure: I already own and enjoy using a slightly pricier Caraway Whistling Kettle ($225), a super sturdy, non-toxic, quick boiling pot that emits a low, non-aggravating sound. But as someone who prefers options wherever possible, the Alessi option feels like a likely addition to my roster.
Here’s why: It’s visually stunning. It’s rust-resistant. The choice of satin or polished steel exterior feels timeless, yet paired with the colorful heatproof handle and bird whistle, the cordless, 1.2-quart kettle is the furthest thing from a stovetop snoozefest. The handle eliminates the mad dash for a dish towel or a random pot holder to lift the kettle without searing your hands. Back to the bird-shaped whistle: it comes in yellow, red, white, and black, and is undoubtedly one of the reasons this Alessi kettle has maintained its best-seller status since it debuted in 1985.
Aside from its undeniable eye-catchiness, this cross between kitchenware and art brings smiles to the faces of those who own it. Labeled as a "fabulously functional" tool with a design that never "goes out of style," I’ve only come across a couple of minimal gripes: a) its whistle doesn’t actually compare to that of an actual bird, and b) the snug-fitting lid can be a bit tough to remove.
Although the kettle doesn’t actually sound like a bird and requires some extra elbow grease to do its thing, it does have a solid reputation for longevity plus a bevy of satisfied (and repeat) purchasers, which speaks to its high quality and functionality. At the worst, you’ll lose time staring at this gorgeous kettle and incessantly boiling water to witness its bird whistle in action. At best, you’ll own a stunning Alessi kettle that will serve as a staple in your kitchen.
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