The 5 Best Pour Over Kettles (Gooseneck Kettle) Reviewed
Besides completing your transformation to ultimate hipsterdom, the gooseneck/pour over coffee kettle serves a very practical brewing function.
Typically used for pour over, and although it isn’t as crucial as a dripper, the gooseneck certainly has a significant impact on the brew quality and process.
In fact, nobody serious about pour over coffee will brew without one.
Which is why today, for all you metamorphosing pre-hipsters and/or at-home coffee enthusiasts, I will be rounding up the 5 best gooseneck kettles of 2018 (also known as pour over coffee kettles).
Gooseneck Kettles - Why the Hype?
Although it is entirely possible to make a delicious cup of pour over coffee without one of these kettles, having one can certainly up your game.
There are many pour over recipes that require a near methodical attention to detail, like Blue Bottle’s Nel Drip.
When it comes to mastering pour over, even extraction is crucial, because it leads to improved flavor and aroma of your brew.
A gooseneck kettle allows you to pinpoint where your water falls, and control the amount poured, allowing you to more easily achieve a balanced saturation.
Let’s not forget: pour over brewing requires incremental pouring - some recipes even require you to meticulously regulate each pour by weight - and a gooseneck kettle makes it much easier to avoid the pain of under-pouring or over-pouring each round.
Essentially, this type of kettle is for the barista what a fine-tipped brush is for the painter: a perfectionist’s tool.
Read more about pour over coffee in our beginners guide.
What to Look for in a Great Gooseneck
Given that these funky metal kettles are the tools of a connoisseur, it’s absolutely worthwhile to be a little persnickety.
For this reason, I am going to touch on some of the fine details to pay attention to when shopping for your own pour over kettle.
#1 - Flow Rate
Some kettles pour slower than others, and some are more responsive to subtle shifts.
Obviously, you want a gooseneck that doesn’t pour too fast, but speed is the lesser issue in comparison to consistency.
Although a relatively quick pourer may take some practice to get used to, its purpose is wasted if it can’t pour evenly.
The main goal with pour over coffee - and likely the reason you are even looking into gooseneck kettles - is even extraction of your coffee beans’ flavor.
A kettle that sloshes out the spout or drools at the beginning of a pour is going to ruin all that.
#2 - Material and Design
Unless you particularly like the cringe-inducing taste of rust, then try to avoid options built with inferior metals - duhh.
Whether as an effort to cut down on costs or just poor manufacturing, some brands - including popular brands - use metals not meant to last very long.
Often it’s these same kettles that suffer from quick wear and tear as well as cracking along joints.
Usually you can check these welded joints by running a finger over them and, in most cases, the smoother the joint the stronger the weld.
#3 - Comfort. Yes, Comfort.
Keep in mind that you may be holding this kettle - over your brewer and out away from your body - for minutes at a time, gradually pouring in repeated increments.
Therefore, it is important to make sure the kettle you purchase is comfortable to hold.
Ironically, some kettles, in what seems like an attempt to keep up with fashion, have handles that feel more like an afterthought than anything else.
Although comfort is a relatively subjective matter, a pretty handle isn’t so pretty when it’s awkward to hold while pouring or too hot to grip.
#4 - Capacity
Most goosenecks stick within the same maximum capacity range - somewhere around 1 liter.
However, there are variations, and a few decimal places to the right or left can make a big difference, depending on how you brew.
If, for example, you’re the barista of the family, a large size kettle will allow you to keep on brewing without constant refills of unheated water halting your stride.
#5 - Extra Features
Since you’re here, reading these reviews of a (arguably) niche tool, I can safely assume that you appreciate maximizing utility.
Luckily enough, there are numerous options out there to both satisfy your desire for a gooseneck kettle and your compulsion for efficiency.
Some kettles offer an exciting little feature called “variable temperature control,” which allows you to set the exact temperature you’d like your water heated to.
These types of kettles achieve such control with a special electric burner that is usually included as a package deal.
Another add-on offered by some is a built-in temperature gauge.
These normally take the form of a probe thermometer attached to the lid, and eliminate the need for post-boil countdowns.
The 5 Best Pour Over Coffee Kettles (as of 2018)
So by now you have a good idea of what seperates the good from the bad in terms of pour over coffee kettles.
You are ready to thrown down a little dosh and take your pour over adventures to the next level.
The following 5 options tick all the boxes, and then some - so give them some thought:
POUR OVER KETTLE
#1 - The Coffee Gator’s Pour Over Kettle
The Coffee Gator kettle may seem to be the perfect choice - after all, it does have a thermometer built into the lid - but appearances can be deceiving.
This little kettle (and I do mean little) is advertised to hold 1 liter, but the instructions state not to fill it much more than half way.
Additionally, some buyers have reported random design flaws - like a loose top, or inaccurate thermometer, to name a couple - on their Coffee Gators, which may be a result of cheap manufacturing.
Ironically, this kettle isn’t that inexpensive, sitting smack-dab in the middle of the average price range.
That said, most buyers report no problems, so it may not be too big of a gamble.
If you are someone who wants an all-in-one package deal, then the Coffee Gator may be good for you.
#2 - The Hario V60 Buono Coffee Drip Kettle
Chances are, if you order pour over at a coffee shop, you will see the barista using the Hario V60 Buono kettle. This pour over kettle is trusted by professional baristas and at-home enthusiasts alike.
Despite this devotion, the Buono doesn’t offer as much control over water flow as some other goosenecks. Finding the exact angle to achieve a slow, steady pour is difficult, even with practice, and requires holding your arm at an awkward angle. Also, at the beginning of a pour, water tends to dribble out and arc backwards before correcting itself.
Apart from that, the Buono is a capable little dude, which holds a bit more water than others, which would make it a good choice for someone who brews in large batches. Additionally, its beehive design nicely harmonizes with nearly all of Hario’s other coffee products, making it an attractive choice for the fashion-conscious as well.
- Design corresponds with other Hario products.
- The larger reservoir can hold up to 1.2L liters, much more than its competitors.
- Reasonably priced
- Not as accurate or consistent as other kettles.
- The thin metal body tends to lose heat quicker than other goosenecks.
#3 - The Bonavita 1.0L Electric Kettle - The Best Electric Gooseneck Kettle
The Bonavita Electric Kettle is the only kettle on the list that comes with its own heat source: a 1000W electric heater. Although not a necessity for greatness, the electric heater does bring the Bonavita up to the proper temperature pretty quickly.
Furthermore, the Bonavita offers impressive flow control. Water flows easily and predictably out the spout, and the ergonomically designed handle, with its (brilliant) little finger notch, makes small adjustments a breeze. This kettle is a good fit for someone who highly prizes convenience.
Unfortunately, this gooseneck suffers from some poor manufacturing and, as some buyers report, may begin to rust after a few months. As if a limited lifespan wasn’t enough, the Bonavita also is, undoubtedly, the ugliest gooseneck on this list, looking more like something that belongs in your depressing office break room than your home.
- Well-designed handle and spout is intuitive and easy to use.
- Includes an electric burner to heat your water quickly.
- Impressive flow control
- Poor manufacturing may lead to rusting and leaking.
- Plain and unstylish design.
- Most expensive on this list
#4 - The Slow Dance RJ3, by Ovalware
Ovalware’s Slow Dance gooseneck kettle is an impressive newcomer to the land of coffee. Despite its relatively short time on the field, this kettle is making its mark on customers.
Offering a degree of flow control as good as the Bonavita (sans rust), many pour over enthusiasts are now switching to the Slow Dance. Its angled spout allows water to flow smoothly, but not too quickly, and the cleverly angled handle makes pouring much more convenient.
When compared to the Buono, the Slow Dance does have two drawbacks: a smaller reservoir and higher price. However, its sleek and elegant design wins it back some of those lost points.
If you like the Buono for its sexy, modern style, yet you want something that is as good as it looks, then the Slow Dance may be the choice for you.
- A slower and steadier flow rate allows for more predictable pouring.
- The nearly horizontal angled handle is both convenient and comfortable to use.
- Stylish, modern design.
- As a newer product, it hasn’t much of a reputation.
- Smaller reservoir than the Buono.
#5 - The Trusty Kalita Wave Kettle
Carrying on the theme of matching, Kalita, like Hario, also offers a gooseneck kettle to match its drippers.
The Kalita Wave Kettle has a stouter neck than most kettles, which makes for a stronger than average flow rate. If you’re used to a slower pour, getting used to the Kalita may be a bit tricky, yet it isn’t unconquerable. Although fast, the Kalita gives a very steady and predictable pour, and aiming - once you get your timing down - is relatively easy.
In terms of design, the Wave Kettle scores high for its graceful styling and classic, wooden handles; however, it quickly loses those same points due to shoddy craftsmanship. The handle sits too low and close, so when the kettle is sitting over a heat source, it becomes too hot to grasp and needs time to cool. Also, the wooden handle and knob are poorly attached, and prone to cracking and falling off over time.
- Its classic design makes for a stylish addition to your kitchen.
- Strong and even pour.
- 1 liter reservoir is sufficient for most purposes.
- Poor design places handle too close to heat.
- Poor quality wood will not last for very long.
- This gooseneck is just as expensive as the Bonavita.
Today’s winner is Ovalware’s Slow Dance. With this pour over kettle, Ovalware seems to have taken notice of the flaws of other kettles and learned from their mistakes.
The Slow Dance offers better control over flow rate than most other kettles, and still manages to make your morning coffee routine look damn sexy. Although sexy and comfortable don’t always go together, Ovalware has found a way to bring the two together. It’s official, according to Homegrounds, this is the best pour over coffee kettle.
WINNER: The Ovalware Slow Dance Kettle
Even though the Slow Dance is a bit pricier than other gooseneck kettles, given its quality, I’d say it’s worth the price.
Have you used any of these kettles, or do you know of one I did not mention? In the comments below tell me about your own gooseneck experience, and let me know what you thought of the article. Don’t forget to share with your fellow coffee enthusiasts if you liked it!