I like to drink all kinds of tea. Black, green and everything in between—just give me hot water and a little dash of honey and I’m happy. But I’ve often wondered (as I’m brewing the day’s third or fourth cup) how much extra energy my tea habit consumes. Turns out, I’m not the only one who’s watched a pot boil and wondered the very same thing.
Professors Shi Yuanwu and Wu Chongxiang of Hubei University of Technology’s School of Art and Design, in China, noticed that whether boiling water or making dinner, most of a stove’s heat is lost before it actually reaches the cooking vessel. When a typical gas burner ignites, a large percentage of the heat disperses outward horizontally underneath the stove top, rather than heading up toward the pot or pan. By altering their perception of what a kettle should look like, Yuanwu and Chongxiang were able to create a vessel that would virtually eliminate this energy loss.
The Efficient Kettle lives up to its name by utilizing a square shape to more efficiently trap the heat emanating from a gas stove burner. The design, winner of a Red Dot award, features a round void in the middle of the kettle that effectively absorbs the outward-moving heat, and a staggered surface which expands the absorption area.
“As it sits low over the flame and its centre is open, the kettle itself can also be used as a traditional pot rack,” write the designers. “As such, the single flame can offer two simultaneous uses. Furthermore, the kettle’s removable handle can be attached to other cooking vessels.”
Just like a normal tea kettle, the Efficient Kettle is filled and emptied via a spout, and is equipped with a steam whistle for safety reasons. The kettle’s removable handle can also be attached to other cooking vessels.