The Kettle Question

I’m a coffee addict. I get up every morning, turn on the coffee pot, and sip my two cups. My mother, on the other hand, is a tea junky. If I ever want to show her I care about her, I could just go make her a cup of tea and she would be thrilled. She taught me how to make tea at a young age. Get out a cup. Drop in the tea bag and fill with water. Microwave for 90 seconds.

I think I may have just heard gasps from across the pond.

I remember reading a post from one of my students last year who was studying in the U.K. She had put her tea cup in the microwave and all of her British roommates looked at her like she had a second head. They could not believe she was not using a kettle. On the other side, Andy from Milk and Whisky faced a dilemma when he first arrived in the U.S. and discovered Walmart does not sell electric kettles.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the choice between using the microwave or the kettle is a reflection of our cultures. As Americans, using a microwave is an indication of our values of ingenuity and efficiency. While for the Brits, the kettle is a symbol of quality and tradition. I’m sure both sides would argue which way is better, but in the end, I think I each society will choose the way that reflects what is important to them.

For me, who is attempting to be global from home, I’ve decided to start using the kettle. I tried it for the first time about a week ago and was so excited to hear it whistle when it was ready. Although it took a while longer, I have to say it was a delicious cup of tea.

What do you use? Microwave or kettle?

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5 thoughts on “The Kettle Question

  1. Lesley

    I LOVE my electric kettle and use it almost daily. Of all the wonderful wedding gifts we received I would have to say it is the one we use the most!

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    Since I don’t have a tea kettle, I don’t use one. Maybe that would be a good Christmas gift :-). Love, Mom

    Reply
  3. msdulce

    I really like this Tea as Cultural Reflector Theory. 🙂 I use both, depending on my mood… when it’s rainy & I feel like enjoying the tea-making process and associated pomp & circumstance, I’ll use a kettle.

    Reply

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