Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
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on June 18, 2012
This has review three parts: (1) why you should get something like this in general, (2) specific concerns about this product not addressed in other reviews, and (3) detailed operational measurements (water temperature range)

=== Part 1: Why to get an variable temperature electric tea kettle ===

For anyone who drinks tea (unless it is exclusively black) or makes coffee outside an all-in-one, department store drip-brewer, this is absolutely indispensable. Though most recipes have been built to use only room-temp or boiling water (since those are the only temperatures to easily reach with consistency), more cutting-edge cooking as well as coffee/tea prep requires more finesse. Unless you're willing to watch the proverbial pot boil with a thermometer in hand, this is the only way to heat water on such occasions.

=== Part 2: Concerns / questions raised (and/or) left unanswered by other reviews ===

I won't go into detail about well-established pros and cons covered in other reviews, but I would like to make clear a few things I couldn't determine from reviews/specs before I bought mine:

("Hot sides/surfaces"): Yes, the sides get hot, and yes, it is startling to touch the metal outer wall when the water is hot. However, according to my IR thermometer, the surface never gets much above 130 degrees. Sure, that's hot and you should avoid contact, but for comparison many people's hot water heater is set this high and (as validated by my rather stupid intentional touch test) an accidental touch is highly unlikely to cause even a mild first-degree burn unless you actively fight the reflex to instantly pull away.

("Construction / Material touching the water"): True, the sidewall level indicator and the "frame" of the removable spout filter are made of plastic (the BPA content of which I have not conclusively proved or disproved) but the former is part of a small compartment which only a small amount of water reaches and which has very limited circulation, and the latter is removable. The entire rest of the construction that touches water is steel. Since hot water dissolves BPA from plastics, and aluminum's role in neurodegenerative disease is unclear, iron/steel and glass are pretty much the only materials I trust completely for food storage/preparation containers. In this regard, this kettle is the safest option I've found.

=== Part 3: Operational test data ===

As a tea fanatic with a minimum of four kinds of tea always on hand (black, red/oolong, green, and white) and general geek, I have meticulously measured the actual temperature of the water in the kettle for the various settings. I share them here in hopes they will provide a useful operational profile for buyers interested in temperature variability. (Bear in mind that the container you pour into will greatly affect the water temperature, so remember to preheat it by filling it with hot water right before use.)

Button | @ First Trigger Completed
Label | "Beep" Re-heat Re-Heat
--------|-------- -------- ---------
160 | 164 160 163
175 | 180 175 178
185 | 192 185 188
190 | 197 191 194
200 | 203 199 204
Boil | 214 206 214

(All temperatures are in degrees F, as registered by my probe thermometer in the top half of the water with the kettle fully-filled.)

=== - ===

I know this is half generally-relevant bullet points, and half geek-oriented test data, but I hope this review still has something useful for everyone.
1212 comments| 1,159 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 24, 2010
This kettle is everything you could want! I use it mostly for french press coffee, but my guests have used it for various kinds of tea, instant oatmeal, or hot chocolate with great success.

I did a lot of research on these kettles, and I found that the one thing to avoid was kettles with plastic insides. Every single one with plastic innards had comments about plastic taste in the water. Stainless and glass interiors didn't have this problem, but glass was more susceptable to scale buildup. So I went with stainless. There aren't many of these kettles with stainless insides, and the ones there are are generally more expensive. I looked at the Breville and some others, but they were simply too much money. This one, while not cheap, offered a great feature set, accurate temperatures, stainless interior, good controls, unobstrusive base, and pretty nice aesthetics.

The kettle is easy to fill, solidly built, and heats water very fast. It finishes its heat cycle with an authoritative BEEP that I can hear from the next room as I watch Sports Center. Another bonus is that even once it has reached temperature, it will keep the water at that temperature for up to 30 minutes, so if I'm busy doing something else, my kettle can wait until I get there, and my water isn't too cold or too hot! The most important thing about a good cup of french press coffee, besides the beans, is the temperature of the water.

The base is very minimal and you don't even notice it when the kettle is sitting on it, it looks like one piece of the kettle. The controls are easy to reach while holding the kettle by the handle, and the little LED light on the water level indicator is bright and helps you see the water level in a dimly lit early morning kitchen. It also automatically shuts off after a bit if the kettle heat has been turned off. The kettle will turn off automatically after a certain amount of time, but it also is easy to turn off once you've poured out your needed water by pressing the "keep warm" button again.

Cleaning is as easy as making a water/white vinegar mixture and letting the kettle boil for 10-15 minutes, then rinsing it out a few times. This removes lime scale deposits and calcification.

For the build quality, looks, features, and performance, I can't rate this kettle high enough! Look no further!
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on February 16, 2015
What I don't like is that the screws on the inside of the lid began to rust about 2 months in. Although Cuisinart will replace it under their warranty, I have to pay for shipping both ways (you can send it any way you want, but have to send them $15 for return postage). Why should I pay $30 for a defective product replacement? At present, I'm not inclined to pour any more money into this product. To me, Cuisinart needs to stand behind their product better. If this were 2 or 3 years in, fine, but it's not even 2 months old!!
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on May 10, 2013
It has been working great since day 1. Though after relatively few months, the writing on the buttons is rubbing off. Hopefully, one day when they are all blank, I'll remember what button does what. See the picture I took.
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on January 7, 2013
It was useful before it rusted. The nut and bolt used to attach the plastic housing for the filter were made of metal and rusted after a week of usage. Amazon is sending replacement. Hopefully, it was a manufacturer's defect and the replacement has stainless steel fasteners or something that don't rust.
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on June 23, 2010
5 YEAR UPDATE: (4.5 to be exact)I still own this kettle and love it, surprised that nothing better has been invented yet. It's the only kitchen gadget that's been used heavily daily for so long without needing repairs or replacements. The build quality is still excellent, nothing is falling aparat. I didn't even clean it once and while there are plenty of mineral deposits on the outside, inside it looks clean. The reason I am looking for a new one is my current one started acting up. Occasionally, it would shut down half way during boil with "error" beeping sounds. I just push start again and it starts boiling. It may actually

UPDATED entire review on 9/12/2013 (Originally purchased and reviewed on August 2010)

We've owned Krups FLF2-J1 electric kettle for about 4 years and while it was doing the job I was desperately looking for something with selectable temperatures until I saw newly released CPK-17. While there were no reviews available at the time of the purchase I decided to try it out anyway and I was perfectly satisifed from the first cup of tea. We've been using it for over 3 years now and still enjoy the kettle as the day we got it. There is no rust on the kettle and all functions are working. It needs some cleaning, but that's a personal choice.

What I like:
Selectable temperatures. This was main feature why I bought it on the first place. I don't ever boil the tea, I prefer 175 degree setting and no more burning tongues!
There was no smell when it was brand new
Stylish looking even after 3 years I still like the look of it
Fits a cup more then a previous Kettle I had, but I rarely fill it up
Blue led when in operation
Surprisingly quieter then I thought it would be
Beeps when ready
There is a setting to keep water wamr for 30 minutes
Faster tea preparation when selecting lower temps
Cap opens with a push of a button

Neutral:
It is on the pricy side, but you get what you pay for, it's solidly build and looks stylish, plus it's been working for 3 years with daily use
Some plastic there, but not too much

Not so Great:
They didn't make one 10 year ago, not really a con, but you know...
Stains easily
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on January 12, 2011
After our 12 year old Revere 3.5-qt. Copper-Bottom Teakettle finally died last month, I began researching the pros and cons between stove top and electric water kettles. I had never owned an electric kettle before, but they appeared to be more energy efficient, faster heating, cooler to handle, and in most cases, more customizable. I was planning to purchase the same Revere stove top kettle until I read so many reviews stating that manufacturing had been moved to China and quality suffered as a result.

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp is expensive, but after having owned and consistently used it several times a day for over a month, I can say it's worth every penny - if you are an avid tea and coffee drinker. I use the kettle to boil water (in 4 minutes) for the kids' oatmeal before school, then I make two french press pots of coffee as soon as I get home from dropping them off. My wife has an entire cabinet filled with Traditional Medicinal teas, and between the two of us, we use the kettle at least four to six times throughout the day, every day.

With individual temperature settings for Delicate, Green, White, and Oolong teas, French Press Coffee, and Black (Boil), I have noticed a HUGE difference in the flavor of each type of tea from before, when we would always just boil water in the stove top kettle until the whistle went off. The 'beep' could be louder in my opinion, but the kettle heats water so fast that it is usually ready by the time I grab a mug and decide which tea I want, so I'm rarely out of the kitchen when it goes off. And the keep warm feature is great for deciding to have a second cup ;-). The sides of the kettle do get hot during use, but the handle is cool, so you won't need a pot holder or glove like you do with some stove top kettles.

Our kitchen has been full of Cuisinart appliances for years, and although they are all generally expensive, I have no doubt that we will be using this water kettle for many years due to the solid construction and fantastic customer service we've come to expect from their products.

UPDATE 08-13-2012
After 18 months of using this water kettle multiple times a day for french press coffee, hot water for oatmeal, tea, etc, it has performed beautifully without a single problem. I love that it heats the water to 200 degrees for french press in just a few minutes, and the kettle remembers it's settings if placed back on the base in under 2 minutes if you've got it set to 'keep warm'. I still highly recommend this kettle.
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on April 23, 2012
Purchased this kettle on January 27, 2012, used it as much as several times a day to as little as 1-2 times a week, and by mid-April it stopped heating water entirely. The unit powers on and programs as usual but after about 3 minutes, it beeps three times and shuts off leaving cold water in the kettle. Please note: I was very careful in my handling and care of this kettle. I did not get the controls wet, the unit was never washed in soapy water or submerged (I only wiped it down inside and out with a well-wrung out damp microfiber cloth sans cleansers of any kind), I did not utilize the "keep warm" feature nor leave the unit plugged in or on after use (it was always returned to a cabinet (carefully!) after it cooled), it was never dropped, banged, manhandled or otherwise mistreated. In fact, I babied this kettle. The thing still broke.

When the unit works, you will love it. When it fails so soon after purchase, you'll be kicking yourself, probably saying (as I did), "Something told me not to buy this! Why the heck do these types of things always break so darn quickly nowadays?"

While this product does come with a 3-year limited warranty, you must pay $15 s&h to Cuisinart to ship you a new or repaired unit as well as pay to return the broken kettle (approx. $15). So, you're looking at spending $30 to get a functioning kettle which is roughly 40% of the intitial purchase price.

Reading through the low-star reviews, I see that it's common for the kettle to stop working within several months of use so I won't be spending another $30 for a replacement given chances are good that the replacement kettle will fail in a few months time as well.

In my opinion, to have an $80 tea kettle fail after three months is wholly unacceptable, and due to its high failure rate within a relatively short period of time, I cannot recommend this product.

Caveat emptor. Seriously.
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on April 21, 2012
Update (4/22, 4 years later):
-------------------------------------
It's actually holding up quite well after four years of daily use comprised of heating up water for my siphon coffee pot and nightly sleep teas. The numbers have pretty much rubbed off the prefixed temperature buttons but after years of routine I just push the same buttons and haven't noticed. I can always refer to the images here if I need a reminder for lapse in memory. Also, I never use it to boil water for coffee and teas as that negatively impacts the taste of my coffees and teas.

The kettle is as beautiful and stylish as the day I got it. There's a tiny bit of lime scale at the bottom of the kettle as a result of not routinely rinsing it with a lime scale remover. Think I ran vinegar through it only once. I highly recommend this kettle. Rating upgraded from four to five stars as a result of it's longevity and quality.

Original review:
-----------------------
I'll have to follow up with a follow up review. A couple of points:

* Not as heavy as I had imagined based on the reviews (male in my late 30s)
* Initially a little concerned about the buttons on the kettle itself which might get wet from washing. Curious if any of the failures people are reporting have anything to do with this part getting wet. I'll pay cautious attention to this.
* Heats up really fast and beats having to watching my old tea pot in getting the right temperature for green tea. Think I've almost burn myself a few times popping open the lids to gauge temperature.
* Operates at 1500 watts. I would have settled for 1000 but wouldn't get the quick heat up.
* Plastic / poly-blah-blah-blah parts. None of the pictures show exactly where the plastic parts are. The product video barely flashes the internal of the kettle to disclose how much of it is plastic. None of the other kettles seem to show the internals as well. This is a sticking point and I hope by next year they will have come up with a better engineering design to eliminate the need for any plastic parts. As it stands today all of the variable temperature kettle at least use some plastics for sealing the lid for a better seal.

All in all I'm satisfied with the purchase. I went through several options to the Pino, Chef's Choice, Breville, and Adagio. The Pino doesn't seem to be well built with the cheap looking digital readout along with complaints of rusting (that's unacceptable). Chef's Choice didn't offer anything over the Cuisinart with it's bigger price tag (still has the plastic water gauge but looks to come in direct contact with the water). I'm not sure if the Breville is bpa free or not. Either way, I don't care for the design where the water gauge is part of the water container. With the Cusinart the water is separated from the water gauge somewhat and the exposure is reduced. The way the water gauge works is that there's a tube in the bottom that moves the gauge up through water pressure. Adagio is coming out with a new kettle but that's not for a few months and their previous kettle had issues. Lots of consumers seem to have had issues with their previous model (as they noted on their web site even). The new kettle from Adagio looks pretty attractive from the web pictures however.

With all that in mind, the round up choice is this Cuisinart. Let's see how it holds up. For those curious I'll be posting photos of the internals of the kettle so you know exactly where the plastic parts are. I removed the plastic screen filter so that won't be shown.
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on August 18, 2010
I did pretty extensive research before buying an electric kettle. The CPK-17 appealed to me on a few different levels. I liked the design, the materials used and the functionality. Although it's nice to have the option of different temperature settings, it's really only useful if you drink a lot of tea, which I don't. I generally use the "French Press" and "Keep Warm" settings, and there's also a Boil option (which is the next setting up from French Press). On the design side, it's a great looking appliance made from mostly stainless steel. Of course a big concern of mine is the use of BPA-leaching plastic in many kettles on the market, but there appears to be none on the interior of the CPK-17. The water level, as far as I can see, is covered with another sheet of steel. The only non-steel component I see on the kettle's interior is a silicone nub near the bottom, which nearly all kettles have and which are also heat-resistant. Another thing I like about the CPK-17's design is the 360-degree swivel capability of the kettle while resting on its heating element. And of course, the illuminated water level (on when the kettle is in use) is very attractive - a nice soft blue color. The pouring spout is perfectly-shaped which makes for a fool-proof pour every time. In terms of functionality, the CPK works exactly as advertised. Heat-up time is quick and the controls are responsive.

The major complaint I have with the CPK-17 is the fact that it's already scaling at the bottom and I've only had the kettle for 2 weeks. To me, this is crazy - especially considering I use filtered water by Multi-pure (one of the most advanced filtration systems available), so the water is as clean as it gets before it even goes into the kettle. No chlorine, no calcium, no lime -- so what's with the scaling deposits already? It's annoying, and I wonder if other owners have had similar issues. Anyway, I'm giving this product 4 stars. To recap...

Pros:
- great design, little if any interior plastic
- smooth functioning, fast heat-up

Cons:
- Scales easily after only a few uses
- Pricey
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