Each morning as I let my dog outside and feed the cats, I listen to water slowly warm, then bubble, and finally boil before a tell-tale “click” spurs me to get my mug. I take my morning ritual as seriously as my most coffee-obsessed friends—only when I wake up, I head straight to the kitchen and turn on an electric kettle.
Growing up with a Russian mom, I was taught to enjoy a morning cup of tea from an early age, as Russians traditionally prefer tea to coffee. On weekends, my mom would wake me up with a kiss and a hug, then set a pot of tea on the stove. Because she always insisted on a “real” kettle (i.e., non-electric), when I moved to New York City as an 18-year-old college freshman, I brought a real kettle, too—and carried one around for the next 12 years.
I loved the classic kettles I went through, but when I moved back to my hometown in Florida, I found myself with an electric stove (instead of a gas one, which I’d been used to having) and soon became frustrated by how long it took boil water.
A year later, around when I got married and began house-hunting with my husband, my mom finally convinced me to go the electric-kettle route. She had long given up on real kettles, and assured me that the tea would taste just as sweet.
But I had a specific vision for my new kettle: I still wanted that classic “kettle” look (rather than the typical elongated profile of electric kettles, like the one my mom had), and I wanted it to be red.
After a month of searching, I managed to find the perfect electric kettle, a scarlet Hamilton Beach model, and quickly added it to my kitchen countertop, right next to my first-ever—and also bright red—Kitchenaid stand mixer, a wedding/housewarming present from my aunt.
At first it felt strange to start a new morning ritual with my electric kettle next to my electric stove, but I’ve come to sincerely appreciate how quickly the water heats up and how easy it’s been to refill and pour myself a second or third or, honestly, sometimes fifth cup of tea.
Irina Gonzalez is an editor and freelance writer based in Florida, covering recovery, parenting, Latinx culture, and all things lifestyle. Her work has appeared in O! The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire, and more. Follow her on Instagram at @msirinagonzalez.