Thursday 10 February 2011

Top tips for hot drinks

Kettles! I love a hot cup of tea in the morning. I love a hot cup of tea when I get home from work. I love a hot chocolate before bed. So I'm understandably very fond of my kettle, and I've spent some time pondering its energy use. Two of the simplest pieces of energy saving advice I know are about kettles, and one of them was all my own idea!

"Only boil as much water as you need at a time" they all say. But the scale on my kettle doesn't know how big my cups are, so its scale is not helpful. I drew my own on. It works a treat. I have 2 sets of lines, plus the minimum the kettle can cope with just below that.

One cup - minimum level.
2 normal cups - next line up.
1 normal cup and one super-sized Elena cup- top line.


The second tip I heard or read somewhere and thought YES! That's absolutely right! It was "Never leave the room when you boil a kettle". I inevitably get distracted, come back 10 minute later and have to boil it again. On a bad day, I might boil that kettle three times before I get a cup of tea out of it. And only boiling the right amount of water doesn't help if you do it three times!

I'm feeling inspired, so I can part with a third tip tonight: It's really easy to make your own drinking chocolate- which means you can choose where the ingredients are from and how they're traded. I prefer to buy local beet sugar and fair trade cocoa- a combination that's hard to find in commercial hot chocolates. Put sugar and cocoa to taste in your mug: I like a small teaspoon of cocoa with a big teaspoon of sugar. Add hot water and milk if you like. Yum. Night night!


  1. Ah yes, glad someone is writing about those domestic gas guzzlers! Being a bit of an energy anorak, and having a woodburner, I pre-heat the water in my kettle. So a camping kettle sits on the woodburner when its on, and the warm water then goes in a thermos, ready to go in the kettle when I need it. Saves about 25% on each boil-time. Even standing water in a jug, which will reach ambient temperature in a few hours, will save energy if used in the kettle.

  2. All good tips :) We invested in a hob kettle last year, which has a whistle. The reason we chose it is that, unlike electric kettles, it came with a 10 year guarantee!