Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stopping To Make Tea

Last year I wrote about the Kelly Kettle. It's a clever device to quickly heat water using a handful of twigs. I've done many trips with no cooking gear and on other trips I've used a small alcohol stove made from a Pepsi can, but I've concluded that while I really don't cook that much, I do like having the ability to have a hot beverage when the mood strikes me. Friends have had good things to say about Zip stoves and the Jetboil, but the classic Kelly Kettle just seemed right to me.

Last week I finally ordered the Mini (20 oz) kettle and today it arrived. The kettle is about five inches in diameter and sitting on the fire base it's about a foot tall, but the whole thing is aluminum and it's mostly a hollow so it's pretty light. It's a classic old design, used by Irish fishermen for at least 100 years and it's the kind of thing you could picture Jack Eason using to brew up a spot of tea to ward off the cold on some steep and damp section of some brevet in the Pennines.
So far I've only run one quick test of the kettle. It's really true -- a handful of twigs, a single match and in under five minutes the water is boiling.

My racing days may be behind me, but I've got a lot of places yet to go and I'll probably be going there at twelve miles per hour. And I'll probably be stopping here and there, in some cozy patch of shade or beside some particularly scenic brook to make myself a spot of tea.

7 comments:

Phil said...

It is glorious to have an implement for making tea that costs three times as much as your bicycle.

Matt said...

I just got one too but using wet twigs my wate boiled mostly as the result of about 20 matches and some newspaper. It is remarkably efficient at heating the water--large surface area and low volume I guess. Great blog, I like reading your stuff.

Jeremy said...

in the words of the great groucho marx....

"this is the only way to travel."

alex said...

I think I'll stick with my Jetboil, but there is no denying that the Kettle has style.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds lovely to be riding along, enjoying the view, and then pull off and make a cup of tea and rest awhile. I like the practicality, simplicity, frugality and good design of using whatever is right there for fuel. I think it is probably well worth the price of the product.

nollij said...

How much DOES it weigh? I suppose since it's hollow, you can pack stuff inside it... or does it get all sooty and make this unappealing? It's absolutely gorgeous, but it looks like it would take up a bunch of space.

Kent Peterson said...

I haven't weighed it, but it's right around a pound. Dan summed it up this way: "Weighs a tad over 1 lb, but actually fairly light when you consider it replaces the weight of a stove, fuel container, fuel, pot, and water purification kit."

It is bulky, it all goes into a nylon sack that I attach under my rear basket on the drive side of the bike. (I've got the Z-rest pad on the left side under the basket). And yeah, the inside of the kettle is kind of sooty, but I can carry a stash of twigs, matches and scrap paper in there.

Still if you are a real ultra-light person, this might not be the thing for you.