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Start the Morning the Right Way With Tea, Coffee and Toast

If you’re stumbling out of the sack during the week to go to work, or rising after a lie-in at the weekend, you’ll need to start the day with a hot drink and some breakfast.

Whether you prefer tea or coffee, the right kettle or coffee maker ensures you get your cuppa fast while the right toaster provides tasty bread once out of bed.

But how do you go about choosing which one is right for you? Here’s our buying guide to the technology, gadgets and small kitchen appliances that will help you rise and shine.

How do I choose the right kettle?

For most people, the kettle is often the most-used appliance in their whole kitchen. Regularly on the boil for you, your family and friendly visitors, picking the best one for your needs can save you both electricity and ultimately money off your energy bills.

For example, if you live alone and rarely have people round, you will only need a kettle with a small capacity. Filling it to the brim and boiling it when you only need one cup or mug’s worth wastes electricity because it has to heat the whole kettle rather than simply the amount of water you want. Not all kettles are capable of just boiling one cup however.

Similarly, a larger capacity will be most useful for families, saving you having to make constant trips to the sink to fill it up.

They can range from 1.2 litres to 1.8 litres with most popular manufacturers such as Breville, Kenwood, Morphy Richards, Delonghi and Russell Hobbs offering a mix of sizes. You’ll naturally also find a wide variation of colours to fit in with your kitchen decor.

Most kettles today are cordless. They sit on a base connected to the plug socket allowing you to move them freely around without being tied to the power cord.

Looking for one that features a Rapid Boil function will save you time. Kettles with the power rating of 3kW or above are generally classed as Rapid Boil.

A Water Level Indicator is also very useful, especially if it marks out the levels by each cup rather than the amount of water.

Having a Concealed Element inside the kettle can also help prevent the build-up of limescale meaning less need to descale frequently. Limescale can also slow down the speed at which a kettle boils and reduce the taste of the water.

Some kettles will have a limescale filter that stops small pieces being poured into your cup by preventing it getting through the spout.

Other things to look for include sounds such as a traditional whistle or beep when boiling is finished, an illuminated gauge or lights that show when it is boiling, a keep-warm base to retain heat within the kettle for longer and digital temperature settings. Some may also have a removable lid rather than one that just pops up.

What about a single cup water heater?

Another option to consider that is more eco-friendly and best for those who simply need one cuppa at a time, is the likes of the Breville Hot Cup.

Instead of boiling a whole kettle of water, it keeps the water in a chamber and dispenses it boiled – one cup at a time – at the touch of a button.

This instant heating is done by passing the water over a hot element and by only heating the amount you need, it saves energy.

What if I prefer coffee? What options are there for me?

Investing in the right coffee maker can pay dividends by ensuring a freshly brewed and extremely tasty cup each morning.

But there are so many options at a wide range of prices so you need to understand the different types of machine before making a choice.

A Filter Coffee Machine simply produces a strong drink made with powder and water and is often the cheapest option.

A Pod Coffee Machine is very easy to use but can be more costly over time due to the price of the pods. Each drink is produced by placing one inside. It contains enough coffee to make one drink and there are many different types and flavours to suit all tastes. Pods also extend to the likes of tea and hot chocolate.

A Nespresso Coffee Machine is similar to a pod one with Nespresso being a particular brand of pod. These are very popular due to the wide variety of flavours on offer.

An Espresso Coffee Machine is one of the most popular appliances and can be used to create coffee-based drinks such as Latte and Cappuccino. It uses already ground beans and often has a steam-generator to froth milk. You can also buy a separate milk frother such as this one from Hostess.

Bean to Cup Coffee Machines use real beans that are ground down within the machine each time you make a drink to create the freshest and tastiest coffee.

Popular makes of coffee machine include Krups, Delonghi, Gaggia and Bosch and can range in price from less than £100 all the way to this £1000 machine from Siemens.

You can find out more about Choosing the Right Coffee Maker in our specific Buying Guide.

What are the key things to look for in a toaster?

The first choice to make when buying a toaster is simply between one that has space for two slices of bread, or four slices. If you own a four slice but only ever toast one or two slices at a time, you are wasting energy by heating up every element.

Popular toaster makes are Morphy Richards, Delonghi, Kenwood, Russell Hobbs, Bugatti and Bosch.

The next thing to look for is a High Lift Facility. This means the toasted bread can be raised high out of the toaster when browned, making it far easier to remove without getting burnt fingers.

Alongside that function, you may wish to pick a toaster with Variable Width or Deep Slots. This ensures the thickest of bread or the likes of muffins and bagels will fit inside.

A Removable Crumb Tray is another great option. It saves having to turn the toaster upside down to empty it and means all the crumbs collect at the bottom and can be accessed by sliding out the panel at the base.

Variable Browning Control is another must for the tastiest toasted bread. These can give five or six options for everything from lightly toasted to as dark as possible without burning it.

Other useful features include Frozen Bread Setting to toast straight from the freezer and a Bagel Function to warm one side and make the other side crisper.

Some toasters will also have levers that automatically pop up at the press of a button while others can be raised manually to check the browning during toasting. The Magimix Vision Toaster even lets you see the bread through the side of the toaster to check on it visually.

Finally a toaster with a Coolwall ensures that only the inside gets hot, preventing accidents if you touch the side of it by mistake.

Where do I find a matching kettle and toaster?

There are plenty of kettles and toasters available that match each other to create the best look in your kitchen.

Take a look at the full range of matching kettles and toasters at!

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