Chinese coffee-focused homeware brand XY Design is introducing an electric pourover kettle with an innovative approach to handle design. The O-Kettle features a ring between the rod handle and the kettle body, designed to protect the fingers from heat while offering another option for gripping and maneuverability.
“After observation of many baristas’ techniques, we see the handle of the kettle as the key to a good coffee,” XY Design public relations representative Tylor Choi told Daily Coffee News. “The [O-Kettle] handle can protect your finger from getting burned and is easy to control. The ring on the handle creates full protection for your finger. The grip of the handle is also closer to the body of the kettle, creating a better counterweight so your hands won’t feel tired quickly.”
The O-Kettle follows a number of coffee and tea-related products produced by XY Design since its founding in 2008. Named for its founders, Hao Xiong and Wenju Yang, XY Design has also released a minimalist pourover stand and dripper set, manual grinders of varying capacities, a non-electric gooseneck pourover kettle, glassware sets and more.
Xiong and Yang met at German houseware and electronics design company Kurz Kurz Design, which has offices in Solingen, Germany as well as three cities in China. Xiong, who is CEO of Kurz Kurz, worked with Yang at the Foshan City office, from which the duo branched out with a team of product designers and engineers to create products that reflect their personal interests.
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“A group of coffee lovers in the company decided to start a company that is focused on bringing more emotional products to the market,” said Choi. “We chose to design coffee products, not only because we love coffee, but also we see an opportunity to design coffee products that are more elegant and easy to use.”
Collaboration between the two teams has been fluid over the years, including for the O-Kettle, which contains a 1,500-watt heat element controlled with safety features and precision to one degree Celsius made possible by UK-based STRIX kettle electronics.
The kettle restores the last used temperature upon powering up and displays its information on an OLED dot matrix screen built into a circular knob that echoes the ring in the handle.
When water reaches a target temperature, the base provides visual and aural indication by quietly beeping and flashing a single downward-facing LED.
The projected retail price of the O-Kettle is US$130, with discounted preorders available via a Kickstarter campaign launching later this month. The first run of kettles will ship to pre-order customers by May 2022, according to the company, after which sales will launch via its own webstore overseas and on Amazon for customers in the United States.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.