If you drink as much tea as I do, about 2 or 3 cups per day, having an electric tea kettle plugged in and waiting for the next refill is a necessity. While you can make a cup of hot water for tea in a variety of ways (for example, using a stovetop kettle, a Keurig machine, or even the microwave as a last resort), using a Stagg EKG electric kettle is usually faster, resulting in better-tasting tea that’s been brewed to one’s exact temperature specifications, rather than lukewarm or molten-hot.
Caffeine addicts take their brewing very seriously, which is why they created the now cult-famous Stagg EKG Electric Kettle (as in the houses of Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Jimmy Butler, as well as Amy Schumer, among other celebs). It laid the way for a new tier of status kettles to enter the market with its sleek design and digital temperature dial. Fellow upped the ante in early October by releasing the Stagg EKG Pro Electric Kettle. While the two devices have practically identical silhouettes, several key features distinguish them and may influence your ease of use and enjoyment of them.
Both the original Stagg EKG and the newer Stagg EKG Pro are undeniably stylish and well-designed. The kettles, which sit atop plastic 6.5×6.5-inch bases, weigh 2.75 pounds, and hold.9 litres, and are made of stainless steel. Depending on the colour scheme, their handles and lid pulls can be made of plastic or wood.
And, yes, there are colour choices. The older Stagg EKG currently has the most colour options, not only of the two models reviewed here but of any electric kettle we’ve researched and reviewed previously. This one is available in 13 different colour combinations, including matte monochrome, metallic, wooden handles, and even unexpected colours like warm pink and stone blue. The newer Stagg EKG Pro model is currently available in three colours: matte white, black, and black with walnut-wood handles. New colours will be released sometime next year, according to the brand.
The Stagg EKG and EKG Pro are both powered by nearly identical detachable bases with a knob, button, and a small circular screen. The EKG Pro’s screen is a high-resolution, full-colour display with a playful colour wheel of settings to spin through. Among the settings is a scheduling function that will heat water for you at the same time every day, a pre-boil function that heats water to the maximum temperature for sanitising purposes, a chime on/off feature, altitude adjustment, an adjustable hold-temp function, and a Fahrenheit/Celsius reader. When not in use, this screen displays the time in either analogue or digital format.
The original EKG, on the contrary, has a more retro-looking LCD screen and more limited settings: temperature, Fahrenheit/Celsius reader, and hold-temp function. These latter two features actually toggle switches on the back of the base, which you may not notice at first.
The temperature control function is the most noticeable difference between these two models. You can set your precise temperature to anywhere between 104 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit with the original Stagg EKG. This is also possible with the Stagg EKG Pro. Last but not least, these kettles have a fun Easter egg: you can play a secret video game on the screens. Wormy (similar to Snake) is found in the original EKG kettle, while Bricky is found in the EKG Pro (inspired by the games Breakout and Brick). You probably wouldn’t notice these games unless you were fiddling with the buttons, knobs, as well as toggles on the kettle bases, so they’re well-hidden but very enjoyable surprises.
However, it simplifies your options with “guide mode,” allowing you to choose your temperature based on the beverage you’re brewing. It allows you to go from 180 degrees (for white or green tea) to 212 degrees (for herbal or black tea) with a half-twist of the knob rather than multiple rotations. However, based on our testing, both models heat water in roughly the same amount of time: it takes just 2 minutes to heat water from the tap to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of which one you use. They both have real-time temperature readings so you can see how close you are to pouring.
As all of these granular features on the both kettles can be a lot of fun to use, but they can be difficult to understand when first getting started. These are gadget kettles, but once you learn the sequence of twists, as well as presses that bring up the functions or temperature, controls users want (and can see from the blinking “set” on the screen that your water is boiling), you should have no trouble using it. The learning curve involved in doing something as seemingly simple as boiling water, in my opinion, may sour some people on these devices.
The original Stagg EKG is the cheaper of the two kettles, but its $195 price tag is still quite high for what I consider to be a necessary kettle feature: an indicator that the water has finished boiling! Even a cheap stovetop kettle will whistle loudly when the water is ready! While the “hold-temp” toggle on the back of the device will keep the temperature exactly where you want it for up to 60 minutes, I found myself frequently forgetting about the kettle after setting it up to boil water for tea. The EKG Pro does have an alert chime, but you must ensure that it is turned on and that the volume is loud enough to hear it.
The Stagg EKG and Stagg EKG Pro Kettles are both examples of clever, playful, and out-of-the-box design. While its functions are slightly limited, the original Stagg EKG still provides precise temperature control, a lengthy hold function, as well as a playful palette of colours to choose from for showing off in your kitchen setup to your IRL and internet friends. The next-generation Stagg EKG Pro includes a plethora of customizable features (such as chime loudness, hold-temp length, altitude adjustment, and so on), all accessible via a stunning high-resolution screen.