Simplex Kettle: Is This Traditional Copper Beauty for You?
The beautifully designed Simplex Kettle cannot help but transport us back to a “simpler time”.
Every now and then we all need to take a step back from our hectic lives and take a moment to re-energize, a moment to nourish not just our bodies, but our souls as well.
That nourishment begins the moment we start to fill the lovely copper tea kettle with water, knowing that in just a few minutes, the whistle’s warm, gentle song will let us know that soon, we will be enjoying a much-deserved break.
Whether it is some alone time with our cup of tea or tea shared with our friends and family, the beauty of this elegant copper kettle will nourish our souls as well.
Of course, there are other copper tea kettles available, but I believe that none of them can compare to the quality, the craftsmanship, or the elegance of this lovely piece of art. The Simplex Kettle is truly a classic!
And, if you prefer the lovely look of CHROME…take a quick look at this beauty:
Click the item in the table below to skip to your more pressing question or concern, or continue reading the full review.
- 1 Where is The Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle Made?
- 2 How is the Simplex Kettle Made?
- 3 Why Choose a Simplex Kettle?
- 4 Who Would Love The Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle
- 5 Taking Care of Your Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle
- 6 Positive Qualities of the Simplex Heritage Copper Kettle
- 7 Not So Positive Qualities of the Simplex Heritage Kettle
- 8 So What’s the Verdict?
Where is The Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle Made?
The Simplex Kettle, made in England for more than 100 years!
The manufacturer of the Simplex Heritage Tea Kettle, Newey & Bloomer, began producing the prized copper tea kettles in the year 1903, in the town of Birmingham (the heart of the United Kingdom). The year, interestingly enough, coincides with the serving of noontime tea at the Ritz.
The never before heard or seen whistle, in the lid of the kettle, was patented by the manufacturer in the early part of the 1900’s; and to this very day, Newey & Bloomer continues to produce the Simplex Kettle by hand just like they did over a century ago.
It is important to note at this point that the whistle works on electric or gas stovetops. Please make sure that you are aware that it will not function properly on a ceramic stovetop, a glass stovetop, or induction.
Still following the same precise standards, they ensure us that nostalgia lives on through the song of the Simplex Kettle’s whistle.
The Simplex Kettle was born during the Edwardian period of Great Britain (1901-1910) when the reign of King Edward VII introduced a style that was greatly impacted by the arts and by European fashions.
Each one is individually handmade with time-honored details, sticking to the old Edwardian ways. Because of this, each tea kettle turns out with its uniqueness and personality.
How is the Simplex Kettle Made?
Luckily, copper is a metal that can pretty much be manipulated like clay when it is heated to maximum temperatures. So starting with just a simple, flat, round piece of copper, the artist (or Craftsman) can spin that metal disc at very intense high speeds, and by using special tools called mandrels, he can mold the metal and form the base.
The beautiful and perfectly shaped spout of the Simplex Heritage Tea Kettle is intertwined with the base in a manner that guarantees a perfect pour without annoying drips.
Then, they start work on the shape of the lid which has to have the exact precise form to ensure the perfectly snug fit with the opening of the base. The wooden handle is also attached. A handsome wooden handle that will feel just right in anyone’s palm.
The closing act of this creation is to add the magic touch which will have the tea kettle singing its soft and enticing whistle that the name Simplex is famous for. The craftsman takes a slight copper ball and weaves it into the kettle’s spout.
When the water boils and the steam pushed upwards, the pressure created pushes the copper ball into a small indentation inside the spout. As the steam rises and departs through a small opening in the lid, the kettle sings its well-known melody.
As with so many pieces of art, a craftsman can take weeks to produce just one kettle. It’s very easy to understand how every artist is extremely proud of each and every one of his pieces!
Why Choose a Simplex Kettle?
With many other copper tea kettles available for purchase, why would someone be willing to spend their money on a Simplex Heritage Kettle? Well, I’d like to answer this question for you, but please keep in mind that, just like these kettles, we are all unique, with different tastes, opinions, and desires.
It honestly doesn’t bother us to invest a bit more in solid quality and timeless beauty because we know we will enjoy it daily and for a very long time to come. We love the look of style and sophistication that it brings into our homes. Knowing that we can also pass this down to our future generations makes us happy. Something like this, my friends, is heirloom quality!
Who Would Love The Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle
This Simplex Kettle is for you if you are a traditional kind of soul. Maybe you remember growing up with one just like this sitting on the stove of your childhood home or you remember seeing it when you visited your grandparents.
It’s for you if you enjoy the process of preparing tea in a traditional way. If doing so is soothing and soul-nourishing for you.
It’s for you if you love your tea and also love to admire, hold, and feel the beautiful piece of art in which you prepared it. Remember, beauty itself is nourishment for the soul.
It’s for you if you would love to have a piece of functioning art to enjoy now and then pass down as an heirloom in the future.
It’s for you if you want to give someone a gift to be treasured and remembered forever. Kate and William received one as a wedding present. That’s certainly saying something!
Taking Care of Your Simplex Heritage Copper Tea Kettle
First, please let me just say that it is very important that you fit the lid on the tea kettle correctly. Make sure it is firmly in place and snug or you will have steam escaping from its seal. You don’t want this to happen because you will never hear that beautiful whistle if it’s not well sealed. Besides, it’s just not the right way to do it. Now, that being said, the rest is pretty darn simple.
If you’re wondering how to clean the inside of a Simplex Tea Kettle, know that it can just be rinsed and then dried with a dishcloth or paper towel. The opening is large enough that you should be able to accomplish this without too much fuss. You can always just let it air dry as well.
BUT, If you want to get more serious than just a rinse because perhaps you have some nasty mineral deposits, you can use distilled white vinegar. But we’re talking about the inside of the kettle, which is lined with tin, so you have to proceed with caution!
Because the tin lining is susceptible to strong acids, you need to be very careful when cleaning it. The manufacturer’s recommendation is not to use any acid, but to efficiently demineralize; you need a little acid from somewhere to be able to do this on your own.
Don’t stress too much! Remember your chemistry lesson? The hard water buildup that you’re trying to get rid of will neutralize the acid when the two come into contact!
So, if you use a bit of distilled white vinegar (about 1/2 cup) mixed with the water in the kettle at either room temperature or slightly warmed and left it to soak for a bit, the vinegar would be mostly already neutralized by the time it got around to interacting with the tin.
Afterwards, finish up by rinsing several times with fresh water and wipe dry.
Remember that your water quality will determine how often you will need to wash or rinse out the inside.
Now let’s talk about the copper on the outside which will be all nice and shiny when your gorgeous kettle is brand new. With time, the color will soften up and mellow as it ages beautifully. If you like that vintage look, leave it alone and appreciate it. If not, you can bring it back to shiny youthfulness with any one of the many copper cleaning products that are available.
One such excellent product which carries the Good Housekeeping Seal is Wright’s Copper Cream (my favorite). It’s very easy to apply, gentle, and super effective!
If you’d like to try to avoid too many spots forming on the copper, remember to wipe the outside of it with a cloth after each use. But again, if it does get spotty, it’s not the end of the world. Just polish it. And if you are someone who prefers to be green and stick with natural cleaning products, there’s an option as well. Here’s a short video where you can quickly view a green cleaning tip!
And just so you know, for those who do prefer green home-made solutions, Good Housekeeping recommends using Ketchup and a little Salt on a soft rag to clean copper.
Positive Qualities of the Simplex Heritage Copper Kettle
This kettle is made of high-quality copper in traditional Edwardian design. It will never go out of style as it is elegantly timeless.
Solidly created inside and out. The inside is lined with pure tin. The beautiful handle is made of smooth wood which stays cool for handling. It has a large enough opening that makes the kettle simple to fill.
It will hold up to 2 quarts of water and will keep it nice and hot longer due to the even heating properties of copper. It’s nice to know you can have a 2nd or 3rd cup of tea without having to re-heat the water.
The lid of the Simplex Kettle fits very snugly in the opening of the base (proof of quality). A great way to know that you have an authentic English tea kettle is that there is a real, well-fitting lid that comes off completely when needed. The firm, snug fit guarantees the blowing of the whistle.
Now, as far as the whistle goes… it is NOT a shrill, ear piercing, make your hair stand on end, kind of whistle. I heard someone refer to it once as a warm sounding whistle. I guess this makes sense, as I suppose one could think of a shrill whistle as being cold. However warm sounding, you will still be able to pleasantly hear it throughout the house without it waking your sweet sleeping children (being you have any). And that’s a definite plus!
Not So Positive Qualities of the Simplex Heritage Kettle
As in life, nothing is perfect. I feel that there are so many plusses about this lovely kettle, that they outweigh whatever negatives there might be. That, however, is my very own opinion. You will have to create your own, so I have researched and dug up a few negative things that others have said. After all, it’s only fair…
- A couple of years ago (roughly 2-3) there were some complaints that on occasion, a new Simplex Kettle was not whistling the way it should. It was determined that some of the lids were faulty. The company corrected the issue, customers were sent out either new kettles or new lids (free of charge of course) and the problem has since, it seems, been eliminated.
- I dug up one complaint where a person had to actually have the inside of their kettle re-tinned after a few uses. They claimed that the inside bottom had developed a black residue that would come off on the cloth that was used to dry it. No more problems after re-tinning and they have since then used it many, many more times. Even though re-tinning is more common for pots and pans, tea kettles can also be re-tinned.
- It seems that for some, the lid fits a little too snugly. But then again, unless it’s snug, the whistle won’t work properly. It’s supposed to be snug.
- Another complaint was that if it is filled beyond the “fill level” it leaks scalding water when pouring and your hand will burn. As with any product, one must be careful and follow directions. In almost all the reviews I read, people were very satisfied with the pouring aspect of the kettle.
- Someone complained that the copper tea kettle took longer than a stainless steel kettle to heat up to a boil. Copper distributes heat evenly, thereby keeping the water warm longer, but taking a longer time to boil the water as opposed to stainless steel. Stainless steel is not as good a heat conductor, so the heat from the stove will stay on the base of the kettle, which is why it boils the water quicker but also loses the heat quicker.
So What’s the Verdict?
While it may not be for everyone, I believe the Simplex Kettle is a beautiful, high-quality piece of functioning art that has stood the test of time (over 100 years). It is a piece that not only adds value to our daily lives but also adds elegance and style to our homes. I say you give it a try!