A Cleaner, Cooler, Eco-Friendly Tea Kettle?

By   July 8, 2015

Green LivingLeyla Acaroglu, a design consultant gave a 2013 TED talk where she shared an interesting and odd statistic that most of us wouldn’t have thought about:

More than 60 percent of the United Kingdom’s tea drinkers boil more water than they needed for a single cup of tea. And it turns out that extra energy that is used to heat the water that is leftover and usually thrown out would light up all of London’s streetlights for a night.

Now just because this TED talk was about London’s streetlights and tea, this problem isn’t just specific to the British.  The whole world heats up more water than necessary. From tea in Japan to coffee in the United States, everyone is wasting energy.   But alas, there is a tea kettle that could solve this problem.

Miito is designed to replace those electric kettles and can be a portable induction stove. Looking like a hockey puck, this kettle has a magnetic electric rod which can be dunked into the liquid that is in a cup on top of the Miito. Miito puts out an electromagnetic field when the rod and induction top make contact. The rod gets hot and that heat up the liquid.

This is a neat little gizmo but when it comes to consumer, saving energy isn’t a big draw for the most part. Miito actually wasn’t born as part of an eco-friendly agenda. While attending Design Academy Eindhoven, Nils Chudy grew interested in a new design for the tea kettle. Chudy was quoted as saying “If you Google ‘electric kettle’ you get a copy of the same electric kettle all over again,” and went on to say  “They all look streamlined, like a high speed train, or like a rendering in plastic. They’re all the same.”

Now this doesn’t consider the fact electric kettles, which in European kitchens is a normal appliance isn’t the most sanitary. The insides are coated with limestone buildup and because of the shape, they are difficult to clean.

While Chudy was considering this problem with electric kettles, he caught wind of the TED talk that  Acaroglu gave and it made him realize the opportunity for a design to be created was needed. A design was needed for a product that would heat up specific amounts of water and only that. He saw an appeal for a kitchen appliance that did this and required on a few steps. “No one wants to spend extra time near their kettle, or spend more personal energy. It should be as simple as possible. And if you have to press a button for the given amount, that’s annoying,” said Chundy.

While Miito is still in prototype mode, Chudy, along with Jasmina Grase, his design partner, see Miito as being helpful for parents who have the constant need to heat formula. It will also be helpful for those living in the city that have limited kitchen space.

“We have dreams for the future,” Chudy says. “There could be other things—like in the Asian world they cook a lot of rice, so you could have a very small rice cooker. It’s a long term, five- or seven-year dream for a lot of different things that need heating.”