Somebody please tell me that I've lost my ever-lovin' mind and need to sit down, shut up and get back in line.
I finally got around to ordering a Hario Buono kettle. I know, I'm late but it is what it is. I have seen these used in cafes and all over the place from nearly everyone that I consider to be authoritative on drip brewing, but hadn't really gotten to inspect one up close until this week.
Aesthetic Design? Full points. Functionality? Gold star. Delivery on promised pouring control? You bet. Overall material construction? REALLY? It might be mainly stainless steel, but the bottom sure isn't. Not the same grade, anyway. I'm no metallurgist, but I am shocked over how thin this thing is and the fact that it has cheap plastic handles! C'mon, give me some neoprene or SOMETHING! Granted, I am using mine on a gas stove so it's prone to heat up more than in a cafe, but it should be able to handle that without heating those handles up so much given that my flame is completely under the kettle and not creeping up the side.
In a cafe setting, you better get to stepping if you're doing a hot water transfer (not that you would want to delay much anyway) or pouring multiple cups because from a heat retention standpoint, there will be none of that. Zero! I'll have to confirm this thought when I can thread a Scace device or some such through the holes in the top and track it with hard numbers and not hypotheticals, but I just can't see how it would, given how thin it is. Check me out on this, grab a spoon and tap the side just a bit (careful, don't mar or dent the awesome design and finish!). Is that not terrible sounding?
Like I said, I love what this kettle does from a functional standpoint. The control I now have to pour and create turbulence where I want to is incredible, love it. My beef is with the cost to value ratio as it relates to material construction. I mean, this gardener's watering can (http://www.amazon.com/Rumford-Gardener- ... 658&sr=8-1
) looks like if you were to bend the tip down just so and have it some with a lid, you'd be in about the same spot for less than half the price and it's ALL stainless steel! I doubt that it's 18/10 (can't think of why it would be), but it's also not priced like it.
Here's something else to consider from a cost-to-value standpoint in terms of materials: Cafelat's 33 oz. / 1L pitcher, which is made incredibly well from a materials view, weighs 388 grams (just happen to have one here) of solid, thick stainless steel. It's available from Visions for $32.40 , making it $.084/g. The larger 1.2L Hario Buono Kettle weighs in at 342 grams, is made of far cheaper materials for $56.99, again from Visions to be consistent, making it $.166/g, almost exactly twice as much. But IMO, the quality isn't there to justify it! Granted, we're comparing two different products, function-wise, but we're also still comparing steel/metal pouring receptacles with no moving parts or other features to offset the additional expense. Both have specialized pouring tips, both have attached handles via soldering, both are roughly the same size, both are made to handle hot liquids, etc.
So how are these Hario kettles $50-60 and the Takahiro models $125+? To be fair, I have not seen the Takahiros for myself and am purely speculating, but even if it is made with 3x or even 5x better materials, the price is still nowhere near justified in my mind if it offers only the same functionality and doesn't have double walls or something. Again, I haven't seen one personally so I'll stand down from commenting on them.
For the record, I am not hating on Hario overall, just taking issue with this one product given the acclaim and hype it has received from the community overall. I have the v60 dripper as well and I am digging it quite a bit and having a blast learning to use it better. Decently thick ceramic construction, nice spiraling to direct flow quickly, etc. A little pricey for what it is, but it's not bad and still falls within the acceptable cost premium/perceived value range. Certainly not as disproportionate as the Buono kettle. We are all used to paying a premium for things that have small differences in it from a design or functionality perspective and I'm cool with that, but if you are going to charge a premium like this, you should deliver on that premium as well.
So please, do what you have to. Correct my thinking, mock me, rebuke me if you must, just somebody tell me how so many highly skilled, uber-knowledgeable coffee people jumped on this bandwagon and this point hasn't come up in any post that I've seen or heard of. I'd love to be proved wrong with my perceived value of this Buono kettle.