Tefal QuickCup: Hot Water in 3 Seconds

The Tefal QuickCup heats up hot water in three seconds, perfect for popping out a quick cup of tea, instant coffee or soups, or cocoa. A built-in replaceable filter, uh, filters* while a special heating coil dispenses about 8 ounces of piping hot water. And because it only heats the water that you're about to consume, it saves energy. (I hope they have a smart stand-by mode so you can leave it plugged in all the time.) I've been keeping an electric kettle at my desk, drinking down a box of loose leaf green Earl Grey. My little $10 kettle is perfectly decent (and heats up water in about a minute), but if you were a die-hard tea drinker I could see this being very nice. It's $130 AU, and is available only in Australia or the UK. (I doubt there's enough of a tea drinking contingent here in the States to warrant a version for us.) Product Page [QuickCup.com.au via Gizmag] * I kept trying to think of a way to say "makes cleaner" but most tap water is perfectly clean. PreviouslyElectric Kettle Acid Test: Sunbeam Tea Drop, Kenwood Response Kettle [BBG]
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19 Responses to Tefal QuickCup: Hot Water in 3 Seconds

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Sunbeam Hot Shot is good for making one cup tea/coffee/soup in short order (30 seconds or less). I’m a die-hard tea drinker and was doubtful that it would make water hot enough for tea. I was happy to find that it does the job decently and it is readily available in North America for cheap.

  2. jonathan_v says:

    The Gaggia line of home espresso machines use something called a ‘thermoblock’ ( other midrange home machines do too. better machines use a boiler or ‘heat exchanger’ )

    Thermoblocks are basically a chunk of aluminum that has a mazed channel through it… the thermoblock is heated, cold water is pumped into one end, and hot water comes out the other. (see http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/july2002.html )

    It’s very likely this machine is using a thermblock. If so, they’re not particularly fun to use — they take some time to warm up , and any sort of standby mode means that you’re actively keeping the block hot all the time — meaning they’re not really capable of ‘efficiency’ as we might like.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The downloadable .PDF FAQ says it draws 1.24 watts on standby.

  4. royaltrux says:

    I’m not actually snooty about tea – I drink cheap green tea by the case but this post reminded me of this particular Achewood cartoon…

  5. MEHColeman says:

    I have one of these, amd would say that although it is generally pretty good, it’s pretty dissapointing for tea. It makes _hot_ water, but not _boiling_, nhich makes a big difference with tea. It’s still fine for instamt coffee or instant soup and the like, though.

  6. MEHColeman says:

    Oh, and the water reservoir is deceptively small!

  7. Takuan says:

    they don’t mention the plutonium core

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have one of these and echo the comments above. Its very noisy in use. If you reject the first couple of seconds worth of water, the rest is hotter, and you get a hotter cup as a result, but still not that close to boiling.
    But I no longer heat up water that i don’t use, and I suspect my weekly energy use is reduced dramatically. Very surprised to hear that it draws any current at all in ‘standby’.

  9. AndrewN says:

    It runs on 240V and takes 25 seconds. You get hot water in 3 seconds but it takes 25 seconds for a full cup. In the USA with 110V it’ll take over 50 seconds. Deceptive marketing.

  10. Malgwyn says:

    Off on a tangent that has nothing to do with hot pots.

    Earl Grey, green or otherwise is the clove cigarette of tea.

    Bergamot oil may block the absorbtion of potassium, and has phototoxicity than when exposed to light, turns into free radicals. How it all works in your stomach is still an open discussion, but a bit of awareness when consuming the stuff is warranted. If your back hurts after consuming it, or you notice increased acne you might want to skip the EG.

    All hot beverages increase your lifetime risk of various bladder disorders.

    The bergomot oil might be useful if you have intestinal parasites, similar to the use of wormwood in absinthe.

  11. maryr says:

    * = purifies?

  12. Daniel Rutter says:

    It would, of course, be physically impossible for this device to deliver a whole cup of boiling water in three seconds. It’s a 240V-market product (perhaps there’s a 120V version too), so if it drew the full standard-appliance maximum of ten amps, it could have a 2400-watt heater.

    But to heat a whole cup of room-temperature water to boiling takes something in the order of 75000 joules. Doing that in three seconds would require 25000 joules per second. A joule is a watt-second; 25000 watt-seconds per second is 25000 watts. More than ten times the maximum power the QuickCup could possibly actually draw.

    Three seconds of 2400-watt heating will give you 7200 joules of energy. That’s only enough to raise the temperature of eight fluid ounces of water by a little more than seven degrees Celsius.

    (I mentioned this in a recent blog post about an allegedly miraculous water-boiling device.)

  13. quimby says:

    I did get a little excited at the prospect of this gadget, but the reviews on Amazon.co.uk are pretty damning with respect to tea, as Mehcoleman says. I wouldn’t pay fifty quid for insipid lukewarm tea – especially not when you have to buy filters at a fiver a pop too.

  14. downloadar says:

    Sorry, but I had to say this, “Tefal QuickCup heats up hot water in three seconds”??? Why do you need to heat up water thats already hot…

  15. MEHColeman says:

    I did a little test, and it takes about 3 seconds to start pouring the water, and about 22 seconds to pour a cupful. The temperature was 78 Celsius!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ll second the Sunbeam Hot Shot. It boils 16 oz in less than 2 minutes. Amazon has it for $15.

  17. CoffeeGeek says:

    I’ll take 10 seconds if it can deliver 98C water. Otherwise, for coffee (or tea), it’s a pass.

    The “carbon” footprint of the insulated 3l water heaters from Zojirushi is pretty small, when you take it into context:

    – draws a lot of power to heat up, nearly as much as a standard kettle, but does so in a shorter time because of the sealed, vacuum chamber the water is in.

    – draws about as much power over 6 hours to maintain heat as a kettle does in 5 minutes to heat up 1l of water

    – we frequently use the Zoj to get near boiling water for cooking purposes (boiling veggies, etc), saving all that energy draw the stove would normally have to deliver

    – in coffee lab situations, the Zoj uses about 1/4 the power draw that a “water tower” does, though there is a downtime when you have to refill it.

    Before I got one of these, I was heating kettles about five or six times a day. Considering I go through one Zoj pot a day (on average), I’m using about half the energy now that I used to, and get the convenience of 208F / 98C water on demand.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Just to echo MEHColeman’s comments, the Quickcup doesn’t produce the hottest of water, a black coffee will be drinkable as soon as poured but add milk and it’ll be too cold. Leave it standing while you pour a second cup and it’ll be ever worse.

    The Eco Kettle looks like much a better product for making drinks with.

  19. dculberson says:

    Downloadar, apparently because it came out too cool to make good tea!

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