Overall Rating: 6.5
Pros: The price is unbeatable, the temperature display is spot-on, and if you don’t already own a pourover brewing device, this kettle comes with one.
Cons: The Yabano is bulky, difficult to settle on its flimsy base, and allows wide fluctuation around a target temperature. Its interface is simple in appearance, but confusing to use.
Most kettles are narrower than their base in order to leave room on the base for a digital display and controls. The Yabano kettle body is actually wider than its base, with the digital display and control buttons instead situated on the handle of the kettle. Its deceptively generous width should not be mistaken for extra capacity, as it operates with a very average maximum of 1 liter.
We were attracted by the novelty of the handle display in the hope that it might display the water temperature in real time even while pouring. Unfortunately it does not, although in fairness to Yabano, no claims were made that it would. Furthermore, the handle interface loses power when the kettle is lifted from the base, making it actually less practical than a traditional base display that stays awake while the kettle is in use.
Even when the kettle is settled on the base, though, the screen shuts off within five seconds of inactivity. It will reawaken with the push of any button, albeit with a somewhat jarring beep. The “keep warm” function stops upon liftoff as well, so if you want to recover some heat during the bloom or between brews you will have to start over via its less-than-intuitive interface. We found ourselves struggling to remember which combination of buttons got us where we wanted to go. We also found ourselves sliding the kettle around on the base searching for a secure connection between kettle and base, a connection that was much more easily achieved with competing narrower-profile kettles with wider docks.
On the positive side, our tests indicate that the temperatures displayed by the Yabano handle display are nearly spot-on and its drip-free gooseneck spout pours nicely enough.
In regard to precise heat management rather than accurate display, however, the Yabano disappointed. When we designated a target of 206°F (given that the interface is adjustable only in two-degree increments), the unit heated quickly but considerably overshot the target, landing at around 208F. Upon shifting into “keep warm” mode, it allowed a drop to as low as 198F before reheating.
The Yabano offers a great price but presents serious issues in regard to temperature stability and general user-friendliness.
Capacity: 1 Liter
Dimensions: 12.4″ x 7.6″ x 8.7″