Review: Breville HotCup VKJ318 – The quick hot water dispenser!

While it’s not the most technologically advanced product, doesn’t have “smart” functionality and doesn’t provide me with any statistics on usage – the Breville HotCup VKJ318 is one item that I own that I wouldn’t want to be without! It’s purpose is simple, yet astonishingly life-changing… This hot water dispenser “pours” a full cup of boiling water in just 40 seconds!

Features
  • 9 “cup sizes” allows you to only boil the amount of water you require
  • 3kW heating element for fast boiling time
  • 2L tank capacity
  • Blue lighting effect while boiling water
  • Easy open tank refill lid
  • Semi-transparent water tank to simplify refilling and monitoring how much water you have left
  • Large stop button allows water flow to be stopped immediately
  • Removable, easy to clean drip tray
  • The unit can rotate 360 degrees “to allow both left and right handed operation”
  • Easy¬†to clean due to concealed heating element
  • Permanent limescale filter
  • Non-slip feet

What is the point?

I’m sure some of you reading that have already asked yourself “why is he posting this… what’s the point in this, why not just use a kettle?” to which I’d respond: That’s a fairly valid point! I’m not going to lie, I’m not the most energy conscious individual – I like things that plug in and my entire career has centered around devices that use electricity in one way or another (computers, phones/tablets, servers, smart home devices etc.). What I am conscious of though, is time. If I’m doing something, I like to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible – not just to maximize the amount of things I can do in a day… but also because my attention span while waiting for monotonous tasks to complete is relatively small!

Regardless of my views on energy/electricity use, the Breville HotCup VKJ318 does attempt to keep your energy usage to a minimum by only boiling the amount of water you require for your cup. This also results in boiling a smaller body of water, therefore lowering your boiling times significantly. You’re looking at approximately 40 seconds for a full cup of water from the moment you press the button to start the process (thanks to the 3kW heating element)! Most people fill their kettle up completely before boiling it – meaning you’re boiling excess water, resulting in higher energy usage and extended boiling times (on average, 6 minutes for a full 2 litres of water).

Day-to-day use

Before I get any further into this post, it’s worth me noting: I’m an avid tea drinker. The amount of tea I consume on a daily basis is probably unhealthy! Some days, I can power through as many cups of tea (we’re talking: 550ml SportsDirect cups) as one every half an hour – during working hours – and a couple¬†when I get home in the evening/before bed. I’d guess that the minimum amount of tea I’d drink would be 8 cups in a day.

My wife purchased this device for me as a Christmas present (Dec’ 2016) and I’ve used it every day¬†at least twice a day since. As an absolute minimum I make one cup of tea in the morning and one cup in the evening – usually more because my wife will also have a hot drink with me of an evening.

I’ve found that the “this clever hot water dispenser boils water in just 40 seconds” claim made by Breville is one that stands up to the test. I can easily boil a full cup of water at maximum size in well under a minute.

The HotCup isn’t overly loud either. I haven’t measured and compared the dB output of a kettle vs the HotCup, but to my untrained ear – I’d suggest that the noise made by the Breville HotCup is similar to that of a standard plug-in kettle at full boil (if not slightly quieter).

Who is the HotCup VKJ318 for?

Breville market the VKJ318 (definitely needs a better name) as being for “Great for busy families and the rushed morning routine” which I’d sort of agree with – say you have a family of 4 (2 x adults, 2 x children)… in my mind this situation is where you as a family would benefit from having a kettle. Stick the kettle on to boil and carry on getting ready whilst it does. The two adults¬†can then make¬†their hot drinks (full on cliche: in their flasks!) and then let the kettle cool while continuing to get ready. Once the kettle has cooled, you could then make the two children their hot drinks – just not¬†boiling hot. All of this is done from a single kettle, without having to return/each person make their hot drink one at a time. The HotCup VKJ318 boils and outputs water at a single, boiling-hot temperature for a single cup. Once it’s poured, you can by all means let it cool – but if you’re anything like me… you’ll forget it.

I’d also argue that this is great for non-families (i.e. single people or workers), in places such as small offices, home offices, reception areas, homes/apartments – anywhere that there’s a requirement for hot drinks with relatively low-to-medium foot traffic, but where there is not a plumbed in hot water dispenser.Breville HotCup VKJ318 - Pouring from front

This machine is clearly designed for an enthusiastic hot beverage drinker – it’s easy to fill, holds plenty of water (more than enough to get one person through their day), it’s quick to boil water and takes up no more space than a standard kettle. I’ve spoken about this product to my colleagues (sys admins, developers, IT Support reps¬†and IT Sales people) on more than one occasion and all of them get very excited at the thought of such a device. ¬†Most want to get one and put it on their desk, saving them not only time but also saving them from having to get up, trek to the kitchen, stand and wait for the kettle for 5 minutes whilst getting pinned in a corner by problematic Marge whose computer has gotten yet another virus.¬†I think people that work in IT probably ingest a¬†SIGNIFICANT amount more hot drinks than most others – then again, this may just be my personal experience?

Summary

I really like this product and thoroughly enjoy using it, but then again so does everyone else! On Amazon UK, this product has over 1,900 reviews and holds a 4.5 star average rating.

Breville HotCup VKJ318 - Amazon

The VKJ318 really does boil water as quickly as it claims – granted that for larger than standard cups you’ll need to run the unit more than once (as I mentioned above, I use large cups!). While I personally may not¬†agree with the cup sizing claim (again, because I use larger cups than normal), this machine can definitely provide you with as many – if not a few more – cups of hot water than a kettle.

I personally¬†LOVE the way the water pouring process ends. Once your cup is filled, the machine will then make a “snorting” sound – almost as if it’s sucking up its next batch of water. This may seem like a silly thing to enjoy, but when you see/hear it in action – I’m sure it will make you smile too.

I’d highly recommend the HotCup VKJ318 to everyone and anyone. Yes, it will cost you more than a bog standard kettle – however in the long run, I’m sure it will even out. Not only that, you’ll always get a red hot cup of water no matter the size, without any wastage and in less than half the amount of time when compared to a kettle.

Useful links

Breville’s website:¬†http://www.breville.co.uk/

Product page: http://www.breville.co.uk/breakfast/hot-water-dispensers/hotcup-with-variable-dispense-gloss-black/VKJ318-01.html

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breville-VKJ318-Variable-Dispenser-Black/dp/B002NGNRHC/

Will Stocks

As a career "IT person" and technology enthusiast, I've been around technology for over 8 years now. From enterprise-grade hardware to consumer equipment, IT Support to Systems Administrator - I'm passionate about all forms of tech, learning how it works, integrates and the scenarios in which different people would use them. I started willstocks.co.uk in 2017 and have also contributed to other websites around the Internet.

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