Lifesavers. That’s what breakfast-making gadgets are. No, I’m not being melodramatic. For without a steaming cup of coffee first thing, how else could my brain convince my body to leave my comfy cosy flat on a daily basis and wedge myself between the smelly/diseased/shouty commuters on the 0829 to Charing Cross? Or how would my stomach settle after a vigorous session at the Cat and Mutton without some warm buttery toast? Hmmm, warm buttery toast… but I digress.
You see, such is my admiration for kettles and toasters and the like, I get very excited when manufacturers throw lots of care and attention into their design. Because really, a lot of them look the same, don’t they? So kudos to Panasonic, who on Thursday announced they’ll be launching their first-ever, design-led range of small kitchen appliances. And darn fine specimens they are, too.
Panasonic’s UK Marketing Manager Zeena Hill says, ‘The products have their own presence and personality and are aimed at an already design savvy consumer who is looking for the Next Big Thing’, and I tend to agree – the distinctive mix of curves and straight edges really marks them apart from the rest of the Tea & Toast brigade. My only ‘downer’ is the capacity of the kettle might be smaller than I’m used to, at 1.4 litres as opposed to 1.7, but then I suppose we shouldn’t be boiling more water than we need these days. Here’s a run-down of the range:
As I’ve said, the NC-ZK1/NC-DK kettle has a 1.4ltr capacity, a non-drip spout, a built-in limescale filter, a glass water-level window and a rotating power base that, due to its square shape, will happily nestle into a corner or against a wall.
Next up, the NC-ZF1/NC-DF1 filter coffee maker has a removable mesh filter and an ‘aroma control’ to enhance that inviting arabica smell; it can also be used for brewing tea. The stainless-steel jug keeps your coffee warm for longer, although there’s also a keep-warm plate that shuts off after a set time.
Finally, the NT-ZP1/NT-DP1 two-slot toaster has extra-wide slots, defrost and reheat functions and comes with a built-in warming rack for croissants and buns. The seven-level browning control indicator panel lights up rather pleasingly, to boot.
All three items carry the same price tag – that’s £69.99 in high-gloss black or white, and a gulp-enducing £119.99 for the posh grey or violet glass finish. Expect to see them in stores any day now.