Tea. My morning cup of tea is indeed a matter of grave importance. I like Twinings Irish Breakfast, medium strong, no milk or sugar in a white Ikea 365+ mug (I don't like mugs that are not white, at least on the inside, because how can you see how strong your tea is?). Also of grave importance in the matter of making tea is boiling water. Piping hot, roiling boil boiling water, poured directly onto the tea bag in the mug.
Tea drinking does not seem to be of such grave importance generally here in the US and boiling water can be hard to come by. It's all espresso makers, mr coffee and drive-through Starbucks. Anyway, we have been through a couple of electric kettles since we arrived in Seattle. The first was turning itself off before the water was truly roiling and the second just stopped heating all together. Tim, of the quaint old-fashioned notion that things should really last forever, insisted that we not get another electric kettle but instead a stove top version.
So, I took the opportunity to procure an item a that I have long admired - the Alessi whistling bird kettle (thank you ebay), designed by American architect Michael Graves. I'm not sure when I became aware of this kettle (it was introduced in 1985) but probably sometime while I was working at a department store in my university years (a decade later). I always loved its sense of humour and I'm delighted to have finally bought one in my own sweet time (ages down the track) and my own sweet fashion (second hand).
(ooh, and here's something that I bought at an estate sale recently and something that I did not buy because it was too small (thankfully)).