There are a lot of coffee making contraptions that vie for our attention. People get rhapsodical about their French press. Go gaga for their Chemex. Become evangelical when talking about their Aeropress.
But ultimately these manual brewing devices, however elegant or sexy they might appear, are just different vessels for combining hot water and coffee grounds. The often unsung grinders are a much bigger contributor to the final cup, and even the humble water delivery system can play an important role.
With pour-over style brew methods like the Chemex (and Hario V60, Beehive, Melitta, Kalita, etc), being able to pour slowly and precisely makes a world of difference. Most “tea kettles” you find at stores in the U.S. have astonishingly bad pouring spouts. The same opening designed to whistle loudly when your water comes to a boil often spits and splashes when you try to pour.
The Japanese-style gooseneck kettles are a dream to use by comparison. They give you a small tight stream that is easy to control, opening the door to less mess and more precision for your manual brew methods.
Unfortunately many of these kettles are still hard to find and frequently cost a mint. Baristas have been known to closely guard their sources for some unusual goosenecks or pay hefty sums to import unique ones. One exception that I am happy to recommend is the Bonavita Gooseneck kettles. Simple, well made, priced right, and becoming more widely available.
If you’re moving down the path of manual brew methods, a gooseneck kettle is a deceptively simple accessory that can up your game considerably.