It’s hard to buy someone like me a Christmas present. I find it hard to ask for things. I’d rather buy ten gifts for other people. (Specific people, not just randoms.)

But I made two suggestions this year.

One was a sausage roll maker. Last year’s breakout product from – of all places – K-Mart, this $20 item allows you to stick two whole sheets of pastry in and then add filling and press down. To me, this meant one of the two stages I love about sausage rolls – making an exceptional filling – would be followed by managing to skip the stage I hate, which is rolling and shaping the pastry around the filling. Of course the other stage I love – shoving them in my roll-hole –¬† would probably come quicker as well.

This suggestion was made via the conventional route of asking my wife to suggest it to anyone who asks. Which inevitably means our two children (who are in their 30s).

And then, I was having a conversation on Messenger with those very same children – I should mention that in this case, this means posting pictures of bread to the three-way conversation I set up so we can all boast about bread-making – when an instant hot water dispenser from Kogan flashed across my screen. On a whim, I pasted it into the conversation, suggesting it would make a great gift for me.

For the purposes of this next bit, I shall refer to our children as “Canada”and “Local”. Makes it easier.

I had an immediate response from Local. This was to tell me I did not need this. I did not have room for it among my many kitchen gadgets. It was in fact a stupid idea. I should really be ashamed of myself for even thinking it.

Canada made no comment.

Time did what it usually did and passed. Christmas drew closer, and one day I got told a parcel would arrive, and as I was the only one home, I was not to open it.

As expected, it did not arrive because Australia Post are as reliable as a weasel with fourteen convictions for swindling, but two days later, like some manifestation of a Christmas miracle, a van driver played Knock Down Ginger* at our door and lo, I looked upon a cardboard box and saw it was good, And from K-Mart.

I could barely contain my excitement that my sausage roll maker had clearly arrived. I started planning Christmas leftover pastries. I added frozen puff pastry** to my Christmas shopping list.

I did wonder why the box was so big. I concluded that it actually contained something else as well.

Let me spare you the suspense. It did not contain a sausage roll maker. In fact, I did not get one. Why? Well, apparently, when it was discussed among the key three individuals, Local opined that I did not need this. I did not have room for it among my many kitchen gadgets. It was in fact a stupid idea and I should really be ashamed of myself for even thinking it.

Thank you, your Grinchiness.

Anyway, Christmas Day dawned and openings occurred, and when I tore into my “sausage roll maker”, it was in fact an Anko Instant Hot Water dispenser.

Canada had looked at the link I sent, did the research, found out that this year’s breakout product was this one, which had a bunch of features. Then found they were pretty well sold out, but found one a few hundred kilometres away from Adelaide and organised to have it shipped.

It boasts some useful features:

  • Large-ish water capacity (2L)
  • Four temperature options
  • Set water dispensing amounts
  • Rather compact
Water ready to flow¬† – in this case, rinsing a brand-new teapot, so there’s no tea in it.
The Buttons are Temperature, Cup Size, Lock and Pour
Press the cup size button and walk away











So, there I was, Christmas morning, plenty to do. Did I have time to unbox this and set it up? Who cares? Priorities, right?

Besides, instead of the traditional Christmas lunch, this year we were hosting a Christmas Afternoon Tea. And you need hot water for that, right?

I unboxed it, skimmed the book to understand the buttons and filled the water tank. And I was away.

Make no mistake, this is a brilliant product. Hot water is available in 3-5 seconds and flows in a steady stream.

You don’t have to time your tea from when the water stops flowing. I have found that the slower than kettle rate of flow actually seems to get the tea moving quicker. It’s a bit like a built-in version of “awakening the leaves”.

Tea is now quicker. Boiling water is available for cooking quicker. I even use the 25 degree setting for my water when I am making sourdough.

I loved the fixed volumes of water. Every morning I get my balls out and slip one into my huge mug with a picture of a cat with a beret on it (refer here for my habit of a ball of tea every morning). I press the buttons and by the time I have served the cat Second Breakfast, my tea is ready to grab. 85 degrees. Full to just below the brim.

It comes with an extra stand for the pot/cup. Not sure if this is meant to reduce the splash into a small cup or help hold up a larger one, but I have used it for both.

As a sidenote, we made a decision not to throw away small cardboard boxes, but to recycle them as packaging, so I’ve just posted six packs of tea to someone who hopefully won’t think they’ve just received a water dispenser.

So, the new adventure in water is now three weeks old, and it’s fair to say: I love this product.

I don’t think I could go back to an electric kettle.

That seems so last year.

*If you are not old, you probably don’t know that Knock Down Ginger is a game played back in olden times before iPads, where you knock on someone’s door and run away. Better exercise than an iPad but perhaps not as educational.

**I rarely buy pre-made anything but puff pastry takes about a lifetime to make.

I have no affiliation with K-mart. Here’s the link if you are in Australia and want one: