#1 – Flow Rate
Some kettles pour slower than others, and some are more responsive to subtle shifts.
Obviously, you want a gooseneck that doesn’t pour too fast, but speed is the lesser issue in comparison to consistency.
Although a relatively quick pourer may take some practice to get used to, its purpose is wasted if it can’t pour evenly.
The main goal with pour over coffee – and likely the reason you are even looking into gooseneck kettles – is even extraction of your coffee beans’ flavor.
A kettle that sloshes out the spout or drools at the beginning of a pour is going to ruin all that.
#2 – Material and Design
Unless you particularly like the cringe-inducing taste of rust, then try to avoid options built with inferior metals – duhh.
Whether as an effort to cut down on costs or just poor manufacturing, some brands – including popular brands – use metals not meant to last very long.
Often it’s these same kettles that suffer from quick wear and tear as well as cracking along joints.
Usually you can check these welded joints by running a finger over them and, in most cases, the smoother the joint the stronger the weld.
#3 – Comfort. Yes, Comfort.
Keep in mind that you may be holding this kettle – over your brewer and out away from your body – for minutes at a time, gradually pouring in repeated increments.
Therefore, it is important to make sure the kettle you purchase is comfortable to hold.
Ironically, some kettles, in what seems like an attempt to keep up with fashion, have handles that feel more like an afterthought than anything else.
Although comfort is a relatively subjective matter, a pretty handle isn’t so pretty when it’s awkward to hold while pouring or too hot to grip.
#4 – Capacity
Most goosenecks stick within the same maximum capacity range – somewhere around 1 liter.
However, there are variations, and a few decimal places to the right or left can make a big difference, depending on how you brew.
If, for example, you’re the barista of the family, a large size kettle will allow you to keep on brewing without constant refills of unheated water halting your stride.