Zojirushi CV-DSC40 Electric Kettle – Initial Impressions

A few days ago I received the Zojirushi CV-DSC40 I briefly wrote about following the initial purchase. I have had it in my home and functioning for a couple days and wanted to go through some of my experiences and usage so far. There is very little information, especially in English, on this product so I wanted to get info out in stages to help anyone else who is looking.

Pulling the unit out from the box, one is struck with just how nice it looks in person compared to the photo’s online. The exterior is a very nice stainless steel and the top is a mid-gray plastic which is a bit darker than most photo’s capture. You can tell that it is hard to fit the English words on the buttons meant for Kanji, and honestly if I would have been more familiar with the unit (or if I ever buy a replacement) I would have gone for the Japanese version. You can tell it is put together and designed with a lot of attention to detail and care. I liken it to a finely crafted automobile, sure the majority is just luxury but quality components and engineering do make a difference in the long run. Plus, since it is a well known and established company individual parts like lids or gaskets can be ordered extending the life far beyond a cheaper alternative.

The instructions state to fill the unit and boil the water, dispense 1L and then let the rest cool and discard to help eliminate any off flavors from manufacturing or packaging. I filled the unit with about 4L of water from a tap-mounted filter which registered as being 60 degrees F. To check the initial boil time I watched the clock, and when the happy little musical alarm played it had only been about 25 minutes to reach 212F! That is far faster than their very conservative estimate of 37 minutes and helped allay one of my initial concerns. The ambient room temperature was probably about 65F since it is winter here. I pressed the Unlock button and then the Dispense button to expel 1L and discarded. I quickly realized though, that I’d have to leave the lid open if I wanted to discard the rest and have it cool since it is so well insulated that the temperature drop is just 1-2 degrees every half-hour or so. Even with the top open it retained heat extremely well and I finally just poured it out at 190F. You do have to detatch the plastic lid and pour from a designated notch to protect the electronics, which is a bit of a pain, but nothing major. This seems like it could have been better accounted for in design.

I refilled 4L and again boiled in about the same timeframe. I made some Song Zhong Dan Cong so that if some off flavoring was still present the more robust flavor would mask it over a delicate green. I could certainly still taste the unit’s off flavor int he tea. I let it cool some and dispensed another liter or two and then decided to try some green tea near the end of that fill and it was completely overpowered by the taste if the unit still.

I discarded the remaining water and refilled it before going to bed. This was my chance to try out the timer function. The translation is very sketchy in the manual and it is not very clear how this actually works. Does it heat for the set number of hours and then shut off? or does it heat the water over the set number of hours to attain the desired temperature at that point? My guess was the latter, and it turned out to be correct. I chose 8H for 8 hours of slumber and awoke to 195F water as promised! Perfect for my morning commute tea in my Bodum travel press. Even though a bit low I selected some loose Puerh from 2008 I had a craving for. A quick rinse and then about 12oz. of water and I was off. Obviously this tea would hide more water taste than my other selections, but after paying close attention, I don’t really notice any. Hopefully we’re past that stage.

I have been leaving it on the 195F “Keep Warm” setting which maintains the selected water temperature from the selections of 205F, 195F, or 175F. The second night I had selected the “Vacuum Insulation” mode which is essentially an off mode where the water just slowly loses heat naturally but as much heat is kept in as possible like a thermos. Before I went to bed it had been around 195F and when I woke, it was at 130F which is pretty good. I hit the reboil button before taking a morning shower and it was back to 212F when I returned past it maybe 10 minutes later. Very fast for an 800W device.

So far, so good! No real limiting factors and it outperforms my estimates. The single flush recommended in the manual is optimistic at best, I’d imagine it needs 3-4 boils and flushes before it is not tainting the water noticeably. I’m also very sensitive to flavors so 2-3 may be enough for most, but no matter what, it is more than one. I’ll be following up at least once more after about a month of use to get a better long-term perspective. Too often review are written days after arrival and never updated, which is never enough time to properly evaluate a product and for flaws to appear.

One Response to Zojirushi CV-DSC40 Electric Kettle – Initial Impressions

  1. Marlena says:

    I just got one of these as well, and I am finding it pretty much the same as you. I also had that experience with a new glass tea pot. It needed to be used a few times before it didn’t taint the tea. I have also experienced some very different tastes in tea from one using this water and the same using water from a small, electric teakettle. interesting to experiment.

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