Breville HotCup review: a nifty instant hot water with cool looks for your kitchen

Nicely designed and well built, the Breville HotCup is a neat instant kettle that delivers steaming H2O on demand

Breville HotCup
(Image credit: Breville)
T3 Verdict

The Breville HotCup doesn’t do anything really different to other rivals in this fairly limited marketplace, but it’s a great little option. If you’re tempted to try an instant kettle out its budget price tag makes it appealing, while the performance is largely spot-on. That’s been matched by the design too and this is one of the better looking examples we’ve seen to date. You’ll need to buy the larger capacity edition if it’s volume you’re after but, as it stands, the Breville HotCup in its most basic guise is perfect for average-sized kitchens and even more average-proportioned families.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Hot water in sixty seconds

  • +

    Saves energy and water

  • +

    Useful for one-cup moments

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Limited capacity

  • -

    Not truly boiling

The Breville HotCup review in a sentence: this is a neat take on the instant kettle, with a reasonable capacity that delivers steaming H2O on demand, matched with cool looks on the design front.

Instant hot water appliances have become increasing popular, even though if you’re a cynical type you might be left wondering why anybody would need one. After all, the best kettles on the market do just as good a job, right? Well, I used to think that too, until I started using an instant hot water gadget that got sent to me for review. That was the very decent YumAsia model, which still sees daily use in our house.

Why the praise for something that appears to do the job of a standard kettle? To be honest, we still love a trad kettle, but the instant hot water kettle offers a neat twist. It’s instant obviously, meaning nigh-on-boiling water on tap whenever you need it. Some models even take it right up to 100 degrees. Press a button with the settings altered to suit your requirements and you’ve got everything from a thimbleful of steaming H20 through to jugs of the stuff, ready in mere moments. I’ll elaborate on the additional benefits of this further down the page.

However, there are plenty of other examples of the instant hot water appliance, which for simplicity’s sake we’ll call a kettle. In fact, take a look at our best instant hot water kettle buyers guide to see the excellent range of options out there, including that Yum Asia model. I’ve just been sent another prime example, the Breville HotCup, which is a new and improved instant kettle that is even better than the original one contained in our guide.

Breville HotCup

(Image credit: Breville)

Breville HotCup review: price and availability

The Breville HotCup is good value with the RRP of £54.99 often discounted by the likes of Amazon, meaning that it’s even more of a good deal. However, Breville is such a common brand that you should be able to get it from a multitude of other outlets. 

Spend a fraction more and you can get the larger capacity 2 litre model, which can be had from Amazon for £64.99. You can also get the unit in Australia, with more savings often available on the RRP of $107.27 AUD, especially when it comes to Amazon.

Breville HotCup review: design

Breville HotCup

(Image credit: Breville)

Breville has done a very nice job with the design of the HotCup. It actually looks rather more premium than I was expecting thanks to the brushed stainless effect casing that combines an angular look with some subtle curves. The appliance looks a treat on your countertop, with rubber feet stopping it from moving around by accident. 

Naturally, aside from the metallic feel of the main casing, the rest of the components are basically plastic, but that makes it relatively low-maintenance and you can wipe it over from time to time with a damp cloth. The front of the unit is where you place your cup, plus there’s a guide line for minimum and maximum levels if that’s not obvious enough. You place your cup on the small shelf and water is poured from the nozzle above. 

Filling the unit is done from the top via a lift up opening, which is reassuringly quite large to reduce the chance of spillages. Meanwhile, in front of that is a knob that can be twisted to specify the amount of hot water you want dispensed. In front of that is a chunky emergency stop button, in case you’ve just realized that your cup is too small for the amount of water coming out. That’s about it. Granted, the water tank isn’t the biggest at just 1.7 litres, but for occasional cups it’s fine. 

Head for the Breville HotCup machine with the 2 litre tank capacity if you’re looking for larger volume capacity. Either way, there’s 3000 watts of power for getting the water heating job done. Dimensions of 25.1 x 19.1 x 29.2 cm mean it’s reasonably compact while the weight is just 1.75 Kilograms.

Breville HotCup review: features

Breville HotCup


(Image credit: Breville)

While the minimalist design showcases the eye-catching lines of the Breville HotCup it won't take you long to pick over the features of this appliance. There’s really not a whole lot to it, with the functionality largely revolving around the dial on the top of the unit. This is so simple that there’s little to figure out, with the option for specifying large or small servings with intermediate in-between. 

However, the drip tray is thankfully removable as these can tend to get a bit cruddy over time, especially if you live in a hard water area that causes all of your water-based appliances to get encrusted with limescale. Breville has attempted to address this debilitating issue by adding a permanent limescale filter, although time will tell if that’s truly effective or not. 

The water tank, meanwhile, should be good for supplying about 6 to 8 average-sized cups of hot water from the 1.7 litre capacity, while you’ll obviously get more from the 2 litre edition, up to 10 in all based on our tea cup-sized measuring procedure.

Breville HotCup review: performance

Breville HotCup


(Image credit: Breville)

I’ve lived with the Breville HotCup for a while now and it’s undoubtedly a handy edition for any kitchen or home office workspace. Admittedly, the servings are a little on the miserly side. For me, that’s one of the weaknesses of this particular model because I tend to use my YumAsia instant hot water kettle for washing up purposes. 

A few 400ml jugs of water from that allow me to do the dinner dishes without needing to use the hot tap, thereby not firing up the gas boiler. It’s really handy. With the Breville HotCup on the other hand, you’re going to be stuck with using it solely for making hot drinks. Nevertheless, for the job it’s been designed for the Breville HotCup is neat. You get water that’s as near as dammit to boiling, with a cupful emerging in around 60 seconds. 

Better still, the water hasn’t so far been splashing all over the place, which can tend to happen with my faithful YumAsia unit. You’ll need to use it a few times in order to get rid of the initial plastic tinged taste that is commonplace with these appliances, and an occasional descale using white vinegar will probably be prudent too.

Breville HotCup review: verdict

Breville HotCup

(Image credit: Breville)

Overall, I’ve found the Breville HotCup to be pretty good so far although I’d like more capacity. But, if you’re just after the occasional cup of nigh-on-boiling water for the occasional brew then it’s ideal. The adjustable shelf works to good effect by further reducing any possible splashing if your gap between cup and nozzle is too far initially. 

The unit is also very easy to maintain and can be wiped over with ease. I’m also a big fan of the fit and finish of this gadget, while the look of the design works very well on a countertop. During use the water window illuminates plus there’s an LED around the spout that shines onto your cup. Handy, say, if you’re plodding around the kitchen in the middle of the night. 

The best thing about this machine is that you only boil the exact amount of water you need. Quite how much money that will save you over time remains to be seen, but there’s a certain feelgood factor about conserving water and energy, even if it turns out to be negligible in the long run. I’m certainly gonna keep on using my Breville HotCup, though it’s no replacement for the Yum Asia.

Rob Clymo
Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.