Silica and boron oxide make the two main glass-forming consituents of borosilicate glass. With a very low coefficient of thermal expansion, borosilicate glass is less subject to thermal stress and resistant to thermal shock. Otto Schott discovered the magic in the late 19th century and has allowed the world to even use high heat-resistant marijuana and tobacco pipes.
I asked each of the 3 attendants 3 times each and raised my eyebrows a total of 9 times. “Yes! This handmade and delicate glass kettle can be put on a stove!” They graciously provided an answer to my follow-up question – “Yes! You can even light up the stove.” Unfortunately, it was too late for me – the seed of doubt had already been planted and my stubborn eyebrows chose not to relax. I may have irritated at least 9 human beings on this day of Dec 28, 2012.
I poured water into the kettle and hesitated to turn on the stove. While I was carefully rotating the knob clockwise, I tried to remember where the broom is located, in case of an evening full of breaking bad. I watched baby bubbles defy gravity and travel upwards. They moved in a zig zag motion – they were either trying to dodge the enemy or simply rejoicing.
This kettle is not just any kettle – it is a clearance badge to my personal top-secret chemistry lab. Instead of teaspoons and tablespoons, I now see moles and kilomoles. Bowls have turned into petri dishes and spoons now have titration skills. Adding sugar balances the equation and cooking is nothing but a chemical reaction. With the power vested in me by this glass kettle, I now declare myself Walter White.
I gazed at the entire phenomenon. I caught the German rock sugar crystals hit the bottom and splatter happiness around. I witnessed the clear water lose its clarity. I followed the tea exploding in each of the 3 dimensions. I saw the dried pineapple chunks reach an optimal osmotic pressure. I watched the tea grow grumpy and boil with rage. I observed how the glass kettle was on fire but remained calm.
This kettle is not just any kettle – It hides a treasure. It has a purpose. It is here to teach.
“On fire but calm.” – Roohism