Tea kettles are an essential part of any well-equipped kitchen. In centuries past, the tea kettle was the primary way to heat water for a variety of purposes in the kitchen. In modern times, heating water is still its primary purpose although the water is more likely now to simply be used to make tea, cocoa, flavored hot drinks or soup. Tea kettles come in two main types: stovetop and electric. The electric pots are a little more energy-efficient, but some people like the way a decorative stovetop tea kettle dresses up a kitchen.