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Make coffee with only the power of the sun

The SunRocket solar kettle.

The Sunrocket is an eco-friendly kettle that can brew a cup of your favourite hot beverage using only the power of the sun.

How it works

Unscrew the lid (it takes some muscle the first time around) and pour about two cups of cold water into the glass tube. The instructions recommend leaving a five-centimetre gap from the rim and I later learn that these wise words are to prevent spillage and possible steam burns. After screwing the lid back on, I open up the side panels, rest them on the attached handle and place the kettle in direct sunlight. Thirty minutes later, the water's only lukewarm. But I also notice a shadow has obstructed the stream of sunlight. A quick move to a sunnier patch and within 20 minutes I can make a cup of tea.

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Pros and cons

It takes at least 40 minutes for 500 millilitres of tepid water to boil in direct afternoon sunlight. Liquids stay warm (it doubles as a Thermos), but if you leave it out too long, the glass tube can overheat. The rocket-ship like dimensions and 45-centimetre height make it slightly awkward to carry on a plane. You're better off packing it in your suitcase.

Final verdict

Outdoor adventurers will love the easy access to hot water. But if you're destined for a cloudy destination, or travelling with a big family, this is not the kettle for you. $59.50 (U.S.); sunkettle.com

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