Twitter Is Baffled By The New York Times' Electric Kettle Coverage

There's nothing like a good old-fashioned unintentionally-funny article. A recent piece from the New York Times is enjoying a thorough virtual roasting, and now it's time to spill the tea.

Earlier this week, Stefan Roberts, associate director at the lobbying firm, Hanbury Strategy, tweeted a screenshot of a recent article published by the New York Times, and Twitter users have questions. The article headline reads, "A Swift and Easy Way to Heat Water Without using a Stove," affixed above a picture of several electric kettles. The piece, published June 24, helpfully explains the operation and usefulness of the electric kettle. "Many models will even let you set a precise temperature — key for getting the best flavor from coffee and tea," it says.

It seems fairly straightforward, right? That's why international tweeters are left wondering: Did the U.S. just now find out about electric kettles? One Twitter user even asked, "Is this satire?"

World's greatest (new) invention?

An article by U.K. news outlet Daily Mail teases, "The 'greatest country on earth' discovers the electric kettle," poking fun at The New York Times for seemingly introducing the staple appliance to readers for the first time. The British in particular seemed especially amused by the article and its glaring cultural divide between the tea-loving U.K. and the coffee drinkers across the pond. Roberts (who happens to be London-based) commented on the original tweet, "I'll hear absolutely no more from Americans criticizing our clothes drying racks after this." Another user wrote, "Imagine, they'll find out about toasters next!"

Cultural differences aside, there might be a logical reason that electric kettles are much more popular in the U.K. than in the U.S. The Guardian explains that standard U.S. wall sockets power approximately 100-127 volts of electricity on average. Tea-pushers in the U.K., it says, are working with roughly twice that amount: 220-240 volts. So, electric kettles genuinely do take longer to heat up in the States.

While the tea is staying piping hot when it comes to Twitter, some international tea fans are extending a little grace to the Times and its green U.S. readers. One optimistic Twitter user wrote, "I think it's rather good they're finally discovering kettles, no?"