A watched pot does boil. The process of boiling water – the application of heat to still water, and the transition of water to steam – is science and magic together.
First, “crab eye” bubbles form and the kettle begins to steam. Those tiny bubbles dance and bounce and merge to form larger, hotter bubbles. Finally steam blasts out of the kettle as the water turns to “old man water,” i.e. a truly roiling boil. And then it’s over. The kettle shuts off automatically. And you’re one step closer to great tea!