4 Best Iced Tea Makers to Save You Time

iced tea
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Iced tea is one of the most popular summer (and year-round) drinks in the United States. It’s like hot tea is to England. You’re probably already making large quantities of it to drink at home – more than any other drink besides water.

The popularity of iced tea is likely attributed to prohibition, when the popularity of this drink soared even higher as beer and wine were no longer available. Today, it’s a universal drinks, enjoyed by young and old.

So how are you brewing iced tea at your house? You may be brewing iced tea just as you do the hot variety, by pouring boiling water over tea bags, then allowing it to cool before serving it over ice.

iced tea

Also popular for brewing tea is sun tea jars. The gallon sized clear glass jars had study lids and a small spout located 2-3 inches from the bottom of the container.

The container is filled with water and 8-10 teabags and placed outside in the sun for six hours or more. This method produces a clear tea with no bitter aftertaste.

The problem with these two methods of making iced tea is how long it takes. Both methods take around 5-6 hours for the tea to brewed and/or cooled completely, which is necessary before putting it into the refrigerator.

Today, automated iced tea makers have become a staple in many kitchens. Not only are they convenient and fast, they make a good tasting tea and in large pitchers that can also be used to store the tea.

If you’re interested in streamlining your iced tea game at home, read on as we explain why you should use an iced tea maker.

How Does an Iced Tea Maker Work

Iced tea makers are just like coffee makers. They take care of heating the water and then pass the water through the tea you’ve added to the reusable filter.

The tea is brewed according to the parameters set by the machine (which can be adjusted on many new makers), and then deposits the brewed tea into an attached pitcher. In most cases, you need to add ice to the pitcher before brewing, so the combined effort leads to cooled tea.

The great thing about an iced tea maker is that all you need to do is fill the reservoir, add the tea, and attach the pitcher. Everything else is taken care of for you.

Here are a few more reasons to use an iced tea maker:

Make Tea Any Way You Like

With all the available tea bags these days, it’s so simple to just throw a couple of tea bags in the machine and brew your iced tea.

However, I prefer using loose tea because it’s a much higher quality and can provide better flavor. The tea also tends to come out clearer and less bitter than with budget tea bags.

loose tea

Whether you use tea bags or loose tea, it won’t matter to the machine. Today’s ice tea makers can brew tea using either method you prefer.

Some machines (see the Mr. Coffee Tea Maker) even allow you to choose the strength of your brew, so you can make it lighter or darker, depending your preferences.

It’s Quick and Convenient

There’s no easier way to brew tea than with a tea maker. All of the machines include an easy to fill basket or insert where you put the tea, then you just fill it with water and let it do its thing.

Some of the tea makers come with a detachable water reservoir, so you can fill it up easily without having to drag the whole machine over to the sink or use another pitcher to fill it.

They also come with a reusable pitcher where the tea is brewed. That pitcher has a spout and can be put into the refrigerator, so you don’t need an extra pitcher or container.

Economic & Environmentally Friendly

Buying loose tea is a great way to cut down on product waste and packaging. When you’re making iced tea, there’s really no need for all the filter bags and tags.

Iced tea makers have reusable, cleanable filters that you can put loose tea directly into, avoiding the need for extra paper filters. Less packaging and less waste are always a good thing.

tea bag waste

What to Look For in an Iced Tea Maker

There are a number of different iced tea makers on the market today, but most of them have the exact same features. You can purchase a basic model that just brews hot tea for you to chill yourself, or you can buy a fully-functional iced tea maker with all the top features.

Here are the top features:

  • Easily removable and reusable tea basket
  • Shatterproof glass or BPA-free plastic pitcher with airtight lid
  • Adjustable brew strength dial
  • Clear and/or removeable water reservoir
  • Automatic turn off when brewing is complete
  • Brewing time and temperature controls and LCD
  • Automatic cleaning cycle

Not all iced tea makers have these features, so if one is especially important to you, that can help make your decision.

4 Best Iced Tea Makers

Capresso 624.02 Ice Tea Maker

This tea maker has a glass pitcher that holds 2.5 quarts. It’s one of the sleeker designs for iced tea makers, so if you’re worried about how much room it takes up, this is the one for you.

Easily removable and reusable tea basketYES
Shatterproof glass or BPA-free plastic pitcher with airtight lidYES
Adjustable brew strength dialYES
Clear and/or removeable water reservoirYES
Automatic turn off when brewing is completeYES
Automatic cleaning cycleNO

Pros: Small footprint. Brews 2.5 quarts.
Cons: the glass pitcher is pretty delicate, so you need to be really careful or it can shatter. Never add hot liquids to a cold pitcher.


Mr. Coffee TM75 Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee is a trusted brand of coffee and tea makers. They have a number of different models to choose from, but the TM75 is the most popular. It has a 2-quart plastic pitcher.

If you’re looking for a glass pitcher, try this model.

Easily removable and reusable tea basketYES
Shatterproof glass or BPA-free plastic pitcher with airtight lidYES
Adjustable brew strength dialNO
Clear and/or removeable water reservoirNO
Automatic turn off when brewing is completeYES
Automatic cleaning cycleYES

Pro: It has a fast brewing time.
Con: It doesn’t have an adjustable strength dial and the tea is rather weak. if you like strong tea, brew with half the water twice, rather than adding half the water directly to the pitcher.


West Bend Iced Tea Maker

The West Bend Iced Tea Maker has the largest pitcher size, at 2.75 quarts. It’s also decked out with the most features, though it’s also the most expensive one, by a small margin.

Easily removable and reusable tea basketYES
Shatterproof glass or BPA-free plastic pitcher with airtight lidYES
Adjustable brew strength dialYES
Clear and/or removeable water reservoirYES
Automatic turn off when brewing is completeYES
Automatic cleaning cycleNO

Pros: Small footprint, but largest container, has all the features, you can see the internal water level.
Cons: The glass pitcher is fragile. There pitcher lid doesn’t seal tightly so you have to hold on to it while pouring.


Takeya Iced Tea Maker with Patented Flash Chill Technology

This iced tea maker is unique in that it’s not electric and that it uses a patented technology to chill the tea rapidly. It’s made in a BPA-Free 2-quart pitcher with airtight leak-proof lid.

The other great thing about this iced tea maker is how fast it is. You add the tea you want to the infuser, then fill the pitcher halfway up with hot water and allow it to brew. It can be done in just 30 seconds, or longer for a stronger tea.

When it’s done, remove the infuser, add ice, seal it and shake for 30 seconds.

Easily removable and reusable tea basketYES
Shatterproof glass or BPA-free plastic pitcher with airtight lidYES

Pros: The tea is chilled and done in as little as 1 minute. You can add any loose tea, tea bags, or fruit to the infuser – there’s plenty of room.
Cons: The pitcher doesn’t pour well. It’s difficult to clean the filter out when using loose tea.


Conclusion

If you’re an avid iced tea drinker, having a dedicated tea maker can definitely cut down on the amount of time you spend making tea. With a pitcher that fits in the refrigerator, this is an economical way to make sure you always have iced tea at the ready.

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