On a hot summer’s day, nothing quite hits the spot like an ice cold glass of tea (or sweet tea if you’re in the South!). But have you ever opened that fridge to discover that your pitcher of the cool beverage is empty, or almost empty?
I know the feeling – especially if you make your tea the old school way on the stove. That’s why I got myself a good electric iced tea machine so that I can easily make me a pitcher of my favorite cold drink in less than 10 minutes. I love my little cheap iced tea maker and wished I’d bought one sooner.
If you’re considering buying one of these, let me share some of my favorite models and buying tips with you.
Electric Iced Tea Machines Buying Guide
There are many different brands of these cheap drink machines out there, but which are the best, and which give you the most value for your money? This is probably the most important (two-part) question to ask, but there are others that follow. In order of importance, after the first two-fold question about the best at the best price, there are questions about warranty/guarantee, aesthetics and design, capacity and volume, and size (How much space will it take up on your countertop?). After that, it comes down to personal preference and probably would not apply to “the crowd,” but that said, let’s dive right in and see what factors go into buying just the right iced tea maker for you!
Top Reasons Why You Need a Good Iced Tea Maker
- It gets hot in the summertime–and at other times of the year–and you need a good tea-brewing machine that will chill you a good tea in the shortest amount of time.
- Quality counts–you don’t want it to break down on you after promising yourself and guests a nice, cold pitcher of iced tea, so find a good one!
- Probably America’s overall favorite drink, you will add so much beverage-induced pleasure for yourself or a houseful of guests.
- The variety of teas and being able to ice any of them is just so…indispensable!
- The drink is actually good for you (without the sugar, that is!), and has many health-giving properties, so stay cool while you do a body good!
- Plus, it is an excellent way to stay hydrated during those hot summer months!
The Types of Iced Tea Maker Machines Available
Many factors are weighed when deciding on a high-quality iced tea maker, and there are many types that have different characteristics out there from which to choose. There are the classic pitcher types (Oster, West Bend), the programmable makers (like Cuisinart PerfecTemp Steeper and Kettle), the elegant and pricier items (like Breville, Keurig, Bormioli Rocco, et al), and basic, no-fuss iced tea makers like the Adagio Teas 16 oz. steeper and pitcher which go for much less than average. Capacities can run from 2.5 to 3 quarts range (Oster, Prodyne, Breville) down to 16 oz., so the question of size becomes relevant when asking, “How many will I typically be brewing for?” as well as, “How much space will it take up?” There are many models made by many different companies with different approaches in terms of style, design, utility, aesthetics and other factors, so be sure you have answered all those variable questions before buying. Personally, I am a big fan of the simple electric ones that you fill with ice and just wait for it to serve up that cool pitcher that you can serve immediately to guests, or yourself!
Common Features To Look For When Shopping
The features common to all iced tea machine are: They all have pitchers/carafes, and they all take (or make) regularly-brewed teas and have some way of chilling it, or allowing it to be chilled. That’s about it, as far as common features go. These beverage machines are among the most widely varying products out there on the market, which is why you have to narrow down your parameters significantly and have a good picture of what you want prior to running out that appliance retailer and laying down your money. Within the aforementioned differing types, there are common features, such as programmable models have buttons and readouts, and a station, or port, where you set the glass carafe or pitcher. The stand-alone pitchers–whether glass or plastic–all have secure lids and places to steep the tea.
Top Iced Tea Machine Reviews
To help you make a decision on which of these top rated iced tea makers is a good choice for your kitchen, I want to share my reviews on a few of my favorite models.
Mr. Coffee 2-Quart Iced Tea Maker Review
The Mr. Coffee 2-Quart model brews both loose and bagged teas in mere minutes.
Place ice cubes in the pitcher, the tea bags in the steeping basket and water in the reservoir. With the press of a button you’re moments away from a great-tasting, refreshing pitcher of your favorite fresh-brewed teas. The steeping basket is removable, making for easy cleaning. Includes an on/off indicator light and comes with a 1-year limited warranty. The removable, adjustable lid lets you keep the ice in the pitcher when your pouring.
Takeya Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker Review
Want a fresh brewed cold pitcher in just minutes? Coming right up! The Takeya Flash Chill model makes eight servings (or two quarts) of iced tea quickly and easily. It can be used with Takeya loose leaf iced tea or any loose leaf tea/tea bags.
Other features of interest:
- Includes a 66-oz. plastic pitcher and infuser
- Its airtight lid keeps the beverage fresh while storing.
- Easily store it on its side or in the refrigerator door.
- BPA-free construction provides peace of mind.
- Made in the USA
- Dishwasher safe
- Choose from three bright colors: raspberry, olive, blueberry or black.
When you serve iced tea from one of these, be prepared to totally delight your guests — and have them coming back for more!
Hamilton Beach 40912R Iced Coffee/Tea Maker Review
It’s never been so easy to enjoy refreshing iced tea anytime, anywhere. With this Hamilton Beach model, you can make iced beverages — including iced teas and coffees — in less than 10 minutes!
The two-quart decorative pitcher features:
- Interchangeable coffee and tea filter baskets
- An adjustable strength tea basket that brews loose or bagged tea with a no-drop spout
- A tip-resistant base dishwasher and refrigerator-safe pitcher with lid
Best of all, this Hamilton Beach model is super easy to use. Just fill the pitcher with ice, add your drink of choice (loose tea, tea bags or coffee), fill the reservoir with water and then turn it on. All models are compatible with tea bags or loose tea and brew right into a serving pitcher or glass. Try one in your kitchen, your office or at a party today!
West Bend Iced Tea Maker Review
No matter how you like your iced tea, this is the iced tea maker for you! This uniquely designed, innovative iced tea maker from West Bend has variable tea brew strength, so there’s something for everyone.
Plus, you can brew your teas with or without sweetener. Other features include:
- Timed brewing and steeping settings
- Removable sweetener chamber
- Usable with bagged or loose tea
- Plastic pitcher – 2.75 quart
- Brew strength selector
- Auto-shut off
- On indicator light
- 750 Watts
- One-year warranty
Best of all, when you order this West Bend model, you’ll also receive a 2.5 quart glass pitcher (not a plastic one) — so you can always serve your tea in style!
Mr. Coffee Tea Cafe Iced Tea Maker Review
There is no reason to pay coffee house and tea shop prices when this Mr. Coffee model brews both tea leaves and tea bags to personal preference. It makes gourmet tea easy with its water filtration and dishwasher safe features.
This 2-in-1 tea brewer turns itself off when done brewing while maximizing the taste of customized tea flavors. Not only does this Mr. Coffee model keep the gourmet flavors intact, the carafe fits under the drip as it brews. This keeps the drippings and droppings off of kitchen surfaces. The daily visits to the coffee house are gone in an instant with it brewing an array of flavors and the ease of clean and maintenance.
What to Consider Before Buying One Of These
Which leads into the next part of this article. What are the main things you should consider prior to buying your next one of these machines? As mentioned in an earlier paragraph of this article, the things that should be topmost on your list are: Cost, functionality, highest-rated and with best customer feedback, volume/capacity, aesthetics and design, and size. It may not be in that order of importance for you, but those are the things you are going to want to answer for yourself prior to purchase. For me, the capacity of the pitcher was priority number one since I get a lot of house guests who can drink glass after glass, and quickly empty a small pitcher!
Tips On Proper Care And Use Of Your Iced Tea Maker
Every one of these models is designed different and has differing guidelines for proper care and use. Be sure to follow those directions closely, so that you have no unforeseen mechanical or electrical malfunction occur just when you need that cold drink of tea the most! Properly using and caring for your machine will extend its shelf life to perhaps decades, obviating the need to buy one every few years. This is especially true for the higher-end electric brewers–“baby” them, and they will run the marathon of their warranty lifetime and maybe beyond.
A good rule of thumb is to clean it regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. And take care not to let moisture build up, because over time this can result in mold and mildew in certain climates. I like to leave mine out on the counter to fully dry before putting it away in the cabinet.