Looking for a way to save time brewing your favorite flavor of iced tea? We've sifted through dozens of iced tea makers and reviewed the TOP 7 Best Iced Tea Makers that offer the optimal combinations of features and affordability. In the process, we created a buyer's guide to help you choose which would be the best fit for your needs.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- What Is an Iced Tea Maker?
- Iced Tea Maker Buyer's Guide: Things to Look For
- Pros and Cons of Ice Tea Makers
- TOP-7 Iced Tea Maker Reviews
Iced tea makers come in several different designs to choose between. Some make manual brewing of tea more convenient than simply boiling water and steeping tea bags in a generic pitcher by providing a built-in filter basket. There are also electric tea makers that will heat the water for you and control the strength of the tea it produces.
Tea makers are appliances specifically designed to brew tea. Some are manual infusers that can be used to make drinks using either loose leaf tea or freshly ground coffee beans with reusable filters. Others come with electric hot plates for heating water in a pitcher or brew tea quickly by dripping heated water through a tea basket like many coffee makers. They also make it easy to combine tea with ice and sweetener to produce a pitcher of iced tea in a few minutes.
There's a variety of different factors to consider when shopping for an iced tea maker. They come in different designs, and there's a number of value-added functions to look for when comparing iced tea makers.
- Electric vs Manual Iced Tea Makers
The primary difference between electric tea makers and manual infusers is that electric makers will heat water for you to brew your tea in a couple minutes, while infusers require that you heat water separately or use a cold brewing process that doesn't use hot water. Another thing to consider is whether you want a product that can be used to brew other drinks besides tea. Electric tea makers usually only make tea, but manual infusers can be multi-purpose.
Read our article: TOP 9 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers 2019.
The amount of iced tea a maker produces varies from one model to the next. Depending on the number of people you want to serve with each batch, you may want to opt for a larger or smaller capacity iced tea maker.
- Preparation Options
Tea comes loose leaf and in self-contained bags, and a finished pitcher of iced tea requires other ingredients like sweeteners and ice. Iced tea makers provide different ways of bringing all these ingredients together with heated water with different levels of automation. You'll want to choose an iced tea maker designed for the type of tea you will be brewing and the conveniences you desire.
User-friendliness is as important as the capabilities of an iced tea maker. The more advanced tea makers with automated functions can present difficulties when they aren't designed with ease of use in mind, while infusers can offer a simpler brewing process without complex settings and options. If you can test an electric tea maker in person, it's a good idea to check how easy it is to use before buying.
- Additional Features
There's a host of different features that make iced tea makers more or less desirable to different shoppers. Below is a list of some of the more useful value-added feature that we encountered during our reviews.
- Automatic Shut-Off
Tea makers that boil water with a hot plate or drip action will be easier to use if they include an automatic shut-off, so you won't need to babysit them.
- Coffee-Brewing Capability
Some tea makers have the versatility to brew coffee or tea, which can be a plus if you drink both.
- Works with Loose Leaf and Bagged Tea
If you might use either type of tea, look for a tea maker that can handle either.
- Adjustable Brewing Strength
Some electric tea makers can adjust the strength of the tea they brew by controlling the temperature and rate of water flow. This is a good feature if you'll brew a wide variety of tea.
Further discussion elaborates on the TOP 7 Best Iced Tea Makers on the market and their differentiating features. You’ll find both electric and manual options here.
Brocca by Bassani 32-oz Iced Coffee and Tea Infuser
Bassani's Brocca is an inexpensive cold brew infuser designed to make coffee, tea, or fruit-infused drinks. It consists of an elegant glass carafe with a large reusable filter that sits in a stainless-steel housing, which makes it possible to infuse drinks with loose leaf tea or ground coffee.
The Brocca is designed to handle the heat of boiling water, but it can also cold brew iced tea or coffee.
Its 32-ounce capacity is clearly marked on the carafe, and it fits into tight spaces in your refrigerator. This is a good choice for buyers who want a simple and versatile infuser with a stylish look.
Brocca by Bassani: Check the current price
Ovalware RJ3 34-oz Brewing Glass Carafe
Ovalware's RJ3 is a flask-shaped cold brew carafe designed with coffee concentrate in mind, but it can double as an iced tea infuser as well. It uses a fine double-mesh stainless steel filter that can hold loose leaf tea or tea bags.
The carafe has a beaker shape with measurements printed onto it to help you measure out the amount of tea you want to brew. It's made with thicker glass than normal tea pitchers, so it's less likely to shatter or crack.
While it's marketed as a cold brew carafe, it's also possible to add boiling water for hot tea, too. We liked this carafe's durability. It's worth the higher price.
Ovalware RJ3: Check the current price
Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew 1-Quart Iced Coffee Maker
Takeya's Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker is another manual infuser that we thought deserved a review. It's a functional glass carafe with a plastic handle and fine-mesh filter basket.
Overall, the construction is a bit less durable than the other two infusers we've reviewed because of the plastic handle, but the glass carafe is made of shatter-resistant glass, which makes it worth its price. It's designed to brew hot or cold coffee, but its basket is large enough for loose leaf tea or tea bags. You can add sweetener and ice to the carafe to makes a pitcher of iced tea just as easily as iced coffee.
Takeya Deluxe: Check the current price
Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker
Breville's BTM800XL is an automatic tea brewer that's designed to brew various kinds of loose-leaf tea at the precise water temperature that's needed to achieve the best flavor and the brew strength you desire.
The 51-ounce glass carafe has a tea basket that automatically lowers into the water and rises back up once the infusion is complete. You simply program the time and temperature desired and add your tea and water. The BTM800XL does the rest. You can also program it to auto-start at specific times of the day, so you can get up in the morning or get home from a long day at work with a pitcher of tea ready to drink.
For tea connoisseurs who want maximum control over the tea brewing process, Breville's One-Touch Tea Maker is a product to consider, but if you just want to make a quick pitcher of iced tea with tea bags, this tea maker may be overkill.
Breville BTM800XL: Check the current price
Hamilton Beach 40911 2-Quart Electric Iced Tea Maker
Hamilton Beach's 40911 is an electric tea maker than works in a way similar to automatic coffee makers. The difference is that the tea basket is in the top of the pitcher. A separate unit uses electricity to heat the water and add it to the pitcher slowly. To make a 2-quart pitcher of iced tea, you simply need to add water to the heater and fill the pitcher with the amount of ice and sweetener desired. The unit lets you choose between mild, medium, and strong brewing strengths, and it shuts off automatically once it's done brewing. The pitcher is made to invert and fit over the top of the heating unit to save space during storage, and its slim shape allows it to fit into crowded refrigerators.
This unit is a popular choice among tea drinkers because of its reasonable price and convenient features.
Hamilton Beach 40911: Check the current price
Mr. Coffee 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System
Mr. Coffee's 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System comes closest to replicating the same system used with today's coffee makers for brewing iced tea. It comes with a glass carafe that's paired with a heating unit with a water reservoir and filter basket designed for loose leaf or bagged tea. The heating unit brings the water to the temperature needed for the desired brew strength, and then it drips through the tea and into the carafe. You can add ice to the carafe ahead of time and have a pitcher of iced tea ready in a few minutes.
Another plus for this tea maker is that the filter basket is easy to remove and clean compared to tea makers with baskets installed in the carafe. The unit is compact and inexpensive for the features it includes when we compared it to the other electric tea makers we've reviewed.
It's a good choice for tea drinkers who want to make a pitcher of iced tea on short notice.
Mr. Coffee 2-in-1: Check the current price
Mr. Coffee TM1 2-Quart Iced Tea Maker
If Mr.Coffee's 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System is a little pricey or you prefer a plastic carafe, the TM1 is a more affordable alternative that provides the basic brewing functionality needed without the extras.
Its main drawbacks are that the filter basket is in the pitcher rather than the heating unit and that it doesn't have brew strength settings. It does shut off automatically once the heating unit is empty, and it's easy to clean.
We'd recommend it for shoppers who want a lower price but enjoy the convenience of fast tea brewing.
Mr. Coffee TM1: Check the current price
Do I really need an iced tea maker?
Iced tea makers can save you time when you make tea on a regular basis, especially if you prefer to use loose leaf tea. Manual infusers may seem overpriced compared to using a regular glass pitcher with a tea ball or tea bags, but they can simplify your life if you like to make iced coffee, tea, and other infused drinks.
Is a glass pitcher better than a plastic jar?
Glass has a couple advantages over plastic. A glass pitcher won't be warped or melted by boiling water, and glass won't be stained by tea or other ingredients. The advantage of plastic over glass is that plastic is much less likely to break when dropped or subjected to extreme changes in temperature.
How do I know what amount of loose tea or how many tea bags should I use?
Brewing tea with an iced tea maker doesn't always require the same amount of tea that you would use when making it manually. Check the recommended amount for the volume you're making with your iced tea maker's manufacturer. As a rule of thumb, you'll need 2-4 tea bags or 1-2 tablespoons of loose-leaf tea to make a quart of iced tea.
Why does my tea look cloudy or milky?
Putting freshly brewed tea into a refrigerator right away when it's still hot can cause the natural oils present to cool too fast and give it a cloudy appearance. While this doesn't affect the taste of the tea, you can avoid this cloudiness by letting your tea cool to room temperature before chilling it. Cloudy tea can sometimes be cleared up by stirring in a cup of boiling water.
How should I clean my iced tea maker?
Cleaning iced tea makers is similar to cleaning coffee makers. You can wash the pitcher, lid, and exterior of the tea brewing unit with warm water and dish soap to reduce the staining that may happen when making coffee or tea. If you have a model with a heating unit, you'll want to flush it occasionally with household vinegar to remove any scale or lime that builds up when running tap water through it.
What’s the best iced tea maker for an office?
A busy office with many tea drinkers will need a tea maker than can brew a couple quarts of tea in a few minutes, so you may want to consider one of the electric tea makers like Mr. Coffee's TM1 Iced Tea Maker.
What’s the best iced tea maker for a restaurant?
Restaurants will want precise control over the strength and flavor of their iced tea as well as produce tea quickly to meet customer demand. Models like Breville's BTM800XL can provide the capacity and quality that a restaurant requires.
- Saves time and money spent on extra clean-up and equipment needed for brewing loose leaf tea with a kettle, pitcher, and tea ball
- Electric units have automated features to control brew strength or schedule start and stop times in advance
- Many infusers can brew tea, coffee, and other types of drinks
- Infusers add some convenience, but you still need to boil water yourself for hot brewing
- If you want to brew bagged tea, it's often just as easy with a pitcher and hot water
- It's possible to brew iced tea without heating an entire pitcher of water. Bring one cup of water to a boil and make a concentrated brew with it. Once it's ready, add it to a pitcher of ice and cold water.
- Another method of making iced tea is to fill a pitcher with cold water, add tea bags to it, and let it infuse overnight in a refrigerator. Infusers with built-in filter baskets work well for this method when you want to cold brew loose leaf tea.
Comparative Chart of Iced Tea Makers
Hot or cold brew carafe, tea or coffee, 32-ounce capacity
Hot or cold brew carafe, tea or coffee, 34-ounce capacity
Hot or cold crew carafe, tea or coffee, 32-ounce capacity
Hotplate tea maker, loose leaf or bagged tea, 51-ounce capacity
Electric tea maker, loose leaf or bagged tea, 2-quart capacity
Mr. Coffee 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System
Electric tea maker, loose leaf or bagged tea, 2.5-quart capacity
Mr. Coffee TM1 2-Quart Iced Tea Maker
Electric tea maker, loose leaf or bagged tea, 2-quart capacity
That covers the top seven iced tea makers we found on the market this year. We did our best to select models that will meet the needs of different tea drinkers and budgets. Infusers like Bassani's Brocca make good multi-purpose cold brew carafes with convenient filter baskets and affordable prices. The electric tea brewers add the speed of hot brewing while also giving loose leaf tea drinkers the features they want to control how strong their tea will turn out. There's sure to an iced tea brewing solution among our choices that will fit your budget.