Nothing quite screams summer as a table laden with sweating pitchers of iced tea and a barbeque sizzling in the background. If, like many, iced tea is a summertime staple in your household, it might be time to consider investing in an iced tea maker.
An iced tea maker takes the work out of brewing and makes it fast and easy to brew refreshing batches of tea. We have compiled a list of the best iced tea makers available, from simple pitchers with an infuser to more elaborate electric brewers. So peruse our list, and see which brewer would work best for you.
Is Buying An Iced Tea Maker Worth It?
If you consume copious amounts of iced tea in the hot summer months, it is worth investing in an iced tea maker. These simple brewers make it easy and affordable to brew iced tea at home. Investing in one can not only help you save money but also give you the flexibility to brew tea how you like it and add in your choice of fruit or sweeteners.
Best Iced Tea Maker
Primula Flavor It Pitcher
Best Iced Tea Maker
Capacity: 93 ounces (2.9 quart) | Material: Tritan plastic | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
The Primula Flavor It Pitcher is a popular iced tea maker that is both affordable and versatile. It consists of a large plastic pitcher with three different cores to brew, infuse and chill iced tea. The tea infuser is made from stainless steel and can hold loose-leaf tea, herbs, or ground coffee. Once the tea is brewed, you can add the chill core, which is filled with a freezable gel to keep the beverage cool without diluting the flavor. But perhaps our favorite feature is the flavor infuser. This can be filled with fruits, veggies, or herbs and inserted to flavor the iced tea and create an insta-worthy pitcher.
On the practical side of things, the brewer can be used for both hot and cold brewing methods. The pitcher has a thoughtful design with a leakproof lid and non-slip handle and is slim enough to fit in the side door of most fridges. The pitcher, lid, tea, and fruit infuser are all dishwasher safe, while the chill core needs to be hand washed. The Primula Flavor It pitcher is our top pick, primarily due to its versatility, affordability, and ability to get creative with iced teas.
The TUBE+ Cold Brew Coffee Filter
Best Budget Iced Tea Maker
Capacity: Two sizes can fit 16-ounce, 32-ounce, and 64-ounce mason jars| Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
The TUBE filter is an exciting option if you are looking for a budget iced tea maker. It is a stainless steel mesh filter that fits into a wide-mouth mason jar. The mason jar has to be purchased separately. The filter comes in two sizes; the TUBE fits into 16 and 32 oz mason jars, while the TUBE+ is designed to fit a large 64 oz mason jar.
The cold brew iced tea method is recommended for this brewer. You add loose-leaf tea to the filter, pour in cold water, stir it and leave it for 12 to 24 hours. Once the tea is steeped, remove the filter, refrigerate, and serve over ice.
The TUBE filter is well constructed from stainless steel with fine holes resulting in little sediment making it into the final cup. The TUBE is an excellent option for someone on a budget or with limited space. It is compact and can be easily stored away when not in use. The filter can also be used to brew cold brew coffee or flavor water or alcohol.
Ovalware Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser
Capacity: 34 ounces (1 L) or 51 ounces (1.5 L) | Material: Glass & Stainless steel | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
The Ovalware Iced Tea Maker is a multi-purpose brewer for both cold brew coffee and iced tea. It has a striking design with a fine stainless steel filter and a glass beaker. The glass carafe has a rubber bottom to prevent breakage; the carafe also comes with a handle for easy pouring and measurements on the side to aid with brewing.
The Ovalware brewer can brew iced tea via either the hot or cold brewing methods. While the instructions state you can use either loose-leaf tea or tea bags to brew, many users advocate using only loose-leaf tea. If using tea bags, you need to open the bags to brew, which results in some sediment making its way into the final cup.
Takeya 2-Quart Iced Tea Maker
Fastest Iced Tea Maker
Capacity: 64 ounces (2 quarts) | Material: Tritan plastic | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
The Takeya Iced Tea Maker is another solid option. This iced tea maker has a large capacity and is well built. It comes in four different bright colors for a bit of fun. The Takeya consists of a large pitcher made of Trian plastic with a fine mesh infuser. The pitcher is slim enough to slip into most fridge doors and has a leakproof lid, so it can alternatively be stored on its side.
Iced tea can be brewed either with hot or cold brewing methods, using loose leaves or tea bags. Takeya also offers a flash chill method, where you fill the pitcher halfway with hot water, add loose tea leaves to the infuser, and steep for 2 minutes. You then remove the infuser, fill the rest of the pitcher with ice and shake for 30 seconds. This method is one of the quickest from steep to serve, giving this brewer the upper hand.
Primula The Big Iced Tea Maker
Big Batch Iced Tea Maker
Capacity: 1 gallon | Material: Tritan plastic | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
If you enjoy entertaining and are looking for an iced tea maker to cater to a crowd, the Primula Iced tea maker is where it is at. This brewer has an impressive one-gallon capacity. The design is very similar to other brewers, with a large Tritan plastic pitcher and a central brew core holding both loose-leaf tea and tea bags. In addition to this, the brew core is wide enough to accommodate fruit, herbs, and veggies.
The Primula can brew iced tea using both hot and cold brewing methods. The biggest drawback of this brewer is its size. It simply is a beast and may not fit in your fridge.
Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker
Affordable Electric Iced Tea Maker
Capacity: 2 quarts (64 ounces) | Material: Plastic | Dishwasher-Safe? No
The Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker is an affordable and popular electric brewer. It functions like a drip coffee maker. You fill the water reservoir, add your tea leaves or bags (or coffee for that matter) to the brew basket, fill the pitcher with ice and press the brew button. The Mr Coffee iced tea maker will brew up to 2 quarts of iced tea in ten minutes.
The brewer has an auto-off after brewing, and the basket is removable for easy cleaning. The machine also has a built-in cleaning cycle to keep things running smoothly. The machine requires paper filters, which is an additional expense to consider. The Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker takes the work out of brewing, especially for large crowds, and comes at a very affordable price.
Breville Tea Maker
Premium Tea Maker
Capacity: 51 ounces | Material: Glass, stainless steel, plastic | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes- Tea basket and scoop.
This slightly ridiculous tea maker is for the tea connoisseur who is serious about brewing. The Breville tea maker has all the bells and whistles and an extravagant price tag to boot. The Breville tea maker has five pre-programmed settings depending on whether you are brewing black, green, white, herbal, or oolong tea. It also has the option to select the strength from mild to medium to strong and adjust the brewing temperature.
And if that wasn’t enough, while brewing, it gently agitates the leaves to precisely infuse the tea. Once brewing is complete, the removable tea basket automatically retracts to prevent over-steeping, and the brewer keeps the tea warm for 60 minutes. It is worth noting that this tea maker is designed for brewing hot tea as opposed to iced tea, but you can chill the tea and pour it over ice. This factor also means investing in one is slightly more justifiable, given it can double as a kettle for boiling water.
The Best Iced Tea Maker | The Verdict
An iced tea maker is a worthwhile investment for the tea lover. It simplifies the process of brewing tea and allows you to make large batches at a time. Many iced tea makers also double as serving pitchers. We think the best iced tea maker in 2023 is the Primula Flavor It Pitcher. It is an affordable and versatile brewer and allows the user to get creative with iced teas.
What To Look For When Buying An Iced Tea Maker
Before buying an iced tea maker, it is good to take a minute to consider what you need out of your brewer.
Manual or Electric
The first thing to consider is whether to opt for a manual or electric brewer. Manual iced tea makers are simple and affordable brewers but require you to do all the heavy lifting. Typically they include a pitcher and infuser. You will need to heat the water or, if brewing via cold brew, steep the tea over a number of hours. Despite this, the brewers are often more compact, making them easy to store away in the cooler months. Manual pitchers can also be repurposed when not in use for cold brew coffee or fruit infusions with water.
On the other hand, electric iced tea makers are really for the iced tea devotee. These brewers resemble a drip coffee maker with a water reservoir and removable filter basket. They brew iced tea quickly, with a button, and allow you to alter brew strength. But the downside is that they require a significant investment and are just another appliance vying for space on your countertop. And unfortunately, these brewers are single-use machines with no other purpose. You need to love iced tea and drink it regularly to justify investing in one of these bad boys.
The next thing to consider is what size brewer you need. Regarding capacity, there are two things you need to think through; how much iced tea you will be brewing and where you will store the brewer. You need to find that sweet spot with a brewer that will brew batches of iced tea large enough to meet your needs while still fitting in the fridge or on the countertop.
Ease of Use
Iced tea makers, whether electric or manual, are straightforward to use. You add your tea leaves or bags to the filter basket or infuser and then steep in either hot or cold water. Electric iced tea makers are slightly simpler and quicker to use, while manual ice tea makers are more time-consuming and take longer to clean.
The final thing to consider is versatility. Many manual iced tea makers can be used for other purposes when not in use, for example, to brew cold brew coffee or flavored water. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for electric iced tea makers. While a few exceptions can brew hot tea in the cooler months, most are single-use appliances.
How To Make Iced Tea
Making iced tea is very similar to brewing iced coffee or cold brew. There are two different methods using either hot or cold water.
Hot Method: Using hot water to steep tea is a fast way of brewing. Add your tea (loose-leaf or bags) to the filter basket or infuser and steep in hot water. Once the tea is ready, add it to a pitcher filled with ice. While this method is far quicker and more convenient, the iced tea doesn’t taste quite as nice as cold brew iced tea. This is due to a larger number of tannins, which give a bitter taste and leave the mouth feeling dry.
Cold Method: Using cold water to steep tea takes a long time but produces a smooth and delicious cup of iced tea. Brewing via this method simply requires you to steep tea leaves or bags in cold water over a long period (usually 12 to 24 hours). The tea produced is less astringent than regular iced tea.
What Are The Best Teas For Iced Tea?
While you can brew iced tea with any tea, it is typically brewed with black tea. Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Earl Grey are all black teas that work well when served cold. Asides from them, you could opt for a herbal or green tea blend for a lighter, brighter taste.
It is also important to consider the quality of your tea. Loose-leaf tea is always the preferred option, producing better-tasting tea. Bagged tea leaves often contain the dregs left over from processing tea. If you are going with bagged tea, get the best quality you can afford.
What Tea To Water Ratio Is Best?
A good rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea or one tea bag for every six ounces of water. This is a good starting point; you can vary the ratio depending on the type of tea you are using and personal preference.
Can You Use An Iced Tea Maker For Cold Brew Coffee?
Many of the iced tea makers can double as cold brew coffee makers. Cold brew coffee is brewed by soaking coarsely ground coffee in cold water for 12-24 hours. This is a very similar process to brewing cold brew iced tea.