All The Tea In China

I drink iced tea. I’d say two quarts per day. The iced tea mixes are convenient but they really don’t taste as tea should. So, I started brewing it myself. This produced a much better tea but it was a bit of chore to make as well.

  • Put 2 quarts water in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven and boil with tea bags in the pot.
  • Boil and pour hot water into pitcher. I keep the bags in the tea.
  • Dump ice in and wait and wait till it’s cool enough to drink.

So I decided to take a look at the iced tea makers. Only two that I could find. One from Mr. Coffee and one from Hamilton Beach.

I bought the Hamilton Beach 40911 2-Quart Electric Iced Tea Maker for $19.95 from Target.

I tried it first-time today. Worked well. Simple to use. Fast. No clean-up since the pitcher is used to serve the tea.

The machine wants 1 quart of cold water to brew the tea into about two cups of ice.

It works very much like a coffee maker. Pour in the water. Put ice in the pitcher. Put bags or loose tea into the holder in the top of the pitcher and press the button. That’s it!

The hot water percolates through the tea into the ice. I didn’t time it but I’d say the entire brew time was maybe 7 minutes, if even that.

The machine takes a lot of ice and you probably want a freezer with an ice maker if you plan to make tea with any frequency. The ice however does serve a purpose. Perhaps half or maybe a bit more of the ice melts and leaves the tea quite cold a minute after it’s been brewed.

There are three strength settings. I tried medium. While acceptable I prefer my tea a bit stronger and will use the Strong setting next time. Incidentally, I used 6 regular Lipton™ tea bags.

The design is modern and it’s only a few inches deep so it doesn’t use much vertical counter space. It’s all plastic, including the pitcher. The pitcher feels fine in the hand and pours without drips. The stabilizer for the pitcher ensures proper placement and is retractable if you plan to store the machine in a cupboard or closet between uses. 

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