With iced tea being the delicious and refreshing drink that it is, it’s no wonder that so many people love drinking it and would jump at the chance of enjoying it on a hot summer day.
In fact, the only real hurdle people face when it comes to drinking iced tea is that brewing it the traditional way can be quite a bother.
Well, not with an iced tea maker, it won’t, and with our guide for the top ten the best iced tea makers on ZayconFoods, you’re bound to find the perfect machine to suit your needs.
|Mr. Coffee BVMC-TM33||Best overall – Electric – Brews coffee
Capacity: 2.5 quarts
Pitcher material: Glass
|Takeya 10310||Best portable – Manual – Brews coffee
Capacity: 1 quart
Pitcher material: Glass
|Takeya 11177||Best budget – Manual – Brews coffee
Capacity: 2 quarts
Pitcher material: Plastic
|Mr. Coffee TM1RB||Best for regular use – Electric – Brews coffee
Capacity: 2 quarts
Pitcher material: Plastic
|Breville BTM800XL||Best at making tea – Electric – Brews coffee
Capacity: 3 quarts
Pitcher material: Glass, with stainless-steel bottom
Best Iced Tea Maker 2021
1. Mr. Coffee
Being the best of the best in a category requires you to nail almost every feature that you can be compared over, and with Mr. Coffee’s 2-in-1 Iced Tea maker BVMC-TM33 (or just TM33 for short) that really appears to be the case here.
This model has got everything you might want from an iced tea maker, from a stylish appearance to features like automatic shut-off, a permanent filter basket, a brew strength selector slider and even a pivoting head to ensure tea doesn’t spill outside the pitcher! It’s also a 2-in-1 iced tea maker, meaning you can mix different kinds of tea to make your own personal blend, or use it to brew coffee every once in a while.
But best of all, the TM33 offers all of these features for a very reasonable price, something which other premium products just aren’t able to achieve.
- 2-in-1 iced tea maker can be used to brew coffee too
- Fast brewing cycle lets you make up to 2.5 quarts of iced tea in just minutes
- Dishwasher safe glass pitcher
- Permanent filter basket
- Automatic shut-off
- Affordable as compared to other premium models
- Plastic body can accumulate scratches over time
To make something portable yet extremely functional at the same time, there is quite a tricky balance the manufacturers have to maintain. Many features have to be sacrificed for the sake of making the product smaller and more lightweight, but this has to be done without compromising the most important features of the device. And while this is hard to achieve, it appears that the people over at Takeya have done a magical job with the 10310 Deluxe Iced Tea Maker.
Because while portability is the main thing that the Takeya 10310 has going for it, the iced tea maker still nails the most important features: a fine mesh tea (and coffee) filer that need not be replaced, a leak-proof airtight lid for shaking or storing on its side, a non-slip grip, and a durable pitcher body. All of these things make the Takeya 10310 a great choice for drinking iced tea on the go.
- Extremely portable, small and lightweight glass iced tea maker
- Durable glass pitcher can handle quite a bit of rough use
- Airtight lid allows you to store it on its side and shake without spillage
- Non-slip silicone grip
- Fine mesh filter
- Manual iced tea maker
- Small size means less tea brewed each time
3. Takeya 11177
While the previous entry from Takeya was still a very affordable model, it lacked severely in the size department for us to label it as our budget choice for iced tea makers. Thankfully, however, Takeya has solved this problem itself by introducing the Takeya 11177 Iced Tea Maker, a manual iced tea maker that has all of the great features of the Takeya 10310 (plus a few extra ones) in a larger, more practical package.
Like the 10310 before it, the Takeya 11177 is quite portable, being both lightweight and having an airtight lid to avoid spillages in transit. The 11177 also includes the fine-mesh tea infuser and uses a durable BPA-free pitcher, one that is stain, cloud, and odor proof. The 11177’s patented flash chill technology also means you won’t have to wait long for your iced tea to be ready. And when you consider the very affordable price of the package, the 11177 is really a steal.
- Best budget iced tea maker
- Patented flash chill technology
- Large pitcher size lets you brew up to 2 quarts at a time
- BPA-free, shatterproof, dishwasher safe pitcher
- Fine mesh tea infuser
- Manual iced tea maker
4. Mr. Coffee TM1RB
When you’re buying something that needs to be used on a regular basis, the two most important things you need to look out for are usability and practicality, i.e., the machine should be both easy and quick to use, and should also cover everything you might need from it. And no iced tea maker fits this niche better than the Mr. Coffee TM1RB 2-quart Iced Tea Maker.
At first glance, the TM1RB doesn’t look quite as impressive as the TM33, an iced tea maker from the same brand, and our pick for the overall best iced tea maker. But if you put aside it’s less than stellar design, the TM1RB is still a very practical choice for an iced tea maker, considering the large pitcher size and 2-in-1 feature which lets you brew both iced tea and coffee without too much of a hassle. Couple this with a durable body and easy to use controls, and you’ve got yourself an iced tea maker that’s great for regular use around the house.
- 2-in-1, can be used to brew both iced tea and coffee
- Durable body and pitcher
- Simple, easy to use controls
- Automatic shutoff
- Fast brewing cycle
- The design of this appliance is quite drab and unappealing
While a simple handheld iced tea maker is enough to tide most of us over for all our lives, there are many who consider themselves as true connoisseurs of the art of making iced tea, and as such, demand only the best tools for making it. And while the previous entries do put up a fair fight, their brew is simply inferior to that of the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker.
But why is the BTM800XL superior? Is it because of its unique features like the descending, controllable steep basket, the auto start, a feature where you can set your iced tea maker to brew tea for you automatically every day at a certain time, or the stylish, yet extremely durable, stainless-steel bottomed kettle? Well, yes. That’s exactly it. And the fact that it has pre-programmed buttons for literally any kind of tea you may want makes it a perfect candidate for a commercial iced tea maker too.
- Pre-programmed buttons for functionalities and customizable settings
- Auto-start feature
- Stainless-steel bottomed kettle
- Descending steeping basket depending on tea strength controls
- Can brew hot tea and keep it warm for up to 60 minutes
- Very expensive as compared to other iced tea makers
6. Mr. Coffee TM75BK
Having a party over at your house and need to prepare refreshments for all of your guests? Or maybe you’re the kind of person who’d make large batches of tea and store it in your fridge rather than deal with the hassle of preparing small quantities every morning? If so, then the Mr. Coffee TM75BK 3-quart iced tea maker is just for you!
The TM75BK’s jug is huge, and we mean that in every sense of the word. The iced tea maker allows you to brew up to 3 quarts of iced tea at a time, with helpful markings on the side of the jug to let you know ice and water measurements for smaller batches too. The jug is also easily detachable and can be stored in your refrigerator, a must-have functionality when you’re dealing with large batches. And when you consider all the other great features it boasts (that are really just standard to the Mr. Coffee iced tea maker line), you truly have a winner on your hands.
- Large 3-quart jug for making large batches of tea at a time
- Jug can be detached and stored in the refrigerator
- Removable brew basket and programmed self-cleaning cycle
- Automatic shutoff
- Brew strength selector bar
- Jug is too wide to fit into door pocket of the refrigerator
- Does take longer to brew than most models
7. Hamilton Beach
Kicking back with a refreshing glass of iced tea becomes more trouble than its worth if actually making the iced tea is a hassle in itself. This is why the Hamilton Beach 40911 is such a good choice for an iced tea maker since it’s so easy to use. The user interface on this iced tea maker is so simple that one or two tries are really all it takes to learn how to use this iced tea maker. And when you consider the ease of cleaning and storing, you’re bound to take a liking to this product.
- Simple and easy to learn the usage
- Jug can easily be stored in the refrigerator
- Easy to clean after use
- One button push start
- Simple brew controls to control the strength of the tea
- Cannot make less than 2 quarts of iced tea
What’s better than an iced tea maker that can be carried anywhere? An iced tea infuser that can be used to make iced tea in any container, regardless of the shape, size, or quantity of water inside it. The VAHDAM classic tea infuser may be a very simple concept, but sometimes simplicity far outweighs complexity and an overabundance of features. Just add your favorite brand of tea into the infuser and pop it into any container with hot water, and voila! You’ve got an iced tea maker without actually having to buy one yourself.
- Stainless steel infuser will last a long time
- Can be used with any container of water to make iced tea
- Inexpensive alternative to buying a full-on iced tea maker
- Can be used to brew both coffee and iced tea
- Easy to clean
- Technically not an iced tea maker
Though most people enjoy the act of drinking iced tea more than making it, for some, watching the iced tea maker work its magic is a fascinating way to spend their time. Even more so, there are a lot of us who love to show off our machines to our guests and let them take them out for a spin too.
And if you’re someone with similar inclinations, it’s important your iced tea maker be as stylish as it is functional and practical, and the Nostalgia C13BK hits this sweet spot quite nicely; with a sleek metal top and exterior and snazzy glass pitcher, this one is quite the looker and brews a delicious pitcher of iced tea every time.
- 3-quart glass pitcher, good for large batches
- Simple yet stylish design
- Easy to use controls
- Can be used to brew both tea and coffee
- Removable filter basket for easy cleaning
- People have complained about the glass pitcher being quite fragile
One of the biggest problems with making large batches of iced tea is that it can go bad if it is not drunk within the first couple of days. This can be a huge problem for people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands and don’t want to be brewing tea constantly. Thankfully, with the Ovalware RJ3, this is no longer an issue because of its airtight lid. Iced tea brewed in this pitcher can last for at least 2 weeks without going bad, provided the lid is screwed on properly and the pitcher is stored in the fridge.
- Large tea infuser for holding many tea bags and even fruit slices
- Airtight lid keeps the iced tea from going bad for 2 weeks!
- Can be used to brew both tea and coffee
- Accurate measurement labels on the side of the pitcher
- Dishwasher safe glass
- Not an electric iced tea maker
- Glass can break if the user is not careful
6 Things You Need to Look Out for When Buying an Iced Tea Maker
Nothing beats away from the heat from a hot summer day like a cold, refreshing glass of ice tea. And the best (and quickest) to brew yourself a glass of this delicious concoction is with an Iced Tea Maker, which is why you’re probably browsing on the web looking for one right now.
But what features should it have? Should I go for an electric model, or is a manual one enough for my needs? We’ll answer these questions and more in our Iced Tea Maker Buyer’s Guide for 2021. Take a look.
Electric or Manual?
While it is true that the taste of any tea you brew depends greatly on the tea-leaves, you’re using and what condition they’re in (freshness, ground size etc.), how you brew it is also a great factor in determining the final quality. And when it comes to convenience, speed and reliability (same great taste in every brew), there’s no doubt electric Iced Tea Makers are better than their manual counterparts by a long shot.
There’s simply no beating an electric iced tea maker when it comes to brewing tea consistently. It doesn’t matter what kind of tea you like or what ground size you use, as long as you know what settings on the electric one can give you your favorite brew, you’re good to go. And you don’t even have to boil water separately if you’re in the mood for hot tea; the electric iced tea maker can warm the water up for you.
The only leg-up manual iced tea makers have is that they’re more portable, what with you not needing an electric outlet to use them. That, and the fact that they’re significantly cheaper than the electric ones, are perhaps the only reasons why you might consider buying a manual iced tea maker.
We say this for coffee makers, and we’ll say it for iced tea makers too: if it’s too hard to use, you’re better off just brewing the tea on your own. Granted, a complex user interface on an iced tea maker is usually a by-product of it hosting a variety of features, but if those features remain locked behind impossible to understand controls, then they might as well be non-existent in the first place.
Simply put, your iced tea maker should be quick and easy to use, letting you brew a delicious pitcher of chilled iced tea without having to stress too much about it.
How big should your iced tea maker be? How much-iced tea should it be able to brew in one go? Frankly, that depends entirely on your own use. If you’re someone who likes to drink iced tea on a regular basis, the normal pitcher-sized iced tea makers would be great for you, since you can then brew a lot of tea in one go. This size is also great when you have company over and need to whip up something quick and simple to serve.
Or if you’re someone who only likes iced tea on occasions or when traveling, a smaller, more portable iced tea maker would suit you better. Though it does merit mentioning that most large capacity iced tea makers have detachable pitchers. Meaning you can just brew a large batch of iced tea and store it in your refrigerator to enjoy over the next couple of days.
Tea (and Coffee) Compatibility
One of the best things about iced tea is that there are so many flavors out there that you can try, and so many more you can create on your own by mixing different kinds of tea in a multitude of proportions. It’s why there are so many flavors of iced tea, as opposed to just one flavor of regular tea.
But to be able to create and use any kind of tea blend you want, you need to first be able to use any kind of tea with your iced tea maker, no matter how it’s packed. Whether they’re in tea bags, pods, grounds, or even whole tea leaves themselves. You need to be able to use them in your iced tea maker without the slightest hitch. Bonus points if the brewing chamber can accommodate slices of fruit (like oranges) for some truly interesting brews.
And though it’s not what they’re built for, if your iced tea maker can brew a hot cup of coffee without too much trouble, then that’s a solid win in my book.
Durability & Longevity
What good is an expensive, top-of-the-line iced tea maker if it can’t take some rough-handling without falling apart into pieces? Iced tea makers aren’t all that inexpensive, and if you’re paying good money for a product, then it’s only fair to expect a fair amount of durability from it. Obviously, you’re not expecting it to survive a fall from a 10-story building, but you’d be completely justified in demanding a product that can shake off an accidental nudge off a kitchen counter.
Besides durability, your iced tea maker should be able to work just as well 5 years down the line as it did when you first took it out of the box. This is nearly impossible to tell if you’re buying it online without consulting user reviews first. So, here’s a golden rule: if enough people are complaining a product broke down in the first couple of months, then it’s probably not going to last long in your use after all.
Pause & Serve features
Ever felt a craving for a cup of a cool, refreshing cup of iced tea, and needed it at that exact moment? Wouldn’t the agonizingly slow process of brewing an entire pitcher of iced tea just get on your nerves in such a situation? Not if your iced tea maker has a Pause & Serve feature, it won’t.
What is a Pause & Serve Feature, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like; it lets you pull out the pitcher midway of brewing your tea, letting you quickly pour yourself out a glass of freshly prepared iced tea, and then return the pitcher to resume brewing. That way you can kick back and enjoy your iced tea, while a second glass is simultaneously being prepared.
Frequently Asked Questions
My iced tea maker brews tea too weak. What can I do?
Adjust your brew controls (or steeping controls as they’re sometimes called) to brew tea on a stronger setting. You can also try using more tea bags or more spoons of loose tea in your steeping basket to get the desired effect.
Can I fill my steeping basket with whole tea leaves instead of regular tea bags or loose tea?
Yes, you can, as long as they fit inside your steeping basket and come into direct contact with the hot water that is used for brewing.
Can I use slices of fruit or spices in my iced tea maker?
Yes, you can as long as they fit inside your steeping basket and come into direct contact with the hot water that is used for brewing. We can’t guarantee every combination you try will taste great, though.
Can I use my iced tea maker to brew coffee too?
You can technically use your iced tea maker to brew coffee by replacing the tea bags with coffee in your steeping basket. However, unless the manufacturer advertises the product as something that can be used to make coffee too, we wouldn’t recommend doing so.
Can I make large batches of iced tea at a time and store the excess in my refrigerator?
Yes, you can. But you should only brew as much as you’d need to consume in the next 4 to 5 days at a time.
How many tea bags (or spoons of loose tea) do I need to brew a full pitcher of iced tea?
For a regular 3-quart pitcher, you’d need to use 8 to 12 tea bags or 3 to 5 tablespoons of loose tea in your steeping basket, though your first point of reference should be your tastes. For pitchers of different sizes, consult your owner’s manual.
Why does my iced tea cloud when I store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days?
If your tea hasn’t cooled to room temperature before it is stored in the refrigerator, the natural oils inside the tea leaves may cloud your iced tea to give it a slightly opaque look.
Does cloudiness affect the flavor of my iced tea?
No, it only affects the tea’s appearance and texture.
How do I uncloud my iced tea?
Heating up your iced tea by introducing a little boiling water and stirring it should get rid of the cloudiness inside it.
How long can I keep my iced tea in the refrigerator before it goes bad?
You can store your iced tea in your refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 days after brewing before it goes bad, and can also start fermenting if you’ve added fruit or sugar to your iced tea. The colder the temperature at which it is stored, the longer it takes to go bad.
Can iced tea go bad? Will drinking it make me sick?
Yes, iced tea can go bad, even if it is stored in the refrigerator all the time. However, bad iced tea isn’t necessarily harmful to drink; it just tastes weird, and you’re more likely to discard it because of the unpleasant flavor.
How can I sweeten my iced tea?
You can add some sugar to balance the bitterness of the tea leaves to your iced tea during or after brewing. Honey, artificial sweeteners, and simple syrup work well here too.
Why should I add some baking soda to my iced tea?
Adding a pinch of baking soda to your pitcher of iced tea can neutralize the tannins and smooth the texture. It makes a world of difference in terms of the final flavor.