Most of us have a good old coffee maker at home because it’s so convenient for the purpose of making several cups of coffee. Just add ground coffee and water, and switch it on!
If you have some loose leaf tea but don’t have a proper teapot, you might be looking at the coffee machine and thinking: “what if I would just use that?”
So can you make tea with a coffee maker?
Yes, of course, you can. But should you?
Well, that depends.
I thought that this was an idea worth testing, so I tried it.
Read this guide to find out how to make tea with a coffee maker and what kind of result you can expect.
First, you can check out this short video clip I made while brewing the tea:
While this article is all about making tea with a regular filter coffee machine, you can also use a French press coffee maker for brewing tea.
How to Make Tea With a Coffee Maker – A Step-by-Step Guide
Before we go into the detailed instructions for brewing tea with a coffee maker, I recommend that you clean your coffee machine properly.
One good option is to clean it using vinegar:
- Add several cups of undiluted vinegar to the water reservoir
- Let it sit there for about half an hour.
- Start the machine and run a brewing cycle with vinegar.
- Run a few more brewing cycles with water to remove the taste and smell of vinegar.
Using a clean machine is important because if your coffee maker is tainted with old coffee oil residue it might make your tea taste disgusting.
Now, let’s get to brewing that tea!
Step 1: Add a Filter
The first thing to do is simply to add a new paper filter to the machine.
Some machines might also have a reusable filter with a steel mesh.
Step 2: Add Loose Tea to The Filter
Next, add some loose leaf tea to the filter bag.
How much tea is the right amount?
You can start with about 2 teaspoons per one cup of water.
I added about 8 teaspoons of one of my favorite teas — Earl Grey Crème black tea by Art of Tea — to make 4 cups of tea. I didn’t have a proper measurement spoon so I just used a regular spoon and estimated the amount as you can see in the video clip (at the beginning of this guide).
This is more than I would normally use because the coffee machine will not brew the tea as efficiently as a teapot.
Step 3: Add Water to The Machine
Add fresh cold water into the water reservoir of the coffee machine.
Place the lid on the water reservoir and on top of the filter bag as you would normally when brewing coffee.
Step 4: Switch the Machine On and Let Brew
Now you are ready to start brewing!
Switch the machine on and let it do its job.
Step 5: Wait Until Brewing is Finished and Enjoy
The brewing is finished when there is no more tea dripping into the pitcher.
Pour the tea into mugs or glasses and enjoy!
So how did the tea taste?
The end result was surprisingly good. Not too mild or strong, and no taste of old coffee.
This was probably because I used a clean coffee maker, high-quality tea, and added a bit more tea per cup of water than I would usually.
Should You Brew Tea With a Coffee Maker?
First, let’s think about why would you even want to use a coffee maker for tea.
Here are a few reasons:
- You have loose leaf tea but don’t have any equipment for brewing it.
- It can be an easy way to make many cups of tea to serve to guests.
- It can be faster and more simple than boiling water on a stove and then steeping tea in a pot.
Yet, any true tea enthusiast would frown upon the idea of making tea in a coffee machine. Regular coffee machines are designed for brewing coffee, not tea, so they are not optimal for the purpose.
Disadvantages of Brewing Tea in a Coffee Maker
1. The tea might not get properly steeped so you are wasting some of it.
When you brew tea in a teapot it gets completely immersed in the water and you can choose how long you want to steep it.
In a coffee maker, the water will drip on top of the tea and then flow through it. I think this will not be enough to brew the tea appropriately — so you will have to use more tea than normally.
2. You can’t adjust the water temperature for different types of teas.
Regular coffee makers don’t allow you to adjust the water temperature.
For example, the Moccamaster coffee maker that I use heats water to a temperature between 196°F and 205°F.
This is good for brewing black tea but too hot for green tea. So you would likely end up with bitter-tasting green tea.
When using a teapot you can choose the correct water temperature according to the type of tea you are making. Even if you don’t have an electric kettle with a temperature control function, you can still boil water and let it cool down before adding it to a teapot.
3. Your tea might end up tasting like old coffee.
A coffee maker that has been used for brewing coffee can have plenty of old residues stuck in different parts.
Even if you clean the coffee maker, as I recommended, you might still have unpleasant notes of old coffee in your tea.
Making Tea In a Coffee Maker – Final Thoughts
I have to admit that I was surprised at how well a regular filter coffee machine worked for making tea.
But I still can’t recommend this as a great way for brewing tea. In fact, there are also many other ways to brew loose tea without an infuser.
Yet, there is nothing to lose. So if you feel like you want to give it a try, then go ahead!
Just remember to clean the coffee machine first and use black tea for the best result.
I think that this method would work quite well for most herbal teas also, but that calls for another experiment!
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