Finally the sun is shining, warming you from head to toe as well as the earth beneath your feet. Warmer days are on your heels and you’re excited to spend more time outside. Before you reach down and grab an ice cold can of your favorite soda, maybe you should consider a better, more satisfying option. Iced tea is a great way to cool off on a hot day, and nothing tastes better than when it’s homemade. Read on to learn about the best iced tea maker around.
Nothing hits the spot quite like homemade iced tea. Making iced tea has gotten easier then ever, all you need is the best tea and the best iced tea maker you can get your hands on. Making iced tea at home eliminates the waste created from swinging by a local coffee joint and grabbing a to-go beverage for a couple of bucks. A few of those a week can lead to hundreds of wasted plastic cups per person every year. Luckily, we’ve found the best ones on the market and have compiled them together to ease your shopping challenge.
Tea: The Best Thing Since Water
Unlike soda or sports drinks, tea is actually hydrating and beneficial to you and hits the spot all year round. It can be drunk either hot or cold, allowing flexibility for seasons and how you’re feeling, too. We’re going to take a closer look at some of the ways that tea is good for you. Keep in mind, there are a plethora of teas out there, and each one is going to have different benefits and purposes.
When you drink tea, you are:
- Nourishing your body with antioxidants – found in green tea
- Reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering cholesterol
- Boosting your immune system
- Soothing your digestive system
- Most Likely drinking fewer calories – if you are avoiding sugary sweeteners
While it shouldn’t replace water in your diet, it is a great way to supplement what you are drinking throughout the day at an extremely low cost. It’s also better to reach for then drink mixers for flavored water, since it isn’t made with chemicals. In truth, all of these amazing health benefits depends on the type of tea you are drinking.
There are a myriad of types and flavors out there for various needs and tastes. You can easily find teas that are naturally sweetened and still low or zero calories. They will likely have different methods of steeping to reach full potential, but again, that will just depend on what you get and how picky you are about process.
Getting the Most Out of Your Tea
To get the most out of your tea, iced or hot, you’re going to need the best tea maker and a few key ingredients. Here’s how to make the best iced tea (or hot tea).
Use Good Water
Tea is composed of delicate leaves and flowers and as such, it is a delicate drink. If possible, use filtered water- which can be environmentally processed through a sink filter or pitcher. If you can taste the difference between your tap water and filtered water, you’ll really taste the difference in your tea.
Use the Proper Amount of Tea
Make sure to use the right amount of tea! Too much tea can make a rather strong, bitter cup, which many people don’t have a taste for. If you don’t like it, you won’t drink it, proving the tea making process to be wasteful, which is something we truly try to avoid at EcoKarma.
Clean Your Tea Maker Regularly
It might be easy to overlook, but make sure you clean your tea maker or tea pot regularly. You might not see it or think about it, but there will be build up in your tea maker which can add to the intensity and bitterness of your tea. Not to mention, it is possible for your tea maker to absorb the specific flavor of your tea and if you’re looking to make a variety of flavors, this can mess with the taste of each tea.
Easy on the Sugar
Be wary of sugar. If you use sugars in your tea, be careful about adding too much. If you add too much, not only can you ruin the taste, but you can end up sabotaging the health benefits, too. However, we are not opposed to a sweet tea from time to time.
If you can, try and use natural sweeteners like honey instead of sugar, agave and stevia are also great sweeteners that come from plants. A splash of half and half can also tone down some bitterness without ruining the taste or nutritional value.
Choosing your Tools- 5 of the Best Iced Tea Makers
When it comes to preparing iced tea, you can use either a teapot or a tea maker. But, what is a tea maker, exactly? A tea maker is similar to a teapot, only it looks like a pitcher and comes with an infusing section and is generally bigger than a teapot.
Key things to consider when purchasing a tea maker is how much it can brew and the features it comes with. After covering all that crucial tea information, let’s take a look at some of the best iced tea makers that are available for you (in no particular order).1. Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker BVMC-TM33
Believe it or not, Mr. Coffee isn’t all about coffee! Mr. Coffee is into tea, too, and is a contender for the title of best iced tea maker.This tea maker is great because it features a one-touch brew system, two-way brew system for tea leaves or tea bags, and can make 2.5-quarts of iced tea at a time. Iced tea lovers rejoice!
The Takeya Flash Chill Iced Maker is another great contender for the title of best iced tea maker. What makes this particular maker great? The Flash Chill technology makes brewing and cooling fast and easy. It’s an inexpensive choice if you’re looking for an iced tea maker that makes up to 2-quarts. As an added bonus, this tea maker comes in a portable size!3. Mr. Coffee TM70TS Fresh Iced Tea Maker
Mr. Coffee grabs another spot on this list, this time featuring a 3-quart pitcher. What’s more, this pitcher is also able to brew tea leaves or tea bags, making it another flexible option. The TM70TS comes with ice level markings to make measurement a breeze, adjustable brew strength, and non-drip spout.4. Breville BTM800XL
This iced tea maker is not for the feint of heart. The Breville BTM800XL comes with a fully automated tea basket, adjustable water temperatures, and adjustable sleep times. It’s also equipped with an LCD timer that tracks your time since starting your brew, which excludes the guessing game from your brewing experience.5. Hamilton Beach 40912R
The Hamilton Beach 40912R doubles as a coffee maker, so if you also love coffee (or need to cater to someone that does), this might be a great choice for you.
This multifunctional maker can brew loose or bagged tea, features a no-drip spout, a decorative 2-quart pitcher, and allows you to adjust your tea strength. It’s an attractive must-have addition for your kitchen as it comes with the best of both worlds.