Making Tea in a Coffee Maker : Methods for Brewing Tea Using a Drip Coffee Maker

After seeing a segment on Simon Cowell’s American Inventor about a special coffee pot attachment used to brew tea in the coffee pot I wondered if I could make tea in a regular drip brew coffee pot without the attachment. I had some loose leaf tea, some individually bagged tea, and some fresh mint to try brewing tea in the coffee maker. Although some question if a regular coffee maker provides the right temperature for tea, whether of not these methods work seems to come down to the consumer’s personal taste. Plus, there are coffee makers that allow different temperature settings which may be useful when making different types of tea, often referred to as the best coffee machine in the market. In my simple electric drip coffee maker, I tried making tea in a coffee maker with loose leaves, tea bags, and fresh herbs such as mint and was pleased with the results.

Do you need a special coffee maker to brew tea in a coffee maker? : My electric drip tea and coffee maker

I use a small 4 cup coffee pot with a cone shaped filter to brew tea in the coffee pot. It was designed for coffee but I use it as a tea and coffee maker. It’s not programmable. It has one button to turn it on or off. Compared to coffee makers with the basket filter, the cone filter coffee maker seems to allow the water to run though a greater concentration of tea leaves or coffee grounds. This may help in bringing out the flavor of either hot beverage. You can try these methods for tea in either type of drip coffee maker. Here are two methods for brewing tea using a drip coffee maker.

Making tea in a coffee maker : How to brew loose leaf tea in a drip coffee maker

I prefer brewing loose leaf tea to brewing individually bagged tea for many reasons. When making tea with loose leaves, there is less waste to start with and the used tea is 100% compostable, no staples to remove, as with tea bags. Conveniently, you can adjust the strength of tea according to taste when brewing with loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea also tends to be more economically priced. In addition, you get more weight of product for your money instead of paying for the extra trash such as bags, strings, tags, and staples that comes with individual tea bags. However it’s made, I prefer the taste of loose leaf tea compared with individually bagged tea.

There usually seems to be a limited selection of loose leaf teas at grocery stores. Perhaps brewing loose leaf tea is less popular because many are used to buying things individually packaged. Loose leaf tea works well for drinking at home, such as when brewing tea in the coffee pot. Maybe many think it’s hard to make, or messy. Brewing loose leaf tea can be clean and easy when used to make tea in the coffee pot.

You can make loose leaf tea in the coffee pot just as you make coffee. To brew loose leaf tea in a coffee maker, instead of filling a tea ball or loose leaf tea infuser, put the right amount of leaves into a coffee filter, according to the tea’s instructions, just as when brewing coffee grounds. You can use a washable reusable filter or one compostable paper filter to make as many cups of tea as your coffee maker holds. Some loose leaf tea directions say one for each person and one for the pot. When making tea with loose leaves in the coffee pot, I don’t add the “one for the pot” unless the tea seems to brew too weak for my tastes. Some tea can be steeped more than once. Instead, I start with less when brewing loose leaf tea in a coffee maker. Fill with water according to the number of cups of tea you’re making and wait for it to brew. Additional water can be added if the tea seems too strong.

When loose leaf tea is placed in the coffee filter instead of coffee grounds, it seems to look like about half the amount or less is needed compared with coffee. When wet, used tea leaves swell up and appear to take up about the same amount of space as coffee. When using tea in the coffee maker, a little tea goes a long way.

Making tea in a coffee maker : How to brew individually bagged tea in a drip coffee maker

Typical bagged tea is finely ground and can loose flavor quicker than loose leaf tea. It used to be my preferred choice before I started brewing tea in the coffee maker. If tea bags are your preferred tea, or if you don’t have any loose leaf tea and want to try brewing tea in the coffee maker, the coffee pot also works for bagged tea.

Tags should not contact the coffee maker’s hot base below the carafe. To brew individually bagged tea in a drip coffee maker, remove string and tags if present and drop the tea bag or tea bags into the carafe. As the water pours onto the tea bag, let it sit for the same amount of time as you would when making bagged tea. Alternatively, tea bags can be placed directly in the filter area to brew individually bagged tea in a coffee maker. Placing tea bags in the filter area might not allow the tea enough time to steep. If the tea seems weak, remove the bags from the filter and place them into the carafe or your tea cup. Careful, they can be hot. Alternatively, you can brew water with the coffee pot and then pour it out of the carafe into a tea cup or teapot with waiting tea bag or bags.

When brewing with tea bags, I have only brewed tea inside the coffee pot with the typical disposable tea bags which I compost, after removing the staples, if present. I have not used this method with a reusable tea bag such as the metal tea ball or tea infuser. Metal might focus heat in a way that is not good for the glass carafe. However, a reusable tea bag or infuser can be filled with loose tea and placed in your tea cup. Water brewed in the coffee pot can then be poured into the cup.

Making tea in a coffee maker : How to brew homemade herbal tea in a drip coffee maker

I have also used fresh mint to make tea with the coffee maker. Mint leaves can be placed in the filter as with loose tea, or in addition to loose tea leaves. If the leaves are large, they can also be placed in the carafe as with tea bags to brew homemade herbal tea in a coffee maker. They can also be placed in your cup to add flavor to water or tea brewed in the coffee pot that is poured over them.

If you decide making tea in the coffee maker is not for you, or at any time you want to clean the coffee pot, you can clean the coffee maker with vinegar, no filter needed. Run one cycle with distilled white vinegar, 5% acidity, then run two cycles with water to rinse. Vinegar also works well for removing stains from the coffee pot’s carafe.

Do you need a special coffee maker to brew tea in a coffee maker?

Even though I had a reusable loose leaf tea infuser for making loose leaf tea, I didn’t often make loose leaf tea until I started making tea in the coffee pot. Whether or not you need a special coffee maker to brew tea in a coffee maker seem to come down to personal taste. Once I discovered the taste of loose leaf tea brewed in the coffee maker, loose leaf tea became my preferred choice for drinking and brewing.

I have brewed tea in a coffee maker with green tea, white tea, assorted black teas, and herbal tea. Loose leaf tea brewing is easy to do and easy to clean up after when using the coffee pot to brew tea. Plus, loose leaf tea is economically priced, 100% compostable, and has less waste compared to tea sold in individual bags. If you’re a bagged tea drinker, try brewing loose leaf tea in the coffee maker.

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