We found this iced tea maker hit all the marks: a streamlined design for refrigerator storage, reliable brew strength settings, and a paperless filter system that is easy to keep clean by hand.
Not dishwasher safe. Capacity may be a concern for larger families.
By far one of the most affordable iced tea makers on the market today. Features a "flash cooling" option that reduces the need for ice. Tea is brewed more naturally, in a self-contained unit.
We had some concerns about total capacity, but the manufacturer claims to deliver two quarts. Availability is also variable, so it pays to buy it soon or get on a wishlist.
This is the standard by which most iced tea makers are measured. Sturdy plastic carafe holds a generous amount of tea, and the brewer accepts both loose and bagged teas.
As with other iced tea brewers, a significant amount of ice is required to cool the beverage down. Parts must be perfectly aligned to avoid leakage, and cleaning can be a chore.
We found this machine to be reasonably priced, with a special sweetening feature not offered by many iced tea makers.
Generates and vents steam during operation, so cupboards might get damaged. We also found the carafe has a smaller capacity than an equivalent Mr. Coffee model.
Higher capacity carafe, and a number of brewing options not offered by other makers. We found this iced tea maker worked well with all different types of teas.
Definitely on the pricier end of the iced tea maker market. For the price, we expected to find fewer customer concerns about noise and brew quality.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a frosty glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. But it’s hard to find the time to make iced tea from scratch. With an iced tea maker in your arsenal, however, you can brew iced tea with very little time and effort. It can be difficult to decide on an iced tea maker with all the options available. Would an electric or manual iced tea maker be best for your kitchen? Do you want to use bagged or loose tea or both? Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start.
At BestReviews, we simplify shopping by giving you all the information you need to make the most informed purchases. Our shopping guides are the result of thorough research, lab and field testing, and expert advice. What’s more, we consult with customers who really own these products to give us a better idea of how they perform with regular use.
If you’re ready to purchase an iced tea maker, check out the matrix above for our top picks. For everything you need to know before you buy one of these time-saving appliances, just keep reading.
Iced tea makers are small kitchen appliances that brew iced tea. Though there is some variation according to the type and model, iced tea makers generally incorporate the following three steps:
It’s hard to add sugar to iced tea once it’s brewed and chilled. With some iced tea makers, you can add sugar to the brewing basket, or they may have a separate chamber for adding your sweetener of choice.
Electric iced tea makers brew tea automatically, a bit like coffee makers. Simply fill the reservoir with water and the brewing basket with tea, press a few buttons, and away you go.
Electric iced tea makers are easy to operate, plus they generally offer adjustable brew strength. Some models feature timers and other programmable settings.
Electric iced tea makers can be bulky, and they need to be plugged into an outlet.
Expect to pay between $20 and $70 for an electric iced tea maker.
Most iced tea makers take between five and 10 minutes to brew a batch of iced tea.
Manual iced tea makers are essentially jugs with integrated infuser baskets. These iced tea makers allow you to add ice after brewing to flash chill your iced tea.
Manual iced tea makers have a simple, straightforward design. They don’t require electricity to operate, are quite inexpensive to buy, and tend to be compact.
You don’t get adjustable or programmable settings with manual iced tea makers.
Most manual iced tea makers cost between $10 and $30.
Some iced tea makers also allow you to brew iced coffee. You must be sure to clean your iced tea maker thoroughly when you switch from one to the other, however, to avoid flavor transfer.
Iced tea makers come in a range of capacities. Compact models may have a capacity of one quart, whereas the largest models make up to three quarts of iced tea at a time.
The capacity that’s best for you depends on how many people you usually make iced tea for and how much you drink.
If you regularly serve your signature iced tea to your family or to groups of guests, you’ll need a larger capacity than if you’re the only iced tea drinker in your household.
When manufacturers list how many servings their iced tea makers produce, the serving size is usually one cup or eight ounces. However, many people drink much larger servings, so bear this in mind when deciding what capacity you require.
Iced tea makers tend to have either glass or plastic jugs.
Glass jugs look great when serving your iced tea and are sturdier overall, but they can break or chip if dropped.
Plastic jugs are lightweight, meaning they’re easier to carry when full, but they look and feel less luxurious than glass. If you buy an iced tea maker with a plastic jug, look for one that’s BPA-free.
You may need to decalcify your electric iced tea maker to get rid of the mineral deposits left by the water that runs through it. The instruction manual should guide you.
If you like your iced tea especially strong or weak, look for an iced tea maker with a brew strength selector.
You’ll only find brew strength selectors on electric iced tea makers, but not all electric iced tea makers have brew strength selectors.
If you opt for a manual iced tea maker, you’ll have to adjust the strength of your brew manually: by adding more or less tea or by increasing or decreasing the time you steep it.
Automatic shut-off is a useful feature in an iced tea maker. It powers the appliance down after it has finished brewing, which saves energy.
Look for an iced tea maker that’s simple to use.
Manual iced tea makers, although more hands-on, are arguably the easiest. You simply put your tea in the infuser, add water, wait, then remove the infuser.
Some electric iced tea makers are very simple – requiring just the press of a button – whereas others have more complex settings. Those that can do more tend to be more complicated to use, but they do give you more control over how your tea turns out.
Your iced tea maker’s brewing basket and filter should be fully removable for easy cleaning.
Decide whether you’ll want to use loose tea, bagged tea, or both. Some iced tea makers are only compatible with one or the other, although you will find models that can tackle either.
Consider the dimensions of your chosen iced tea maker. Take a look at the manufacturer’s specifications for the exact measurements, so you can make sure your iced tea maker is not too large to sit on the counter or tuck into a cupboard when not in use.
Check whether you can get replacement parts. It’s much cheaper and more environmentally friendly to buy an individual jug or brewing basket if yours breaks than it is to replace your entire iced tea maker.
Think about how often you drink iced tea. If you’re an iced tea fiend who drinks the cold stuff daily, it’s worth investing in a high-end iced tea maker, whereas a basic model will do for occasional use.
Q. What type of tea can I use to make iced tea?
A. Classic iced tea is made with black tea, either sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference (“sweet tea” is especially popular in the Southern U.S.). However, you can use any variety of tea to make iced tea – green tea, oolong, herbal, or fruit teas are all popular choices. Flavored green and black teas add an extra dimension of flavor without losing that caffeine kick.
Q. Are iced tea makers easy to clean?
A. Some iced tea makers are easier to clean than others. Basic manual iced tea makers are usually the easiest to clean because they have the fewest parts. Electric iced tea makers may require a degree of dismantling to thoroughly clean. Some models also have dishwasher-safe parts. If in doubt, refer to the instruction manual.
Q. Where can I find recipes for iced tea?
A. If you’re an iced tea newbie, a quick internet search will bring you thousands of iced tea recipes. That said, you don’t need a recipe to make good iced tea. Simply brew a tea of your choice in your new appliance and sweeten to taste. Once you’ve gotten a basic recipe down, you can experiment with different flavors and more exotic types of tea.