Iced tea is a beloved summer beverage and a dependable choice at any restaurant. If you’ve ever craved the taste of your favorite restaurant’s tea blend and wanted to duplicate it at home – GREAT NEWS! Iced tea makers can change your life – allowing you to enjoy that refreshing flavor any time, easily.
How do they accomplish this? Let’s look at the process, and then we’ll cover what you should focus on to select the best maker for yourself, or as a gift.
With small variations, all iced tea makers work in the same way:
- The user adds tea to either a basket or an infuser.
- The tea is brewed. This is either done with using water drawn from the machine’s water reservoir, by adding boiling water manually, or in some makers, by heating the whole unit on a stove top.
- The tea is then chilled by adding ice.
Reviews of 7 Best Iced Tea Makers on the Market 2020
1. Takeya 2 Quart Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker – Best for the impatient
The Takeya Flash Chill doesn’t use any electricity, but it does an impressive job of making iced tea quickly and easily. Although the entire brewing process takes longer, the process of chilling the tea takes only 30 seconds and some shaking from the user.
The Flash Chill is a 2-quart pitcher, made from BPA-free Tritan – a durable, clear plastic. The entire top twists off the pitcher, with the mesh strainer attached. To add the loose or bagged ice tea to the strainer, one removes the basket from the lid, drops in the tea or tea bags, and then reattaches the top. After adding one quart of boiling water (boiled in a separate container, not included), into the pitcher, the lid and attached strainer are dropped back into the pitcher and left to steep for 3-5 minutes.
After that time, one removes the infuser and lid, pops off the infuser basket, sets it aside, and tops off the pitcher containing the hot tea with ice. Screwing the lid back on, you shake the entire unit briefly to initiate the “Flash Chill” process – this takes about 30 seconds.
Your iced tea is ready right away. Reviewers praise this pitcher for its airtight silicone seal that prevents leaks – even when stored on its side in the fridge, and its easy cleaning features. The entire pitcher, including the infuser basket, is dishwasher safe.
- An airtight lid that preserves flavor and freshness, and prevents spills.
- No power needed.
- Must be able to boil water separately and add it to the pitcher.
- The unit stands tall at nearly 13” and may not fit standing up in all refrigerators.
- Some reviewers have commented that the plastic stains after repeated use.
2. Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser – Best for students/small living
This compact set-up is ideal for students living in a dorm, or just anyone with a micro-kitchen. Measuring just 4.6 x 4.6 x 8”, it fits nicely inside a mini-refrigerator and makes just over a quart of tea. The pitcher has a nifty shape that is reminiscent of a beaker from Chemistry class and is made of tough, clear borosilicate glass that is, coincidentally, used in laboratory ware. The whole piece is dishwasher safe and rustproof, thanks to materials like the stainless steel of the infuser basket.
The operation of the piece is quite straightforward. The silicone-sealed cap comes off the top of the strainer basket, and the user adds their loose or bagged tea to the diffuser. Boiling water is then poured into the pitcher, the diffuser is placed into the pitcher, and tea is steeped according to personal preference. When done, the diffuser is lifted out, the stainless steel cap is reinserted, and the fresh tea is poured over ice.
The unit is also recommended for the easy cold brewing of coffee, which makes it a versatile and useful piece for any student living on caffeine. Reviewers rate this pitcher highly for its non-staining glass and stainless steel construction, and the fineness of the filter basket mesh.
- Small size is ideal for compact spaces
- Materials remain stain-free
- Easy to keep clean in the dishwasher
- Small size brews a maximum of 4 cups
- Must boil water separately
- Tea leaves can stick easily in the narrow filter tube
3. Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker – Best for the technology lover
The Breville One Touch is an impressive machine that we’re sure you’ll want to show off to your friends. It’s the most expensive maker that we reviewed, but it has a lot of features to justify the sticker price. Reviewers love that it automates the art of brewing many different varieties of tea and that it does each of them so very well.
The carafe can hold up to 40 oz of tea. The process of making tea is quite simple, as you might guess from the name. After filling the glass carafe with water, it is placed on the warming plate of the machine. The metal diffuser basket is then filled with the preferred tea variety, and placed onto the holder inside the carafe before replacing the lid.
The selection of teas available for programming is broad: Green, Black, White, Herbal, Oolong, or Custom, with available brew strengths of Mild, Medium, Strong or Custom. With a push of a button to start the brewing, the machine takes over. It gently moves the brewing pod into the hot water, where it will steep, re-steep, and gently agitate the leaves as it moves in and out of the immersion. The actual water temperature and brewing time are determined by the machine – producing the best quality tea every time. This would be an excellent way to enjoy iced tea flavors that are a little bit out of the ordinary.
After the brewing completes, pour your pitcher of tea over ice, and you’re set. The unit is pretty sleek and simple and is made of stainless steel and Schott glass. It also features an auto-start timer, automatic shut-off, and can also be enjoyed year-round by virtue of its exceptionally fine hot tea making capabilities.
- Highly automated
- Great for year-round use
- Can also be used for hot water
- Reviewers have mentioned that they have not been able to replace the carafe.
- Requires hand-washing, since carafe cannot be submerged
4. Tartek Large Glass Teapot with Infuser & Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker – Best for gift-giving
This product is a good looking and versatile way to prepare your iced tea. Made of tough, extra thick borosilicate glass, the pitcher holds 50 ounces and can be used from temperature ranges of -30 to 150 degrees – or from the stovetop to the freezer. The top and strainer basket are made of stainless steel, making the entire maker dishwasher safe.
To make iced tea, the user fills the generously sized diffuser with loose or bagged tea. After heating the water in the pitcher, which is listed by the manufacturer as safe for stovetop use, the diffuser is dropped into place along with the lid, and left in place for the tea to finish brewing. Additionally, the water can be heated and added separately. Once done, the diffuser is taken out, and the brewed tea can be poured over ice, or ice added to the pitcher itself.
A unique feature of this maker is the extra large diffuser. At two inches wide, it is bigger than most and can be used to hold sliced fruit for adding flavor to your iced teas. The size also had reviewers commenting favorably about its ease of cleaning. The unit can also be used to make easy, smooth cold-brewed coffee in the refrigerator.
The design also features a wide, comfortable handle, and the entire piece is attractive and sturdy enough to use on the tabletop as a serving pitcher. When you’re done, it can go directly to the refrigerator. The pitcher arrives with exceptionally nice gift packaging, which makes it our choice for an ideal, versatile present.
- Attractive, versatile design can be used for preparing and serving iced tea
- Easy to clean
- Extra large diffuser basket
- Some reviewers have noted that filling the pitcher to the full, 6-cup mark makes it easy to spill.
- The infuser, while wide, is also long, and can be difficult to completely clean out.
5. West Bend IT500 Convenient 88 oz. Gray Ice Tea Maker – Best for lots of iced tea
For bigger gatherings or serious daily iced tea drinkers, the West Bend IT500 is our top choice. With a 2.75 quart capacity, it makes more tea at one setting than the others, and it does it with the help of several custom settings. This model is configured much like the standard drip coffee brewer, in that it has a filter basket that sits over the carafe. Hot water from a reservoir is sent over the brew basket and into the carafe, producing fresh hot tea.
The unit is operated by first placing either loose or bagged tea into the filter basket, and filling the water reservoir at the back of the machine. The brew strength is then set according to preference – from Mild to Strong. The user then adds ice to the carafe to the level clearly marked on the side, places the carafe on the machine, and presses the power button. The brewed tea pours over the ice in the carafe, and iced tea is ready within minutes.
In addition to the brew basket, this machine features an additional diffuser tube that can be used to flavor teas – the owner’s manual suggests filling it with fruits or herbs and experimenting with a variety of tastes. This unit also allows for making sweet tea, by adding a coffee filter to the brew basket and using approximately one cup of sugar per pitcher.
The carafe itself is glass, and the machine has an attractive and neutral stainless steel and black plastic finish. The carafe is dishwasher safe, and the baskets can be washed in the sink. This is an easy unit to operate, and makes a lot of iced tea, fast.
- Large capacity
- Straightforward operation, fewer steps to iced tea
- Auto shut off for the forgetful owner
- Some reviewers have not been able to replace broken carafes
- The lighter glass used in the carafe
- Pitcher lid has been noted by some reviewers to leak after being refrigerated
6. Cawabon Cold Brew Coffee Maker – Best to take along on a trip
This unique and sleek smaller pitcher is only 4.3 x 9.65”, but has features that make it our top choice for portability. If you’re looking for an iced tea maker that can go to work or on the road with you, this is your best bet. The pitcher holds 37 ounces, but the design has cleverly worked around the need for a handle by adding a silicone hand grip at the top of the flask shape. This not only provides for more secure handling – it also lends a slimmer profile. The rest of the Cawabon is made of tough borosilicate glass that stands up to heat and cold.
The operation is simple and straightforward. The stainless steel diffuser is made of a 200-micron mesh, and one can add bags or loose tea by popping off the flat stainless steel top. The filter is left in place. The hot water is then poured directly over and through the tea contained in the mesh until the container is full. Once the tea has finished steeping, the lid is removed, the diffuser is pulled out, and the tea is ready to be poured over ice, using the pouring lip that is incorporated into the design. The flask can then be resealed with the silicone-sealed lid and stored if desired. For storage, the diffuser rides inside the pitcher.
This unit also makes cold brewed coffee that can be prepared in the refrigerator. The packaging comes with two silicone coasters, and the whole set arrives in a nice cylinder shaped container that would be charming to present as a gift for the busy iced tea lover on the go.
- Compact and portable
- Tight sealing top with silicone gasket
- Easy-to-grip silicone sleeve makes the flask easy to handle
- Smaller capacity than others reviewed
- Must be hand washed
- Some reviewers have noted problems with the lid’s seal failing to be airtight.
7. Coffee 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System – Best all around
This model offers a good combination of features, convenience, and price. As you might expect from this manufacturer, it operates much as a drip coffee machine does. The user fills the machine’s reservoir full of water, which then drips over the tea basket, producing the brewed final product. The glass carafe can hold up to 2.5 quarts.
The operation of the unit is simple and fast. Either loose tea or bags can be placed into the brewer basket, and the water reservoir is filled up. The “2-in-1” refers to the flexibility of the machine in handling bagged, loose or flavored teas and sweeteners in the basket. The user selects the brew strength from mild to strong and fills the glass pitcher with ice up to the line shown. At the touch of a button, the machine begins brewing, and a pitcher of iced tea is ready a few minutes later. An auto shut off takes care of turning the machine off when done brewing.
This machine has a water filter – nice for those living in hard water areas. The brew basket comes with a permanent filter which can be lifted out for cleaning. The pitcher and its lid can be washed in the dishwasher.
Reviewers have commented favorably on the fast brewing, as well as the attractive glass pitcher that is nice for serving. The unit is made of stainless steel, black plastic, and glass, and is BPA free. It’s our choice for an automated unit that can perform well at good price.
- Fast brewing in one unit.
- Makes sweet tea
- The generous size of the carafe
- Water filter for smoother tasting tea
- Some reviewers noted that brewing loose tea can make for a messy brew basket
- The water dispenser head must be moved over the brew basket prior to brewing or could drip
- Glass carafe too lightweight for some users
FAQ on Iced Tea Makers
Iced Tea Makers can easily satisfy your craving for hot-brewed, restaurant-style iced tea at home. No matter what the type of iced tea maker, the basic process is the same: Hot water, tea, a diffuser, and ice. The actual iced tea maker, however, can be very simple or quite customizable. By determining how much tea you will be preparing at a sitting, the type of tea you prefer to use for your iced tea blend, and how quickly you’d like to make the tea, you will be able to choose from the options that are available. We’ve included the best-iced tea makers from a variety of manufacturers, and with a wide range of customizability. Whether you’re looking for a nice way to make brewed iced tea on the road, enjoy the delicate flavors of exotic blends, or just need to make a lot of tea fast for a gathering, there are terrific choices for everyone.