Nearly every household has a coffee maker since drinking coffee has become part of our modern life.
But every now and then, you might want to take a break from coffee and drink tea instead.
And that’s when you realize you don’t have a special machine for brewing tea.
What should you do?
Thankfully, the coffee maker is sitting there idling away on the kitchen counter. But can you make tea in a coffee maker?
Keep reading to find out.
Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker?
Yes, you can make tea in a coffee maker. Coffee machines can brew tea just as perfectly as coffee.
But it takes more effort to do it correctly. Besides, you might end up ruining your precious tea flavor if you get it wrong.
Here’s the thing, though.
You are not likely to get a flavorful cup of tea if you brew it using a coffee maker.
This is because the water temperature required to make tea is different from the temperature level coffee makers are typically designed to reach.
But we’ll get into that in a bit.
In the meantime, it is important to point out that loose tea leaves might not damage any mechanism in your coffee maker. But they might impact the tubes somewhat negatively.
That means the flavor of future coffee brews might be noticeably different.
But perhaps, the real question isn’t if you can or can’t use a coffee maker to brew tea.
We’ll like to think that a more pertinent question is whether you should put your precious loose tea leaves or even teabag in a coffee maker.
Should You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker?
Here’s a straightforward answer: no!
Tea in a coffee maker is not the best of ideas.
Of course, you can brew tea in a coffee maker, but there’s a reason the cute little machine is called a coffee maker.
Oftentimes, when people ask the question, “can you make tea in a coffee maker?” it is usually because they want to start preparing and drinking loose leaf tea but think they don’t have the right equipment to go about the preparation.
But nearly everyone has everything they need to make great-tasting tea – and it doesn’t include a coffee machine.
Indeed, coffee and tea are made with hot water, so it follows that both beverages should also be brewed in the same machine, right?
Brewing coffee might require a special machine, but that’s not the case with tea.
A mug might be all you need to make a great cup of tea.
If you want to take things up a notch you can get an infuser with a regular ceramic or glass teapot and you’re good to go!
It doesn’t matter whether you want to brew loose tea leaf or teabag; a teapot is more than enough to brew your tea.
Even traditional Chinese tea houses use this to make great-tasting tea.
Why You Shouldn’t Make Tea in a Coffee Maker
Okay, besides equipment are there other reasons not to use a coffee maker to brew tea?
You bet they are!
Here are some reasons you shouldn’t make tea in a coffee maker
It’s Can Be Tricky Getting the Correct Temperature
Coffee makers are not designed to heat water to boiling point. That’s because you don’t need boiling water to brew coffee, as that will remove the bitter flavors.
The opposite is true for tea.
You need boiling water to brew tea if you must extract as much flavor as possible.
But here’s the tricky part.
Not all teas are the same! The exact water temperature required for extracting the best flavor from white tea and green tea is not the same as what you’ll need to brew black tea.
And if you have oolong tea, you’ll need to figure out what temperature works for that, too!
Truth is, you have to know the exact temperature for the type of tea leaves you want to use. If the water temperature is too high, you’ll end up with a bitter-tasting tea.
You Can’t Control the Steep Time
Teas need to soak for a certain amount of time before brewing, and there is no way to control the steeping time when brewing in a coffee machine.
This is especially the case when you are using loose leaves.
If you steep your tea for too long, you will end up with a bitter cup of tea.
And not steeping the tea for the correct amount of time will give you a bland and weak cup of tea.
Cleaning the Coffee Maker Is No Fun!
Cleaning a coffee maker is not something anyone looks forward to. The procedure can be tedious and time-consuming.
Plus, you might have to deal with the pungent smell of vinegar in your first few cups unless you are thorough enough to give the machine a good rinse.
Again, you still have to go through the process of cleaning the machine when it comes time to make coffee.
Bottom line: Yes, coffee machines can brew tea just as well as coffee. But what’s the point of buying loose leaf tea and running the risk of ruining it in a coffee maker?
A good cup of tea should be made in a teapot or some other traditional or even ritualistic method.
But, hey! If you still want to put your loose leaf or tea bag in a coffee maker, let’s show you how to do it correctly for the best results.
How to Make Tea in a Coffee Maker
If you must brew tea in a coffee maker, at least, you should learn how to do it correctly using these steps.
Step 1: Clean the Coffee Maker
You can’t simply dump tea bags or loose leaves into your coffee machine and expect to get good-tasting tea.
After several months of brewing coffee in your machine, you’ll have to put in some work to get rid of coffee residue from the coffee maker.
Don’t even think of skipping this all-important step, or else your tea will come out tasting nothing like tea.
If anything, your tea will taste very acidic, and that’s regardless of whether you use black, white, green, or any other type of tea.
Here’s how to properly clean your coffee maker before making tea:
- Remove the filter and take out any remnant of coffee grounds in the basket compartment.
- Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the carafe and the basket compartment.
- Mix about the same amount of vinegar and water as you would need to brew a full pot of coffee. Add the mixture to the carafe and place it in the coffee maker.
- Run the coffee maker as you normally would when making coffee.
- Next, throw out the vinegar mixture and thoroughly rinse the carafe using warm water first and then cold water.
- To completely remove any vinegar residue, run another full pot of water through the machine. Repeat this rinsing process with hot water a few times if you don’t want the first couple of teapots you make to have a hint of vinegar.
Step 2: Make Your Tea
Now that the coffee maker is rid of all coffee residue and vinegar, you can go ahead and make your tea.
The process is slightly different for loose leaves and tea bags.
For loose leaf
- Add the loose tea leaves in the coffee filter and place the filter in the basket.
- Add the amount of loose leaves recommended on the tin or box or use one teaspoon of tea per cup if there are no instructions.
- Run the coffee maker as normal.
- Wait until the tea is cool enough to your liking and enjoy!
Keep in mind that brewing tea in a coffee maker takes about the same time (10 to 15 minutes) as brewing coffee.
Whatever you do, avoid letting loose tea leaves get into the reservoir of your coffee maker. You don’t want to clog the tubes.
- Remove the coffee filter (you don’t need it for teabags) and hang the teabags in the carafe.
- Brew the hot water as usual with nothing in the basket.
Brewing methods for brewing tea will depend largely on the type of tea you have.
You can’t simply dump loose leaf in a coffee maker, press a button, and expect good-tasting tea.
That might work for coffee (regardless of the type), but that’s not what you want to do with tea – at least, certain types of teas.
You need to factor in the steep time, water temperature, and pressure so you don’t end up destroying the flavors of your precious tea.
So, can you make tea in a coffee maker?
Yes, you can.
But a coffee maker should be your last resort when it comes to brewing tea correctly.