Brewing Tea with a Coffee Maker: A Surprising Guide to Getting It Right

Brewing Tea with a Coffee Maker: A Surprising Guide to Getting It Right

Understanding Tea Brewing Basics

Tea, a beverage cherished globally, has a rich history and a variety of brewing techniques. The essence of a good tea lies in the water temperature and brewing time. Different teas, from green to black, have unique temperature needs. While green tea requires cooler water, black tea needs hotter water for optimal flavor extraction. Furthermore, the choice between loose tea leaves and tea bags can also influence the brewing process.

Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker? 

Certainly! Brewing tea in a coffee maker is indeed possible, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Water: To start, you should fill the coffee maker’s reservoir with fresh water. The quality of water you use can impact the taste of your tea, so it’s a good idea to use clean, filtered water for the best results.
  2. Tea: Place your choice of tea bag or tea leaves in the coffee pot. If you’re using loose tea leaves, it’s advisable to use a filter to contain them. This prevents loose tea leaves from flowing into your cup.
  3. Brew: Begin the coffee machine as if you were brewing coffee. This typically involves turning on the machine and letting it heat the water. Once the machine completes its brewing process, allow the tea to steep for the required time. The steeping time will vary depending on the type of tea you’re making.

It’s important to note that coffee makers are designed to heat water to a specific temperature that is optimal for brewing coffee. This temperature may not always be ideal for brewing all types of tea. For example, delicate teas like green or white tea require lower water temperatures to avoid bitterness and preserve their delicate flavors. Using water that is too hot can lead to over-steeping and a less enjoyable tea experience.

Therefore, while making tea in a coffee maker is possible, it may not be the best method for all types of tea. If you’re a tea enthusiast, you may want to consider alternative methods like using a kettle, which allows you better control over water temperature, or cold brewing for a refreshing summer tea. Additionally, for those who prefer a stronger and more concentrated tea, an espresso machine can provide a different brewing experience.avor of delicate teas like green or white.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Using a Coffee Machine for Tea:

Convenience: One of the primary advantages is the convenience it offers. Coffee machines are designed to be user-friendly and automated. You can simply set it up and let it do the work, which is especially handy when you have a busy morning or need to multitask.

Hands-Free Operation: Brewing tea in a coffee maker is a hands-free method. Once you’ve set up the machine, you can focus on other tasks while it prepares your tea. This is a time-saving feature, as you don’t need to closely monitor the tea-making process.

Disadvantages of Using a Coffee Machine for Tea:

Flavor Alterations: Coffee makers are optimized for brewing coffee, and they heat water to a specific temperature suitable for coffee extraction. This temperature may not be ideal for all types of tea. For example, it can be too hot for delicate teas like green or white tea, potentially resulting in bitterness or flavor alteration.

Residual Coffee Oils: If the coffee machine has been used frequently for coffee, there may be residual coffee oils and flavors present in the machine’s components. When you use the machine for tea, these residual coffee oils can mix with the tea, giving it an unintended coffee-like flavor. This can be particularly noticeable if you enjoy different tea varieties with distinct flavors.

Cleaning Requirements: Frequent switching between brewing coffee and tea in the same machine can demand more rigorous cleaning to maintain the machine’s performance. The coffee oils and residue can build up over time and affect the taste of your tea. Proper cleaning is essential to prevent cross-contamination of flavors.

Temperature Control: Coffee machines often lack precise temperature control, which is crucial for brewing different types of tea optimally. Some teas require lower water temperatures than coffee machines typically provide, and this limitation can impact the quality of your tea.

Alternative Methods of Brewing Tea


The traditional kettle method is a classic way to brew tea and provides excellent control over water temperature. Here’s how it works:

  1. Boil water in a kettle.
  2. Let the water cool for a moment to the desired temperature for your specific tea (e.g., lower temperatures for green or white tea, higher temperatures for black tea).
  3. Place your tea leaves or tea bag in a teapot or teacup.
  4. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves or tea bag.
  5. Steep for the recommended time, typically indicated on the tea packaging.
  6. Strain or remove the tea bag when the steeping time is up.

The kettle method allows you to customize the water temperature to match the type of tea you’re brewing, ensuring optimal flavor extraction.

Cold Brewing

Cold brewing is an excellent method for making iced tea, particularly during hot summers. It involves steeping tea leaves in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, typically several hours or overnight. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place tea leaves or tea bags in a pitcher.
  2. Add cold or room temperature water.
  3. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. The slow, cold steeping process results in a smoother, less bitter tea with a refreshing taste.
  5. Serve the cold-brewed tea over ice with optional sweeteners and garnishes.

Cold brewing is known for producing a milder and less astringent tea, making it a perfect choice for iced tea lovers.

Espresso Machine

For those who prefer strong and concentrated tea, an espresso machine can be an intriguing option. While espresso machines are primarily designed for coffee, they can also be used to make a concentrated tea shot. Here’s how:

  1. Place a measured amount of tea leaves in the portafilter (the basket where coffee grounds usually go).
  2. Brew the tea using the espresso machine, typically with a shorter extraction time compared to coffee.
  3. The result is a highly concentrated tea shot that can be enjoyed as is or diluted with hot water for a milder tea.

Using an espresso machine for tea can yield a robust and intense flavor profile, which may appeal to those who enjoy a more potent tea experience.


In conclusion, while using a coffee maker to brew tea is feasible, there are alternative methods that offer more control over the brewing process and can cater to different preferences. The choice of brewing method ultimately comes down to personal preference, desired tea strength, and the specific type of tea you’re brewing. Experimenting with these different methods can help you discover the perfect way to brew tea that suits your palate and seasonal preferences

About the Author Leman Acosta