Author Topic: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant  (Read 5653 times)

Offline HOMEFree

  • Adept
  • Posts: 266
    • Spark This Marriage - Christian marriage & romance boutique
Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« on: July 28, 2008, 10:23:30 AM »

My husband & I were intrigued at the thought of buying an iced tea maker while at Walmart the other day.
It was less than $20 and made by Mr Coffee and is supposed to not over-steep. We did not buy it but decided instead to think about it.

Are iced tea makers ridiculous?
How about the health factors?

I keep thinking I may be more inclined to make more iced tea if I did not have to do the whole routine in the sun (or on the stove), the straining, pouring, cooling, sweetening and such. Not to mention that I live in Oregon and sun-tea is not a reality very often.


Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 10:45:54 AM »
ya know...yeah, I never drink tea cause its a pain to make imo...I have mama's milk tea here tough and there are other herbal teas I'd like to make from fresh herbs...would it work for that ya know ? 

Offline mistyrenee22

  • Learning
  • Posts: 20
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 11:17:54 AM »
I have never used a tea maker, but I know people that have and they have liked it.  I also know that some people have used their coffee maker as well. 

Here is another option:  Lipton makes  "cold brew" ice tea bags.  I just take two and put them in 2 quarts of water and stick it in the fridge and wait a bit and then stir it around.  It doesn't take long at all and it beats having to make it over the stove.  I love it and it tastes just like regular brewed tea.  It comes in regular and decaf.   ;D
It whispers...so listen!

Offline HOMEFree

  • Adept
  • Posts: 266
    • Spark This Marriage - Christian marriage & romance boutique
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 11:42:32 AM »

Yes, it should work for herbal teas and even loose leaf tea.

I was even thinking of using the loose red raspberry leaf tea for the time while I am still preggo. Seems handy.

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2008, 12:24:14 PM »
We received one as a gift.  I thought it was more of a hindrance than a help and I never noticed any taste difference.  We gave it away.  I think I used it all of 5 times.  I usually stovetop boil water in a good ss pan and steep or make suntea in a glass jar.  The suntea actually does taste better, but not so much that we care.  ;D

I got rid of it before I started WTM, so it really never occurred to me to investigate the internal mechanism, but if I were going to consider using one, I'd want to know how much plastic and/or aluminum was going to be in contact with the hot tea.

HTH
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 12:26:42 PM by healthybratt »
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 01:11:44 PM »
good point HB!

Offline kjvonlybaptist

  • Learning
  • Posts: 8
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 01:20:08 PM »
I think that komboocha taste like tea. but you can't make it in a mr.coffee tea maker. we do use a tea maker and think its convenient. not a lot of contact with aluminum but all with plastic. sacrifice somewhere I guess.

Offline HOMEFree

  • Adept
  • Posts: 266
    • Spark This Marriage - Christian marriage & romance boutique
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 10:12:39 AM »

Seems like with an iced tea maker you'd be more apt to make iced tea more often.
Especially when you get such quick and perfect results every time.

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 10:33:50 AM »

Seems like with an iced tea maker you'd be more apt to make iced tea more often.
Especially when you get such quick and perfect results every time.
This would seem reasonable if I thought there was a way to ruin tea.   ???  I just can't see that happening unless you're particularly picky about how strong it is (some are), but even then, it would really depend on the amount of tea bags used.  So long as you don't use too many, your tea really can't be too strong no matter how long you brew it.

I suppose I'm just not picky, but I've been drinking unsweetened tea of all colors and flavors since I was a kid.  It's all the same to me.

Oh and as for ease, I always thought it was more of a pain, to get it out (or take up room on the counter), and to make sure I had a gallon of ice cubes to make it with every time.  This just doesn't seem like easier to me.  I guess it's all in your preference.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline here-n-there-a-little

  • Adept
  • Posts: 264
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 10:51:46 AM »
I am from the north and have never mastered the 'southern' way to make tea for my southern husband.  However, the tea maker makes acceptable tea for my hubby.

On the health side, I am both bad and good.  Right now I am making red rooibos tea with my tea maker ALL the time.  I don't like the idea of the hot tea in the very plastic container, but this is the only way it gets made at my house at this point in time.  :-\

Offline lotsaboys

  • Master
  • Posts: 1796
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 11:56:55 AM »
I'm finding I really miss mine since the pitcher broke. It brewed faster than a regular coffee brewer and I like the large pitcher as opposed to a coffee pot. I think I might get another one someday as I'm just not getting as much ice tea made as I did when it was in working order.

So, basically I didn't find it inconvenient to use and the ice isn't a problem if you have an ice maker. And as far as the innards, how it works and the materials used, its the same as a coffee maker.

Offline crystal

  • Adept
  • Posts: 461
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 01:09:37 PM »
I used to have an iced tea maker and I gave it to Goodwill.  I just found it to be another unnecessary appliance.  My philosophy is that if I already have something in my kitchen that I can mulit purpose with, I would rather use it.  I don't like single use items.


Offline 1ofeach

  • Adept
  • Posts: 274
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 02:14:06 PM »
I used to have an iced tea maker and I gave it to Goodwill.  I just found it to be another unnecessary appliance.  My philosophy is that if I already have something in my kitchen that I can mulit purpose with, I would rather use it.  I don't like single use items.



This is Alton Brown's philosophy too. I think the only "unitasker" in his kitchen is a fire extinguisher. ;)

I had one (got it as a wedding gift) and did use it, but gave it away. My kitchen real estate is limited and therefore only *premium* items can rent space in it, lol.

Offline ~CKMom~

  • Adept
  • Posts: 291
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2008, 08:03:35 AM »
I have an iced tea maker, but I never seem to have enough ice.  I don't like to be picky, but when I brew tea it seemed to taste somewhat bitter.  I stumbled across cold brewing, and I'm quite pleased with the results!  It obviously takes longer, but my tea never tastes bitter anymore.  For a half gallon, I fill a pitcher with cold filtered water and put in 4 tea bags of any flavor.  I just cover it, set it on the counter overnite, and it's done in the morning!  A lot of times, I will drink some, and just add water to the top to keep more 'brewing' all the time.   It seems to brew even in the fridge, albeit more slowly.  If I'm in a hurry, I'll just put 1 tea bag in a glass of water and let that go.

I always thought that heat had to be involved, at least as much as there is in sun tea, but this seems to work for us.  Now I don't have to worry about overheating my jasmine tea!  Of course, now someone will probably tell me that the antioxidants are not as strong this way, or something; but I like the way this works!

Jeni

Offline herbalmom

  • Guru
  • Posts: 3031
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 08:15:03 AM »
For medicinal use I make herb teas the standard way but when I'm just making idea tea for reg drinking I make it this way. MUCH easier than reg methods, an ice tea maker or making sun tea & since I usually make it in glass containers no worries about plastic leaching into the tea. If I want to make it to take somewhere (pot luck for example) I make it in a plastic 1 gal water jug (the kind like a milk jug) by pouring out a little bit of the water so I have room for tea bags. I just fold the tea bags in half lengthwise so I can get them in the opening & let it sit overnight in the fridge, grab & go. I don't even take the tea bags out, it won't get bitter. I don't sweeten the tea though, I always leave it black b/c DH & I take totally different amounts of sweetening in our tea. HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

I have a real cheaters way of making "sun" tea. Place tea in room temp water & put in the fridge overnight. It steeps while the water is chilling. It doesn't get bitter or that edge that tea gets sometimes & it is SOOOO easy. If you want it stronger, you can either use more tea or let it steep on the counter overnight. I usually just use more tea- tea bags are cheap & I love having it cold in the morning, ready to go. I do this with black tea bags for reg iced tea for the adults & loose dried mint for herb tea for the kids & I. Of course I have to strain the loose mint but it is still easy.

As far as medicinal herb teas, you would still get some of the medicinal value, but not near as much as you do when you steep it in boiling water. HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

 OK, so while I was typing my post Jeni posted & basically said the same thing. Great minds think alike.  ;) ;D ;D

Offline ~CKMom~

  • Adept
  • Posts: 291
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 08:32:52 AM »
That's okay - I immediately thought "Did I just repeat what she said?"  I'm thrilled to have been shown this way of doing it. 

"Great minds" you said; after the day I've had, you've made my day to include me in that illustrious group!  Have a great day! :D

Question for you:  is it not best to make herbal teas that way?  A lot of time I will dump my Mama's raspberry brew in and make it that way, filtering as I pour out.  Am I missing out on something by doing it that way?

Offline herbalmom

  • Guru
  • Posts: 3031
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2008, 09:18:54 AM »
That's okay - I immediately thought "Did I just repeat what she said?"  I'm thrilled to have been shown this way of doing it. 

"Great minds" you said; after the day I've had, you've made my day to include me in that illustrious group!  Have a great day! :D

Question for you:  is it not best to make herbal teas that way?  A lot of time I will dump my Mama's raspberry brew in and make it that way, filtering as I pour out.  Am I missing out on something by doing it that way?

I love this method, it's SO much easier & reg iced tea tastes so much better IMO done this way than hot steeped.

In answer to your question: You will get more of the medicinal components if you steep it in boiling water than cold steeping it. You actually get more flavor as well with hot steeping but like I said in my post, black tea is cheap & besides, we don't like bitter tea or the 'edge' (from the tannins) that hot steeped black tea can get.

You can test it for yourself with the herbal tea to see. Use the same amount of water & herb tea. Steep one batch for 5 mins in boiling water, strain & chill. Steep the other overnight in the fridge starting in room temp water. Then taste both. You will notice the difference.

The softer leafy herbs like mint. raspberry leaves, alfalfa, etc give up more flavor & medicinal components to cold or room temp water than the hard herbs like the barks & roots. Barks & root should definitely be steeped in boiling water, some should be simmered & SOME are so hard it's best to cold steep first to soften it & then simmer but that's not really what we're talking about here.

As far as the softer, leafy herbs (like what's used in Mama's RRB) I do mint & alfalfa blend in the fridge & it works fine. It would have more medicinals, vits, etc if I hot steeped it- but it also wouldn't get made as often & if it doesn't get made we can't drink it. My way of looking at it, it all balances out in the end & I don't worry about it. I'm mostly making mint tea for flavor & the alfalfa added is just for some additional vits but it's not my family's major vit source & it's not to heal an illness so it's fine with me. You can up the medicinal components if you do cold steep by either room temp steeping on the counter overnight before chilling it or leaving it in the fridge longer if you cold steep it before using it.

So for maximum vits & medicinal components, make it the traditional way by steeping in boiling water, etc. If it's something like Mama's RRB that you drink regularly & you're busy or whatever & it's cold steep or it won't get made, then cold steep & don't worry about it. If it's something you're making that's just for flavor & cold steeping works then definitely just cold steep & don't worry about it- why make more work for yourself? HTH Blessings ~herbalmom 

Offline ~CKMom~

  • Adept
  • Posts: 291
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2008, 09:24:56 AM »
Thank you for all your help!  Knowing me, it's probably mostly cold steep or not at all - unless someone is truly sick!  I appreciate your time!

Offline herbalmom

  • Guru
  • Posts: 3031
Re: Iced Tea makers - stupid or brilliant
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2008, 09:44:38 AM »
Thank you for all your help!  Knowing me, it's probably mostly cold steep or not at all - unless someone is truly sick!  I appreciate your time!

You're very welcome. I'm the same way- cold steep or not at all unless someone's sick so don't feel bad.  ;) :D It's still MUCH better for you than soda, Kool-aid, etc no matter how you make it.  ;D ;D