can you make tea in a coffee maker

Can You Brew Tea in a Coffee Maker? Expert Insight and Guide

As a tea enthusiast, I’ve always been curious about whether it’s possible to brew tea in a coffee maker. Well, so I’ve done some research and experimented a bit, and I’m here to share my findings with you. Brewing tea in a coffee maker is indeed possible and doesn’t require any specialized equipment. A standard countertop coffee maker can do the job, as it simply runs hot water through a basket where you can place tea or coffee.

However, while brewing tea in a coffee maker is feasible, there are several factors to consider. One crucial aspect is the water temperature, as different teas require varying temperatures for optimal extraction of flavors. For example, herbal and black teas need higher temperatures, while delicate teas such as white or green tea require lower temperatures. Moreover, a coffee machine might leave residue from the coffee affecting the taste of the tea.

Now that we’ve established that it’s possible to brew tea in a coffee maker, let’s explore some tips to get the best flavor, and the pros and cons of this brewing method.

Key Takeaways

  • Brewing tea in a coffee maker is possible, but it may not yield ideal flavors.
  • Proper water temperature is essential for brewing different types of tea.
  • Coffee residue in the machine may affect your tea’s taste.

Can You Brew Tea in a Coffee Maker?

Yes, I can brew tea in a coffee maker. It’s quite simple and convenient, especially if you’re making multiple cups. However, there might be drawbacks from brewing tea in this way, such as not being able to control exact brewing time and temperature like when using a traditional tea kettle.

To make tea in a coffee maker, I would follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, I would clean the coffee maker thoroughly to ensure there’s no residual coffee flavor source.
  2. Then, I would choose my tea. It could be in the form of tea bags, loose tea leaves, or compressed fermented tea leaves source. When using loose leaf tea, I recommend placing it in a coffee filter designed for ground coffee, to avoid any mess or debris.
  3. After that, I would add the tea to the coffee maker basket and fill the coffee maker with the desired amount of cold water.
  4. Finally, I would start the brewing process and let the hot water run through the tea, extracting its flavors.

However, it’s essential to note that using automatic drip coffee makers may not produce the best results when brewing tea source. One reason is that the water temperature in such coffee makers often doesn’t reach the ideal temperature required for various tea types.

If I am looking for more control over the brewing process and better results, it’s probably best to use a traditional tea kettle or an electric kettle with temperature settings. Nonetheless, using a coffee maker to brew tea can still work if convenience is more important than precision.

Making Tea in Coffee Maker: Pros and Cons


Using a coffee maker to brew tea can be convenient, especially if you don’t have a designated teapot or kettle. Most standard drip coffee makers and some Keurig machines are designed to accommodate brewing both coffee and tea, which means you can save space on your countertop by using one device for both types of beverages.

The process of brewing tea in a coffee maker can be quite easy. You simply place your desired loose leaf tea or teabags in the filter basket and add water to the reservoir. Some machines may even have settings for brewing different types of tea, such as green tea or herbal tea, allowing you to achieve the perfect steep time and water temperature for each variety.

Similarly, a French press or cold brew coffee maker can be used to brew tea with excellent results, as both devices can provide adequate water temperature and steeping time for most tea varieties.


However, there are some drawbacks to using a coffee maker to brew tea. One significant concern is the lingering taste of coffee in your tea, as trace amounts of coffee oils and grounds may be present in the carafe or filter basket. To avoid this issue, you may need to clean your coffee maker thoroughly with vinegar before brewing tea.

Another potential problem is the lack of precise control over steeping time and water temperature in a coffee maker. This could affect the flavor of more delicate teas, such as green or white tea, which may require cooler water and shorter brewing times to prevent bitterness.

Furthermore, drip coffee makers may not provide even water distribution over the tea leaves or bags, which could lead to uneven flavor extraction. A traditional teapot or infuser may yield better results in terms of flavor and aroma.

In summary, while a coffee maker can be utilized for brewing tea, it may not always provide optimal results. If you’re particular about the taste and quality of your tea, it might be better to invest in dedicated tea brewing equipment.

How to Brew Tea: Loose Leaf vs Tea Bags

As a tea enthusiast, I’m often asked about the best way to brew tea, and whether using loose leaf tea or tea bags is more effective. Let me share my insights on this topic and guide you through the process.

When it comes to brewing tea with loose leaf tea, the key factor is quality. Loose leaf tea often contains larger leaves that allow for optimal flavor and aroma extraction. To brew loose leaf tea, I recommend using a teapot or infuser. Start by adding the appropriate amount of tea leaves (generally, one teaspoon per cup) to a teapot or infuser. Then, pour hot water over the leaves, making sure the water temperature is suitable for the type of tea you’re brewing.

Allow the tea to steep for the recommended time, which varies depending on the tea variety. For black tea, I usually steep for 3 to 5 minutes, while green tea steeps for 2 to 3 minutes. Once the steeping is complete, remove the tea leaves or infuser and enjoy your freshly brewed tea.

On the other hand, brewing tea with tea bags is known for its convenience. Tea bags are pre-portioned and easy to use, making them a popular choice. To brew tea using tea bags, simply place one tea bag per cup in your teapot or mug. Pour hot water over the tea bag, ensuring the water temperature is suitable for the type of tea, and let it steep for the suggested time. After steeping, remove the tea bag and enjoy your cup of tea.

However, it’s important to note that tea bags can sometimes contain lower-quality tea leaves and they may not release the full flavor and aroma, as mentioned in this Real Simple article.

In summary, while using loose leaf tea allows for a more flavorful brew, tea bags offer the advantage of convenience. Choosing between the two methods largely depends on your personal preferences and priorities when it comes to tea quality and ease of brewing.

How to Make Tea With a Coffee Maker

Ensure Coffee Maker Is Clean

Before brewing tea in your coffee maker, ensure it’s clean and free of coffee residue. Rinse all the removable parts such as the carafe, filter basket, and any reusable filters.

Tea Bags

Remove Coffee Filter

Start by removing the coffee filter from the filter basket. This ensures that no leftover coffee grounds interfere with the taste of your tea.

Hang Tea Bags in Carafe

Select your choice of tea bags, and use approximately one tea bag per one cup of water. Hang the tea bags inside the carafe, ensuring the strings and tags are hanging outside the carafe to easily remove them later.

Brew as Normal

After placing your tea bags in the carafe, fill the glass carafe with water and pour it into the reservoir just like when you’re making regular coffee. Start the coffee maker and let it do its thing.

Let the Brewed Tea Cool to Desired Temperature

Once the brewing process is complete, turn off the coffee maker and let the brewed tea cool down to your desired temperature.

Loose Leaf Tea

Add Leaves To a Coffee Filter

For loose-leaf tea, start by measuring the amount of tea leaves needed. Generally, use about one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water. Put the leaves in a coffee filter designed for ground coffee or use a reusable filter.

Place Filter In Basket

Put the coffee filter containing the tea leaves into the filter basket and close the lid.

Run Coffee Maker on Normal Setting

Fill the water reservoir with the appropriate amount of water and run the coffee maker on its normal setting. The hot water will pass through the tea leaves, extracting the flavors.

Let the Brewed Tea Cool to Desired Temperature

Once the brewing process is finished, let the brewed tea cool down to your desired temperature before enjoying your delicious tea made with a coffee maker.

Tips For Making Tea In A Coffee Maker

Flush Coffee Maker System

Before brewing tea in a coffee maker, I always recommend flushing the coffee maker system to ensure that no residual coffee flavors mix with the tea. Simply run a cycle of clean water through the coffee maker before brewing your tea. This helps eliminate any lingering coffee scent or taste and prevents cross-contamination of flavors.

Coffee Filters Reduce Tea Strength

When making tea in a coffee maker, I’ve noticed that using coffee filters can reduce the strength of the brewed tea. This is because some of the tea’s natural oils may get absorbed by the filter instead of being infused with the water. To avoid this issue, I prefer using tea bags, which can be easily placed in the coffee maker and do not require a filter. As an added benefit, tea bags also make cleanup easier and faster.

Use Tea Bags Instead of Loose Leaf

Although loose-leaf tea is often considered more flavorful, I find that using tea bags is more convenient when making tea in a coffee maker. This is because tea bags keep the tea contained, reducing the chances of tea leaves getting into the brewed beverage and causing an unpleasant texture. Additionally, tea bags make it easier to control the steeping time as they can be easily removed when the desired brewing time is reached. So, for a hassle-free tea-making experience in a coffee maker, I recommend using tea bags instead of loose-leaf tea.

The Bottom Line

I find that it is possible to brew tea in a coffee maker, although the process has its limitations and drawbacks. A normal countertop coffee maker can be used to brew tea by simply running hot water through a basket filled with tea leaves or tea bags, much as it would do with coffee grounds. However, doing so can result in undesirable taste issues, as the tea might end up with traces of coffee flavor (ask me how I know…’s not good!).

To minimize flavor interference, I suggest using tea bags or loose-leaf tea with coffee filters if there are no coffee filters available. It is essential to note that different types of tea require specific water temperatures for optimal extraction, which may not be achieved using a standard coffee maker.

In conclusion, while brewing tea in a coffee maker is possible, it may not be the best method to achieve the perfect cup of tea. Factors such as improper water temperature and residual coffee flavors might impact the end result. If you choose to proceed with brewing tea in a coffee maker, consider using tea bags or coffee filters to minimize flavor crossover and be aware of the temperature limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many tea bags should I use in a coffee maker?

When brewing tea in a coffee maker, I typically use one tea bag per 8-ounce cup of water. However, this can vary depending on personal taste preferences and the type of tea being used. If you prefer a stronger tea, feel free to add an extra tea bag or two.

What is the best coffee maker for brewing tea?

Immersion-style coffee makers, such as the French press, are a good option for brewing tea. These types of coffee makers allow the tea to steep properly and extract the desired flavors. While it’s possible to use an automatic drip coffee maker, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as the ideal method for brewing tea.

Can I prepare loose tea in a coffee maker?

Yes, I can prepare loose tea in a coffee maker, particularly in immersion-style coffee makers like a French press. If using a drip coffee maker, I recommend placing the loose tea in a reusable coffee filter or paper coffee filter to keep the tea leaves from entering the brewed tea.

How do I make sweet tea using a coffee maker?

To make sweet tea using a coffee maker, I follow these simple steps:

  1. Brew the tea as usual, either with tea bags or loose tea in a coffee maker.
  2. While the tea is still hot, add the desired amount of sweetener, such as sugar or honey, and stir until dissolved.
  3. Allow the tea to cool, then pour it into a pitcher and refrigerate.
  4. Once chilled, serve the sweet tea over ice.

Is it possible to make tea in a Keurig?

Yes, making tea in a Keurig is possible and quite simple. Many tea brands offer compatible K-Cups designed specifically for brewing tea in a Keurig machine. Alternatively, I can use a reusable K-Cup and fill it with my favorite loose tea or a tea bag for brewing.

Can I use a hotel coffee maker for making tea?

Yes, I can use a hotel coffee maker for making tea. However, it is essential to thoroughly clean the coffee maker beforehand to avoid any coffee residue or flavors contaminating the tea. I recommend running a clean water cycle through the machine first and then brewing the tea using either tea bags or loose tea in a filter.