An iced tea maker is an appliance typically used in household kitchens and restaurants for brewing iced tea. Most of these devices run on electric power. An iced tea maker usually includes a plastic or metal pitcher for dispensing the freshly brewed iced tea.
Some iced tea makers are made to steep small amounts of tea, while others feature a much larger capacity. An iced tea maker can generally be used with tea bags or with loose tea. Many individuals purchase an iced tea maker for the home because they prefer the taste of freshly brewed iced tea rather than instant iced tea in powder form, or the ready-to-drink iced tea that is sold in cartons or other containers.
In general, an iced tea maker will come equipped with a brew basket. This is where the tea is placed for brewing. The area that holds the water is often referred to as the reservoir and is most often made of glass. The glass reservoir and the pitcher are two pieces that usually can be washed in a dishwasher.
Most iced tea makers feature a power switch. This switch controls the on and off function of the machine. In many of these machines, there will be an illuminated light that glows to show the unit is in operation.
In addition to the use of tea, sugar and ice may be added to the reservoir. This is typically done before brewing. Other additions, such as spices or fresh lemon juice may also be added.
An iced tea maker will generally have a built-in timer for brewing. This is helpful for those who wish to program the machine to brew the iced tea when they are not home or otherwise unavailable. Most iced tea makers also feature an automatic shut-off feature for safety purposes.
Most iced tea makers also require reusable filters. Most of these are hand washable. Some filters are made of a mesh material for straining and eliminating residue. Many manufacturers sell replacement filters for their iced tea maker products.
Some iced tea makers feature all plastic materials, while others incorporate glass and plastic combined. Some of the machines feature silicone handles. This type of stay-cool material is generally easier to grip.
Just about every iced tea maker will come with a user guide or manual in the box. Some also come shipped with a recipe booklet. Consumers may find iced tea makers made by various manufacturers. These products are commonly sold in department stores and specialty shops that sell kitchen gadgets and devices.