Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker?

Nicole Austin

Need to make tea in a pinch, but only have a coffee maker? Start here.

I enjoy a nice, hot mug of tea on occasion. It’s a major comfort drink in my household. This probably stretches back to when I was sick and being cared for by my mother, but tea is soothing and helps calm me (and my upset stomach) often.

Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker Photo

My kids have also learned to enjoy a cup of tea. I got them hooked on decaf when they were having a restless evening and needed to settle for bed.

It’s the first thing I offer to them when they’re recovering from an illness or needing to cozy up on a chilly day.

If you’re making tea for several people at once, or planning to chill your tea for iced tea, you may be wondering if you can make tea in a classic coffee maker. I’m here to share our best tips for giving this a shot!

FAQ: How long can coffee creamer sit out before going bad?

Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker?

Coffee and tea are brewed differently than one another.

Coffee is made from the roasted, ground seeds of the coffee fruit, and tea is generally composed of the processed, dried leaves of the tea plant. Both require heated water to be introduced at some point in the process to extract the natural flavors, oils, and aromas.

It is technically possible to make tea in a coffee pot, though it is far less exact than brewing it in a traditional way.

Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker Picture

There is certainly an appeal to using a coffee pot. Many homes already have coffee pots on hand and rely on them to provide large amounts of a hot drink at once.

Perhaps you’re making warm tea for a party or your family, or you’re caring for someone who may want more than one cup. Whatever your reasoning, a pot of hot tea may be something you desire.

Here’s our handy step-by-step guide to brewing tea in a coffee pot!


  • Water
  • 2 family-size (or 4+ regular size) tea bags
  • Filter, if the coffee pot requires it
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. Fill a 10-12 cup coffee maker pitcher with water and pour it into the machine.
  2. Tear open 2 family size or 4+ regular size tea bags and empty them into the filter or basket, depending on the type of machine.
  3. Turn on the machine and allow it to brew as you would with coffee. Enjoy!
Can You Make Tea in a Coffee Maker Image

How to Make Iced Tea in a Coffee Maker

Tea lovers can make iced tea using a coffee machine by following the above steps and then adjusting the next steps to create a delicious iced tea beverage.

When making iced tea:

  1. After brewing, transfer the freshly-made tea to a pitcher and add a pinch of baking soda to help reduce bitter flavors.
  2. Add a cup of sugar (if desired) and stir until dissolved.
  3. Allow the tea to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes, then cover and chill in the fridge. You can also serve room temperature tea with ice if you don’t want to wait.
  4. Once chilled, serve with ice and enjoy!
  5. Consider adding lemon slices or wedges or fresh mint for more flavor.
How To Make Cold Brew Tea Image

Tips for Making the Best Tea

To make your tea as flavorful as possible, you’ll want to prepare it using the best ingredients and following the directions exactly. Here are our secrets to make your tea the best it possibly can be:

Use filtered or spring water

Tea is primarily water, so the better the quality of water used, the better the overall taste. Filtered or spring water will have a cleaner, more pure taste, free of chemicals, minerals, or other contaminants that may be in tap water. Some people use bottled water but we just recommend filtering fresh water from the tap.

Invest in fresh, flavorful tea

Using old tea or tea that was improperly stored will change the flavor of your tea. Tea bags that were not stored in a dry, airtight container will give a stale flavored tea that may have a dirty flavor to it. While inexpensive tea is easy to access and often quite delicious, consider spending extra money for a high quality tea to experiment with a variety of flavors.

Remember the “Three Ts of Tea”

  • TYPE: The type of tea will determine how you handle it. Some teas are more delicate and need less time to steep or will be prepared at a lower temperature for best results, while others will require a longer steeping time or a higher temperature.
  • TEMPERATURE: Tea is typically brewed between 160 to 212°F. An electric kettle with a temperature reading helps with accurate temperatures, but boiling points can also come in handy. Generally, water simmers at 190°F and boils at 212°F. You can visually assess the temperature of your tea by keeping these numbers in mind.
  • TIME: Steeping for a long time will generally cause an otherwise good cup of tea to be bitter, while steeping too little can lead to a watery or weak tea. Taste your tea at the recommended time (below) and go from there when deciding whether or not to let it rest longer.
Red Rooibos Tea Sangria Photo

Here are some general guidelines for different types of tea, including the correct steep time and the right temperature range to achieve the best flavor with your brewing process for your favorite tea:

* TYPE: White tea (which is different from white coffee)

* TEMPERATURE: 160 to 190

* TIME: 2-5 minutes

* TYPE: Green tea

* TEMPERATURE: 160 to 180

* TIME: 1-3 minutes

* TYPE: Oolong tea

* TEMPERATURE: 190 to 200

* TIME: 2-6 minutes

* TYPE: Black tea

* TEMPERATURE: 200 to 210 degrees

* TIME: 3-5 minutes

* TYPE: Herbal tea

* TEMPERATURE: 200 to 215 degrees

* TIME: 5-7 minutes

As you can see, all teas are not created equal. If you’re looking for the best tea to use in a coffee pot, consider the temperature that the water in an average coffee pot will be. Coffee pots brew around 190 to 205 degrees.

Due to this, white or green tea are the best teas to make in a coffee pot. Because tea and coffee are prepared at different temperatures, for the best results, you would not want to make your tea in a coffee pot in general. However, it is possible in a pinch.

How to Clean a Keurig with Vinegar Photo

Can You Make Tea in a Keurig?

You can make tea in a Keurig. Keurigs dispense hot water.

You can put an empty cup with a tea bag in it under a Keurig and run hot water without K-cup pods. You can also empty very finely ground tea into a reusable K-cup.

Do not place a mesh tea bag into the brew basket- there is a sharp needle at the top of the machine that will puncture the bag and can cause a big mess.

The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making When Brewing Tea

Try to avoid all of these things:

Squeezing tea bags

After you’re done steeping your tea, you may be tempted to squeeze the tea bag. Some people feel that this provides more flavor, but it actually increases the chances your tea tastes like bitter tannins

Tossing your tea

One tea bag is good for two cups of tea that are equal in strength and flavor. Consider saving or sharing your tea bag to get more for your money.

Leaving the tea to steep too long

A nice, strong tea may be your preference, but consider shopping for a different type of tea rather than leaving the bag in longer. Leaving tea to steep for too long can make a bitter cup and ruin the flavor.

Adjusting your steep times is one of the first things you should probably do to save money and avoid ruining your delicate teas.

Not bobbing your tea bag

Bobbing the tea bag in the cup does not make it steep faster, but it does help release the flavor notes in the bag.

Not using clean equipment

We’ve touched on making tea in coffee makers, and you will want to make sure you clean your Keurig and clean your coffee maker before attempting to make tea in them. This will also apply for using a tea kettle, pot, or mug.

An unclean surface with residue from previous uses or cleanings will alter the flavor of your tea. It could even make you sick — bacteria and mold can easily grow inside of machines that are not regularly cleaned or de-scaled.

Sweet Mango Green Tea Image

What is the Best Way to Brew Tea?

The best way to brew tea is to accurately measure the temperature that is recommended for your type of tea. An electric kettle is perfect for obtaining the exact temperature desired.

You may have to play around with different temperatures and brew times to get the tea to taste exactly the way you would like it to, but that’s not such a bad thing — more tea for you!

Another popular method is stovetop. You can use a tea kettle or a pot to bring water to a boil.

Tea kettles often whistle to indicate that the water is ready for tea. You will need to keep an eye on a pot of boiling water to decide when to use it.

People who don’t make tea often will also tend to opt for microwaving the water until it is hot, and then adding a tea bag.

(Did you know? You can also make coffee in the microwave.)

This is not going to make a perfect gourmet tea, but will certainly do in a pinch.

A coffee pot is not a typical way to make tea, but as you can see, there are many different ways that tea enthusiasts can go about tea brewing. Maybe you're on the road and only have access to a Keurig brewing machine, or maybe you're just getting into the world of tea.

While some tea types are easier to make using a coffee maker (because of the different water temperatures required) you can still make an almost perfect cup of tea utilizing the above directions.

Love tea? You may also like our green tea martini recipe or our red Rooibos tea sangria.

Green Tea Martini Photo

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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