As summer inches closer, I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for sun tea. If you’re unfamiliar, you place a huge Mason jar filled with water and tea bags in the blazing sun, let it rest for a couple hours, and serve the drink on ice. The point is, you don’t have to turn on the stove, waste energy, and fuss with boiling water to steep the tea. It’s very Midwestern and was something my mother, her mother, and her mother’s mother all did on hot summer days.
Now that I’ve moved away from Ohio and live in an apartment, I don’t really think my neighbors would appreciate me leaving a random Mason jar of steamy tea water at the front of our apartment building — even despite the fact that the Texas heat could totally brew the perfect pitcher of sun tea.
So, I went on the hunt to find a solution to curb my iced tea craving. Mainly because I’ve been spending too much money buying iced tea at coffee shops and restaurants, and I’m sick of being judged for preferring unsweetened tea to sweet tea.
After scouring hundreds of online reviews from shoppers who are equally obsessed with tea as I am, I finally found the ultimate tea pitcher. It’s called the Takeya Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker. It comes in two sizes — 1 or 2 quarts — and is available in four bright colors. I got the larger, raspberry red one and have brewed 7 gallons of tea with it.
A Thoughtfully Designed Pitcher That Looks, Works Great
What I love most about it is how cleverly designed and easy it makes brewing tea. My previous plastic pitchers felt cheap and fragile, and were bulky. They took up a ton of fridge space and would crack because of the extreme temperature change from boiling to chilled.
The Takeya pitcher is slim and was specifically made for brewing tea. It looks and feels premium, is BPA-free, and is slender enough to store in the fridge door. A word of advice: If you don’t have space for it in your fridge door, I’d recommend shopping the 1-quart model, since it’s 3 inches shorter than the 12-inch, 2-quart one.
Making Tea Has Never Been Easier
Most iced tea makers require precious counter space, which I’m severely lacking since I already have an espresso machine, a stand mixer, and a toaster oven. Not this one! It doesn’t even need to be connected to power. You brew tea with it one of two ways:
There’s the “Flash Chill Method,” where you add eight tea bags into its infuser, fill the pitcher halfway with boiling water, steep the tea for 5 minutes, remove the infuser, top it off with ice, twist its airtight lid closed, and shake it. The whole process takes 7 minutes tops for me.
Or there’s the “Cold Brew Method,” in which you add your tea bags, fill the pitcher to the top with water, and let it steep for 6-12 hours in your fridge. If I do the latter, I just fill the pitcher directly from my refrigerator’s spigot to make the tea before bed and let it steep overnight. Whatever method you choose always results in refreshing and delicious-tasting tea.
Iced Tea Not Your Cup of Tea? No Problem!
If you prefer cold-brew coffee to tea, you’re in luck! Takeya also manufacturers a cold brew coffee maker.
Takeya Cold Brew Maker
Sure, you can go the store-bought route, but at an average price of $4 for a cold brew, you can wrack up quite a tab over the course of summer. That’s why Takeya’s cold-brew maker — available in 1-quart (four servings) or 2-quart (eight servings) options — is a godsend, as it’s a quick, easy, and wallet-friendly way to quench your cold-brew cravings.
And it’s just as simple and easy as the tea maker. Simply fill the pitcher, put 12 to 16 scoops of finely ground coffee in the filter, let it sit in the fridge over night, and voila! — you have delicious cold brew whenever you need that mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Word to the wise: The bean qualities matter here. Our first test with the cold-brew maker resulted in what can only be described as muddy water. But when we bought some high-quality beans, fired up our coffee grinder, and tested again, the results were revolutionary, making it clear why this pitcher has more than 2,000 rave reviews on Amazon.