There’s usually a divide between coffee drinkers and tea drinkers. Those who prefer a steaming hot or ice-cold cup of joe in the mornings don’t understand how someone can drink tea to jump-start their day and vice versa.
If you find yourself nestled somewhere in between a die-hard coffee lover and tea lover, you’re not alone. While there is a rift between coffee and tea drinkers, there’s still a handful of people who love drinking both.
Buying several kitchen appliances that are marketed for coffee or tea can start to add up quickly and take up space in your kitchen. It poses the question of whether you can use your espresso machine to brew tea.
Your Espresso Machine Can Brew Tea
Surprise! Your espresso machine can brew tea! Instead of putting coffee grounds into your espresso machine’s portafilter, you’ll add tea instead.
If you have an espresso machine that grinds the coffee beans for you, you’ll need a coffee grinder so that you can grind up your tea leaves.
You’ll want this separate tool because the built-in grinder in your espresso machine may not grind the tea leaves properly since it’s only used for coffee grounds.
Steps to Take Before Brewing Tea in your Espresso Machine
If you’re ready to make some delicious tea in your espresso machine, there are a few things you’ll need to do before adding tea leaves into the portafilter.
The number one thing you’ll want to do before adding tea to your espresso machine is to clean the machine’s portafilter and group head thoroughly.
Failure to clean your espresso machine’s group head can result in a cup of tea that tastes like old coffee. If you’re craving a cup of tea, the last thing you’ll want is a cup of tea that tastes like coffee remnants.
After you’ve cleaned your espresso machine’s group head, you can grind your tea leaves. You can either buy loose tea or grind it yourself. Grinding the tea leaves yourself will provide a fresher tasting cup of tea.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use tea bags to make tea in an espresso machine. But using loose tea tends to taste better, and frankly, you won’t go back to tea bags unless you have to after using loose tea.
How to Use Your Espresso Machine to Make Tea
Now that you have a clean espresso machine and freshly ground tea leaves, you can begin making tea in your espresso machine. The only difference between brewing espresso and tea in this machine is the product you put into the portafilter.
Instead of adding ground coffee beans into the portafilter, you’ll add tea. You can either add tea leaves or ground tea leaves.
Something you’ll want to keep in mind is that if you choose not to grind your tea leaves, you may have a very weak cup of tea. Grinding the tea leaves can help boost the flavor of the tea.
Once you’ve added your tea to the portafilter, you’ll tamp down the tea leaves as you would with coffee beans.
Pros and Cons of Using Your Espresso Machine for Tea
To be honest, there are more cons to brewing tea in your espresso machine than there are pros. But, everyone is different, and what may be a con to you may be a pro to someone else.
The biggest pro of using your espresso machine to brew tea is that it’s convenient. If you already own an espresso machine, you can clean it and then add tea to make a cup of tea. You don’t need to buy a tea maker or go to a cafe to purchase a cup of tea.
The cons for brewing tea in an espresso machine are significant. The biggest con of using this machine for tea is that the taste will more than likely not be what you’re expecting.
Even if you clean the group head properly, your tea may still come out tasting weak or even bitter since the water in an espresso machine is so hot.
There are ways to combat having a weak or bitter-tasting cup of tea, but it does take some practice, and it can be frustrating.
Alternatives to Brewing Tea in an Espresso Machine
If you’ve tried brewing tea in your espresso machine and don’t want to take the time to perfect brewing it in this device, here are some alternatives you can try.
Brew Tea in a French Press
I know what you’re thinking—using another coffee tool to make tea? How will that improve the taste of the tea compared to using an espresso machine? People use French presses to make tea all the time. These tools make brewing tea incredibly easy, and it’s less likely you’ll have a weak or bitter cup of tea.
As with your espresso machine’s group head, you’ll want to clean the french press very well to avoid any coffee flavoring seeping into your tea. After you’ve cleaned it, all you have to do is add your tea leaves and water and then let it steep for however long you’re supposed to.
Make Tea With a Teapot
Using a teapot to make tea is a classic method that stays true to the phrase “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” This method is one of the easiest ways to make tea. All you need is a nice teapot, tea, and a cup. You can use any kind of teapot you like, but many are made with iron, steel, or glass.
You’ll start by adding water to the teapot before setting it on the burner of your stove. You’ll wait for it to heat up and then pour the water into a cup. This method is common because you don’t need to use loose tea leaves unless you want. You can use a teabag for convenience.
Use a Tea Ball Infuser
Using a tea ball infuser is a great way to make tea. You can control how long the tea leaves are steeping. You can use the water made from your teapot or heat up the water in the microwave before setting your tea ball steeper with tea leaves into the water.