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Which single serve maker for loose leaf tea?

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Which single serve maker for loose leaf tea?

Postby aab1 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:20 pm

I have a Melitta One:One or whatever it's called and I use it to make loose leaf tea, I just put the loose leafs in the pod holder and start, it works fairly well for green and black teas, but it makes herbal teas whcih need longer steeping time) much too weak. It also makes only 8oz at a time and the water tank is ridiculously small (fills my cup only ONCE between refills).

I just got a cheap drip coffee maker thinking it would work well, I was wrong, every tea (green, black, herbal) tastes TERRIBLE, the steep temperature and time is WAY to high even for herbal tea which normally needs high temp/long steep time. Needless to say I'll be returning it.

I had been looking for a replacement single serve maker for my melitta for a while, the Keurig looked fine except that it used to be limited to K-Cups.

I saw there's finally a reusable K-Cup filter to put your own coffee/tea (they only mention coffee, is there any reason it wouldn't work with tea?) in K-Cup machines, and the new Keurig B70 looks great since it has adjustable temperature and water quantity.

Has anyone used a Keurig for green/black/herbal teas and does it over/under steep any of them? They all require very different steeping times and temps so I'm worried it may not do the job too well, but the Melitta did them all great except for hebral teas.

Are there any other machines with adjustable temp/water quantity and possibly brew time that would let me use loose leaf tea (even if not specifically designed for that, for example the Melitta isn't at all for loose leaf but it worked very well)?

Thanks
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Postby Hodaka » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:52 pm

how long of a steep time do you need? The bunn my cafe has a tea button that instead of dispensing 1 long stream of water, does it in pulses to allow some steeping.. it's not a super long time, but it's specifically designed for tea.. if you can't use it loose, you could invest in some #2 t-sacs to fill and use..
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Postby aab1 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:55 pm

I had been considering the bunn my cafe for a while, but am now leaning more towards the Keurig B70. Does anyon know if it makes good green/black/herbal teas?

Thanks
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Postby gschenk » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:28 pm

I'm sure you could jerry rig up something that might give acceptable results, but I have to ask why you would bother? Melitta makes a very inexpensive electric kettle called the Melitta Express Kettle. They sell it at Target for around $25 and it boils water just about as fast as a Keurig, little slower than a Senseo. Combine that with a normal tea ball and you'll get a perfect cup every time without having to jump through hoops.
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Postby aab1 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:55 pm

gschenk wrote:I'm sure you could jerry rig up something that might give acceptable results, but I have to ask why you would bother? Melitta makes a very inexpensive electric kettle called the Melitta Express Kettle. They sell it at Target for around $25 and it boils water just about as fast as a Keurig, little slower than a Senseo. Combine that with a normal tea ball and you'll get a perfect cup every time without having to jump through hoops.


I now use a melitta 1:1 for loose tea and find it much simpler to use than those tea balls, it also brews much faster (like 30 sec VS 5 minutes) which saves a lot of time, not to mention it's far more easier to clean single serve pod holders than a tea ball, the tea balls also tend to let half the tea leaves go straight through, making them rather worthless.
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Postby darrylr » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:27 am

I think the best single-serve brewer for tea is a teacup. :) Seriously, using a teabag right in the cup or loose leaves in a T-sac or tea infuser is just as fast as messing with a machine, is less to clean up, is fool proof, and gives a better result. I've timed my microwave using a single cup of water so I know exaclty how long to put a cup of water in there to hit the best brew temp for the given kind of tea (black, white, green, herbal). Doesn't take but a couple minutes to heat the water and while I'm doing that I get out the tea and tea spoon so the whole process start to end is literally about 5-6 minutes if you include the steep time.

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Postby coffeelover » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:08 pm

It's especially easy using a T-sac, as there is nothing to clean...just throw it away.

Another idea is to use a Hot Shot for heating up the water. The temperature may be too hot for tea, but all you do is pour your cup of water in the top and it comes out very hot within a minute. My daughter has one at college and loves it for tea and hot chocolate.
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Postby aab1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:24 pm

As I've said I've been making tea using my melitta 1:1 and find it much muhc faster, simpler and less to clean up than any other tea making method. I think I'll go with the Keurig b70.

As tyou said yourself, it takes 5-6 minutes to make a cup manually, it takes 30-60 seconds with a machine, that's the main reason I want one.
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Postby gschenk » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:25 pm

If it's the tea leaves thats bothering you, leave the tea ball out completely and do as the aussies do. Pour the tea leaves directly into the tea pot. Add boiled water and let it steep for however long you want it. It's tea, it's gonna need to to steep. I don't think 30 seconds through a Senseo is gonna do it. Then just get a cup screen (should sell them in most shops that sell tea pots) and pour the tea, leaves and all into the cup. The screen will stop all mess and it's a breeze to clean up.

Granted if you've got your mind made up on 30 second tea, I won't be able to change you. The best I can suggest if you don't want a really terrible cup of tea is to get a keurig or tassimo and use the Twinings K-Cup/T-Disk. They make an acceptable.

Oh and Darrylr, that is a good suggestion about making tea in the Microwave. It does work well, but here's a way to make it better. I find that whenever I ask for a cup of tea in an American restraunt they give me a cup of hot water and a tea bag on the side. That will never do. A proper cup of tea has the hot water poured onto the tea bag. So whenever I have to use a microwave I just use two cups. One to boil the water, and then pour that into another cup with the tea bag. Much better tasting and faster than dipping a tea bag into a cup of hot water.
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Postby aab1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:42 pm

gschenk: Thanks for the reply.

I've already explained that I have a Melitta 1:1 that brews a perfect cup of tea from loose leaves simply put into the pod holder instead of an actual tea pod in about 30 seconds, so single serve machines do make good tea from loose leafs.

I had also got a digital water cooler/heater (those things that hold the big 5 gallon bottles) so I could program the perfect temperature to make tea using a tea pot and water from the water heater. I've used this method a few times and even got 2-3 different teapots to try and find a perfect one, but they all have problems in common:
-Takes much longer to brew than a machine that forces pressurized water through the tea leaves (2-6 minutes VS. 30-60 seconds)
-Makes a large quantity that usually gets cold by the time I drink it all, and forces me to have 3-4 cups of the same tea flavor in a row (the last cups being rather cold)
-If I'm with friends, we must all agree on one flavor for all of us
-I need to stop the infusion one way or another to prevent oversteeping which makes terrible tea, that usually means taking a filter out, meaning I have to wait in the kitchen while the tea steeps and then remove the filter, I've got some tea pots that try to counteract this issue, one had a closable "valve" to seal the tea leaves out of the brewed tea with the twist of a knob, but these are all a pain to clean as the tea leaves get in and around the valve mecanism

I'm definately decided on a single brewer, as the Melitta does an excellent job at brewing loose leaf tea, but the problems I have with the melitta are:
-Ridiculously small brew size (8oz)
-Ridiculously small water tank (fills my large cup ONCE between refills!)
-Ridiculously small cup clearance (most of my cups won't fit in it at all)

Those are the main problems I have with the melitta, don't get me wrong, it's an excellent brewer for the price and makes excellent coffee and tea, and was a great intro to single serve, but I'm ready to upgrade to something more serious now.

I'm nearly 100% decided on the Keurig B70 and My K-Cup to put loose tea in it, I was afraid it might make weak tea, but I've just done a simple test with my loose leaf tea, I put some in a filter and then simply let hot water pour through the filter and into a cup under the filter, even with this unpressurized "drip" brew, it made a perfect cup, this pretty much duplicates what happens in the Keurig using the My K Cup, and if it still doesn't make it strong enough, I have a few tricks in mind:
-Grind the tea leaves as one user on this website recommended
-Modify the My K Cup, for example I can try to put a small shower head instead of just a needle, and/or make the exit hole smaller, forcing the tea to steep longer

In any case, it will undoubtedly work with the vast majority of tea types from the test I did here with just letting hot water fall over tea leaves and into a cup, which is what the Keurigs do, and I can always try and modify it, because the Keurig seems to be by far the best machine for my needs.

Anyway, thanks a lot for all the info, I'm almost sure I'll get the Keurig B70, although I'll wait a few weeks before getting it as it's a bit expensive, but I'm convinced it will be a great buy, the melitta certainly was, and this can only be far better.

Thanks again
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Postby NDJollyMon » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:20 pm

I haven't tried tea in the MyKcup. Heck, I've never tried any loose leaf tea. I've used the tea Kcups, and they make a great iced tea.

I'm not a tea expert, so what is the difference in a tea made of loose leafs vs. a kcup or tea bag?
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Postby aab1 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:25 pm

NDJollyMon wrote:I haven't tried tea in the MyKcup. Heck, I've never tried any loose leaf tea. I've used the tea Kcups, and they make a great iced tea.

I'm not a tea expert, so what is the difference in a tea made of loose leafs vs. a kcup or tea bag?


I listed the advantages I found of single serve machines for tea in my post above, mostly:
-Makes one cup at a time (no wasting, excess tea getting cold, etc)
-Can switch from one flavor to another between cups (useful when with friends so we don't need to all agree on one tea)

I never buy tea bags, they are almost always extermely low quality tea, I buy only loose leaf tea, they are not at all comparable.

Anyway I'll be getting the Keurig B70 in a few weeks and I'll let you know how well it works.
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Postby Hodaka » Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:27 pm

good luck.. if it doesn't work out, I suppose you could consider another Melitta 1:1 (there have been $15 deals ocassionally) if you have the counterspace and brew 2 cups at once and then pour one into the other.
own:
* Nespresso C100 (primary)
* Aerobie Aeropress
* Bunn My Cafe (I got this back from my dad)
* Keurig Ultra B50 (my dad has this one now..)
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