You may have one of these handy machines at home or at the office: a Keurig single-serve coffee maker. They are very convenient for brewing up a hot cup of joe in a jiff. Sometimes during a midday tea break—without a proper teapot handy—have you maybe wondered, does making tea in a Keurig work well?
Making Tea in a Keurig
Making tea in a Keurig is possible, as this type of single-serve hot beverage station can be used as a hot water dispenser.
To proceed, place your tea bag or infuser in a properly-sized mug that will fit under the dispenser and on the drip tray. Select the “dispense water only” brew cycle. Once it has completed its warm-up routine, it will dispense hot water. Be aware that when you’re making tea in a Keurig, drops of scalding water may splash out of the mug during the brewing process.
Don’t be tempted to place a teabag in the coffee pod's brew basket. This will clog the needles and tear the tea bag so that you are sure to end up with a mug full of loose leaf tea and herbs. Keep the bag or your loose leaf strainer in your mug and have the water dispense directly into your mug.
Pros & Cons
The upside to making tea in a Keurig is that, in a pinch, this method will brew a fine cup of black tea. The water is heated to approximately 192 degrees Fahrenheit which is a very acceptable temperature for brewing black, green, or oolong tea.
A tea I would recommend trying when making tea in a Keurig is Royale Ceylon black tea.
This carefully sourced Ceylon FBOP (flowery broken orange pekoe) black tea, with a deep, rich, intoxicating flavor features hints of spicy sweetness and vanilla. You’ll find this tea full-bodied and robust for all types of preparation, such as hot or iced, with or without milk.
Because the Keurig is designed to heat water and then dispense it through a coffee pod in the brew basket, the water flows a bit slowly and irregularly. This could be a potential negative for using this machine to brew tea.
There is also no way to control the temperature of the water, so while this method is adequate for some teas, it is not ideal for brewing all teas. (Particularly herbal teas, which require a higher temperature, and more delicate white and green teas that require a temperature well below boiling.)
Keep It Clean
Coffee grounds can leave residue inside brew stations like the Keurig. Be sure the machine is clean before proceeding to heat and dispense water into your mug. If you think the water has been sitting in the reservoir for some time, consider using the old water for some indoor plants, and then refill the reservoir with fresh water. Running a water-only cycle once to clear out any leftover coffee debris is helpful before making tea in a Keurig.
Always be sure to check the brew basket before you hit the brew button to make sure there isn’t a leftover coffee pod or another beverage pod in there. It can be majorly frustrating to walk away from the brew station, excited for your next hot cuppa, only to return to find a mug full of a custom blend of weak coffee and your precious tea! (*Raises hand: I’ve done it…)
Beyond the Keurig: Brewing Basics
We tea lovers get a lot of enjoyment out of tea preparation. It’s a moment to carve out some quiet time and focus on this simple yet relaxing ritual that allows the stress of the day to float away. So, how do we brew black tea?
First, you’ll want to choose how you'll heat your water. Will you use a traditional teapot or perhaps an electric kettle? Heat the water to boiling (for most teas, definitely OK for black tea) which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, you’ll prepare your loose leaf tea in some type of strainer, such as a metal mesh ball. Or, add some whimsy to your tea time routine with the adorable Plum Deluxe Wise Owl Mug, paired with a handcrafted pewter “nest” style tea infuser.
Once your water is appropriately heated, pour it gently over the tea leaves into your mug, saturating the tea leaves in the strainer, allowing them to infuse with the water for an appropriate amount of time to draw the perfect flavor, typically 3-5 minutes for black tea.
Remove the strainer with tea leaves and set it aside. You may want to reserve the leaves for a second pour-over. If you like to add anything else to your tea such as lemon, milk, or sugar, now is the time. Give it all a quick stir with a pretty teaspoon and you are ready to enjoy your hot cup of black tea! For more helpful hints on how to brew tea, check out this post on tea preparation and this one on the appropriate brewing temperatures.
Making tea in a Keurig is a good option if you have access to one. It may not provide the most ideal components for brewing tea, but it certainly gets the job done to bless you with a hot beverage when needed. I hope you enjoyed these tips on making tea in a Keurig and can incorporate them on your next tea adventure. I’ll talk tea with you again soon!