Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by John Moretti
Tea is a wonderful beverage that can be enjoyed warm or cold. It is refreshing, and depending on what type of tea you brew, there can be many health benefits of drinking tea. However, those who own an espresso machine might be curious whether you can use it to make tea. So, we have researched this to determine if you can use an espresso machine to make tea.
While it is possible to make tea in an espresso machine, there isn’t much sense in doing so. It requires additional cleaning time, and the tea will likely taste weak or bitter. The process to make tea and coffee differ, and therefore, an espresso machine isn’t the best device for making tea.
However, for those eager to try and experiment with their espresso machines, it is possible to make tea using an espresso machine. This article discusses why you shouldn’t use an espresso machine for making tea and how to make tea in an espresso machine if you feel the need. We will also review other methods for making tea if you feel the need.
Why Is An Espresso Machine Not The Best Device For Tea?
There are three reasons why an espresso machine isn’t the best device for making tea. While you cannot damage your espresso machine by using it to make tea, the quality and taste of tea made in an espresso machine aren’t as good as tea brewed in other ways. So, why shouldn’t you make tea using an espresso machine?
1. The Process Of An Espresso Machine Isn’t Ideal For Tea
An espresso machine works by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee. This allows the water to absorb as much of the coffee flavor as possible. The entire process takes only a few seconds, allowing you to have a fresh cup of coffee within a minute.
However, tea is traditionally steeped in hot water for a couple of minutes, allowing the tea flavors to diffuse into the water. Therefore, if you put tea in an espresso machine’s portafilter, the hot water will pass through the tea leaves too quickly. The result will be weak-tasting tea.
You can grind the tea leaves into a fine powder to fix this problem. If this powder is pressed down like ground coffee, it will force the water to move through the tea slower. However, this will cause the tea to release too much flavor, and you might end up having bitter tea.
Therefore, the process an espresso machine uses to make coffee isn’t suitable to make tea. Instead, you are better off using another method to brew tea, such as a French press or teapot.
2. The Water Used In An Espresso Machine Might Burn The Tea
An espresso machine heats the water before pushing it through the coffee grounds. The water is heated to roughly 200°F, resulting in a steaming cup of joe. However, many types of tea require water at much lower temperatures. Therefore, if you place certain types of tea in an espresso machine, the tea leaves will burn as the water passes through. The leaves will then impart a burnt taste to the final product.
If you wish to make tea using an espresso machine, use black tea or certain herbal teas. These are traditionally brewed at higher temperatures. Be sure to check the best temperature for brewing the type of tea you want to drink. This will help you determine if it is okay to use an espresso machine.
3. Making Tea In An Espresso Machine Requires Extra Cleaning
As you mainly use the espresso machine to make coffee, there will be some coffee grounds stuck to the portafilter and head of the espresso machine. Therefore, before using it to make tea, you must first clean the portafilter and head of the espresso machine. This will prevent the tea from having a strange taste due to coffee grounds mixing with the tea leaves.
After using the espresso machine to make tea, you must clean the portafilter and head again to ensure the next batch of coffee isn’t contaminated with tea leaves, resulting in an unpleasant taste. Suppose you intend to switch between making coffee and tea in your espresso machine. In that case, the cleaning process will become long and tedious.
For the above-mentioned reasons, it’s best not to use an espresso machine for making tea. However, as making tea in an espresso machine isn’t harmful to the machine, you could still try it. If you don’t mind extra cleaning time and plan on using tea that can withstand higher brewing temperatures, we have included the steps for making tea in an espresso machine below.
How To Make Tea Using An Espresso Machine
Here are the steps to making tea in an espresso machine for those willing to experiment and who don’t mind the cleaning time.
Step 1: Clean The Espresso Machine
Before brewing a cup of tea in an espresso machine, you must clean the portafilter and head of the machine. This will help remove any coffee residue that could influence the taste of your tea. Warm water and soap are sufficient for cleaning the espresso machine.
Once you are sure that the machine is clean, run the espresso machine through a cycle without anything in the portafilter. This will rinse the espresso machine and prepare it for the tea.
Step 2: Prepare The Tea For Brewing
If you have chosen the tea you would like to use, you can decide if you want to grind the tea leaves or not. Grinding and packing the tea leaves will help the water move through the tea slower. This will help the tea infuse better into the water. However, certain teas might then also impart a bitter flavor.
For example, black tea will leave a bitter taste if grounded before brewing. But certain herbal teas might taste better if you first grind the leaves and then pack them in the espresso machine’s portafilter. Once the tea leaves are crushed, you can pack them in the portafilter and press them down.
Step 3: Return The Portafilter
Place the portafilter into the machine and turn the espresso machine on. Choose the setting you would like, and then let the machine make you a cup of tea. Keep in mind that some teas, such as black tea, work well with milk. However, certain herbal teas taste strange when milk is added. Therefore, you should choose the right setting depending on the type of tea you are using.
Step 4: Finish The Tea And Enjoy
When the espresso machine has made the tea, you can add honey or sugar if you wish and then enjoy your cup of tea. Experimenting with different types of tea and different consistencies and grounds will help you find the perfect way to make tea in an espresso machine.
You can safely make tea in an espresso machine without damaging the machine. However, making tea in an espresso machine requires additional cleaning time. The tea might also taste very weak or very bitter. Certain teas have a lower brewing temperature than an espresso machine uses. In this case, the tea could taste burnt.
To make tea in an espresso machine, you must first clean the machine thoroughly. Then, after choosing the right kind of tea and grinding it if you want to, you can use your espresso machine as usual to make a cup of tea.