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There’s nothing quite like iced coffee when it comes to a refreshing drink that will also give you that extra boost of energy to get you through the day. Iced tea is also a delicious and revitalizing beverage that people enjoy all around the world. However, they’re both a bit of a hassle to prepare, with a rather convoluted process that often leaves people opting for a hot coffee or tea, or something simpler to make.
That’s where a dedicated cold brewing machine comes in. With one of these clever kitchen appliances you can enjoy a frosty coffee or tea from the comfort of your own home, no fuss, no muss.
Thanks to this innovative iced coffee and tea brewer from Hamilton Beach, you can now enjoy the cooling joy of an iced beverage without the hassle and the mess. In fact, it’s become something of a collector’s item. Released in 2012, this model has become increasingly harder to find as Hamilton Beach no longer stock it. If you do manage to find one, don’t be surprised if you end up having to pay around six times the original price.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, and the specifications of this handy time-saving cold beverage brewer, so you can work out if it’s worth paying the premium for getting your hands on one.
This clever device is ideal if you love iced coffee or tea, and want to make your own quickly and easily. It used to be pretty reasonably priced, but these days it comes at something of a cost, due to its rarity. Even so, with the price of an iced tea or coffee these days, it still won’t be all that long before it’s paid for itself.
While it does make the drinks cold, it’s not a cold coffee brewer, as it doesn’t go for the slow infusion method common to such devices. While this makes it much, much quicker, you don’t get the benefits of the cold brew process, like reduced acid content and bitterness.
The machine itself consists of two parts – the upper half is the brewer, while the lower half is the decorative 2-quart pitcher, both of which have ergonomic handles that make them easy to move and pour. It also comes with a serving lid for the pitcher, along with two separate brewing baskets for tea and coffee. Also included are a manual, and a list of iced coffee recipes to give you some extra inspiration on what you can make with it.
This iced tea and coffee maker is both easy to use, and fairly versatile. It’s made using a clever twist design, where the top brewer and bottom pitcher are easily separated, allowing you to pour directly from the pitcher.
The pitcher itself is good-looking enough to fit nicely on the table, with a decorative round design, and holds a reasonable 2-quarts worth of iced coffee or tea. It has a serving lid, and a non-drip spout, both of which help to avoid any spills or mess. The spout also has a filter that you can use to ensure that no loose tea leaves end up in your cup. The pitcher fits comfortably and safely in most fridges and freezers, and has a tip-resistant base that’s wider than the rest of the body of the pitcher, for extra safety.
There are two interchangeable brewing baskets, one for tea and one for coffee. A nice touch is the three-strength option on the tea brewer that controls the steeping time of your tea, and so how powerful the resultant drink is. The tea brewer can work with both loose leaves and tea bags, which just adds to the versatility.
It takes up to 10 minutes to brew from start to finish, depending on what you’re brewing and the strength you’re going for. Put simply, stronger tea will take a little longer to brew than weaker tea.
It’s easy to clean by hand, and even better, all the parts are dishwasher safe, making maintenance a breeze.
It also works great for making hot tea and coffee, as it brews hot. All you have to do is avoid putting any ice in the pitcher before beginning the brewing process.
The main downside of this brewer is that it’s not made by the manufacturer anymore, so it can be pretty expensive to buy, and replacements parts are likely to be hard to come by. This also means that it might not come with a warranty, so make sure to check with the reseller before you buy it to ensure that your purchase is covered. The lack of an auto shut-off feature is also a shame.
How to use it Check out this video from manufacturers Hamilton Beach to see how the coffee brewing process works.
· Takes just 10 minutes to brew
· Pitcher looks good and fits in fridges and freezers
· Comes with separate coffee and tea brewing baskets
· Tea brewing basket has 3 strength options
· All parts are dishwasher safe
· Can also be used to make hot tea and coffee
· No longer available from the manufacturer
· Unlikely to be covered by warranty
· Pitcher is fairly small
· No auto shutoff
If you’re looking for a similar product that won’t cost and arm and a leg, then you should check out Nostalgia’s Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Brewing System. It costs around the same price as the Hamilton Beach brewer used to before it went out of production, has a larger 3-quart pitcher, and has an auto shutoff function. It also looks pretty great.
If you’re wanting an efficient, quick, and easy to use iced coffee and tea brewer that can provide you with a delicious cold drink in the comfort of your own home, then Hamilton Beach’s machine is a great piece of kit. If you can find it, of course, and if you don’t mind paying extra for the exclusivity of a device that’s no longer being made.