A tall glass of iced tea is sure to hit the spot on a warm summer day. Of course, you can purchase premade varieties in the store, but making a pitcher of your own is easy to do with the West Bend Ice Tea Maker. With just a few ingredients you can make the perfect glass of iced tea.
Preparing the Tea Maker
Before brewing tea, you will need to remove the brew basket, filter and the drawer for sweetener. Run warm water over the filter. Set the machine onto a heat-resistant surface, and plug into an electrical outlet.
Making the Tea
Fill the pitcher with cold water, then pour into the reservoir that holds the water to the "max" line. Do not overfill. If you plan to make sweet tea, remove the brew basket to expose the sweetener drawer. Dampen the inside of the sweetener drawer before adding the desired amount of sugar. Do not add more than one cup. (If you are not making sweet tea, leave the drawer empty.) Replace the brew basket, and place tea bags into the basket. Use six to nine regular tea bags or two to three family-size tea bags. Place the filter on top of the bags. If using loose tea, add 1 to 3 tbsp. of loose tea into the tea filter instead of using bags, and place the filter on top of the brewing basket.
Close the reservoir lid. Set the brew strength by adjusting the steeping knob. The stronger tea setting is to the right, the mild setting to the left. Fill the pitcher with ice cubes to the "ice" level marked on the side of the pitcher. Put the pitcher into the machine with the handle facing outward. Check to make sure all machine parts are in place. The sugar drawer should be placed into the top of the machine first, followed by the brew basket and filter. Press the "on" button to begin brewing.
Serving the Tea and Cleaning
After the brew cycle is complete, allow the machine to rest for at least 10 minutes or until the final drips of water are released from the water reservoir. Pull out the pitcher from the machine and pour the tea into glasses. If making sweet tea, it may be necessary to stir the tea to dissolve any remaining sugar particles. After using, allow the machine to cool completely before cleaning. Throw away the used tea bags. Take out all removable parts, such as the pitcher, brew basket, filter and sugar drawer. Wash in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Use a damp, soapy cloth to wipe the exterior parts of the tea maker. Never submerge the maker into water, as this can permanently damage the parts. Dry all parts of the machine thoroughly before using or storing.
Gail Logan is a magazine editor and freelance writer based in Atlanta, AL. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Patrick Henry College. For the past four years, she has written home design, travel and food features for national magazines, including "Coastal Living," "Texas Home and Living," "Log Home Design," and "Country's Best Log Homes." When not writing, she mentors inner-city children.