How to make iced tea with and without gadgets

The pod way

Sleeping doesn’t come easily to the crew of GadgetGuy. Given the amount of articles we write about coffee machines, it’s probably not hard to see why: we’re permanently wired, always consuming the stuff while we’re reviewing it.

Lately, there have been a lot of pod machines. These things are the new “it” thing, the must have gadget outside of tablets for the holiday season, and so we’re playing with them all the time, working out how they work, and generally experimenting with what you can and can’t do.

And one of the things we’ve found you can do with a coffee pod machine is make iced tea. Sort of.

You can use the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines to create iced tea when used with iced tea pods.

At least one type of coffee pod machine supports making iced tea, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see others follow in suit once the hot temperatures really start to kick in.

Right now, the Nescafe system is the only one available locally that supports iced tea, borrowing the formula from Nestle’s powdered iced tea in the States, and repurposing it for packing in a small pod that can be used in the Dolce Gusto machines.

As we saw when we reviewed the Genio, the pods used in this system are pierced with a small needle and injected with water. Inside the pods, it’s basically like a tiny brewing system, with the powder turning to liquid and a filter rising in the pressure to let the liquid out into your cup.

These pods, however, make one cup of iced tea per serving, no different from the coffee and hot chocolate pods normally used on the machines. Try using it more than once and you’ll just get slightly scented dirty water that no one wants to drink. Trust us on this: use a pod and throw it out.

Other pod systems, such as the Map system used by the Woolworths coffee machine, may also have iced tea pods on the way, and we’d encourage owners of these machines to look around.

Not sold in Australia, the Keurig K-Cup system has lots of tea pods available for it.

In America, the Keurig range of coffee machines uses the “K-Cups” pods, and has several tea brands making varieties available for both hot and cold tea, though we haven’t been able to test any of these pods for compatibility with locally available machines.

The systems look a little different – size, filter in the pod – but given how close many of the encapsulated machines are, may work.

Nespresso owners tend to miss out completely, though, but can always make a cup of hot tea with a refillable pod. We don’t actually believe this is a great option, given that it’s a little like refilling your own tea bags, and unless you’re making your own tea varieties, it’s probably quicker and cheaper to use tea bags.