If you like tea and you have an espresso machine then you might be wondering whether or not you can put tea in an espresso machine.
This post will show you whether or not you can put tea in an espresso machine, how to do it and other things to consider.
So, can you put tea in an espresso machine? You can put tea in the portafilter in place of ground coffee and brew tea if you want. However, you will need to clean the group head thoroughly and the tea will likely taste weak.
There are actually a number of things that you can do to get the tea to taste better if you make it in an espresso machine and there are a number of alternative things that you can do.
How to brew tea using an espresso machine
Below, I will show you how to brew tea using an espresso machine, the risks of doing so and alternative things to consider.
To make tea using an espresso machine it will be necessary for you to put the tea in the portafilter like you would with a regular espresso.
If you put the tea leaves in the portafilter, as they are, then you extract the tea it will likely cause the tea to taste very weak.
This is because espresso machines are designed to make espresso by forcing hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. If the tea leaves are not finely ground then it will mean that the water will be able to pass through them, in the portafilter, easily resulting in not much of the tea mixing with the water. This will cause the brewed tea to taste weak.
Grind the tea leaves
To prevent the tea from being weak it will likely be necessary for you to grind the tea leaves like you would with regular coffee beans.
By grinding the tea leaves it will mean that the water will take longer to pass through it, in the portafilter, which should result in the tea tasting stronger and more similar to regular brewed tea.
Use a tea that diffuses quickly
Most tea leaves are meant to be mixed with hot water for up to five minutes but espresso is meant to be made in thirty seconds. This means that most tea leaves will not have enough time to mix with the hot water.
To allow for more of the tea to mix with the hot water you can grind the tea leaves and you could use tea that diffuses more quickly such as CTC Assam.
Risks of brewing tea in an espresso machine
If you decide to brew the tea using an espresso machine then there are some things that you should keep in mind.
The tea might taste burnt
Espresso machines make use of hot and pressurized water at around 200 Fahrenheit. Most teas are not supposed to be made at that temperature which could result in the tea tasting burnt especially if you also ground the tea leaves first.
However, there are some tea leaves that are meant to be brewed at that temperature such as black and herbal teas.
It could be bitter
If you grind the tea too finely then it could result in the tea tasting bitter. This is because, if the grind is too fine, then it will mean that the hot water will come into contact with the tea for too long and too much of the tea will get extracted. This could also result in the tea tasting burnt.
It could be weak
Using an espresso machine to make the tea could also result in the tea tasting weak. This would be more likely if you put the tea leaves straight into the portafilter without grinding them first.
You will need to clean the basket and the grouphead thoroughly
If you use the espresso machine to brew the tea then it will be necessary for you to clean the group head, the basket and the portafilter thoroughly. This is because some of the tea will likely get stuck to them and this will likely result in future espressos that you make with the machine tasting different.
Use a French press instead
If you are looking for an easy way to make tea then I would recommend that you use a French press instead.
A French press is a pot that contains a plunger inside of it. To make tea using a french press you just need to put hot water and tea in the French press, wait a few minutes and then press down on the plunger and pour out the brewed tea.
French presses are quick and easy to use and you won’t have to worry about damaging your espresso machine or impacting the taste of the espressos that you make with the machine.
French presses will also allow you to control the strength of the tea by pressing down on the plunger sooner or later. If you press the plunger down sooner then the tea will be weaker and if you press it down later then the tea will be stronger.
The french press that I would recommend would be this one at Amazon.
Can I put milk in an espresso machine? You should avoid putting milk in an espresso machine. If you do then it could damage the machine, the espresso will likely taste bad and it could cause mold to develop. Instead, it would be better to use water to make the espresso and use the milk steamer to heat the milk up then add it to the espresso. I have written more about this here.
Can I put ground coffee in an espresso machine? You can put ground coffee in an espresso machine. However, it will likely cause the espresso to taste weak. This is because espresso is meant to be made using finely ground coffee. I have written more about this question here.