I was really surprised by some of the negative reviews on this and other sites. We've used ours for a year and never had tea spill/puddle on the counter. I'm making tea right now as I type this and even tried to rig it so it would spill by misaligning the brew basket and couldn't make it happen, so I'm not sure what is causing some to have that issue (it may be that those with issues have a brew basket where the area where it drips out is damaged). Also, I have always brewed on the strongest setting, so try adjusting that. It is important that the spout of the pitcher be in the proper position, not be warped, and not be cracked. Also make sure to clean the brew basket regularly and it should be fully seated.
I grew up brewing tea on the stove and then putting it in gallon jugs in the fridge. I drank a bunch of it and had 16 sweet tea induced cavities when I first saw the dentist as a kid!! After dropping a pot of boiling tea and burning my foot, that was it and for years I drank Crystal Light...much safer for the waistline too, but it was never anywhere near as good! Over time I began to buy gallons of tea, sweet and diet(w/Nutrasweet), at the local store, but at $2-$3 per gallon it was too much, especially as I drink about 5 gallons a week myself!
When visiting my sister in GA my wife and I discovered tea at the Walmart supermarket made with Splenda and loved it, but when our supermarket(no conveniently located Walmart near us) in PA finally got it it was $3-$4/gal.
Then my sister bought the Mr. Coffee iced tea maker and the tea was great. She did note that the sugar didn't dissolve well when put in the brew basket and she was right. She gave us our own Mr. Coffee TM70 last Christmas and we've found a way of using it that works great, but won't lead to immediately cold tea:
1) Fill with water but don't overfill or it will spill out the back all over your counter.
2) Put the tea bags in the brew basket. We use one large "family size" tea bag per cycle, though two or three regular sized bags will work fine.
(We use Lipton, a $3 box of 24 will make 12 gallons, as our supermarket no longer has a generic offering.)
We set it on the strongest brew setting.
3) Mix your sweetener (we use 1 1/2 cup per gallon of brewed tea) in a pint or so of water in the pitcher.
We use Splenda(a $6.99 bag will make about 8 gallons) which we buy in bags at the supermarket.
4) Run through one full cycle.
5) Fill with water again and put in an additional large tea bag or two regular size bags(leave the used ones in the brew basket) and run through a second cycle.
At this point the pitcher will be almost full.
Typically I then pour it into a gallon jug and add a bit more water to equal a gallon.
I usually will make 2-4 gallons in a row this way and stock the fridge. I just keep adding the tea bags in the brew basket until I make the last gallon and then throw all the bags away at the end.
We've had it now for a year and love it. I figure I was spending $10-15/week buying the gallons of tea(sweet or diet w/Nutrasweet) at the store. That's more than $500/year!! It would have cost $800+/yr to buy the Splenda tea at the supermarket. Using Splenda we buy in bags and Lipton bags cost about $1/gal. Of course with sugar it would be even less. We're looking to buy a bunch of them now for Christmas presents, which led me to this site.
(By the way, the website says they're not presently available on-line but are "in stock" at the nearest Walmart, which is 20+ minutes away. I went there yesterday and they didn't have them and they said they did not stock them...annoying.)
Overall a great product and very inexpensive.
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