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Using an Espresso Machine to Press Tea

Paladar Mar 10, 2008 08:58 AM

This is a two-part post.

A friend gave us an espresso machine (a Buon Cafe 330), but no one in our household drinks coffee. We've been to a few higher end tea and coffee shops where tea is made with an espresso machine (with great success in our opinion). So my questions are:

1. Is there a way to clean the espresso machine thoroughly enough that there's no trace of coffee to mar the flavor of the tea?

2. Has anyone experimented trying this? Any instructions, tips and/or tricks you wouldn't mind sharing?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. starlady Mar 10, 2008 02:28 PM

    well I've never tried it with an espresso machine but I make tea with a coffee maker

    I have a coffee maker for guests and for me in the winter so i can have hot tea when I get out of bed.

    After my guests leave I usually run water thru the machine once then make tea once and throw it away then it's usable for making tea again, with no residual coffee-ness :)

    1. l
      lumwood3 Feb 8, 2009 12:52 PM

      An espresso machine makes good tea, although I sure it wasn't intended to. To clean an espresso machine, I have found it best to use bleach. Simple filly the water tank half and half and run it through. Afterwards you will have to run several rounds of water through it to make sure you dont get bleach flavored tea. Then just place the tea bag into the coffee holder and have fun.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lumwood3
        c
        chipman Feb 8, 2009 02:27 PM

        Why in the world would you run bleach through an espresso machines boiler???? All that is down there is water and some calcification. And then to decalcify you would run citric acid or some name brand detergent that eliminates calcium deposits. Don't run bleach through the boiler! Geeesh!! Again, there is nothing that tastes like coffee in the boiler. If you want to clean the group, buy some Urnex and soak the portofilter handle and basket and scrub out the group head with a toothbrush.

        1. re: lumwood3
          John Manzo Feb 8, 2009 02:49 PM

          DO NOT DO THIS. The bleach, I mean.

          I'd use one dedicated filter for the tea- and they make rooibos specifically for espresso machines btw, it's called "red espresso." Google it.

          Your tea won't have any "coffee flavour" if you just backflush the machine, or even just run some water through the grouphead, and wipe it off before making tea-presso.

        2. lucygoosey Feb 8, 2009 01:38 PM

          I'd recommend plain white vinegar to clean. You still have to do plain water, but any amount of bleach residue is better unconsumed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lucygoosey
            l
            lumwood3 Feb 8, 2009 01:44 PM

            Vinegar will not get the coffee taste out, and if you run enough water through it afterwards then residue will not be an issue.

            1. re: lumwood3
              c
              chipman Feb 8, 2009 05:25 PM

              Lumwood, are you talking about a Moka Pot? Sometimes called stove top espresso? I really can't believe anyone would advise using bleach in an actual espresso machine. The OP was referring to a inexpensive espresso machine not a moka pot.

          2. lynnlato Feb 8, 2009 01:56 PM

            I always thought it was improper to press tea. Something about releasing the tannins and causing bitterness.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lynnlato
              John Manzo Feb 8, 2009 02:51 PM

              Actually tea will probably be damn weak and tannin- and flavour-free simply because tea leaves can't provide enough back pressure to allow for anything remotely like espresso. However there is, for example, rooibos "ground" for espresso machines and I'd think a powdered tea like a matcha might be do-able in an espresso machine.

            2. d
              DavidLeadWay Jun 17, 2013 12:01 PM

              I saw a cool tea espresso machine at the trade show last week. It's called the Tea Reve tea espresso or something. Pretty cool..

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