Sunday How-To: Make Your Own Iced Tea Brewer

Instead of a dessert review today, I thought I’d show off my latest work of art: I made an iced tea brewer, for loose-leaf tea and a gallon and a quarter of water at a time. It is slim and tall and fits nicely against the wall of my fridge on the top shelf, taking up very little room. And it makes great iced tea! And it was ridiculously simple to make.


  • One slimline water dispenser. I had one already, from a while back, but it’s very, very similar to this:

(I don’t buy stuff from Amazon, but it’s the only place I could find one of these with a cursory web search. Oh well.)

  • An infuser. Specifically, this one, which I got for four bucks from Katom kitchen supply:

  • A water-system-approved glue. I spent a fair amount of time researching this: epoxies, even the ‘food safe’ ones, have chemicals that leech out of them that have been implicated as endocrine disrupters. I couldn’t find any silicone that was approved for more than ‘incidental’ food contact. But I finally found some glue that was approved for use in potable water transport and storage systems: Loctite 480 acrylocyanate adhesive. It works a treat, but it was a little pricey ($25), so if you don’t think you’ll be using it for other projects, you could skimp. If you don’t fill the jug up all the way to the top, the adhesive won’t be underwater anyway.
  • Finally, a pair of screw tops, one that fits the infuser’s threads and one that fits the top of the jug. If you’re feeling confident you could just use the jug’s top for the latter, but I am cautious by nature. Fortunately, I found a couple of lids that worked fine just by wandering through the house: the lid from a jar of Planters sunflower seeds fits the jug, and the lid from my (Nordic Naturals, in case anyone cares) omega-3 supplements fit the inner.

The procedure is straightforward enough: just glue the smaller cap inside the larger one. Make sure you clamp them firmly together while the glue is setting — a c-clamp is great for this, although I recommend using something to distribute the pressure around the entirety of both sides, either a c-clamp with very large surfaces or something like a huge washer. Then just wait for the glue to set. The acrylocyanate I linked to above said it would finish curing in 24 hours but I guess I used way too much because it took four days. You can tell when it’s finally done because it doesn’t smell any more. And then you… don’t do anything, because you’re done.

The glued cap next to the infuser.

You just fill the infuser with loose-leaf tea and then screw them together, like this.

The whole thing together.

And together, full of water, with some rather nice Ceylon black tea in the infuser. Just put it in the fridge for 24 hours…

…and you get some lovely iced tea!

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