I realize that most tea drinkers are moving from iced tea to hot tea as we enter cooler weather in much of the country. I, too, adore hot tea on a chilly day, yet I still find a fresh glass of iced tea after a workout (or most any time of the day) preferable to plain old water. I also like the fact that if I make a pitcher of iced tea, my family will drink it throughout the day instead of complaining about the fact that I don’t stock juice or soft drinks in the house like “everyone else” does.

Up until very recently, making a large batch of tea and storing it properly was kind of a pain, despite the fact that I have complete access to various gadgets and tea-making equipment. I just never could find a perfect tool that solved all the problems of needing a large infuser, a large BPA-free steeping and pouring vessel that can withstand boiling water, and something that is spill-proof and airtight.

Enter Takeya’s recently released improvement on its two-quart Flash Chill Tea Maker / Infuser combo. The new release features an improved, taller infuser that screws into the pitcher’s lid. Made from a durable BPA-free, shatter-proof, and heat-resistant material, it is as functional as it is attractive. One of the biggest complaints I’ve had with all these larger / taller infuser-combo tea makers, whether they are pitchers, teapots, or travel tumblers / mugs, is that the infuser is inevitably too tiny for the amount of tea you’re hoping to produce, providing nowhere near enough room for whole-leaf (or even cut-leaf) tea leaves to expand. The other problem is that the infuser is always short, meaning you’d have to fill the water up to the tippy top of the vessel for any infusion to take place. I’m still seeing this problem everywhere, and am always surprised who’s guilty of this.

I’m happy to say that Takeya’s new iced-tea pitcher solves most of these problems: they now have a very large, fairly wide infuser that nearly touches the bottom of the pitcher. Like the older model, it still screws into the lid for stability, and it’s great how you can disassemble it for easy cleaning. I also like the fact that, while the pitcher is tall, the screw-on lid actually seals, so you can store the pitcher on its side or any which way you like in the fridge. A twist of the lid and you’ve opened it for pouring. Of course, in a perfect world, I’d love it if the circumference of the infuser was nearly as wide as the pitcher itself, but I’ll take what I can get for now.

We may be heading into Fall and Winter, but hey, you still have to hydrate throughout the day whether you’re super active or have a desk job, and tea and botanical infusions are healthy, economical, and tasty alternatives to plain, unfiltered tap water to keep on hand in your fridge. I love the fact that Takeya has now made it easier to do that.