I purchased this product in hopes it would make the process of ice tea easier. However truly I find that it is just as easy to use my kettle to boil the water and steep the tea in the pitcher that normally holds my tea. The machine it's self is huge when you add the pitcher to it.. it takes up such space on the counter that I find myself putting it away more than using it. Which is another issue, since the machine stays wet for a long time after the brewing process. I have used mine a total of three times and the other times it is merely collecting dust beneath my counter top. The tea you brew can be loose or bagged, three bags will be the prefect if you are losing any tea other than black. I have never had any luck in brewing atop the ice to make the correct 3 quarts it marketed it's self as producing. So for me, three tea bags and the interior tank filled to the point that it will hold it's max. When you add the ice to the pitcher it merely just cools the water.. not truly making and additional tea. In the end.. save your money and just buy an electric kettle.