With summer in full swing now and plenty of hot sun available, I decided to bring back one of my old favorites: sun tea. My first memories of sun tea were of my mom brewing some on top of our car as it sat parked in the driveway when we lived in Belvidere, around 25 years ago. I didn’t really care for the “grown up” taste of tea back then, but when I got older, I remembered how my mom used to make this. Tried it, loved it, and I have made it every summer since.
It’s very simple to make: all you need is a glass jar, water, some tea bags, and the sun!
1/2 gallon glass Mason jar
6 tea bags, preferably organic
filtered water to fill the jar, leaving about 2 inches of room from the top
Fill your jar with filtered water, leaving about 2 inches of room from the top. Place your tea bags inside (or loose leaf tea). If your tea bags have strings and tags, place these outside the jar, and then screw the lid on tightly, which holds the tea bags in place inside the jar. You can use any tea you prefer: green or white tea, black tea, herbal tea … Today I used a cinnamon chai variety which is delicious when brewed in the sun.
Once your water, tea bags, and tight lid are in place, set the jar outside in the direct sunlight. I tend to leave mine out all day, but I’ve also brewed sun tea with only 4 hours or so of daylight. It also depends on how strong you would like your tea to be. Although I don’t like a very strong tea, when I make it using this method, I still enjoy the taste even if it was left in the sun the entire day.
When it is done brewing, bring the tea inside, remove the tea bags, and add raw honey to taste. Tighten the lid again and shake to dissolve the honey into the tea. You can drink warm if you’d like; I like to stick it in the fridge and serve chilled.