Sun Tea is summertime staple in my house. It’s a habit I picked up from my mom. I remember when I was growing up there was always a bright yellow drink dispenser sitting on the patio table or the deck railing steeping.
Mom passed away in December and I think about her all the time now. A couple days ago, I picked up a bottle of store bought ice tea (unsweetened of course because that’s how mom drank it) because it was hot and I was thinking of mom. It was good but it was not the same as mom’s sun tea.
How is Sun Tea Different from Brewed Ice Tea?
To me sun tea less bitter than brewed tea. I think because it brews over a longer period of time than if you brewed up a really strong tea and then diluted it to make iced tea.
Sun tea is a few quarts of water and a few tea bags brewing over a period of 3-5 hours. It’s less intense because of the water to tea ratio.
Or I could be completely off base.
I could just think it’s better because it reminds me of my mom. Let’s face it. Anything mom did is automatically better. Boom! Truth bomb!
Isn’t Sun Tea Bad for You?
No. And Yes. Clear as mud?
Like anything there’s going to be someone who does something to mess things up causing everything to go horribly wrong. That’s when the internet starts screaming that everyone needs to stop drinking sun tea because it’s bad!
Chill. Take a breath.
Here’s the issue. Someone decided to brew their sun tea with sugar in the water while they were brewing it and that caused happy little bacteria to grow and make them sick.
You are smarter than that or you will be now that you’ve read this post! I don’t brew the tea with sugar in it. EVER. Never did. Never will. Can’t figure out whey they did it in the first place.
Don’t ever add sugar to your iced tea. Especially if you are serving it to guests. Don’t add lemon either. Don’t add mint. Or fruit.
Why? Because not everyone likes their tea the way you do. Again, truth bomb.
I know we tend to get a little wrapped up in how WE like to eat or drink things and think that’s the only way i
t can be consumed.
Sugar can and should be added to each glass. Some people like super sweet tea, some like mildly sweet tea and a few strange souls like me don’t like sweet tea at all.
How Do You Make Sun Tea?
I’m so glad you asked! It couldn’t be simpler.
Start with a large glass or plastic container that the sun can shine through. If you have a drink dispenser then use that but you can also use a gallon sized Mason Jar.
Fill the container with cold tap water. If you’re using a dispenser like mine that has a center tube that you can add ice to you will want to fill the container to the fill line. If you’re using the Mason Jar then fill it up!
Next, you’ll want to use black tea bags. Grocery store brand black tea works as well as high priced organic teas but you do you. If you’re worried that green tea would be healthier there are health benefits with black tea too so don’t sweat it!
Open 8 tea bags for a gallon sized container. If you’re using a smaller size container scale back accordingly.
Float the tea backs on the top of the water.
Before you close the container make sure you push the strings in and only leave the tags outside. This is because as the tea brews the bags will sink down into the water and you want to give them a good line.
Put the container in a sunny spot. Make sure where you place it will be sunny for the whole time brewing.
Now you let it sit.
Don’t Drink Too Soon!
In about an hour the color of the water will start to look like tea. Don’t be fooled! It’s not ready yet. As I said above for the tea to be fully brewed and to get the full flavor you will need to wait 3 to 5 hours. Be patient. It’s worth it!
Before You Drink
I always allow my sun tea to cool off before I drink it. I do this so my ice doesn’t immediately melt and dilute my tea. If you’re using a gallon Mason jar or a drink dispenser that fits, you can put you tea in the refrigerator. My dispenser is a little too tall for my fridge so I have to wait. I know first world problems.
Now Add Sugar
Once it’s cool and you’re ready to drink go ahead and add sugar, fruits, or whatever you like in your ice tea to your glass. Mine will be plain thank you very much!
Don’t forget the ice!
Fill your glass and enjoy.
Best served on super hot day in a shady spot.
Let’s Make Sun Tea! by PeonyLane on Jumprope.