Spring and summer are the best times for cold, refreshing iced tea, but who wants to stand over a stove to heat up steeping water when it’s hot outside? Option #2: make sun tea! The sun does the work for you and it’s super simple.
1. Find a glass jar that’s big enough to make enough tea for you (quart to a half gallon to a gallon!). Fill th container up to an inch from its top with cool water. Any glass vessel will do as long as the bottle’s neck is wide enough to admit tea bags and the glass is clear.
2. Add your tea bags. Use two if you’re making a quart and 5 if you’re making a half gallon. Hang them inside the water. Cap the jug tightly, letting the lid hold your bags in place. If you’re using loose leaf tea, just use an equal amount.
3. Place the tea jar outside in direct sunlight. Take a peek at it every hour to make sure it’s not in the shade and that nothing has happened to it.
4. After 2-3 hours of direct sun, it’s ready! Enjoy or store in the fridge for later.
This process works because the water in the glass absorbs the sun’s radiant heat. Then this closed glass “heat collector” starts brewing the tea bags and seeps them into the water.
If you want to get creative, substitute tea bags for orange slices or sassafras bark, mint leaves, dried lemon or orange rind, cinnamon, or any savory invention!
You might find that this way of brewing tea, using the heat of the sun, gives your “sunshine tea” a much smoother and less bitter taste than that a tea pot. Let the sun brew it!