As summer approaches and the days grow longer, nothing quite quenches your thirst like a glass of delicious ice tea. If you have never made sun brewed tea before, I can assure you, it will bring out the homesteader in you.
The notion that you just created a delicious beverage using nothing more than Mother Nature will surely inflate your self-sufficiency sails. Who knows, perhaps you will be inspired to take it a step further and choose to pickle something for your next project.
Sun brewed tea is primitive, back to nature and absolutely effortless. As an added bonus, brewing tea in the sun creates a more mellow and smooth taste than brewing it by modern methods.
Iced tea can be served with almost any type of food and still be considered complimentary. Add a shot of your favorite alcohol and you have an incognito adult beverage ready in seconds.
A word of caution, brewing your tea in the sun has some researches nervous that bacteria may grow in such “lukewarm” conditions. With that stated, I have never gotten sick nor have I heard of anyone getting sick from brewing their tea in the sun. Below are some precautions you can take to better assure bacterial growth will be at a minimum if existent at all.
- Use a sterile glass jar with a lid
- Do not leave your tea in the sun longer than 3 hours
- Add your sugar after it has been brewed, since sugar can encourage bacterial growth
- As soon as your tea is finished, add a couple of cups of ice to quickly bring tea to a cold temperature and then refrigerate
- If you notice any strands floating, discard
- 4 tea bags (I used Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea)
- 4 packets of organic Stevia (or 4 Tbsp of honey)
- Juice from 6 large lemons
- Juice from 2 blood oranges
- Fill your glass jug (or glass pitcher which you can later cover with plastic wrap) ¾ full with filtered water.
- Add your tea bags and close jug.
- Place in direct sunlight for 3 hours.
- Remove from sun and add sugar or honey, juice and ice.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours and serve.