Have you ever heard of sun tea? It's really easy to make and can be a rather fun thing for even children to set up and make on a hot summer day.
To brew some, start by filling a clear glass jug, or a special made container for ice tea, with cold tap water. Of course, the amount of water you add will depend on the amount of ice tea you want to make. Then add the tea bags or loose tea, by figuring the amount you need per serving which is usually six or seven tea bags. Next, cover the jar or container and place in a protected area that receives the sun. The tea will brew as the sun's warmth gradually heats the water. It will usually take several hours for the tea to get as strong as you like it. When your tea is ready to bring indoors, remove the tea bags, add your sweeteners, like honey or sugar, or maybe a few lemon slices. All that's left is to refrigerate the tea until it is cold, then serve over ice.
If you enjoy using herbs, then you can make herb-flavored sun tea with herbs like lavender, mint or lemon balm. Actually, any herb you like can be used to make a really awesome flavored cup of tea. You can even use herbal tea bags if you don't have any fresh herbs available. Just start the whole tea making process as outlined above, but at the point where you add the tea bags to the glass container, you will add three or four fresh, washed, sprigs of herbs, or a couple of herbal tea bags. Then when you bring the tea inside and remove the herbs, don't forget to squeeze them to release their amazing flavors into the tea.
Of course, no discussion of sun tea can be complete without addressing the issue of food safety. What the issue boils down to, is the question of the temperature of the sun heated water, and the ability of bacteria to grow on the tea leaves or in the water itself. To effectively kill bacteria from either source, water really needs to heated to 195 degrees for at least 3 to 5 minutes. The heat of the sun does not usually raise the temperature of water to 195 degrees. So, if you want to take some precautions when making tea by heating water with the sun's energy, there are a couple of extra steps that can be taken in addition to the ones we've already discussed. First, run the glass jar or container through the dishwasher before using it to make the tea. Second, use bottled water rather than water straight from the faucet and pre-boil the water, let it cool, and then pour into the container and add the tea. Then when the tea is made, refrigerate and enjoy.
Mayoor Patel is the writer for the website http://iced-tea.tea-universe.com/ . Please visit for information on all things concerned with Sun Tea