Sun tea gets its name from the method used to brew it, which is basically leaving it in the sun to warm up. Learning how to make sun tea doesn’t require any special tea leaves or equipment. In fact, you can use any tea leaves and make it the same way you would normal tea, except for boiling the water. Take tips on how to make sun tea at home that is tasty, refreshing and bacteria-free.
Choosing Ingredients for Sun Tea
As mentioned earlier, there is no specific tea used to make sun tea. You can use whatever tea bags are in your kitchen. Experts, however, argue that black tea is best because it provides a stronger flavor. When shopping for black tea leaves or bags, look for a superior brand. If you like your tea a little mild, you can opt for green tea instead.
There are many flavors of tea to select from and you should try as many as you can. Teas infused with citrus and fruity flavor can be energizing and refreshing, especially when chilled. There are also floral teas, herbal and even chocolaty teas. When learning how to make sun tea, experiment with as many flavors you can find.
- A 1-quart pitcher
- 4 tea bags (or 6 for stronger flavor)
- Clean water, preferably distilled
- Start by boiling a quart of water in a kettle. Avoid heating the water to boiling point or for more than 5 minutes.
- Add tea bags to the pitcher and pour the warm water over them. Steep green and black tea for 3 minutes at the most. Any more will make your tea bitter. If you prefer honey bush tea, you can steep for 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the teabags, close the pitcher and place it in the sun. The place you choose should at least have 3 hours of direct, uninterrupted sunlight. Allow it to warm up or chill in the fridge; garnish with lemon wedges if desired and serve.
How to Make Sun Tea Tips
There have been some serious health concerns about leaving tea in the sun. When water is left at room temperature, it tends to grow bacteria that are harmful to your health. This is why there are brands that offer “sun-less sun teas”. To be safe, you can choose not to place the tea in the sun and chill it in the refrigerator instead.
A great tip on how to make sun tea is not to squeeze teabags. Many people make the mistake of thinking that squeezing the teabags will improve the flavor. It is wiser to just steep the tea bags for a longer time or increase the number of teabags. Another sun tea tip is to clean your pitcher thoroughly before use. You should also consider boiling mint leaves if using them for flavoring.