I’ve been in my apartment for how many days?! Like many of you, I’ve been getting adventurous in the kitchen..partly because of my curiosity, partly because of boredom. I’ve been diving back into family recipes, many of which I probably haven’t had since childhood. One of these is sun tea. An incredibly simple concept that was a fad long before cold brew was mainstream. To make sun tea you simply steep your tea in a container in direct sunlight. Growing up in Virginia and my first childhood home not having central air conditioning, (typical here in Brooklyn, practically unheard of in VA), we’d avoid turning on the oven or stove at all costs in the summertime. Easy solution to making sweet tea without turning on the stove? Sun Tea.
Make some in your apartment, or on your balcony, roof, or fire escape today!
How to Make Sun Tea
Throw a couple of tea bags or tablespoons of loose-leaf into a glass container, fill it with filtered water, screw on the lid, and let it sit in direct sunlight for a couple of hours. It’s that simple!
I typically use 4 tea bags per gallon of filtered water and let it steep for 3 hours.
Now there are some things to consider when making sun tea…first of which is safety. You are creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow since the tea will never get hot enough to kill the bacteria like it would on the stove. You should always use a clean glass container with a lid and don’t let your tea sit for too long. Typically 3-4 hours max. If you want to steep it longer, you can always pop it in the fridge, cold brew style. Or if you’re just doing this for fun, let your tea steep in the sun and then pop it on the stove to kill any bacteria. Your sun tea should be consumed within 24 hours of brewing.
Sun tea will have a more mild flavor than tea made on the stove. Most of the tannins won’t be released because the tea won’t be heated enough, creating a more mild flavor. This allows you to have a lot of fun with it! I like to infuse mine with mint or rosemary while it is brewing. You can also add citrus peels for a nice and fruity summertime drink. When mine is done brewing I like to add a little simple syrup and drink it over ice. Sun tea also calls for a great cocktail…I like to add a shot of bourbon and a squeeze of lemon to mint sun tea…try it and thank me later.
Today I used the Bellocq Tea Hibiscus No. 50 and a miscellaneous English Breakfast tea bag I found in the back of my pantry. Honestly, making sun tea has been so much fun to do during quarantine because it gives me something to do and something to check on. I find myself continuously running to the window to see what color it is now. I know, I should pick up a hobby.
Try making sun tea and tell me what you think! We have a wide variety of teas, syrups, and mixology goods. Later this week I’ll be trying the Serendipitea Earl Grey and the Bellocq Mint.
Shop our selection of teas here and place your order by Tuesday at 9PM to secure local delivery on Thursday, 5/21.
Signing off to go check on my tea!