I brew tea in a jar placed in the sun - sun tea - to make and enjoy iced tea all year around. I especially like to make and drink it during the warm summer months. I usually fill a 1/2 gallon mason jar with cool water and add about 4 tea bags or maybe less depending on how strong the tea is naturally. I use different kinds of black, green and herbal teas as my mood dictates.
I place the lidded jar outside to sit in the hot sun for 2-4 hours, again depending on how hot the weather is and also how strong the tea bags are. When the tea reaches the color I desire, I bring in the jar of tea, remove the bags and chill it in my refrigerator to enjoy later over ice. I've been making my sun tea this way for years and years. It works very well. It tastes good, it's easy, it's natural and it's inexpensive.
Being that it was such an uncomplicated process, I never thought about making any improvements to the method.
Well a few weeks ago I learned about another way of making sun tea from Sue of Country Pleasures. She read a post about this method in another blog that she likes to read. So the knowledge continues to get passed on and on from one blogger to the next. I love that!
What they recommended was to make a strong tea concentrate using a smaller jar, like a quart sized canning jar, so that it will take up less room in your summertime fridge. This makes sense to me because during my garden harvest season my refrigerator is always crammed full of produce, jars of water and tea, juice and fruit. There's not much room in there usually.
I took a clean quart sized canning jar filled with cool water and added twice as many tea bags as you would normally put in a quart of water. Then I capped the jar and set it in the sun for awhile to brew up very strong. When it was a very dark colored tea, I brought it inside, removed the tea bags and placed the jar in my fridge. I now had a very strong tea concentrate with which to make my ice tea.
When I desire a fresh glass of ice tea, I add ice cubes to my tall glass and then pour in some of the strong tea concentrate until it fills the glass about 1/4 to 1/3 full. I then fill the glass the rest of the way with cold water from a jug in my fridge. Stir to mix. Add some lemon if I feel fancy, and enjoy my nice cool fresh iced tea.
I thought that brewing the tea concentrate extra strong like that would make the tea taste bitter, but it did not do that. It was very tasty, and that small one quart jar of concentrate lasts for quite awhile in my refrigerator. It takes up less space which I appreciate this time of year.
So I am passing this good idea on to you. Try it. You'll like it.
Farmer, gardener, baker, cook, massage therapist, cat & chicken Mom, partner & business owner. Sells earth friendly products for you and your home, including natural soap, candles, body balms, cat toys, cat beds & many other handmade crafts.
This Harvest Basket is a collection from mountain rural life, the everyday wonders of nature and the forest, my vegetable & herb gardens, fruit & nut trees, chickens, kitty cats & my loving partners. My endeavor to live a natural, healthy and peaceful life on my 3 acres in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills also includes home cooking, baking, canning & crafts. Join me on my journey of learning and growing each day. I will share my Mountain Harvest with you.