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Sun Tea

Sun Tea

I really prefer iced beverages over hot ones.  Even in the cold winter Up North I like my coffee or tea on ice.  I think it’s because I’m a sipper, and by the time I get halfway done with my coffee or tea it’s room temperature anyway.  Coffee that’s turned cold is annoying.  Coffee that’s meant to be cold?  Just right!  So call me Goldilocks but I just have to think ahead and keep a jug of coffee or tea in the fridge.  Making sun tea in the summer is my favorite.  I’m ready to add ice and enjoy.

I did a post on my iced coffee 5 years ago.  Yes, I can’t believe it was that long ago!  I learned to make cold press coffee from the Pioneer Woman and never looked back.  I am fussy and prefer to use Starbucks ground French Roast coffee when I make a jug of coffee.  It has a distinctive flavor I enjoy.  You’re always welcome to use the brand if you prefer.

Making my own coffee is neat and all but also saves loads of money.  As much as I do enjoy driving thru Starbucks to pickup an iced Caramel Macchiato, it’s over $6.00!  I have to have a milk substitute and that makes it even higher.  When in the world did buying a cup of coffee cost almost as much as buying lunch?  Or more than lunch, depending on where you’re eating.

Sun Tea

But I digress, I didn’t mean to start a coffee rant.  I wanted to write about my routine of making sun tea to get it posted for posterity.  It’s even simpler than making cold press coffee, since it doesn’t have to be strained through the cloth bag.  The tea bags have their own little bags that do it for me.  The only difficult part is remembering to put it out IN the sun, before the sun disappears behind the house next door.

I have about 5 hours of sun on the back porch off of my kitchen.  I’m always happy when I remember to fill one of my glass dispensers with water I’ve filtered with my Pur.  The Pur filter is attached to my kitchen sink faucet and makes it easy to add filtered water to the jug.  Does sun tea require your water to be filtered?  Nope!  I’m sure you know if your water is good straight out of the tap or not.  Use your own judgement.

I use 10 black tea bags. It’s nice if they have tags to close the jar on but you can dig them out later with a slotted spoon or tongs.

I use plain black tea, the inexpensive kind you can buy in boxes of 24 or more at the grocery store.  We happened to buy bags without strings this last time but no problem.  I use tongs to dig them out after the tea is done.

Place tea bags in gallon jug of water. Sit in sun for 2-3 hours.

I place 10 bags of tea into the glass water jug that has a built-in tap.  At other times we buy the family sized bags of tea and then I use 3 bags.  After you’ve made sun tea for a while you’ll know what proportions you prefer.  I like it stronger so I can add lots of ice and it won’t dilute down to no flavor.

You can add lemon juice or other flavors to your tea. It’s fun to experiment. Sometimes I add packets of different flavors of Crystal Lite.

I set the filled jug on my back steps in the sun for about 3 hours.  The tea gets a dark and lovely color and I can’t wait to have a glass of iced tea.  We’re northern so we drink our iced tea without sugar.  Here we prefer our tea without calories.  I do at times add a squirt of lemon juice to the glass for a bit of extra flavor.  But never sugar.  If you like it sweetened you’ll have to figure that out.

Place dispenser in fridge and enjoy over ice.

My tea jug fits in the fridge nicely and I can have tea on tap at any time.  I have several jugs and rotate them just for the fun of it.

If your spigot leaks, unscrew it all and place it in a container of hot tap water for an hour or so to rehydrate it. Then simply screw it all back on.

I have found that sometimes the rubber parts of the tap dry out and the jug will leak.  Not cool when it’s leaking in the fridge!  I simply put the tea into a large soup pot and unscrew the tap on the jug.  I put the rubber pieces into a container of hot tap water and let them sit for an hour or two to rehydrate.  Then I rinse and return the tap to the bottle, screwing it back together.  It should no longer drip!

Sun Tea

I love using these plastic double-walled tumblers for tea and other cold beverages.  They usually don’t sweat and drip all over me as I take sips.  I have several; this Flip Flop Summer one tickles me because it combines my love of shoes with sippin’ on a summer day.

Sun Tea

I’ve recently been trying fruit flavored teas in single servings to see how they taste as iced tea.  Celestial Seasonings has a sampler box of herbal fruity tea bags that are very good.  I’ll let you know when I get to the point of making it in a jug.  Caffeine keeps me awake easily so I can’t drink regular iced tea or coffee after 3 pm.  My goal is to have a tea that is caffeine free so I can drink it into the evening.  I think a flavored tea is the answer.  Wish me luck!

Sun Tea

  • Servings: about one gallon
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Let the sun make a jug of tea and you can have it on tap in your fridge!

  • 8-10 regular sized bags of black tea
  • gallon jug of water
Fill jug with fresh water. Add tea bags and drape strings over the side if the bags have them. Close lid and set jug outside in the sun for several hours. 2-3 hours is a good amount of time.  On really hot days it can be ready in an hour.  Experiment for your own preferences.

Remove tea bags and place jug in fridge. Serve over ice.

5 thoughts on “Sun Tea

  1. Nice. Sun tea is great. Something I “gave up” moving to the wonderful wet state in the Pacific North West. We get sun, but not usually enough to brew tea (too many tall pine trees).
    I prefer using individual bags when I did make my sun tea in Florida, over those gallon size bags. There seemed to be a bit of a taste difference between the two.

    Great idea on the seal, they always leak. I used to take everything apart & hand wash them to clean, & make sure everything was dry.

    Good luck on your flavored tea quest. I used all types of tea, even flavored tea, so you’ll be fine. I’d put mine out in the morning & come back in the evening, wiped the spigot off (lizards, bugs), even though I plastic wrapped it & enjoyed.

    Of course southern sun tea is different than northern sun tea. It has to be they are the south ;}).
    But I prefer my iced tea put in the fridge too.

    Liked by 1 person

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