Sun Tea

Sun Tea

The heat has been oppressive around here over the past few days but since I am such a glass half-full person (uh huh) I choose to overlook the stink of my fellow bus passengers and the inability to breath air, and instead turn towards the bright side of intense heat: rapid plant growth and sun tea.

In theory, sun tea is supposed to be better than tea made using boiled water because the sun slowly, and gently infuses the water with all the goodness of the herbs instead of the bitter oils that are brought out with rapid brewing. But when the temperatures reach into the 30s and 40s C I could care less about all that jazz. Give me lazy! All the accomplishment with none of the effort. Sun tea is ridiculously easy to make, about as easy as making tea without the difficult chore of filling the kettle, turning the kettle on, waiting for the boil, pouring water. That is all much too HARD and who wants to be around boiling water at a time like this? Just get a glass jar, stuff it full of plant parts (I chose assorted mints), fill with water, and stick it in the sun. Go lay down with a wet towel on your head for a few hours. Pour and enjoy. Or add some ice and drink it cold.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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17 thoughts on “Sun Tea

  1. Making tea the regular way is TOTALLY hard and time intensive. I hear you sister. Although I did take the cracked mostly off anyhow nail polish off my toes today. It took FOREVER.

  2. Any tea/tisane herb will do but mint comes out really refreshing and bright (if you can use that adjective to describe mint).

  3. What are those awesome looking leaves in the photo? That doesn’t look like regular ol’ tea leaves, and it sure isn’t Lipton.

  4. Sun Tea is a really great summer idea, and also something to consider doing while camping or taking a day trip.

    In fact, I may “cheat” a bit and fill Poland Springs bottle up with water and mint and leave it in the front seat of my car while I’m at work, so I can take home some mint tea to enjoy after dinner.

  5. This was a great idea for our summer campers and my little 3 year old loved it too. It helped that we had planted lots of mint in the spring and they kept asking what “good was it to plant so much”. Well, it was pretty darn good for tea!
    Thanks for the idea!
    Lizard and the 40 day campers

  6. I have made sun tea before. I don’t want to knock it at all.. its an interesting way to make tea, but I find that making it the “lazy” way tastes the exact same. I personally prefer the lazy method because I enjoy my tea best piping hot lol. I am a dainty sipper ha ha

  7. Making quart after quart of Blackberry Sage (loose tea) with fresh mint and sage leaves/flowers. Can’t get enough…especially if top of glass with cold raspberry lemonade! Enjoy.

  8. This site is absolutely terrific!!!!
    Thanks for all the useful information, the interesting reads and beautiful pictures.

    My, you are all such dedicated followers of gardening….:)
    (this is for those of you who haven’t been around in the sixties yet….)

  9. love this idea, tho i have no real mint this year–instead I read a bit into it, and I found I can make it with my Golden Hyssop (a kind of licorice mint I think) and also Bee Balm. Fun hot days ahead…

  10. Juli: If the leaves are dried you should half the amount used. It’s usually about 1 teaspoon per cup of water and with fresh herbs about 2 teaspoons per cup.

  11. This sounds great!!!! But, I have no FRESH leaves (even if I did I wouldn’t know what to use…my plant knowledge is extremely limited. They all look similar for the most part. Poison Ivy could end up in my new found brew)!! Anyway, can I use those Lipton prepackaged sun teas, and what do you all recommend?

    Thanks so much

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