Well since summer is almost here, you will probably want to make some sun tea. If you don't want to pay for the pricey sun tea jars in the department stores, just take a clean gallon milk jug, put your cold water and your tea bags in and set in the sun. Works as well as the pricey ones do. Make sure you put the lid on to keep out ants and bees. Just one of my frugal tips.
By Sandy from Bluff City, TN
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Making sun tea this way can be dangerous to your health. There are some safety guidelines at this website.
well i am the person that posted this tip and i have been drinking sun tea for 15 years and i have never gotten sick and im sure i am not the only one on this web site that makes sun tea i was just simply offering a cheaper way to do it.
I also have been making tea this way for many years, I love it and so do my kids.. and its always handy in the frig..
HOW ON EARTH CAN THIS BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH? I AM SURE THE JUG IS WASHED OUT REALLY WELL. HOW IS THIS POST NOT ABIDING BY SAFETY GUIDELINES ON THIS SITE
Click on that link and read the article. I have heard this before about bacteria growing in sun tea. Ordinarily iced tea is made with boiling water and that will kill anything possibly in the tea or water but anything bad in the jug sitting in the sun well it's possible it can grow and be harmful. I think the person was just posting some helpful info. I'm sure plenty of people still make sun tea and suffer no harmful effects but it is possible and people ought to know about it.
As far as using an empty milk jug, I'm sure that works but I've seen sun tea jars very reaonsable sold at Wal-Mart.
I used to make sun tea years ago but stopped because I just didn't like the taste of it as well. I prefer my tea made with boiling water. I use a electric iced tea maker and it has a much better flavor in my opinion.
I did a search at ask.com and here's what it said in answer to "is sun tea safe to drink?"
No. While using the natural rays of the sun to make tea is fun and popular in the summer, food safety experts recommend against using this method for making tea. Sun tea is the perfect medium for bacteria to grow. Several years ago in Ohio and Washington, a number of people became ill after drinking tainted iced tea. In Washington it was determined that the tea had been made with tap water only heated to 130 degrees F and left to sit at room temperature for more than 24 hours. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Tea Association recommend the following when making tea.
Brew tea bags at 195 degrees F for three to five minutes.
Brew only enough tea that can be consumed within a few hours.
Never maintain brewed tea at room temperature for more than eight hours. Discard any unused tea after eight hours.
Wash, rinse, and sanitize tea-making equipment regularly.
Instead of making sun tea, brew tea overnight in the refrigerator as you would in the sun.
Store tea bags in a dark, cool, and dry place away from strong odors and moisture. Do not store them in the refrigerator.
The restaurant I work for makes Sun tea, never had a problem with the health inspector.
Plastic is bad, experts believe that this miracle of alchemy may be lacing our foods with chemicals which cause cancer. I don't see anything wrong with the sun tea in a glass jug but leaving plastic out in the sun makes it leach the bad things into your food or drink.
Usually, when making sun tea, one does not boil the water prior to adding it to the jug... traditionally, you would use room temperature or cool water. The sun then warms the water slowly and the tea steeps, etc, etc. Now, chances are, your tea is not going to reach a temperature over 130° F, and I'm pretty sure that's not hot enough to cause any extreme "chemical leeching". Although, I'm not positive of this. All that being said, I still prefer using glass over plastic myself as the taste can be greatly affected in a negative way when using plastic.
Making sun tea is not a good idea. Bacteria grows in the water.
It is better to boil water and add tea bags. Refrigerate as soon as it is the strength you want it.
I think that this is just a case of being prudent. No one is going to leave their sun tea out in the sun more than a few hours because you want to drink it cold. I've been drinking sun tea all my life and I'm pretty sure I never got sick but I see how it might be a concern, depending on your water source and cleanliness.
I'm sure experts would say that leftovers are full of bacteria too. And don't even think about the life-threatening 5 second rule! Our bodies can handle some contamination, in moderation. Nothing is 100% safe, think about the last few years: mad cow, bird flu, e coli in juice, burgers and spinach and now the pet food contamination.
Good luck and enjoy your summer, however you brew your tea. And, for goodness sake, wear your sunscreen!
thanks jess, i am the original person who posted this, i agree with you completely. my goodness i didnt know i was going to start such an uproar, lol. again thanks and everyone have a safe and fun summer! no matter what you drink.
Sorry - I did not think my post of safety guidelines would set off this frenzy either. I make sun-tea also, but since this info came out I am just sure to follow the guidelines so we don't get anything icky.
have a safe and healthy summer!!!
I have been making sun tea since I was a teen. I am 50 now. Never been sick in the slightest. I think the CDC is nuts with too much time on their hands. I say make the tea, enjoy. As with anything. don't leave it out unrefrigerated and finish unused portions within a day or so. I a off to fx a batch now. :-)
A good article above at snopes.com
I am new to the making of sun tea, however there has been a lot in the news about not using plastics to store drinks in due to the leaching out of possible cancer causing chemicals into the water. Since I am not a professional in this area I do not know how plastic milk jugs interact in the heat, however plastics in general should be scrutinized.
A good example of this is leaving the water bottles wihich many of us drink from in the hot car for a day or two. They often if left long enough will have a plastic taste. Those that research these things have said that the chemicals in the plastics are released into the water due to heat.
I'm not sure how time affects it in cooler weather. So, as someone earlier above mentioned, you may want to use a glass pitcher or jar to make your sun tea. Take care and be well.
sun tea tastes better made in glass but i have been making it in used mineral water bottles and i assume that the plastic doesn't leachinto the beverage. re germs growing in it... hmmm. i think it depends on how clean everything is. you would of course want to use truly potable water. when i lived in a house that i didn't trust the water pipes/tank i used to boil the water to kill any microbes and filter it through a coffee filter, then use it. any tea will go off after a day or two in the fridge. what is important is to let it come to room temp before refrigerating it so that it isn't cloudy.
i found this info in a surf session. thought it was pertinent.
Kombucha culture tea can change your health and maybe your life.
Kombucha cultures have been used traditional for hundreds of years throughout the world as a beneficial health drink and daily tonic. Kombucha
tea (pronounced kom-boo-sha, Kombu tea in English), also called a Manchurian mushroom, is a living culture which grows on top of a mixture of
brewed tea and sugar in which the culture has been introduced.
Although it is called a mushroom, it is not a mushroom at all as it does not produce spores or "fruit." The "mushroom" can be describe as a light
brown or creamy white disk that grows on top of the liquid tea/sugar mixture and will take the form of the container that is in, which is why most
look circular in the pictures you may see. Again, it is not a mushroom at all, but really a yeast culture that has a symbiotic relationship with various
bacteria, which duplicates itself during each brewing cycle. The correct name for the "mushroom" is a S.C.O.B.Y - a symbiotic culture of bacteria and
yeast. The culture may look fragile, however, it is really thick and leathery in consistency. The finished brewed tea should be regarded principally as
a live food unusually rich in nutritive properties. The finished fermented product taste something like cider with a nice fizz. As with yogurt or miso,
the bacteria and cultures in the tea are a great source of nutrition, aiding in metabolic function and balance.
I recently made a couple batches of sun tea using old milk jugs. I set the jugs on our back deck, and the tea absorbed the "flavor" of the oil-based stain I use on my to seal the wood (the last coat was applied a month previous). They were only out there for 3-4 hours, but the tea tasted like Penetrol.
So be careful where you set your jug, as they are not impermeable.
There's no reason to put the pitcher or jug outside in the sun. I've been making iced tea for probably 30 years or more by putting tea bag in a pitcher of cold water and letting it set for a couple of hours inside my air-condiitioned kitchen, on the counter.
You can also brew it in the fridge. Iced tea is a year-round drink for us here in Texas, and my husband and I are life-long "ice-tea" drinkers, so we wouldn't drink it if it wasn't good. Neither of us nor my son has ever gotten sick from it.
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