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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
When helping out at a summer event, I didn't brew hot tea for the iced tea - but just made "sun tea" by soaking the teabags in the urns we had and putting them in the sun. It made tea concentrate, and didn't have to be cooled down very much to drink. It just needed a bit of ice!
By pam munro from LA, CA
Tea is better if it's made by the sun, bringing water to a boil on the stove creates 'bitter' tea. And sun tea does not necessarily mean that it has to sit in the sun.
I make a half gallon bottle of sun tea using black tea and another using green tea, 2 bags in each. I'm using solar power and the tea is never bitter. Now I always have iced tea on hand and anytime I want a cup of warm tea, I use the microwave to heat it.
By Angela from Glendale, CA
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How do I flavor my sun tea? I loved the Lemon Ginger sun tea I made over the weekend, but I'm sure there is a less expensive way to achieve similar results. I used individual tea packets that are lemon-ginger flavored. I have less expensive family-sized tea bags which I'd like to use. Would I just add some lemon slices and ginger slices to the sun tea jar before putting it out in the sun?
By Tina Siegl from Ashland, OR
You have the right idea, just experiment with the lemon and ginger slices. Start out with a small amount and add more until you like the taste. It's hard to say exactly how much to use as I may prefer mine with less of a lemon taste while you may like a strong flavor.
When making iced tea I use regular black tea bags but will often add one flavored tea bag. This gives a nice hint of flavor yet it's still economical.
I like mint sun tea. I pick fresh mint leaves, wash them, roll them in my hand to help them release more flavor, and add to the tea jar to steep.
Omanana: Thanks for your response. Do you add a reguar tea bag or anything like that or just the 6 mint leaves?
Bacteria thrive in sun tea. You might instead consider buying cold-brew teabags (I think they're put out by Lipton) and making the tea in your refrigerator, with the lemon and ginger or any other flavorings you like, instead. Or just make regular hot tea at double strength and add ice while it's still boiling hot.
I just add some lemon and ginger to about a half a cup of boiling water, seep for half an hour or how ever long to get the flavor you want, when cool, strain and add to your tea. I usually use the flavored teas and add some kick!
There is definitely a school of thought that suggests it is NOT safe to make sun tea, because the sun can cause bacteria to grow in the water. Please consider this article before you proceed: http://clipmark 0-B7356DD5F601/. It offers an alternative recipe for "refrigerator tea."
I also would like to caution error on the side of safety. With salmonella and bacterias running through our food chain, BE CAREFUL.
Thank you for the responses. Where I live, we call it "sun tea" if it is made in a big jar, whether you do it in the sun or in the frig. Because having the word "sun" in the post caused responders to focus on safety issues, issues which I am already well aware of, I wish I had removed that word before posting.
Sorry I did not make it clear. The quart includes 1-2 tea bags, 1 black tea, or 2 green tea, along with the mint leaves.
Thanks Omanana. We just planted some mint in our garden and will definitely give that a try!