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9 Easy Steps to Make Sun Tea

We have had an intense heat wave in the Catskill Mountains. A heat index of at least a 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 80 percent humidity. I know that people out in Arizona would probably think of that as a typical summer afternoon, but for the Northeast, it is brutal.

One of the ways my family uses to cool down is by sipping sun tea.

I learned how to make sun tea from my in-laws. My husband grew up on sun tea when he was a kid, and so I have now carried his childhood tradition into our own family.

It is so easy to make, but tastes different from brewed tea in a teapot due to the fermentation process of being out in the sun.

Without further ado, here is how to make Sun Tea:

1.       Choose your tea.

I like to use tea that I do not get to drink every day, like a nice loose leaf herbal tea. You can choose whatever tea suits you.

2.       Place tea in a pitcher.

I like to use a glass pitcher myself.

Place regular tea bags in the pitcher. For a gallon of Sun Tea, use four to eight teabags depending on how strong you like your tea.

If I am using a loose-leaf tea, I get either my tea ball, or if I am making a large batch, I use cheesecloth. To use cheesecloth, simply cut a piece large enough for about 4 tablespoons of loose-leaf tea. I place the tea in the cheesecloth and tie it up with either a rubber band or some string. You want there to be a lot of room for the tea to swell and seep into the water.

3.       Fill pitcher with cool water.

Fill the pitcher with clean drinking water.

4.       Cover the pitcher.

If you are using a pitcher that has a top, then great! If the pitcher does not have a top, then plastic wrap works well.

5.       Place pitcher in a sunny spot.

Either pick a spot inside or outside that gets a lot of sun. The sunnier and hotter, the better.

6.       Wait.

The tea gets a stronger taste the longer it is left to ferment in the sun. Let seep for no more than four hours to prevent any unwanted bacterial growth.

7.       Chill.

Put in the fridge and let it chill for at least two hours or until cold.

8.       Sweeten it up (if you like)

I personally do not like sweet tea, but if that is what you prefer, then go for it! Sugar is always a good go to. If you want to have an unprocessed sweetener, then use Stevia, a local honey, or even maple syrup.

9.       Enjoy.

Enjoy the refreshing taste of summer with old-fashioned Sun Tea.

I for one am so happy that my husband introduced me to this summer treat. I hope you enjoy it too!

*Note: the Centers for Disease Control does not recommend Sun Tea, so please make at your own risk.