I was taught how to make sun tea at Girl Scout camp, long before I reached my double-digit years. It’s a different method of making iced tea. The gentle warmth of the sun and a very long, undisturbed brewing time is the secret to its success.
Don’t stir the water; don’t squeeze the tea bags. Set the jar in the sunshine, walk away and return in 2-3 hours to see if the colour is right yet.
I usually make sun tea in a 500ml (approximately 2 cups) jar with a lid. Fill it with very cold water, and then gently set 2 tea bags into the water. Close the lid tightly so no insects or debris enters the jar. Let the tea bags sink to the bottom under their own weight and as the tea absorbs liquid. Check the strength of the tea after 2-3 hours. If it’s strong enough for you, remove the bags without squeezing so that any tannin remains with the bags, not in your lovely clear tea. Refrigerate. Serve over lots of ice cubes. Sweeten to taste. It’s quite delicious with a few slices of oranges stuck between the ice cubes.
Here’s the way it looks after 2 hours sitting outside under partly cloudy skies. The top part of the water is clear but the bottom half is tea-colour. It needs more time so that all the water is tea-colour. This is the easiest possible iced tea – it makes itself, if you leave it alone!