Somewhere between the fourth and fifth 85-plus degree day, I reach for an iced tea rather than my usual coffee. I am a hot coffee gal and although in winter I cannot imagine the day when I turn away from a warm mug, it inevitably happens. National Iced Tea Day is June 10th each year, making June, National Iced Tea Month.
Sun-brewed, unsweetened, or sweetened depending on the day.
Sun tea was not a part of my growing-up years. I was introduced to tea brewed in the warm sun by my in-laws. The joy was nearly instantaneous. The simplicity was what got me the most. A clear glass beverage container, black tea bags, water, and a sunny day were all you needed. A vintage Ball jar, found at a flea market, makes this process all the sweeter. I encourage you to go on an adventure to find your perfect “iced tea jar”.
Speaking of “sweet”, I usually prefer my iced tea unsweetened and perhaps with a lemon. I do enjoy adding some simple syrup made with mint or lavender once in a while. I will share the process I use to make simple syrup another time. It is also a joy!
I encourage you to try making sun tea. For 32 ounces of tea, grab a quart-sized glass jar and fill it almost full with cold-filtered water. You will then put four tea bags in the jar and place it in the sun. Consider a spot outside a window where you can watch while the tea is brewing. Get your glass full of ice ready because on a warm, sunny day it won’t take long. This costs less than 35 cents per jar and 8 cents per glass. As the summer heats up, you may find the tea doesn’t last long in your refrigerator. You’ll soon be on the lookout for a gallon-sized jar.
Other ways to enjoy sun tea are “Arnold Palmer” style with lemonade with or without spirits, with herbs like basil, or with fruit such as berries or peaches. I believe my jar of tea is just about ready.
I know you may be thinking, “I don’t have time for this”. You don’t have time not to do this! It is a different kind of time. Instead of buying bottled tea while grocery shopping or running to a convenience store, you will enjoy the process. We are so reactive; here is an opportunity to think ahead. By doing so, you will be able to slow down. Take your cold glass of iced tea out on the porch and you will know no other way.