When I was young, a sign that summer had finally arrived was when my mom started making sun tea. She'd pull out a half gallon canning jar, throw five Lipton tea bags into it, fill it with water, screw on the metal top, and put it outside in the sun. It would steep all morning... or longer, if she got busy and forgot it was out there.The tea was light and delicious, and we drank it warm from the sun or, later, cold from the fridge.
These days, a lot of people get skeeved out when you talk about leaving food outside in the sun, even if it's just a few tea bags in some water. So a few years ago, I thought I'd try to make sun tea in the fridge — essentially cold-brew tea — and it worked deliciously. Here's what I did.
- 3-5 tea bags of your choice
Fill up a container of your choice with cold water. I often use a half gallon Ball jar, but any drink container will do. Throw in 3-5 tea bags, depending on how strong you like your tea, and how strong the tea bags are. Experiment to see what works for you. Lipton bags tend to make lighter tasting tea, while PG Tips makes tea with a bit more punch.
Put the top on your container, shake it a bit to make sure the tea bags are saturated, and place it in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 24 hours. Remove the tea bags, and pour yourself a glass. Enjoy!
- Try different flavors of tea bags for different batches. I use PG Tips if I want regular tea, Tazo's Zen for minty tea, Tazo's Passion for a nice fruity blend, and Bigelow's Earl Grey for something a little different.
- Or, give your tea just a hint of flavor by adding just one tea bag of a different kind to a batch of regular black or green tea. One peppermint tea bag can add a nice note of mint without overwhelming your taste buds.
- If you prefer sweetened tea, make your own sugar syrup by combining equal parts hot water and sugar and mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Keep the syrup in the fridge to add to your tea as desired.