Sun tea refers to a method of brewing tea rather than a particular blend or type of tea. In doing research on the history of sun tea we’ve not been able to come up with any answers as to how and when sun tea came about but we guess it came about as a method of brewing tea in the hot summer months, in hot climates (i.e. not Mama Tea’s home in Scotland ;-)), when people did not want to light a fire and heat the home in order to make a pot of tea.
It is lovely and easy to do;
1. Fill a glass jar or pitcher with water and lots of your favourite tea (we would recommend roughly double the number of teabags that you would use for the same volume of boiling water). Also make sure the container has a lid, you don’t want things falling into your tea!
2. Place the container in the sun and leave it to brew slowly for about 2-5 hours, you’ll be able to tell by the colour when it’s ready.
3. Serve over ice!
There have been a few scare stories about bacteria and sun tea; we would always advise you make sure your container is thoroughly clean, your water comes from a trusted source and you use good quality teabags. Using herbs from the garden may seem like a good idea but if they’re not washed thoroughly then this is when the risk of illness increases, similarly if you know the teabags are from a reputed source then the tea leaves or herbs will have been cleaned properly before being cut and bagged.
In Scotland we don’t get much opportunity to brew sun tea but the Mama happened to be at a food show on a warm sunny day last year, with no access to electricity, and took the chance to give it a go- the results were a lovely summery, refreshing drink.