Tuesday, July 9, 2019

How to Make Southern Style Sun Tea

Southern sweet sun tea, how to make sun tea, Luzianne tea

     I have been enjoying sun tea as long as I can remember.  I had a gallon of it seeping outside recently when a friend dropped by and she asked me why I had a jug of dirty water sitting out.

Southern sweet sun tea, how to make sun tea, Luzianne tea
After 30 minutes in the sun.

      I told her I was making sun tea and she looked at me like I had grown 2 heads.  She had never heard of sun tea before.  I asked around to some of my younger friends and they had not heard of it either.  I think it is so sad that it is a "thing of the past" so I thought I'd teach everyone who has not heard of it how to make it.  

    Making sun tea is great for many reasons but the main reason is because it tastes superior to "regular" iced tea.  Letting the tea seep for a few hours in the sun makes a really smooth and delicious tea that is so much better than any other type of tea you can drink.  Also, you don't have to turn on a hot stove when it is already over 100 degrees outside!

Southern sweet sun tea, how to make sun tea, Luzianne tea
1 1/2 hours in the sun

        The first thing you need is a gallon sized glass jar with a good fitting lid.  You need a lid that will seal out any bugs or other creepy crawlers that might try to get into your tea as it seeps.  I found this gallon sized jar at Wal-mart.  I like that it looks like a canning jar.  I prefer not to use plastic jugs because the plastic can leach out into your tea and that can affect the taste and it probably wouldn't be too healthy either.   Any large food type jar will work...even old pickle jars, as long as they don't smell like pickles anymore.

     Pour water into your jug and add in 4 family sized tea bags.  I use Luzianne tea bags but that is just a personal preference.  Use whatever brand is your favorite.  Place the lid on the jug and place the jug outside in a sunny location.  Leave the jug in the sun for 2-3 hours, depending on how strong you like your tea.  Once it reaches the desired color, bring inside and throw away the tea bags.  Add sugar or any other add in you desire (lemon, lime or orange slices, mint, etc.) and serve the tea over ice.  

Southern sweet sun tea, how to make sun tea, Luzianne tea
Sun tea always tastes great, especially when served in a mason jar!

     Keep the tea in the refrigerator.  The key to really good sun tea is not allowing the tea to come to room temperature so be sure to place the tea into the refrigerator soon after bringing it inside.  

     If you prefer to have herbal tea, it is the same directions except add in 1 cup of fresh herbs or dried flowers after adding the tea bags and putting it outside.  I especially like adding in hibiscus flowers but mint or chamomile can also be nice.

     I know there is a bit of controversy among some that say that sun tea is unsafe to drink but I have drunk it my whole life.  The controversy stems from people saying that sun tea is unsafe because bacteria can grow because they say the water does not reach 190 degrees or greater but the research is out that says that it is NOT the sun tea that is unsafe; it is the unsafe drinking water that is the issue.  So if you feel safe enough drinking your water then your water is safe enough to use to make sun tea or you can always use purified bottled water!


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  1. Love your sun tea. We made a couple gallons for our family picnic,with lemon slices.


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