Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sun Tea

Sun tea. Don't you just love the way that sounds?

To me, it sums up summer.

My tea-drinking ways come from my mom.  Hot or iced, sweet or not, it's our comfort food. I've passed the tea-gene on to Will, whose feelings about sweet tea run as deep and strong as the orange pekoe he adores.  

Sarah prefers to serve lemonade at her tea parties.  That one is destined to be a coffee-drinker on down the road.

I remember my mom making sun tea once or twice when I was younger, during the dog days of a Memphis summer.  The name made me think that there was some sort of magic going on, like it could only be made at high noon on the summer solstice or something. 

Twenty-five years later, a cloudless 90-degree day (the first day of summer, actually), I decided to try it for myself. 

So I gathered my materials: 
  • Glass pitcher
  •  7 tea bags (nothing fancy, just plain old Lipton)
  • water
  • Saran wrap
  • Sun
*I saw online that the ratio of teabags to water should be about 2:1 ratio of ounces of water to grams of tea, but, seriously, who's going to do all that measuring?
And filled the pitcher with water.  I stuck the teabags in, covered the top of the pitcher with plastic (no Saran wrap here, so I had to use a cut-open Ziploc and a rubber band), and set it out to let the sun work its magic for about 4 hours. 
Here's what it looked like when I first set the pitcher out to brew:

Even my future-coffee-drinker got caught up in the idea a little and we talked about how the sun was going to be our heat source, instead of our teakettle.

By dinnertime, we were ready to sample our concoction: 
More delicate than traditionally-brewed tea, the sun tea appealed to some of us more than others.  Sarah enjoyed her glass immensely, while Will took a sip and handed it back with a grimace.  I was somewhere in between, since I like my tea on the strong side, too. 

I think I'll try mixing in some fruit or lemonade next time.  
Any way you dress it up or pour it, the official drink of summer rarely disappoints.

Happy Sunday!

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