As a Southern girl, I love iced tea – and if it's homemade, that's even better. For that matter, it's more affordable than store bought gallons of Arizona or Lipton tea, and since you can fix it to your own preferences, it often tastes better, too. One of my favorite things about spring and summer, with all those sunny days, is that you can make sun tea. Sun tea is, of course, brewed in the sun, and maybe it's just me, but I think some of that sunshine flavors the taste of the final result. If you're a fan of this kind of tea or think you'd like to try it, then here are some tips for making sun tea that tastes incredible!
1. Pick the Right Day
For a really good batch, the best tip for making sun tea is to keep an eye on the weather reports. You're okay if there are just going to be some clouds in the area, but if it's going to be completely overcast, choose another day. Even when it's really warm outside, sun tea just isn't the same without the sun, you know? Theoretically you can make some, but I just don't think it tastes quite as good.
2. Choose the Right Spot
The location of your receptacle, whether it's a jar, a pitcher, or a jug, is extremely important. You need to choose a place that will stay within direct sunlight as long as possible. Usually, high elevations are good. You don't necessarily have to climb up on your roof and find a spot for your tea – although some people do! – but if you have a second or third story spot that gets a lot of sunlight, that's a great choice. Mostly, just be careful not to choose a shady spot.
3. Start with Hot Water
Now, as I said, I'm a Southern girl, and to me, if you want really sweet sweet tea, you just can't add the sugar after the fact. You can, and it still makes a good batch of tea, but if you're looking for tips for making sun tea that tastes better than anything else, follow me. Start with hot water and add in the amount of sugar you think you want, because then, obviously, it will dissolve better – and it will brew sweet, which is even better. Honey, you haven't ever tasted anything like it!
4. Try Simple Syrup
Now, if you prefer to add your sweetener after, you can run into trouble with a bunch of sugar gathering on the bottom. I hate having to always shake up my jug of tea, you know? So, you might consider trying simple syrup instead. It's actually quite good, and that's coming from a total sweet tea purist. Plus, it's way less sticky.
5. Strengths and Weaknesses
When you're making sun tea, you really have to pay attention. Tea is such a strong individualistic thing – some people like theirs extremely weak, while other prefer a lovely, dark, strong tea. The sun will brew your tea quite fast, so you need to keep an eye on the coloring once it starts to change. Leave your tea for a couple of hours, it will be light and not too strong. Go for most of the day, and dahlins, you'll have a delicious dark tea that'll knock your socks off!
6. Play with Flavors
Some of the best tips for making sun tea involve playing around with it. You can experiment with so many flavors, and even end up creating new ones. Maybe you prefer a good, old fashioned lemon flavor, but there's so much more you can do! You can give your tea a raspberry flavor, or brew it with mint for a wonderfully refreshing treat!
7. The Right Tea
Actually, technically, there is no right or wrong tea for making sun tea. Some of them do work better than others, though. You can make sun tea with English breakfast tea, for example, and it makes a very interesting taste. I've always preferred Lipton myself, but there are tons of different options and flavors. Just, here's the one thing – make sure it's in a bag!
I can only imagine that a lot of you out there have other tips for making sun tea, and I hope you'll share them! It's one of my favorite summertime treats – especially if you mix it with homemade lemonade! What are some of your favorite warm weather refreshments?
Top Photo Credit: allhallowseve77