Monday, May 3, 2010

Make Your Own Iced Sun Tea

Who doesn't love a glass of refreshing iced tea on a hot summer day? We love iced tea, but hate all of the sugar in the gallon jugs of iced tea that you find at the grocery store. And at $2.00 or more a gallon, iced tea can definitely blow the grocery budget. On a hot day, a gallon doesn't go very far...did I mention that my husband and I drink alot of iced tea in the summer?

We have been sun-brewing our own tea of years. Throughout the summer, if it is a sunny day, we're brewing tea. You can tell my pretty sun tea jar is an old one, circa early '90s.

Every batch of sun tea tastes different, so you'll never get bored. I fill the sun jar with water and add 6-decaffeinated, green tea bags and about 10 sprigs of mint from my garden. I have loads of mint in my garden, so I make a lot of iced mint tea. I put it in the sun around 9:30am and leave it there until about 4:30pm. I pour the tea into another pitcher, squeeze out the tea bags and mint, add more water to get to the gallon line and add about 1 tablespoon of sugar to sweeten slightly to our taste. We go through so much tea in the summer, that I don't keep the tea in the sun tea jar, because I usually have to start brewing another jar in a day or two.

I also make flavored iced tea with 6-decaf, green tea bags and 2 flavored tea bags. We like raspberry or peach. Or, I will replace the mint with other herbs like pineapple sage and lemon verbena. Although, the mint seems to brew with the most flavor.

The key to making great tasting tea is to experiment until you find the combination that you enjoy. You can use more or less tea bags, use different herbs for flavoring and alter the sugar to your taste.

How does it add up? As stated above, a store bought gallon of iced tea can cost about $2.00. I can buy a box of 40 green tea bags for $3.50 and make almost 7 gallons of iced tea, saving about $10. I'll save even more when I use the FREE mint from my garden instead of the flavored tea bags; the flavored tea bags usually cost about $2.00 for 20 bags.

Do you make your own tea? What is your favorite recipe?

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  1. I love sun tea! I have fond memories as a kid, bringing in a fresh batch and pouring it over crushed ice! Yum. We use a brewing machine today for convenience and speed since we go through a gallon + each day.

  2. we just switched from instant tea to brewed tea and I think this year I may even make sun tea thanks for bringing this idea to mind my mother used to make this all the time

  3. What a great idea! I love iced tea so I'll definitely give this a try.

  4. Oh, I love sun tea! And since it's beautiful out today, I think I'll make some. I'm going to use Red Zinger today and maybe add some lemon or lime wedges to it...have to see what's in the fridge that I need to use up. Yummy!
    BTW, I love your 'vintage' sun tea pitcher!

  5. I remember my mom making sun tea all the time growing up!

  6. I love sun tea, but I have never tried putting mint leaves in it.

  7. Yum! I'm going to have to try this- I love tea!

  8. Growing up, my mom always made sun tea with mint. Still a favorite! In Iowa, I can't make sun tea in the winter, but will brew it and hope I still have some mint in the freezer from my mom's!
    My 3 year old is in love with it too!


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