Safety First with a Sun Tea Recipe

In the summertime, a sun tea recipe is an easy and energy-saving way to make ice tea. (You won't be adding extra heat to your kitchen either.) However, before discussing how to make sun tea, the subject of food safety must be addressed.

Sun Tea Recipe

There has been some discussion that tea left to brew in the sun could contain ropy bacteria, Alcaligenes viscolactis, which is found in tap water and soil.

While tea is fine in it's dry state, it can be a home for
bacteria after it has been brewed and cooled. Boiled water kills the organisms in water, as well as sterilizes
the tea leaves.

Also, sun dried tea may not be as healthy as tea made with hot water because boiled water affects tea's acidity, which aids in the release of polyphenols.

Sun brewed tea only gets heated to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit and then is left to sit at room / outdoor temperature for many hours

If you want to use the sun to make iced tea this way,
it is best to

  • use filtered water,
  • use sanitized equipment,
  • don't leave tea out for more than four hours
  • refrigerate immediately
  • discard unused tea after 24 hours

Sun Tea Recipe

  • 6 teaspoons or 6 bags of black or orange pekoe tea
  • 1 quart (4 C) cold water

Put tea in jar, add water and attach lid loosely. Place in direct sun for 2- 4 hours, depending on desired strength. Strain tea. Refrigerate until chilled then add cold water if necessary for desired strength or pour immediately over ice and serve.

You can buy sun tea jars or just use a well-washed glass container.

Sun Tea Options:

  • For a sweet tea recipe, add 1 cup of sugar after time in the sun.
  • Add 4-6 peppermint leaves for a mint flavoring.
  • Use slices of dried or fresh fruit for a sangria taste.
  • Add 1/8 tsp. each of ground nutmeg and cinnamon for spiced ice tea
  • White, Green, Oolong and Herbal tea also make great iced tea.




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