MaddHatter said

Making Sun Tea

I have done Sun Teas with regular tea bags, however this summer I have (at the extreme kindness of DAVIDsTEA) procured some loose leaf herbal teas to make sun tea with my Summer Program children.

What I am looking for is some advice and suggestions on making Sun Tea with the kids. I was considering buying enough 250ml mason jars (one for each child) and only putting in 1tsp of tea into each mason jar, allowing the children to fill it with water seal it with the lid and place it outside in the sun all day, and enjoy the tea come snack time with some agave ice cubes.

Any hints or tips would be great. My kids have been enjoying tea all year, but it has been mostly bagged tea which is great when on a budget, but I want the kids to enjoy the visual aspect of loose leaf tea as it opens in the sun!

8 Replies
52teas said

I grew up in the deep south, and we made sun tea all the time, but I think it’s only fair to warn you that there are new studies that suggest that sun tea can be harmful to your health. As I have come to understand it, sun tea is actually a perfect incubator for bacteria. From what I understand, it is suggested that you not leave your sun tea out for longer than four hours before refrigerating.

I wasn’t really excited to read this, and I’m still not sure somebody’s not being uber-paranoid (like I said, I grew up on the stuff), but I think I should at least pass it on to you.

If you want some really yummy and unique teas, please visit us at http://www.52teas.com

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I grew up on sun tea too. My gramma used to make sun tea all the time. I even just bought a satisfactory jar for making sun tea when I learned this news. sigh

It makes sense, but, I am still quite sad about it, because I was really excited about brewing sun tea this summer (although, there haven’t been quite enough sunny days to make “sun tea” – it’s been quite overcast.)

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VegTea said

I think the fears with sun tea are somewhat unfounded. From what I have read, the bacteria that have been detected are present in tap water and are not pathogenic. What I would recommend, though, is not sweetening the tea until just before you drink it — sugar is the perfect food for bacteria.

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Spot52 select said

I’ve also read that bacteria can enter the tea from outside critters-like ants. But cases of sickness from sun tea are rare. as I sit here sippin some golden yunnan sun tea

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MaddHatter said

Oooh, I hope VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) doesn’t have any reservations about doing this little project?! (they are our licensing body)

I would not leave the teas out for longer than 4 hrs since we usually go on out trips in the afternoon, also I would be puting the teas into 1cup sized sealable canning jars, the idea of bugs kinda grosses me out…

Thanks for all the help! :)

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I think if you keep the jars sealed and keep an eye on the tea, you’ll be just fine. I still live on sun tea and it is love!

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maybe it’s just me…but I think the flavor really comes out more if you make sun tea – in SUN LIGHT verses the brewed method followed by iced and/or cold brewed…just my findings :)

My grandpa made it all the time in the summer months (and I’m in the snowbelt)!

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I heard sterilizing the jars helps reduce the bacteria chance for sun teas.

I’ve also heard similar warnings for cold steeping – teas should hit X temperature or bacteria will still be present http://www.heavenoftea.com/making-great-tea/cold-brewing-tea/ I kinda don’t get because I know food sitting for a long time at 63 to 8c/ 145 to 46F is the danger zone (probably why Sun tea has those warnings), but in the fridge it should be less than 8c.

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