I offer this Instructable to those who have never made solar tea but would like to give it a try. Solar tea is not only better for the environment because you use no energy but it is very easy to make. It also tastes less bitter than tea that is "over cooked" or over heated by hot water.
Additionally, it is much safer to make solar tea than tea made with boiling water. Spill solar heated tea on yourself and it's no big deal, spill boiling water on yourself and OUCH! You could be on the way to the emergency room. (I been there! I had a half filled pitcher of boiling water explode on me one summer. It was not fun.)
This Instructable will make 1 gallon of delicious iced tea.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Tools
* Water (filtered is best but optional) - enough to fill jar
**Do not use hot water from the tap!! It is not healthy to drink.
* * Loose leaf - 5-6 tsp. (RECOMMENDED!) OR
* * Bags - 7 regular or 3 family size
* Sugar - 3/4 to 1 cup Or to taste
* Lemon slices
* Sunny day
* Large Jar w/Lid (pickle jar, etc) - atleast 32 oz
* Pitcher- 1 gallon (glass is best)
* Large wooden spoon
* Measuring cup
* Tea strainer (if using loose leaf tea)
* Knife and cutting board (if adding lemon slices)
* Large glass (Mason jars are preferred)
Step 2: Prepare Tea Infusion
Make sure everything is clean--no pickle smell in jar!
Fill jar with water.
Put on lid on jar, close tightly.
Step 3: Solarize Tea
Find a sunny spot outdoors.
Place jar on hard surface, in the sun.
*A concrete surface will work best - patio, balconey, etc.
Leave for 15-30 minutes (depending on temperature of weather).
When infusion turns a rich brown, bring inside to finish preparing.
*Let your infusion get dark as you may have to add more water (depending on the size of your jar) in order to make a gallon.
Step 4: Prepare Pitcher
Add sugar to glass pitcher.
I like to use raw sugar or organic sugar. Bought in bulk is cheaper.
Use whatever sugar you like but please don't use the artificial stuff. It's bad for you and the environment. (Where do you think it goes when you pee?)
Step 5: Make Tea
Pour tea infusion from jar into glass pitcher.
*If using loose leaf tea, strain with tea strainer. (Loose leaf tea tastes the best!)
*If using bags, after you pour, squeeze.
Stir with wooden spoon.
Add ice to drinking glass.
Pour tea into drinking glass.
Add lemon slice (squeeze slightly and rub on rim of glass before dropping into glass)
Step 6: Prepare Yourself
Admire your handiwork for 10 seconds.
Drink up and enjoy!
Step 7: Foot Note:
Don't throw your used tea bags or loose tea away! Add it to your compost bin. No compost bin? Give it directly to your potted plants or outdoor flower beds (just tear open bags & dump). No potted plants or flower beds? Just dump into the grass. It is good for whatever is growing. Recycle dammit!