Sunshine Tea

| 5/23/2013 3:38:00 PM

Tags: sunshine tea, health food, Nan K. Chase,

sunshine tea ingredientsFinally it's warm enough outside to drink iced tea! We all know how easy it is to brew sunshine tea, using a jar and some teabags left steeping in the sun. But there's actually some science to making really good sunshine tea, tea that has the best taste and most health benefits.

For tea is a health food: tonic and yet calming, cleansing, saturated with life-prolonging compounds. Made fresh daily and handled correctly, the flavor of sunshine tea is crisp and the liquid is clear. Done the wrong way, iced tea has a musty or even moldy taste and can even look cloudy or slightly oily. Yuck.

For starters, the building blocks of iced tea are the teas you use, and in the proper proportions. I never make more than a quart in one batch, although if company is expected I will make up two quart Mason jars of tea, rather than one half-gallon batch. Sunshine tea has a short shelf-life, and leftover tea quickly loses its great taste; there's invariably too much leftover tea with a half-gallon batch in a two-person household.

In a quart jar I generally use one jumbo made-for-iced-tea teabag, plus one regular-size teabag that has some flavor, like Constant Comment, Russian spiced tea, or Jasmine tea…or if there's no flavored tea on hand I use two jumbo teabags or three to four regular size bags. And then I add either a teabag or two of mint tea or if the mint in my garden is big enough, a sprig of mint. I might add a sprig of lemon balm or other fresh sweet herb too. Using some green tea in the mix can add healthful properties.

Always use a lot of tea bags to a quart of water to get the full-strength experience. There's a reason to use all that tea or even more. For perfection, sunshine tea must be poured into a tall glass of ice, and the melting ice will soon dilute the tea. So start with a strong tea.finished sunshine tea

I find that Asian grocery stores have the widest and most economical selection of green, black, and flavored teas.

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