Sun Tea: Brewing Tips and Herbal Tea Recipes

Augie O'Connor shares his method to making healthful sun tea, and his herbal-infused sun tea recipes for peppermint-flower tea, peppermint-rosemary-pennyroyal tea, fenugreek-peppermint tea and licorice-flax tea.

| July/August 1975

Here for the hot weather ahead is a perfect alternative to the usual summer soda pop orgy: a healthful drink made by a simple and inexpensive process, in limitless variety and with very satisfying results. I call it sun tea.

How to Brew Sun Tea

The secret of this summer specialty is that any herbal infusion you can make with the help of a tea kettle can also be made in the sun. All you need is:

[1] A wide-mouthed, clear glass jar with a water tight lid or other secure seal
[2] Water
[3] The herb of your choice (cut coarsely)
[4] A sunny day

First, measure out the herb into the jar. A rough guide to quantity is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried plant material to 4 or 5 cups of water, or 1 to 1-1/2 cups to the gallon, but these proportions can be adjusted to suit your own taste and the nature of the ingredients. Roots and seeds tend to make stronger infusions than do leaves and flowers, and are generally used in smaller amounts. If you cut your herbs fresh, you'll need about twice as much as you would if the makings were dried.

Pour the appropriate amount of water over the herb in the jar, screw on the lid, give the container a few shakes, and set it where it will receive full sunlight all day long. A rooftop, open field, driveway or similar shade-free area is ideal, but if none is available, keep an eye on the "teapot" and move it on out into the sun as any shadow approaches. Give the mixture a shake whenever you think of it.

As the day ends, bring in your tea. It will be warm and should look rich and clear in color. Open the jar and take a sniff. The aroma should be full and tantalizing.

6/5/2013 1:25:15 PM

While I will certainly enjoy your recipes, I am surprised you didn't include Chamomile.  I use my own home grown Chamomile and Rose Hips in my sun tea all the time.  Thanks for the recipes.



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