sun tea.

Have you ever made sun tea before? I'm wondering if I'm the only one who's new to this party, because it's such an easy and satisfying thing to do in the summer.

Instead of turning on the stove to make tea and then either drinking it hot or placing it in the fridge to make iced tea, in the mornings I now fill a big jar with just water and a strainer filled with loose-leaf tea. I leave it in a sunny spot, like on a windowsill or on my porch (see above!).

When I check on the jar in the evening, the sun has heated it through and steeped the tea into a deep golden brown. Or green. Or pink (hibiscus tea!). So far, it's worked well for all the varieties I've tested. If I'm going to be cooling the brew down afterward to make iced tea, I've found that using a fruity green or black tea blend is so refreshing in the heat. 

Of course, there is a bit of bacterial danger with sun tea. Make sure you're using a squeaky-clean jar, and once you've left it out for a few hours to steep, place it in the fridge until you're finished drinking it.

This method is so much less work than turning on the stove and waiting for water to boil, and I get a kick out of the fact that this tea was made with solar power - no gas or electric needed. Easy for us, easy on the planet.