Sun Tea - What you need to know

I love tea. Especially herbal iced teas in the summertime. They are so refreshing and, as long as you don’t add tons of sugar, they’re actually not bad for you. So this summer I bought myself a glass beverage dispenser and excitedly filled it about halfway, added 4-5 herbal tea bags (use about 1 tea bag per 1 cup of water) and set it out in the sun to do it’s thing! Little did I know what could actually be brewing in my container.
A day or two later I had some people over for a “Make and Take” event where we were making essential oil roller bottles. I offered someone a glass of my sun tea to try and she mentioned it tasted a bit bitter ~ maybe it had been in the sun too long. So I decided to do some “research” on brewing sun teas. After reading several articles I realized that brewing my tea in the sun was a perfect set up for bacteria to grow. However, I didn’t want to totally give up one of my summertime treats. So I read on. That’s when I decided to try brewing my tea in the fridge. I read about how the taste is the same (and maybe even better) and so, I thought, why take a chance?  I’ve now changed the way I do things.
I still enjoy my iced herbal tea beverages, but I no longer brew them in the sun. Now I simply set the container with the water and tea bags in my fridge and after just a few, short hours I have a lovely, bacteria free beverage that is already chilled and ready to go.  Tea brewed in the fridge will have a fresh, clean taste. Much less bitter than tea brewed in the sun. And, most importantly, I know it’s safe to drink!
Not wanting anyone else to make my mistake, or possibly get sick,  I thought I’d  share what I’ve learned.
~ Choose a glass or heavy duty polycarbonate container.
~ Generally 1 tea bag per 1 cup of water is a good ratio.
~ Brew for about 4-5 hours in the fridge depending on how strong you like it.
~ Leftover tea will stay fresh for about 3 days in the fridge.
~ If you want to sweeten your tea, try honey or agave.
~ Mix up your flavors by trying different combinations. Green tea, peppermint, hibiscus, pomegranate, raspberry, you name it. Throw whatever you have in your container and brew away.

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