Don’t say goodby to sun tea simply because summer is ending. Make refrigerator tea instead! Refrigerator tea is just as easy and an arguably safer way to enjoy your favorite cold teas year-round and at a fraction of the cost of bottled beverages. I’m hooked on the organic Hibiscus High Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs. The vibrant color and floral fragrance make it a treat for the eyes, nose and taste buds.
Is Sun Tea Safe?
Sun tea can be made safely. However, precautions must be taken to avoid growth of bacteria in the tea or those commonly found in water, such as Alcaligenes viscolactis. To ensure proper food safety, the water needs to either be heated to 195° for three to five minutes or kept at 40° or lower. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the sun’s rays used to steep tea in a jar won’t heat the water hotter than 130° Fahrenheit.
How to Make Refrigerator Tea
Making refrigerator tea is the same as making regular tea, but with cold water and with a longer steeping time. Into a glass container, add about 1 tablespoon of dried tea per quart of water. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Then, strain and serve straight up or over ice.
You can bump up the flavor and health benefits by getting creative with your cubes. For example, consider adding ginger juice cubes or turmeric ice cubes for an immune and anti-inflammatory benefit. No subtlety here. Pun intended!
Add tea to a glass jar full of filtered water.
Place the container in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Steeping time will vary with different teas and the tea to water ratio. Then, strain and serve.