Steepin’ with My Yogis: Sunshine Steeping
It’s that wonderful time of year to be outside enjoying the sun and trying to get as much playtime in as possible during the longer daylight hours! We often plan lighter meals, try to focus errands around outdoor activities, and just generally make any chore go as easily and quickly as possible so we can head out the door and enjoy the beautiful weather as soon as we’re done. Summer is such an awesome time of year. It’s not my personal favorite, but if you surround me with blossoming flowers in a lush green garden, I might just have enough beauty around to convince me to change my mind.
How that translates to tea kind of falls back to my last article. Who here really wants to brew a cup of hot tea and sit in an overly warm house or sunny deck drinking yourself into a heat coma? While it’s been proven that hot beverages help to regulate your body temperature more, I know for a fact that I just feel so uncomfortable eating or drinking anything hot when it’s a really warm summer day. But here’s where the best part is… you can still have tea (warm or cold) while enjoying the weather! It’s called Sun Tea (or as I call it “Sunshine Steeping”). It’s still sometimes a little unknown even in tea circles, but it’s been around for as long as tea has and really can be a great alternative for anyone looking to try something new!
Basically the concept is this: grab your favorite large pitcher or jar with lid (this mason jar fan here still loves the big ones for this purpose) and your favorite tea. Combine! Let this sit in the sun for a few hours, and voila!
Ok… so it’s not QUITE as easy as that, but really it’s not that much more complicated. The first thing to understand is this, though: if you don’t know what you’re doing, there could be a definite risk of leaving anything you eat or drink out for too long in the sun. Ok– so I know that’s pretty standard knowledge with everyone, but there are the cautions that I would give you, just to ensure you have the most delicious Sun Tea you can and that it’s safe for you to enjoy it!
Always boil your water first. If you’re using anything other than bottled spring water, you must boil it. This helps to ensure that there is absolutely no bacteria in the water to begin with. And a good step to take is to also ensure that the glass or bottle you are using is thoroughly cleaned out and dried as well.
Grab whatever loose tea or tea bags you want to brew and put them into the container. Just remember, if you are using loose tea it’s probably best to get a container that you can pour because you will have to obviously strain the liquid in order to drink it!
Just add your clean water, close the lid, and find your favorite sunny place to put the tea.
One important thing to note: don’t ever leave the container out in the sun for more than 2 ½ to 3 hours. Any longer than that and you run the risk of unwanted bacteria growth. (Ew!) Once it’s been out in the sun for long enough, stick the tea in your fridge to store. Remember to try to drink it within the next day or two in order to have the freshest tea possible.
And there you have it! This can be a great option if you want to sit and leave the tea, and also a great conversation starter when people are tasting your tea! It’s also the PERFECT way to have a delicious and truly summertime ‘Iced Tea’. Happy steeping, my lovely yogis!