How to Make Sun Tea

Sun tea seems to capture the essence of bright summer sunshine in a refreshing iced tea. Making your own couldn't be simpler. All you'll need is a tea of your liking and a large glass jar or pitcher. Use a ratio of 1 gram of tea to every 2 ounces of water. The average tea bag is about 2.5 grams, so one tea bag per every 5 ounces of water. You may, of course, use loose tea if you prefer, to the same ratio. The better the tea you use, the better the results will be.

Make sure your jar or pitcher is completely clean, as any bacteria present could multiply during the steeping time. If desired, sterilize the container first in the dishwasher. Pour in room-temperature water, then add the tea. Cover the container loosely to keep out particles, but not too tight; you don't want to build up pressure in the container. Place the container in a spot with good exposure to sun, like on a back deck or on a windowsill.

Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by combining equal parts granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool, pour into a bottle, then refrigerate.

After three hours, the tea should be steeped and dark. If you want a stronger tea, leave it out another hour or two, but not more than five hours total. Remove the tea bags and discard, and refrigerate your steeped tea.

Enjoy your tea over ice; if desired, add slices of lemon or sweeten with the simple syrup you prepared earlier.

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