Last week’s outdoor ‘cooking’ experiment didn’t involve lighting a fire – I relied on solar power!
Now it’s true that summer is officially over here in the UK, but we’re still running on British Summer Time for a couple more weeks, and last week was resolutely sunny, so I thought I would try making sun tea – something I have been wanting to do for a while, but never got around to.
The process is simple. You assemble some flavoursome tea ingredients in a clean jar of water, and leave it in the sun for around 5 hours. Since it’s not so warm outside, I left mine in the potting shed, which sits in a shaft of sunlight and gets very hot. When I ran out of sun in the garden, I brought it in to a west-facing windowsill to finish off. Since I had a lemon handy, I chose to make a lemony sun tea. Several lemon slices, and a handful of lemon verbena leaves (stripped from their stems) went into the jar. After several hours in the potting shed, the jar was warm to the touch – but not hot. This is a nice way to make iced tea in summer (cool it off once it been ‘cooked’), but it’s never going to boil.
Perhaps calling it sun tea is misleading, and a different name would set different expectations. I ended up with a lovely, refreshing glass of lemony water (to which I added a little sugar). It was fun, and I’d happily try it again. Maybe on a warmer day I’d get something more tea-like!
Have you tried making sun tea? What’s your favourite recipe?