Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Around the Corner, Iced Tea on the Mind

Here in the North East, the bitter winter has been brutal with continual snow storms.  However, the other day a glimmer of spring began to show its seemingly long arrival may be around the corner.  The sun came out, and a high of 50 F degrees felt as though I was in the tropics of the South.  I began to think, it is never too early to contemplate homemade iced tea sitting in the sparkling sunlight.

The perfect iced tea is made with the simple science of using the natural rays of the sun to percolate the tea into a crystal clear, dark champagne drink of health!

Don't Stress with Money!

It doesn't matter what tea you decide; loose or bagged.  You can make even the most inexpensive tea taste like a glass of heaven when made properly into iced tea.  Many tea connoisseurs will choose to disagree.  But money dictates the buying power of consumers in these economic times.  People need inexpensive ways to pamper not just their bodies and souls, but also invigorate their taste buds without a financial burden.

I urge you to experiment with different brands of tea when following the simple guidelines for Simple Sun Tea.

Guidelines for Simple Sun Tea

Simple Sun Tea requires the heat of natural sunlight to steep the tea leaves into the perfect iced tea.  This will require a moderately hot to hot day to achieve maximum results.  Preferably, 70 degrees or higher in direct sunlight is recommended.  You will also need at least 2 hours of time to achieve proper strength of the tea.

I find 5 - 6 tea bags are needed to make an entire 1/2 gallon (64 oz.) of Simple Sun Tea.  Simply fill a pitcher with 2 quarts (1/2 gallon/64 oz.) cool, filtered water.  Submerge the teabags into the water, and simply set outside for at least 2 hours, or until desired tea strength.  Be sure to place the tea in direct sunlight.

After the tea is at desired strength, simply pour over a glass of crushed ice.  Serve with a lemon wedge. 

I tend to serve the iced tea unsweetened.  When the tea is served to guests, I have sugar and honey at the table to give the decision of sweetened tea to them.

Why Simple Sun Tea?

Simple Sun Tea has the illusion of natural sweetness and purified taste rather than using hot water to steep the tea.  When tea leaves are heated, they release bitterness into the water that can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.  Therefore, starting the tea in cool water and letting the natural rays of the sun heat the water slowly to the warm outer temperatures will prohibit any bitter taste. 

Simple Sun Tea is also crystal clear.  The heat from boiling or extremely hot water will cause impurities to release from the leaves making the tea look visibly cloudy.  Especially when serving guests, there is nothing more stunning at a luncheon than crystal clear iced tea served in tall stemmed glasses with a lemon wedge on the side!

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