During those long, hot days of Summer, growing up in the suburbs of eastern Pennsylvania, sun tea had always been a consistent presence in my childhood. Even now I can see the weathered, flowered pitcher my mom would put out every season, full of Lipton tea bags, to brew leisurely on our sun-filled front porch. As a kid, it was always just kind of there, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I really appreciated this tradition. (Both the practice and the taste).
Having lived in urban city apartments, with no balconies or yards, for the past 6 years, I’ve missed being able to participate in this ritual myself. On a particularly warm and sunny day here in Seattle, I sat in my apartment and thought to myself, since I don’t have a porch, I wonder if it would be possible to make sun tea in a window? Obviously, a quick internet search may have answered this question, but I was in the mood to experiment and had no reason to think it wouldn’t work. A plan was formed.
Our apartment has a large corner window that gets a lot of natural light and warmth, especially in the mid to late afternoon, so this seemed like the perfect place to test my theory. Using the recipe on the box of the Mango Black Tea I’d recently purchased, my strategy was to get everything together in the morning and leave it to do its thing while I went to work. My hope was that I would come back to a perfectly brewed jar of sun tea.
Well, the day turned out to be not as sunny as I had anticipated, but to my surprise, the experiment seemed to work pretty well regardless. The taste was weaker than I had been expecting, but I’m sure that could be easily remedied the next time around by adding more tea bags or waiting for a truly, intensely sunny day.
Maybe this idea seemed a little obvious to everyone accept me. However, I’m happy that I was able to recreate a piece of my past purely out of my own curiosity and have a way to continue to do so even when the logistics aren’t ideal. I’m also happy to remind myself that often the best things, are the simplest things.
Mango Sun Tea
(Adapted from the iced tea brewing instructions for Trader Joe’s Mango Black Tea)
4 cups filtered water.
4 tea bags.
Glass container with an air tight lid.
Pour the water and tea bags into the glass container and seal. Place in a sunny location for at least 5 hours and brew until desired color and taste. Chill and enjoy!