How safe is sun tea?
The facts about tea show that there are safety risks brewing in that type of iced tea recipe. Summer comes and we all want to drink room temperature or cold drinks. Many look for a cost effective way and healthy way to utilize the energy of the sun to make their favorite drink.
Here in lies the problem. The typical recipe for making tea using the sun requires using tea jars, water, and your favorite tea.
Water commonly contains bacteria known as Alcaligenes viscolactis.This type of tea recipe recommends that you place the tea and water concoction in sunlight for several hours. This brew does not get over 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature necessary to kill the bacteria. Instead, this environment encourages the bacteria to grow and flourish.
The water needs to be at 195 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 3 minutes to kill these bacteria and prevent them from growing in your tea.
How do you know if you have had a bad batch of sun tea? You do not want to drink a tea that has a thick or syrupy appearance. The Alcaligenes viscolactis bacteria is a rope like bacteria and will cause the appearance of thickening of the tea.
It is important to note that even hot brewed tea that has been left out for longer than 8 hours should be discarded. It is important to keep brewed tea refrigerated to prevent bacterial growth from occurring.
What's a tea drinker to do?
I do have a solution to this problem that will allow you to enjoy your favorite sun tea recipe without giving up any of your summer due to drinking tainted tea.
Sun tea can now be known as refrigerator tea. Silly, I know, but you can get the same results with out the health risks. After all tea is full of good health benefits and we want to keep it that way.
Here is an iced tea recipe that will not make your kitchen hot or put your health at risk. I am sure you will enjoy this.
Make overnight tea
Your favorite loose leaf tea or 6-8 tea bags (use more or less according to taste)
2 quarts water
1. Fill a two-quart pitcher with cold water.
2. Add in your loose tea or tea bags.
3. Steep in the refrigerator overnight.
Serve with slices of fresh lemon, oranges, limes, berries, fresh mint or even edible flowers Feel free to flavor with fruit juice or ginger ale for a different flavor
TIP: Fill an ice cube tray with tea, and freeze. This will eliminate ice cubes diluting your iced tea.
You can see how easy it is to prepare fresh iced tea for you and your family. There is never a need to serve instant tea. Take the time to read this article on instant iced tea to find out why it is important to serve the healthiest tea.
Other iced tea recipes
Are you interested in the history of iced tea? You may learn a thing or two about where iced tea got it's start. It's not where it was first discovered.