Last week the Pacific Northwest was touched by a brief taste of summer. Or maybe a tease of summer. The sun was out, the temperature was hot, and I was very content. I love the heat. We spent every evening out on our tiny little deck in our thrifted vintage lawn chairs watching the eagles get chased by birds and the evening ferry loaded with commuters, come into dock. It was so relaxing to soak up the sun and a perfect addition to this was a cold glass of homemade ice tea.
In those few rare weeks a year that it is actually hot here, I take my jar of herbal tea mix and instead of brewing it for a warm cup of tea, I instead brew it by the gallon. My original recipe for the mix can be found here.
To make it iced, I grab 2 large gallon jars and I boil the kettle with hot water. I fill one of the jars with about 1/3 cup of the dried tea.
Dried tea mix of Chamomile, Rose Hips, Red Raspberry Leaves, Peppermint Leaves & Lavender.
I fill the glass jar half way with cold water from the faucet. I next add the boiling water. I add the two different temperatures to ensure that the jar doesn't break and that the tea is hot enough to make the tea.
Tea & water in jar after it has been stirred. It looks a bit like something out of a sci-fi movie though...
It only takes about 10 minutes to brew with this method. Using a strainer, I pour the jar of tea through the strainer and into the other jar.
I add agave to the tea after it has been strained to give it a faint sweet flavor.
I still remember as a young girl, walking out to our wooden stairs on our back porch to see if the tea was ready to drink. I even remember the disappointment when it was still too light in color to bring in. Of course it was regular sun tea back then but I still loved the stuff, especially with a 1/4 cup of sugar per glass. I drank it all summer long with lots of ice and my favorite twirly straw. I even loved to crunch on the sugar crystals as they made their way into my mouth. I can't think of summer without sun tea and now I have a healthier version drink and to share with the children. Of course as I write this our hot summer has long since disappeared. It's back to warm sweaters in the morning. But maybe I'll still make the tea and pretend that it is hot outside. A girl can dream.