Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Make Sun Tea – Solar Powered Iced Tea

Posted on | August 2, 2017 | No Comments

Sun Tea? Today in the Pacific Northwest we have blazing hot temperatures. It’s absolutely perfect weather for iced tea, sun tea and veggie salads and sandwiches. I have mixed emotions about sun tea so here are some ideas for hot weather tea lunches and a caveat on making sun tea. Keeping the house cool and not using hot appliances is the idea. At the same time, we are crafting tasty and visually appealing, hopefully healthy, meals.

Sun Tea and Iced Tea with Lemon Slices

Sun Tea with Lemon Slices

How to Make Sun Tea

Into your favorite fancy iced tea dispenser (or a plain gallon jug), place 8 teabags per gallon of water, let sit in the sun for 3 or more hours. Remove teabags, serve tea over ice. That’s it!

For one reason or another, I love most tea brands on the supermarket shelf and am not endorsing one over the other. However, for iced tea, I prefer loose-leaf Assam, Ceylon, Yunnan, Keemun, Kenya, Oolong, Sencha or Matcha – it’s serendipitous? Since most “breakfast” teas are blends of Assam, Kenya, and/or Ceylon, most teabag brands will make decent iced. I like Lipton Classic, Red Rose and Stash’s Green Tea.

Sun Tea Recommended Brands

Lipton Tea Bags


Stash Premium Green Tea Bags






One day, I was at the Tao of Tea in Portland.  Fancy Formosa Oolong was the iced tea of the day. Horrified that he’d ice an upscale oolong, it was an eye-opener about making biased tea decisions and that, really, you can ice just about any tea and I now make Oolong Iced Tea.

Perfect Iced Tea

Make a concentrate to be diluted with ice cubes.

T-sac 4 Pitcher Size Tea Source

T-sac #4 Pitcher Size

  • 4 #3 T-sacs (#4 size if available) (or another brand DIY, disposable teabag)
  • 1 Tbsp. Assam loose-leaf per T-sac
  • 1 gallon boiling water

Place tea in t-sacs; knot the tops to prevent spillage. In a pot or saucepan, bring one gallon fresh, non-chlorinated water to a boil. Toss in t-sacs. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Remove tea; do not squeeze the teabags! After reaching room temperature, refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Notes:
  • Hot tea placed directly in the refrigerator will usually turn cloudy. This is because it shocks their tiny little microscopic crystals into a blur.
  • Freeze tea in ice trays so as not to dilute your cool tea.
  • Place edible petals in ice trays, cover with water, freeze and use for iced tea. (nasturtiums, rose petals, lavender, mint, violets in season)
  • Our health department allows us to let tea made with boiling water sit at room temperature for up to 8 hours without refrigeration. Nice! Especially if refrigerator capacity is limited. 
  • Water that hasn’t been boiled before making tea stands a higher chance of bacteria formation – I don’t recommend it but it’s your choice hence my caveat on Sun Tea.

Pretty simple? Why not experiment?

Sweetener – Stevia, agave or honey – subtle sweet taste

Herbs or botanicals – spearmint, peppermint, lavender, thyme, rose petals; lemon slices, grated fresh ginger, and orange slices are good with Earl Grey

Bowl of Fresh Blueberries US High Blueberry Council

This recipe from the Culinary Institute of America, Chef-Instructor Scott Daniel, is a delicious accompaniment.

Roasted Turkey Sandwich with Blueberry Chutney

Roasted Turkey Sandwich with Blueberry Chutney
Chef-Instructor Scott Samuel
CIA – Greystone

Chef Samuel demonstrates how to elevate a plain turkey sandwich with a condiment made with in-season blueberries. The scratch-made blueberry chutney is spiked with grated orange peel, ginger, crushed red pepper and cranberry sauce—flavors that pair especially well with turkey.

Roasted Turkey Sandwich with Blueberry Chutney


4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel, grated
1 tsp. ground ginger, ground
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 loaf French baguette
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 head bibb leaf lettuce, cleaned
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
12 oz. turkey breast, roasted and sliced
1 tomato, sliced


1. For blueberry chutney: In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine blueberries, cranberry sauce, sugar, balsamic vinegar, orange peel, ginger, red pepper and ¼ teaspoon black pepper; bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring frequently. for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour mixture into clean jars. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 weeks or place in covered plastic containers and freeze.
2. To assemble, split bread in half lengthwise and place on work surface.
3. Mix mayonnaise with mustard, tarragon, salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture on both sides of bread. Place lettuce leaves on top; spread with blueberry chutney and top with grated cheese. Arrange sliced turkey evenly over cheese and top with sliced tomato. Cover with top piece of bread and serve.

Photo courtesy of U.S Highbush Blueberry Council

About the author of this post -  Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle. Read more from this author

About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.