Summer Goodness: Making use of the sun for the best tea!
I’m a huge fan of sun teas, any tea can be sun tea or cold brew. I am particularly fond of Mountain Rose Herb’s Hibiscus High blend, its beautiful, and natural, with ingredients like organic hibiscus, lemongrass, spearmint, orange peel, rose petals, rosehips, and honeybush. It’s sweet but not overly so, and I never add sugar or honey (unless I have a sore throat). I like to pair it with one part of a black tea – almost any black tea will do but I try to be sure it’s also organic.
In a two-quart mason jar, put three parts of Hibiscus High tea with one part of black tea. Put cold water to the rim, put a ring and seal or a plastic screw-on lid, and set in the sun for several hours. I’m a big fan of the plastic mason jar lids which you can find anywhere. I also like Snarky Tea’s cold brew system which is a filter, but there are many others like this one that uses a lid and infuser system.
- For an adult version, I like to pour the finished tea over ice, add your spirit of choice (try pre-made margaritas for a nice limey kick) and finish with tonic.
- Add muddled fresh strawberries or other fruit (like blueberries or cherries) and steep until done.
- If you’re like me, only brew two quarts at a time so none is wasted in the fridge, because while it will keep for several days, it’s at its best when it’s freshest.
- Top your finished drink (either spiked or not) with fresh basil leaves. This adds a beautiful aromatic element to the tea.
Take advantage of the bounty of Summer and enjoy your favorite sun tea!
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When I was out in Colorado visiting family I mistook the intensity of the sun and the heat and collapsed on the Eagle Rock Shelter Trail in the high desert in between Hotchkiss and Delta Colorado. I was fascinated by the contrast between the lushness near the Gunnison River and the desert in the Delta region and was having fun taking pictures. I had only been clear from Covid for a week, not at all ready for a hiking trip! Note to self, you are not 20 years old anymore – no more assuming you can handle it!
At any rate, a rescue off the trail, an ambulance to Delta Hospital, and recovering now for a week at home, and I’m still wiped out and exhausted. I’m told it could last for weeks – and that I had pushed my Covid recovery back by getting the heat stroke. (Not surprising by the way I feel).
This is a reminder to HYDRATE in the heat! Drink electrolytes if you plan on being out in the sun, use sunscreen, and wear a hat! Don’t do what I did and overestimate your response to the heat.
Be Careful out there!
My sister and I traveled to Colorado recently to surprise our mother on her 80th birthday and to see my nephew and his his wife at their mountain home above Paonia. Now, when I talk about paradise, I’m not exaggerating – it is lush and beautiful and splendid! It was overwhelming the variety of plants growing.
I identified common white clover and plantain for them, as well as some not so common plants. But it would take me a lifetime to identify everything up there – not that I’d mind but I think they would get tired of Aunty Kathy as a permanent houseguest. 🙂
This brings me to my point, I suggested that if they were serious about wanting to know more of the edibles on their land, that they hire an herbalist who is familiar with the area to come take them on nature walks. As herbalists, we need to point in the right direction, even if it is away from ourselves. I’m happy I was able to show them the plants I knew about, and it was very enjoyable to have such eager students!
I felt blessed to be there and refreshed in spirit – and sorry to leave.