I like to find little ways to honor the beauty of the natural world and of each passing season. It seems important to take time each day to peek my head above the lure of screens and technology, to step outside. I mean “step outside” not just as a way to transit to the next appointment, but as an opportunity to take a few brief seconds to recognize the beauty in the natural world. It is far too easy to live in our thoughts and forget to stop and really look around us, to breathe in the air, to notice the small sprout as it reaches towards the sun or the tiny animal as it scurries across the path in front of us. How can we amplify our senses and connect to the larger picture every day?
One way that I connect to the summer season and to the sun is by making sun-infused teas. I started making sun tea a few years ago through the suggestion of a friend. She told me about her process and even gave me a large glass jar (it once held pickles at a local general store) so I could get started. I was surprised at how easy it was! With a sun tea, the energy from the sun helps to filter all the goodness of the herbs and tea into my water. It takes time to let the tea infuse, so one needs to plan ahead and let nature take her course. I enjoy sitting on my deck and looking at the herbs and tea floating in the glass jar. On a hot day, the tea will infuse in just a few hours. On a cool cloudy day, it can take a little longer. I like to let the tea sit out overnight and collect the rays of the moon as well. When I make a sun tea, my thoughts shift just a little towards the quieter elements of nature and my greater connection to the natural world.
I am sharing one recipe for sun tea, but the possibilities are endless. You can make a sun tea with any ingredients you would use to make a regular stovetop tea infusion. An easy favorite of mine is a simple green tea with herbs, including a few sprigs of fresh mint, lemon verbena, and rosemary. This summer, I have enjoyed experimenting with hibiscus, lemon, and green tea. This is a cooling and refreshing tonic to share with your friends and family on a hot summer day, and you don’t even have to turn on the stove to make it!
Hibiscus Sun Tea
- 1/2 Gallon (1- 64 oz Mason Jar) Filtered Water
- 1 Organic Lemon Rind
- 4- 5 Tea Bags, or 2-4 Tbsp Loose Leaf Organic Green Tea
- 3-4 Tea Bags, or 2Tbsp- 1/4 cup Loose Herb Hibiscus Flowers
1. Fill your clean glass jar with fresh filtered water. Add tea bags or loose leaf tea, lemon rind, and hibiscus. Cover jar and let sit outside in the sun for 8-24 hours. (I prefer for the tea to have a moonlit night as well). If you don’t have a deck or balcony, you can place the jar in a window. It should get direct sunlight in order to infuse the herbs and tea into the water.
2. After 8-24 hours, strain out your herbs and place the tea in a glass container in the refrigerator to cool, or pour immediately into a glass with ice. Garnish with mint and enjoy!
Also by Angie: Vegan Kebabs With Cilantro Coconut Rice
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Photos: Angie Follensbee-Hall