Saturday, July 30, 2011

sun tea

If you are a tea fanatic and you simply must drink tea every day, summer can pose a problem.

Specifically, do you want to drink a hot cup of tea when your little third-floor flat is already crammed full of hot air and your legs actually stick together when they accidentally touch?

Possibly not.

What you want is a cold cup of tea.

I have just the thing, which does not even involve plugging in a kettle to brew it.

My old friend Elizabeth taught me this on an especially humid day in Halifax a few summers ago. Elizabeth comes from the south – Virginia? Maryland? They run together in my expiring brain – and she knows how to deal with the heat.

Her sun tea is so easy and mellow, you can  manage it on even the hottest of days.

Here are the step-by-step instructions, because I can tell you aren’t thinking very clearly in this heat.

Fill a jug of water with cold water.

Take it outside and plop in a couple of tea bags or tea balls.

Now, this is very important. Do not touch those tea bags. Do not stir them. Do not poke them to see if a bit of brown tea will brew out. Step back from the jug.

I repeat: step back from the jug.

Wait a while. (Maybe an hour, longer if you get distracted and forget you put that jug out on the porch.)


The tea has now brewed and is a lovely tea colour. Because you didn’t mess with those tea bags before, it is also extremely mellow and smooth. (Yes, I believe those adjectives can apply to both whisky and tea.)

Take it inside and carefully lift out the tea bags. Discard said tea bags.

Doctor it with lemon and honey or sugar, as you please. 

Serve immediately with ice. If you have such a small freezer that you cannot afford to keep ice in it, refrigerate until cold.

Drink. Rest. Try not let any parts of your body accidentally touch each other.

My dears, I am off to Germany for a few weeks! We are visiting Berlin, Osnabrück and Lübeck (marzipan capital of the world!). I have been looking forward to this for ages – as you might have guessed by the plethora of German recipes suddenly appearing here.

My mother is German and I went often as a child to visit relatives and family friends. I haven’t been back for eight years and my husband has never been (besides a three-hour train stopover, which really doesn’t count). I can hardly wait to show him the Germany I remember and eat all that wunderbar German baking: käse brötchen and torte and Berliner jelly doughnuts . . .

Since I won’t be back for a few weeks, I’ll leave you with this: a photo of me and my new German friends back when I first visited Germany. I am the stylish one in the coordinating red turtleneck and sweater.

 Happy summer!

1 comment:

  1. You have just provided a solution to my hot tea dilemma! I will definitely be trying this out in the near future. Hope you have a great time in Germany!