How to Brew Herbal Sun Tea

The Maui News - - NEWS - By KATHER­INE LOECK

COOL DOWN with de­li­cious, thirstquench­ing herbal sun tea. Fol­low a few sim­ple steps to en­joy a va­ri­ety of re­fresh­ing fla­vors that are per­fect for front porch sip­ping. So­lar tea has never tasted so good. Fresh or­ganic herbs pro­duce health­ier, more re­fresh­ing teas, so pick your in­gre­di­ents straight from the gar­den or buy from a lo­cal grower. All you need to make so­lar tea is a quart can­ning jar (good for pre­serv­ing the herbs’ fra­grant oils and prop­er­ties), wa­ter, coarsely cut herbs of choice and sun­shine. To start, toss a half cup to 1 cup of fresh herbs into the can­ning jar. With prac­tice, ad­just this amount to suit your taste and the plants’ na­ture. Add wa­ter, a lid and a few shakes. Place the jar where it will re­ceive full sun­light, such as on a rooftop, open field or drive­way. If pos­si­ble, give the mix­ture a cou­ple more shakes through­out the day. You will learn how long to brew cer­tain teas for the de­sired taste. As the sun goes down, the tea should ap­pear rich and translu­cent in color. While still warm, shake the mix­ture, strain the con­tents and use the plant ma­te­rial for mulch. Pour fresh tea on ice and en­joy. These two-in­gre­di­ent blends from The Herbal Tea Gar­den: Plan­ning, Plant­ing, Har­vest­ing & Brew­ing by Ma­ri­etta Mar­shall Marcin are good for be­gin­ners.

Al­falfa leaf with lemon ver­bena or red clover blos­soms • Chamomile with hibis­cus flow­ers • Elder­flow­ers with pep­per­mint or yar­row • Fenu­greek with al­falfa or mint • Hibis­cus flow­ers with rose hips • Marigold petals with mint • Mullein with sage, chamomile or mar­jo­ram • Pen­ny­royal with any of the other mints • Pep­per­mint with spearmint • Rose­mary with hibis­cus flow­ers • Sage with lemon ver­bena • Straw­berry leaves with woodruff • Yar­row with pep­per­mint

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