Tea brewed by the Sun tastes amazing. Add a few sprigs of mint and you’ve got a tea that is out of this world! Tata’s Mint Sun Tea is a nice treat for those hot summer days. It’s perfect for cookouts, dinners at home, and just sipping it in a glass while you watch the sun go down.
When I was little, I used to spend the summers with my grandparents, who I call Nana and Tata.
My Nana and Tata on my Mom’s side used to have a small ranch on the outskirts of Tucson, AZ. We called it the acres.
There was an acre of land, hence the name, and my grandparents built a small house with a small horse stable on the land.
Summers At The Acres
I spent my childhood summers running around on the ranch, playing make believe, learning to sew from my Nana, and learning about plants and animals from my Tata.
These summers were some of the best times of my life. I have some of the greatest memories spent with my Nana and Tata.
One of the fondest memories is that both of my grandparents were very good cooks. We often had home-cooked meals while staying at the acres. They would take turns making dinner and breakfast. And I would be there in the kitchen, standing on my little step stool, eagerly ready to learn from both of them.
One of the things that my Tata loved to make with dinner was Sun Tea.
I loved it every time he made this. I could drink a whole pitcher by myself. It just tasted so good! And now, every time I make it, it always takes me back to summers at the acres with my Nana and Tata.
I thought I would share with you this wonderfully tasting drink because it’s perfect for summer and could maybe be a treat that you can share with your kids, grandkids, or other family and friends.
I think food and drink that bring people together should be shared, because it’s something special.
So we’re going to make the tea exactly how my Tata used to.
Tea In The Morning
My Tata was an early riser. He woke up everyday at 5am. He would turn on the radio, have his coffee, and make breakfast. All while whistling to his tunes. Then he would spend most of his days outside, checking on the property, watering the plants, and just spending time in nature.
He had such a wonderful soul.
On the days that he would make the tea, before he went outside for the day, he would fill up a tall glass pitcher with water.
Once it was full, he would put in the tea bags and whatever else he was using. I’m pretty sure mint was my Tata’s favorite because he would use this herb most often in his tea.
You can also use lemon or cinnamon sticks. I like to use mint since it reminds me of my Tata.
Put 6-8 tea bags in the jar depending how strong you like your tea and about 1-2 bunches of fresh mint leaves. Again, this is based on preference.
I like to use 6 tea bags when I make my sun tea, as well as 1 bunch of mint. And don’t forget to rinse your mint leaves before putting them in the jar.
A Glass Pitcher
In terms of a pitcher, one of the best things to use is a recycled pickle jar because it can hold a lot of tea.
The jar I use is about 1 gallon.
If you don’t have one of these available, you can use any other glass jar or pitcher just as long as it has a lid that can be tightened.
This way you don’t end up with any dirt or uninvited guests floating in your tea.
It’s important that you use glass to brew your mint sun tea because the clear glass helps to ensure the tea catches all the rays of the sun.
Also, when plastic heats up too much it can leach chemicals into you tea. This isn’t good because you don’t want to be drinking chemicals and it can also alter the taste of your tea.
Tea In The Sun
Alright, so after my Tata had his pitcher filled with water, tea bags, and mint leaves he would close up the lid tightly and set it outside to brew for the rest of the day.
My grandparent’s house had a huge slab of concrete that was a drive-up car port. This was back in the day before garages were a thing.
My Tata would simply place the tea jar near the edge of the car port where it was sure to catch the rays of the sun.
Then he would let it sit all day while he went about his daily duties on the ranch.
Set your tea jar in a spot that will catch the sun all day and you can even place on something if you’re worried about leaving it on the ground.
Since I have a balcony area that shades most of the back of our apartment, I place my tea jar on my plant stand. This way it catches the sun all day and it won’t be sitting on the ground.
My Tata kept the car port top notch it was always swept and clean. Me on the other hand, let’s just say we wouldn’t get an award for nicest balcony in the area.
Hey I get busy and my Tata was retired. He had time to sweep haha.
Mint Sun Tea
The tea would sit out in the sun for about 8 hours. Tata would bring it inside just before he went to make dinner, which was about 4pm.
We would eat dinner early since my Tata went to sleep early too. You ate when dinner was made, there was no being picky about it.
Besides, if you didn’t eat dinner, then you wouldn’t get to have cookies and milk before bed. I wasn’t one to miss out on dessert!
Anywho, so after my Tata brought the tea in from outside it would go straight to the fridge.
The tea is best served cold so the sooner you can put it in the fridge before dinner, the better.
I leave my tea out for about 8 hours as well. I try to put it out as early as I can. The balcony area is just getting shady as I’m about to bring my tea inside, so it’s perfect timing.
Then I pop it in the fridge to cool. I try to allow at least an hour for the tea to chill. If you don’t have that much time you can always add extra ice cubes when you serve it.
Tea With Dinner
Once dinner was made, I would help set the table and serve the tea.
At this point, you can take the tea bags and mint leaves out of your glass pitcher, then toss them. Some people like to keep them in, but honestly I think it makes the tea taste bitter the longer it sits.
I take out my tea bags and mint, then set the table and serve the drinks, just like I used to when I would help my Nana and Tata.
If you’d like to sweeten your tea you can use sugar, honey, or what we like to use now is a few drops of stevia.
A Summer Treat
One of the great things about this tea is that by making it in a large glass pitcher, you have tea for the rest of the week. It’s definitely better than soda.
I also like that it’s similar to a slow cooker where you set it and forget it. You can set it out just before leaving for work in the morning and when you get home you have some freshly brewed tea.
I am so thankful to have these memories of my Tata because even though he’s passed away, it’s like a piece of him is still with me.
Summers remind me of drinking tea at the acres, and for that I will always be grateful.
So I hope you enjoy this recipe and get to share it with someone special.
To the wonderful memories that Mint Sun Tea can bring.