"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue"
~ Vice President Richard Cheney

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sun Tea is Fun Tea

For the past few weeks I have been trying to kick a Coke habit. Coke is expensive, it's not great for you, Coca Cola's labor practices are atrocious, and the manufacture of aluminum cans is hugely energy intensive and creates very toxic byproducts. Like most of my efforts to get clean and sober it was't going very well. Maybe I was down from five cans a day to four. I remembered that in college I used to drink tea endlessly in my dorm room, but boiling tea is energy intensive too and it's been too hot for hot drinks.

So I've started making sun tea. It's easy, delicious, healthy and cheap. You take a big, clear glass container, fill it with water, put tea bags in it and leave it in the sun for a few hours. The flavor isn't as strong as with boiled tea, but it's good. My mom likes Good Earth Original which has a nice, sharp cinnamon flavor. I like Celestial Seasonings because the bags aren't individually wrapped so there's much less waste and they have lots of berry flavors - Celestial Seasonings bags also don't have the string and handle that most tea bags do. We use 8 bags for a galleon (4 liters). After a few hours you can bring it in, let it cool to room temperature and then put it in the fridge. I move the tea to Nalgene and old Gatorade bottles, fill the big container up with fresh water and put it right back outside.

Brewing up some Good Earth Original sun tea
As a cyclist I need to drink well over a gallon a day, so the ability to cheaply and easily flavor water helps a lot. I get my caffeine kick but at a lower dosage than the Coke's. 

If you don't live someplace with clean tap water or aren't home during sunlit hours of course this advice is less practical. Oh, and by constantly drinking sun tea I'm down to one Coke a day.


  1. I can't seem to kick my diet coke habit whatsoever... even though my parents make buckets and buckets of sun tea here at home. Maybe London will turn me on to tea?! I don't know!! I just can't live without my sparkly, fuzzy drink that comes in that cute little silver can :(

  2. I hear that, Kelsey. Using aluminum in throwaway cans is an insane waste of resources, but they're so damn cold and convenient and blissfully artificial tasting . . .