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Old 04-28-2006, 11:50 PM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sierra Valley, Northern California, USA
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I make sun tea all the time. But I make it in small quantities so it gets used up faster. I use very hot water to make the tea and let it "brew" in the refrigerator overnight for use the next day. If I do brew it in the sun, it is just for an hour or so, just to get the brewing started and then into the refrigerator it goes. Here is some more information:

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
SafeFood Rapid Response Network

Is Sun Tea Safe?
Using the natural rays of the sun to make tea is fun and popular in the summer. However, using such a method to make tea is highly discouraged. Sun tea is the perfect medium for bacteria to grow. If the sun tea has a thick or syrupy appearance, it may be due to the presence of a ropy bacteria called Alcaligenes viscolactis. Ropy bacteria are commonly found in soil and water.
Several years ago in Ohio and Washington, several people became ill after drinking tainted ice tea. In Washington it was determined that the tea had been made with tap water only heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and left to sit at room temperature for more than 24 hours. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Tea Association recommend the following when making tea.
  • Brew tea bags at 195 degrees F for three to five minutes.
  • Brew only enough tea that can be consumed within a few hours.
  • Never maintain brewed tea for more than eight hours at room temperature. Discard any unused tea after eight hours.
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize tea-making equipment regularly.
  • Instead of making "sun tea," brew tea overnight in the refrigerator as you would in the sun.
  • Store tea bags in a dark, cool, and dry place away from strong odors and moisture. Do not store in the refrigerator.
Adapted from "Bacteria-filled iced tea can cause illness," Fort Collins Coloradoan, June 12, 1996, Pat Kendall.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

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26th president of US (1858 - 1919)
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:41 PM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: California
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Uni of Calif. Riverside did a study on sun tea and advised against doing it because of the high bacteria count. Teas is not washed or cleaned in any way so who knows what might be on the leaves. UCR recommended using part boilng water for 5 min. then adding water and refrig. I realize I know no one that has gotten sick from sun tea but..... You could put the jar in the sun after using the boiling water and adding water so it is modified sun tea.

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Old 04-29-2006, 07:22 PM   #13
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Location: Elizabethtown, Kentucky, USA
Posts: 54
Wow! I am so glad I asked the question on sun tea! I had to throw the one that I made yesterday anyway, it didn't taste good because of the old tea bags. I am going to make a fresh batch by boiling tea bags. Thanks, guys!
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:23 PM   #14
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WOW I learned a lot from this thread! Thanks everyone!

You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
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