The Perfect Sun Tea Recipe for Summertime
Summertime & sunshine are a dynamic pair that bring so much to life here on the Georgia coast. People are out enjoying the great outdoors while soaking up some rays. That summer sunshine is also great for growing things and even creating tea! Yep, Try our super simple sun tea recipe and enjoy!
Tea History in Liberty County
In Liberty County the soil is perfect for tea and if it hadn’t been for a financial deal that fell through to South Carolina, Liberty County would have been producing tea for the states in the 1800s. It all goes back to Riceboro and the first tea plants introduced there by William Jones and his daughter, Rosa Jones Screven.
At the time a Scottish venture capitalist named John Jackson visited Liberty County to inspect the tea crop. The specimens he sent to the Department of Agriculture were deemed equal to the best raised in India or China. A $30,000 appropriation to establish a government sponsored tea project in Liberty County was secured but the political tides turned and the project went to South Carolina. Jackson had no choice but to follow the money and go to Summerville, South Carolina to tend to the crops.
After a year of cultivation, he was convinced South Carolina’s soil was wrong and Liberty County was the best choice to grow a perfect tea crop. Unfortunately, since the tea didn’t take in South Carolina, the government funding was relinquished and Jackson had to abandon his tea aspirations. He did move back to Liberty County and became a resident until his death. He tried to secure financial backing for tea cultivation in the area but was unsuccessful.
Remains of the old tea fields near Riceboro could still be found as late as 1900. Local residents picked the leaves when they were tender, dried them in the sun and brewed their own special blend of Liberty County tea.
The tea plants cultivated by Jackson are no longer in existence in Liberty County but the soil in these parts holds the memory of his dream. The blended culture and history of our lovely Liberty County awaits discovery.
Liberty County Sun Tea Recipe
- Put 4-8 tea bags into a clean 2 quart or gallon glass container with a lid. For us we’re using a special blend of Georgia peach tea!
- Place the container with tea bags and water outside where the sunlight can strike the container for about 5-8 hours. Moving it if necessary to keep it in full sunlight.
- When it has reached the desired strength (color) bring it inside. Then you can sweeten with liquid sugar to ensure it mixes properly.
- You don’t need to remove the tea bags, because it will continue to infuse the tea. But you can if you want to.
- Get out your glass, ice & garnish with a peach slice, lemon wedge or even a sprig of mint!
Since you are not using boiling water the tea will taste more mellow than what you are used to. The slow steeping has a way of bringing out a slightly different flavor from the tea.
Sun tea doesn’t last as long as traditionally made tea so make sure you keep it in the fridge. We suggest you drink it within a day or two. If you notice it looks different, thick & syrupy, go ahead and toss it but definitely toss any leftovers after day two.