Callie’s Cabin: It’s time for nature’s sun tea |

Callie’s Cabin: It’s time for nature’s sun tea

Natural fermented tea in glass jar.
Getty Images

The trend is savoring comfort foods and nutritious nibbles during these crazy times. I almost whipped up a batch of sweet peanut butter cookies or a peach cobbler. Then, I pondered, “Why pack on those pesky pandemic pounds?”

So, nostalgia hit and I recalled calming, sweet “Sun Tea” and decided if you were to come visit me at the cabin, I’d serve up tea. No cookies.

In the summers of the carefree pre-pandemic days, I’d spend time at my neighbor’s house around the corner. Her back yard was an Adam and Eve picturesque utopia, surrounded by fruit trees, flowers, and an herbal garden.

One afternoon she was brewing tea outside. The black tea blend with a fruit tea made a bright orange-red colored liquid inside a mason jar with a clamped lid, steeping in the sunshine. She added honey, slices of lemon, and ice cubes. The citrusy aroma lingered in the air. With the afternoon sun, a dog basking on the shady deck, I felt a sense of calmness. She called it “Sun Tea” and it enable me to transcend to a peaceful place like sitting on one of our beaches in the sunshine, sipping a cold beverage.

An easy way to brew tea from nature’s gift is to use the sun for its heat—and brew tea naturally. This is my new herbal version with a twist of local honey and sweet oranges—rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and antioxidants which you can enjoy to ward off viruses.


6 cups cold water, fresh tap or bottled

3 black tea bags

Glass jar (large enough to hold 48 ounces)

1 herbal tea bag (I used chamomile and lavender)

1 ½ cups ice, small cubes

Orange wedges, for garnish

Basil or rosemary sprigs or traditional mint leaves

6 8-ounce iced tea glasses

Honey to taste (I used orange blossom honey)

Place water and tea bags in a glass jar with a clamp lid, cover, and put in direct sunlight for three to five hours. Once sun brewed, removed the tea bags and chill tea in the refrigerator. Put iced cubes about one-fourth full into tea glasses. Pour tea over the ice and add orange wedges and herb sprigs or leaves. Add honey. Serves six. *Toss leftovers after 24 hours for safety’s sake.

I apologize for not serving up yummy cookies or sweet cobbler. But you know what? Once you brew sun tea and sit back in your happy place — you and your mind and body will thank me or Mother Nature.

Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, HonTey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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