Make a refreshing garden tea with the power of the sun! 15 minutes prep. Ages 2+
1 large glass jar with lid
1 handful of fresh or dried mint leaves or other suitable plants, or a combination (examples: lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hips and lemon verbena)
Ice cubes (optional)
Honey or sugar
- Harvest the leaves, making sure you take only the selected plant. Wash them carefully. Fill the glass jar with water and immerse the fresh leaves in the jar. The more you put in, the stronger the tea will be. Take the temperature of the water and record.
- Put the lid on the jar and set it in a sunny spot. How warm do you think it will get in the sun? Record your predictions. Let the tea sit for 2-3 hours and test the temperature again. How much did the temperature go up? Shake the jar to mix thoroughly. Add honey or sugar and ice if you wish. Serve and enjoy in a shady spot!
You can capture the sun’s energy to make delicious tea from plants you grow in your garden. “Solar Tea” works just like regular tea—heat makes the flavor of the herbs diffuse into the water. The longer it brews, the stronger the flavor and the darker the color will be. You can use a variety of different plants for tea. Some examples are: lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hips and lemon verbena. Herbs can be used fresh or dried. You can experiment with creating your own tea blends from garden plants. Try mixing different flavors such as lemon and mint, and see how these combinations taste when different strengths of the various plants are used. Homemade tea blends also make wonderful gifts. Dry the plants individually first, by hanging small bunches of each type in a warm, dark place. When they are very dry, tear off the leaves and mix the different varieties together. Package in airtight containers with hand-made decorative labels.
Try out different edible herbs for custom tea creations.