How to Make Sun Tea

DrinkFavorite SummerTea

A great way to make some tea without heating up your kitchen is to use the power of the sun to make sun tea.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

As the mercury breaks 100°F on these hot summer days (or 38°C for those of you on a metric system) a great way to make some tea without heating up your kitchen is to use the power of the sun to make sun tea.

How to Make Sun Tea Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 hours


  • 4-8 tea bags


Put 4 to 8 tea bags into a clean 2 quart or gallon glass container (4 teabags for a 2 quart container, 8 tea bags for a gallon container). Fill with water and cap. Place outside where the sunlight can strike the container for about 3 to 5 hours. Move the container if necessary to keep it in the sun. When the tea has reached its desired strength, remove from sun and put it in the refrigerator. You may or may not want to remove the tea bags at this point. I usually don't.

The tea will probably taste more mellow than what you are used to from using boiling water. The slow steeping has a way of bringing out a slightly different flavor from the tea. Also, because you didn't use boiling water, you should refrigerate the tea and drink it up pretty quickly - a day or two. It will not keep as well as iced tea made from boiling water.

I usually make sun tea with various forms of herbal tea. Sometimes you can put in a few sprigs of fresh mint as well.

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Sun Tea

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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142 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jason

    Will I get the same/similar results if a plastic pitcher is used rather than a completely clear one with a spigot? Do I need to alter anything?

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  2. Melissa Carter Davidson

    My mother always made this when I was kid and I have recently started to make it again at 35 but I’m from Tn so super sweet tea is a norm here! It’s delicious just having hard time remembering the exact amount of sugar for my 1.5 gallons

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  3. Monroe M. Hill Jr.

    I am making this today with four kinds of tea bags , hopefully this afternoon heat in BaltimoreMd. Will this taste amazing.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Sheila

    For a gallon how many family size tea bags do I use?

    Show Replies (2)
  5. Yahdinah

    Well I boil the water ahead of time or use filtered before setting it in the sun. My tea last more then a couple of days I refrigerated afterwards in the summer months it last till I finish it.


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How to Make Sun Tea