How to Make Sun Tea

Use the power of the sun to make refreshing sun tea using the tea bags of your choice. There's no need to boil water to make this iced tea.

Two glasses of iced sun tea with lemon slices

Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

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 with tea bags in a jar

Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

The Best Tea Bags for Sun Tea

This recipe calls for regular teabags—the kind you would use to make a single cup of tea. Use 4 bags if you're using 2 quarts of water; 8 bags if you're using a gallon of water. The sun tea method also works with larger tea bags that are meant to make iced tea. Simply use the recommended amount of water per large tea bag that's on the box's directions.

Black tea is commonly used to make sun tea, but you can make sun tea from any flavor of tea you'd like. To get the strength you want, you may need to experiment with the number of tea bags if using a more mildly flavored tea.

Containers for Brewing Sun Tea

Glass is preferable over plastic for brewing sun tea because the heat from the sun can cause the plastic to alter the flavor of the tea and possibly leach some chemicals into it. If using plastic, make sure the container is BPA free.

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From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

How to Make Sun Tea

Prep Time 5 mins
Steep 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Yield 1 gallon

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


  • 4 to 8 regular tea bags


  1. Make the tea:

    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.

    Making sun tea in a jug in the sun

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  2. Place in the sun:

    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 it from the 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.

    How to Make Sun Tea with tea bags

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  3. Store the tea:

    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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
5 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 100mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.