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 seeping 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

77 Comments / Reviews

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  • Cathy Whitaker

    I have a 2 gal container so if I use large tea bags do I need 8

  • Geia

    How about using a cold brewer? Just ordered the Kitchen Aid cold coffee brewer and it has a recipe for cold brewing tea.

  • NatMat283

    I know being on chemo is maybe a bad example for this because when on chemo you are high risk of infection from even the most harmless germs but I was specifically ordered to stay away from sun tea. It does need some bacteria that are otherwise harmless but serious bacteria are more prevelent because of the lack of boiling water and the slow warming of the water. If your are generally healthy go for it but even without chemo, persons with any sort of compromised immune system can get very sick. I too grew up on sun tea and never got sick from it though.

  • jeannie

    Do not use plastic jugs. Phthalates can leach out of the plastic… Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, human carcinogens, not good for you.

  • Cindy

    I have made sun tea all my life. Sometimes I even put it in a 2 qt. jar with 4 or 5 teabags and place it in the window sill or on counter where the sun will hit it. Turns out great!

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How to Make Sun Tea