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

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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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99 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. N J Westerbeck

    In a one gallon glass container I use (4) black tea bags (the brand you like) with (4) Lipton Purple Acai/Blueberry green tea bags, with NO sweetner. It tastes amazing & is good for the body! In the sweltering summer heat of the South it has kept me away from the cursed energy drinks!


  2. Bob Simpson

    When I was a Maryland teenager I made sun tea with wild sumac berries. A berry bunch in a big Glass jar of water out in the sun followed by some work with strainer made the tea; some added sugar resulted in a drink similar to lemonade (really!!!)


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  3. [email protected]

    Very Good. Very smooth. I love tea this way.

  4. JoAnne

    I make it in the refrigerator too. Just put it in there overnight and it’s done. Too give it a different taste I add a pack of KoolAid to it. I have tried several different flavors but I love the orange and the strawberry.

  5. Ed Ennis

    Does anyone add lemons and an orange to the tea. I heard of that a while ago but I’m not sure how it is done if at all. Thank you, Ed

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How to Make Sun Tea