Sun Tea Recipe

The following sun tea recipe is for making iced tea using heat from the sun instead of boiled water to brew the tea. It's an easy way to make tea if you have a little patience and a bright sunny spot.

Sure, it's easy to buy bottled iced tea. But this recipe has no additives or sugars. Plus it is so cheap and easy to make. And there is no need to use your stove or heat up your kitchen! Expect a more mellow flavored tea due to the longer, slower brewing method.

Sun Tea Recipe

Makes a half gallon of iced tea (8 cups).

What You'll Need:

  • area with direct sunlight
  • glass container with lid
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 black tea bags


  1. Fill container with water.

  2. Add tea bags and cover with lid.

  3. Place container in a sunny location.

  4. Leave in sun 3 to 4 hours or until tea reaches desired strength/darkness.

  5. Remove tea bags and chill tea immediately.

  6. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges if desired.

Want to sweeten you sun tea?

Because the tea never gets really hot, you may find it easier to sweeten at the end with simple syrup instead od dumping in granulated sugar.

Sun Tea Safety

Some concern has been raised that sun tea can harbor bacteria since the tea brews at a warm - but not hot - temperature. While the CDC maintains that the risk of disease transmission through tea is extremely minimal, the following guidelines are generally good practices:

  • Use a clean container.
  • Do not leave the tea in the sun for more than 4 hours.
  • Refrigerate immediately after removing tea from the sun.
  • Consume the tea within a day or two.
  • If the tea has an off odor or appears "syrupy" don't drink it!

Refrigerator "Sun" Tea

Sun Tea

If you want to play it extra safe with sun tea, you can make this style of tea in the fridge instead. Prepare the tea as outlined above, then place the container in the fridge overnight. This will keep the brew cool the entire time.

This also works well if you live in an apartment like me and don't have a sunny yard or deck. Actually, one of my favorite summer drinks is made by placing water and one tea bag in a small mason jar and leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I can start my day with a delicious glass of ready-to-drink cold tea!

Perfect single serving of iced tea!

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