How to Make Sun Tea

May 31, 2020
Sun brewing is the most effortless way of brewing tea. You don’t need a kettle and boiling water, microwave, teapots or even a fridge. With a clean jar, your favorite tea leaves and some help from sun, you will have tea in no time. Add some ice and you will have a deliciously refreshing drink, perfect for even the hottest summer day.

How long does it take to make sun tea?

The idea behind a sun tea is making tea purely with the help of sun. Because the sun is heating surfaces stronger than the air, the temperature will be high enough to make tea within 1-5 hours. The best of all, it will never be too hot to ruin it or cause bitterness. Depending on the sun and the tea leaves, it will take about 1-5 hours to make sun tea. You can use any tea for making sun tea, however, black tea is likely to give the best results. You can use loose leaf tea or even tea bags. If you are using small broken tea leaves, tea will be ready faster than if you would use pure unbroken leaves. Don’t sun brew the tea too long because it could develop bacteria. To lower the risk, keep the brewing short, up to 2-3 hours.

Which teas are the best for making sun tea?

Best teas for making a sun tea are green, black and white. Pu’erh may be best avoided. You can use herbal and fruit blends too, both pure and flavored. However, if ingredient other than just real tea are present in your blend, brew it no longer than 2-3 hours. Need and inspiration? Try some of these: Alternatively, you can use pure tea leaves and add fresh ingredients such as freshly chopped fruits and herbs.

How to brew sun tea step by step

Sun tea is a great base for making iced tea, especially because you don’t need to bother with making a tea concentrate first then mixing it with water. It’s almost effortless and the only thing you will need is a strong sun and a clean container. You can make a larger quantity of sun tea and store it in the fridge later.


  • Find a big glass container, either a glass jar or a jug with a lid or a special iced tea brewing jar.
  • Wash it thoroughly to avoid contamination.
  • Use about ½ - 1 spoon of tea leaves or one tea bag per litre of water. If you want strong tea, add a bit
  • Add cold water and tea into the jug and cover with a lid.
  • Place it out in the direct sun, either outdoors or next to the window.
  • Steep in the sun for 2-4 hours and if needed, move the jug occasionally, so it stays in the sun.
  • Strain the tea into another jug or a pitcher or remove tea bags.
  • Add sweetener while it’s still warm. Stir.
  • If you want to enjoy it immediately, serve over ice and store the rest in the fridge.

Tips for sweetening your sun brewed tea

Once your sun brew is ready, strain it and add honey, granulated sugar or sweetener. Sun tea is less likely to be bitter, but some bitterness is possible if it’s over-brewed. It will be smoother and have a very different profile than cold brewed or hot brewed tea. If you want a healthy drink, avoid sugar and add other sweeteners instead. But if you prefer traditional sweeteners, try to sweeten it with a simple syrup or even a tea syrup.

Best sun tea jars for storage

Once your sun tea is ready, transfer it to an airtight jug and place it in the fridge. Use the tea within 1-2 days, the faster the better.  
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.

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