Summery sun tea

It’s hot, it’s sticky and you’re craving the perfect cool drink at the end of a long day.

Sun tea is very popular in the southern United States for its mild and refreshing flavour. And it requires almost no effort to make — the drink needs just five minutes of assembly.

Homemade sun tea requires only five things: a jar, water, tea bags, extras and a sunny spot to sit for a few hours. This drink is so easy to make, it might just become a daily summer fix.

It’s important to use a glass — not plastic — jar, so that the sun will brew the tea properly. The glass should be clear on all sides and a metal lid will help it to heat up (and brew) more effectively. The size of jar is entirely up to you, but a litre jar is a good place to start. One litre will make three glasses of tea — enough to know whether or not you like it, but not so much that you’ll struggle to get through it all.

Because the water isn’t boiled like in traditional tea, make sure to use filtered water that’s safe to drink.

Tea bags
Use one tea bag for every 500mL of water. Black tea, like orange pekoe and English breakfast, work extremely well and take on a much milder flavour when brewed this way. Something simple is a great choice, especially if you want to add extra ingredients.

Citrus slices, berries and mint are just a few add-ins you might want to toss into your jar before brewing. These will help add some sweetness and depth of flavour to your tea. If you like it extra sweet, a little honey is the perfect touch after the tea is done brewing.

Once everything is put together, leave your jar out in the sun for three to five hours — depending on how strong you like your tea. Keep in mind that tea left in direct sunlight won’t need to steep as long as it might on a cloudy day. Keep an eye on your jar and when you see the colour you like, pour over ice and take a sip.

This tea is best to drink the day it’s brewed. It’ll last a day or so in the fridge, but no longer than that before it goes bad.

Try your own spin on it and experiment with extras. You could easily make a few jars at once and serve them to your friends to see which flavours you all like best.

This tea is perfect for a long hot day — just assemble in the morning and by the time you’ve worked up a sweat, it will be ready for you.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.