How to Make Sun Tea

Sun tea is simply tea that has been brewed in the warmth of the sun for a few hours. Some people don’t wish to add boiling water to tea leaves because it can destroy the nutritional properties (though tea leaves themselves are often not raw, so it’s a bit of a conundrum for dedicated raw foodists). For others, sun tea is a beautiful way to conserve energy and resources.

But you don’t need a specific reason to enjoy sun tea. Maybe you like the idea of drinking sunshine in a glass. Maybe you think it’s a pretty addition to your alfresco dining table. Whatever your reasons, slow-steeped tea that’s been warmed by Mother Nature is just somehow lovely.

Sounds easy? It is.

You will need:

  • Glass jars with lids (to keep the bugs out!). The smaller the jar, the faster it will heat up. Mason jars work well.
  • Tea bags or loose leaves of your choice.
  • A sunny spot outdoors or on a windowsill.

Simply allow your tea to steep until it’s the desired flavour and temperature. That’s it! Drink it right away and if there is any left over, throw it out (it may develop bacteria since it has not been boiled).

Sun Tea Tips

  • Sun tea is best brewed in summer when the sun is bright, hot and long-lasting. You’ll need to keep your tea in a place that gets sun for a good 4–6 hours (or you can move it with the sun).
  • You can use any tea you like: black, white, green, rooibos, herbal – you can even make a brew from fresh garden herbs.
  • Add extra ingredients for flavour if you wish. Try some citrus peel, lemon slices, mint leaves, star anise or ginger.
  • Sun tea is usually a more subtle brew than hot tea so if you prefer a stronger flavour, double or triple the amount of tea that you would normally use.
  • You can make one large batch and steep it all day, or if you like to drink tea throughout the day, make a number of single-serve brews.
  • Instead of hot tea, you can transform your sun tea into iced tea for some summer refreshment!