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How To Make Sun Tea

One of my favorite memories growing up is my mom making sun tea in our backyard. She always added in fresh mint that she had grown in our garden. I remember one day I wanted the tea to be made “faster”, so I walked up to the jar that was sitting in the sun in the garden, opened the lid, and started ripping open all of the tea bags. To me, it just made sense! Luckily I’ve learned a thing or two about tea since that day, and today I want to share the steps for making sun tea. It’s very simple — and it’s so gratifying to know that you used the sun’s natural rays to help produce a deliciously refreshing drink!

What you need:

A glass jar with a lid (I used 24-oz. mason jars)
Tea of your choice
Fresh mint
Distilled water

Sun tea ingredients

What you do:

1. Sterilize your jar by washing thoroughly with soap and water. Making sun tea provides an ideal situation for bacteria growth, so this step is very important!

2. Cut a lemon into slices. Add a few lemon slices and some mint to your jar.

Lemons and mint in jars

3.  Add some tea bags to your jar, and fill to the top with distilled water. I made three types of tea: three mint, chamomile, and jasmine green tea. When it comes to the amount of tea bags, it’s better to use more than less. You can always water your tea down later if it’s too strong. I used 3 tea bags for each 24-oz. jar, and I felt that I could have definitely used another!

How to make sun tea

4. Set your jar outside in direct sunlight for at least 2 hours. The higher the temperature and brighter the sun, the faster your tea will be done.

Making sun tea in mason jars

5. Check your jar after a few hours. The darker the color, the stronger the tea will be. I left mine out in about 70-degree weather for about 5 hours, and the tea was the perfect strength for me.

Homemade sun tea in mason jars

You can store your tea in the fridge for about 3-5 days. Add a little sugar or honey if you so desire. Enjoy!

Photos by Brigette.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Mariel -May 3, 2013, 10:38AM

Perfect! :)

Megan -May 3, 2013, 11:19AM

Love this! I’m obsessed with tea!!

Jessica -May 3, 2013, 12:12PM

Ooh! I think I’ll make some with mint and fresh peaches! Thanks for the post!

Elin -May 3, 2013, 1:43PM

Thank you for this post! I can’t wait to try this.

Meg -May 3, 2013, 3:09PM

I wish I liked tea!

Taylor -May 3, 2013, 5:52PM

really great idea! never thought about using the sun for this!

Haley -May 3, 2013, 11:29PM

When I was younger someone was camping out at my great grandparent’s place and they made sun tea. I have wanted to try it ever since but I never knew how! Thank you!!!

Jacqueline -May 4, 2013, 1:09AM

Do you strain the mint and lemons after it’s ‘brewed’?

noa -May 4, 2013, 12:47PM

why distilled water and not regular water? what’s the difference? :)

Mik -May 5, 2013, 10:48PM

Hello all, this is cool.

Rachael -May 28, 2013, 12:43PM

I made this recipe for Memorial Day and it was a hit! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

Leochick93 -June 18, 2013, 7:11AM

Sun Tea is a southern staple. my mom makes this all the time. we used to make in for the arabs when we lived overseas. toss in peaches, berries, even rosemary & honey is wonderful

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