Celebrate the Warming Weather With This Old-Fashioned Sun Tea Recipe

Recipes and DIY

Many of us remember that indelible image: a large jug full of tea, maybe some lemon slices, sitting on the back porch, slowly steeping under the glow of the sun. If you grew up in this part of the country, there’s a good chance you share this memory, whether from childhood or last summer. If it’s been a while, why not renew the tradition? Sun tea is delicious, refreshing, and, of course, energy efficient. No need to waste precious kilowatts boiling water on the stove—the sun does the job better. Here’s a refresher on the basics of sun tea, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.


  • 1 large glass jug. One with an easy pour spout is preferable.
  • 8 tea bags per gallon of cold water. Any tea will do, whether black or green, caffeinated or herbal.
  • Liquid sweetener, if desired.
  • Garnish of choice—citrus, berries, mint, or cucumbers are popular.


  • Fill your jug with cold water and add the appropriate number of tea bags. Cover the jug, set outside in the sun.
  • Monitor the color of the tea. General timeframe for steeping is between 2–3 hours, but on a particularly hot day you might want to bring it inside after an hour. It’s up to you—leave it out longer for stronger tea, bring it in earlier for a lighter brew.
  • Add a liquid sweetener if desired. Honey or agave nectar work well, or you can run hot water over granule sugar to create a simple syrup.
  • Add your garnishes to the jug—and to your glass, if desired.
  • Pour, grab a seat on the porch, and enjoy!