How to Make Sun Tea

Pitcher Of Tea
Pitcher Of Tea

How to Make Sun Tea

Taking Sun Tea has become a regular feature in the general summertime tradition, and you can take full advantage of the summer sun by learning how to make Sun Tea. I remember most of my childhood summertime memories involved a big glass container of this orangey colored drink. The nostalgic drink brings back loving memoirs of sitting out and sipping tea. I cannot quite recall ever not drinking sun tea during the summer period, and it makes me wonder why it has become some lost art.  Aside from tasting good, Sun Tea is easy to prepare and is not expensive to execute. The tea is steep in cold water and can save you more time as it is easy to make in volume for kids or entertaining friends. So, here are the basics of Sun Tea making and How to Make Sun Tea.

Sun Tea 101

To begin with, tea leaves placed in liquid produces their distinct flavor irrespective of whether it is cold, hot, or somewhat in-between. It is called steeping when the water is heated and infusion when the water is cold. Most people make use of steeping because the tea flavors are released faster. The outcome of faster release within a short period is usually a deep color with intense flavor. For cold or warm water, it would take longer.

The overall idea of making sun tea is to create a big batch of tea for summer without involving your stovetop. One thing I have learned about making tea is that the best teas often arise from using a random blend of tea bags. The type of tea to use is dependent on you. So, you are free to explore and get creative. For example, peach tea, hibiscus tea, and green tea combined produces a fantastic fruity and rich red colored tea.

Recipe for Making Sun Tea


  • 4 to 8 tea bags (you can use a blend of tea bags).


  • Place 4 to 8 tea bags in a 2 quart or gallon container.
  • Fill the container with water and cover lid.
  • Place the covered container in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 hours.
  • As the tea approach its strength, remove from the sun and place in the refrigerator. You may choose to get rid of the tea bags at this stage.

The time needed to steep in the sun is dependent on factors like the outside temperature, the type of tea used, container size, and the color depth you desire from the tea. An acceptable timeframe for sunshine is between 2 to 3 hours.

Once the Sun Tea is ready, you can add liquid sweetener, if so desired. As an alternative to adding sugar and seeing granules settle below, you can make use of agave or honey. They both stir quickly and smooth. Finally, if you prefer lemon or lime, feel free to add them too. They add a light citrus note and garnish the tea as well.


That’s it! You can do this!! Sun tea is easy to prepare and loved by everyone. It is a summertime tradition that kids like and you can do well by getting creative with it too. And hopefully, you can add some new tricks to it as well.

Related References

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)
Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

I know this tea from the Mexican with cooking tradition and it is a favorite summertime drink around our home.  The flowers used for Hibiscus tea are easily obtained online or in your local grocery, at least in the Southwest. In the Mexican tradition, it is known as Agua or Water, but it is actually a tea made from the flowers of the Hibiscus plant. While usually drank chilled and/or on ice, it makes a perfectly fine hot beverage, as well.

Hibiscus scarlet colored tea is a flavorful and versatile drink, which can be used in a multitude of ways, including:

  • To add flavor and color to a berry or fruit smoothie, or simply, to thin a smoothie a bit.
  • Frozen to make Popsicles
  • To make colorful ice cubes for your summertime drinks
  • Added to Jell-O for more depth of flavor and or color
  • Added to beery jellies, jams, and other recipes to more depth of flavor and or color. This is especially true of strawberry recipes.

Also Known as:

  • Agua De Jamaica
  • Jamaica Water

Hibiscus tea is very simple, though many recipes make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Basically,  you need the hibiscus flower and water.  A sweeter is strictly optional.  Actually,  to provide maximum flexibility, I recommend you don’t sweeten the tea until the time of consumption.   This allows each individual to sweeten the tea according to their personal tastes and/or needs.  Also, It makes a perfectly fine unsweetened drink, which is my favorite way to drink Hibiscus ice tea.   Also, if you skip the sweeter, it not only keeps it very low calorie,  but it is the most flexible way to allow you in incorporate the tea into other recipes, which may have already been sweetened and/ or don’t need the additional sweeten.



Ingredient1 Quart Measure12 Quart MeasureNotes
Hibiscus Flower½ cup1 cup 
Water1 quart2 quartsI use 2 cups for boiling and the remainder cold
Sugar/Sweetener6 tablespoons¾ cupStrictly optional


  • Rinse the flowers quickly to remove dust and debris
  • place flowers in saucepan with 2 cups of water and
  • Bring water with flowers to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer for ten minutes
  • Permit to cool
  • Strain through a fine wire strainer to remove flowers into a pitcher
  • Add cool water and/or ice according to pitcher size
  • Server Chilled

Related References