This recipe for sun tea will bring back so many wonderful childhood memories! It's comforting, refreshing, and incredibly adaptable.
Easy Sun Tea Recipe

What exactly is Sun Tea?

Sun tea is a traditional summer beverage popular in the southern states. To create it, fill a pitcher halfway with tea bags and water, then leave it to brew at room temperature for a few hours. Sun tea is usually left on a window sill to steep until it's strong. When it's finished, it can be sweetened or garnished.


What is the Best Tea for Sun Tea?

You can use any type of tea, but for a true southern sun tea recipe, use black tea.

Not only does black tea have the strongest flavor, but the caffeine in it also helps to suppress bacterial growth.


Suggestions and Tricks

  1. Allow the tea to settle on a concrete or stone surface. Because these surfaces absorb heat well, the tea brews much faster.

  2. In addition to sugar, you can sweeten the tea using flavored simple syrup. No-calorie sweeteners are also ideal for making a pleasant beverage without the addition of sugar.

  3. 1 tea bag equals 1 cup of water When creating a larger quantity, though, add an extra bag or two.

  4. Please do not squeeze the tea bags! It will simply make your sun tea bitter, not tastier.

  5. On a sunny day, brew some sun tea. The tea will not brew without the sun.

  6. Try some supercharged sun tea! To make it more adult, add lemon vodka or bourbon.


How Long Should Sun Tea Be Infused?

Sun tea should steep for 2-4 hours, with a maximum of 4 hours. If it's very hot outside, sun tea may only take 2-3 hours to brew. Also, if you prefer a lighter flavor, 3 hours should suffice. Allow it to steep for 4 hours for a fuller taste or if you have a large batch (never longer).


Servings: 16 servings

Prep time: 1 min

Sun Brewing: 5 hours 

Calories: 48kcal


  • 6 - 8 black tea bags
  • 1 gallon of water (filtered preferred)
  • 1 cup sugar (or other sweeteners) (optional)
  • Garnish with lemon slices and strawberries (optional)


  1. Pour water into a container with a lid. Arrange the tea bags around the rim of the container, so they float on the water. Put on the lid, using it to secure the tea bags in place.

  2. Set the container outside under direct exposure to the sun. Let it sit for 4 hours, or until the tea is brewed to your liking.

  3. Take the tea inside and remove the tea bags. Sweeten the tea with sugar or sweetener, if using. Garnish with lemon slices and strawberries, if using. Serve with ice. Enjoy!


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