Making Sun Tea

Well since summer is almost here, you will probably want to make some sun tea. If you don't want to pay for the pricey sun tea jars in the department stores, just take a clean gallon milk jug, put your cold water and your tea bags in and set in the sun. Works as well as the pricey ones do. Make sure you put the lid on to keep out ants and bees. Just one of my frugal tips.


By Sandy from Bluff City, TN

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When helping out at a summer event, I didn't brew hot tea for the iced tea - but just made "sun tea" by soaking the teabags in the urns we had and putting them in the sun. It made tea concentrate, and didn't have to be cooled down very much to drink.

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Instead of throwing out your old tea bags, try this instead and save money. Take a small empty jar and once you have used your tea bag, put it in the small jar. Once you have collected 5 or 6 teabags, then get a gallon jar or a glass pitcher and move your tea bags to it. Fill with water and then set out in the sun for a few hours.

A box of Sleepytime tea.

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Tea is better if it's made by the sun, bringing water to a boil on the stove creates 'bitter' tea. And sun tea does not necessarily mean that it has to sit in the sun. Tea bags will make tea sitting on the counter or in the fridge, it just takes time.

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I make a half gallon bottle of sun tea using black tea and another using green tea, 2 bags in each. I'm using solar power and the tea is never bitter. Now I always have iced tea on hand and anytime I want a cup of warm tea, I use the microwave to heat it.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

How do I flavor my sun tea? I loved the Lemon Ginger sun tea I made over the weekend, but I'm sure there is a less expensive way to achieve similar results. I used individual tea packets that are lemon-ginger flavored. I have less expensive family-sized tea bags which I'd like to use. Would I just add some lemon slices and ginger slices to the sun tea jar before putting it out in the sun?

If so, how many slices of each would I use? Do any of you have other tea flavoring ideas that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them! I'm in the mood to try different tastes. Thanks.

By Tina Siegl from Ashland, OR


April 21, 20090 found this helpful

You have the right idea, just experiment with the lemon and ginger slices. Start out with a small amount and add more until you like the taste. It's hard to say exactly how much to use as I may prefer mine with less of a lemon taste while you may like a strong flavor.

When making iced tea I use regular black tea bags but will often add one flavored tea bag. This gives a nice hint of flavor yet it's still economical.

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April 22, 20090 found this helpful

I like mint sun tea. I pick fresh mint leaves, wash them, roll them in my hand to help them release more flavor, and add to the tea jar to steep. I use about 6 leaves per quart of tea. When the tea is ready, scoop out the leaves and enjoy. Have used a tea ball, and put the mint leaves in loose. Loose seems to give more flavor

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April 22, 20090 found this helpful

Omanana: Thanks for your response. Do you add a reguar tea bag or anything like that or just the 6 mint leaves?

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

Bacteria thrive in sun tea. You might instead consider buying cold-brew teabags (I think they're put out by Lipton) and making the tea in your refrigerator, with the lemon and ginger or any other flavorings you like, instead. Or just make regular hot tea at double strength and add ice while it's still boiling hot.

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

I just add some lemon and ginger to about a half a cup of boiling water, seep for half an hour or how ever long to get the flavor you want, when cool, strain and add to your tea. I usually use the flavored teas and add some kick!

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

There is definitely a school of thought that suggests it is NOT safe to make sun tea, because the sun can cause bacteria to grow in the water. Please consider this article before you proceed: It offers an alternative recipe for "refrigerator tea."

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April 24, 20090 found this helpful

I also would like to caution error on the side of safety. With salmonella and bacterias running through our food chain, BE CAREFUL.

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April 25, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you for the responses. Where I live, we call it "sun tea" if it is made in a big jar, whether you do it in the sun or in the frig. Because having the word "sun" in the post caused responders to focus on safety issues, issues which I am already well aware of, I wish I had removed that word before posting. My question was HOW TO FLAVOR the tea. In other words, for a half gallon of tea, how much ginger should I add and how many lemon slices should I add? Thank you for caring about my family's health, but many of the posts ran off on a tangent, leaving my actual question unanswered :(

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April 26, 20090 found this helpful

Sorry I did not make it clear. The quart includes 1-2 tea bags, 1 black tea, or 2 green tea, along with the mint leaves.

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April 26, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks Omanana. We just planted some mint in our garden and will definitely give that a try!

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