How to Make Sun Tea With Fresh Herbs (or tea bags)

Pemon Balm Tea
I'm all for beverages that make themselves -- while I do something else. Sun tea is like that. It's also very nice to make something right in the garden.

A neighbor used to place a huge glass jar filled with fresh herbs for sun tea in her driveway -- that's where she had the best direct sunlight. It sat there during long summer afternoons. In the evening, her sun brewed tea would end up in a pitcher on her dinner table. What a nice idea!

How to Make Sun Tea

Making sun tea is an informal affair - that's part of its appeal. Here's how it works:

Grab a few bunches of your favorite fresh herbs, say three cups for every seven or eight cups of water. You can use one herb or mix and match your favorites.

Wash the herbs well and place them in a large, sealable jar. I prefer to use glass. Add room temperature or slightly warmer water, seal and place the jar out in the sun. Ideally, you want to situate the jar where it will get five to eight hours of direct light on a warm day.

That's it.

You can sweeten sun tea or not. In fact, you can serve and embellish sun tea just as you would any other tea. The only limitation is that you should drink it within about 24 hours. Because it isn't processed and doesn't boil, sun tea will sour faster than traditionally brewed dried tea preparations.

One of my favorites is mint and lemon balm tea. For color and added flavor, I'll sometimes add a tea bag or two -- say a fruity tea like pomegranate or something with an neutral base like chamomile.

Sun TeaIf you're relying on tea bags for your sun tea, use about six tea bags to a half gallon of water. Curing time should take two to three hours.  Do a taste test after a couple of hours and use your judgment.  Different teas have different levels of intensity, so you may have to experiment a little.

For some interesting combinations, you can visit my other sun tea post: Herbal Sun Tea Recipes and Instructions

The title sounds a little flat, but some of the tea combos I've tried and listed are definitely worth a look.

Top photo - Courtesy of KaiMartin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons -
Bottom photo - Ginny (sun tea) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons -

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